How to fit stair carpet
Fitting carpet on stairs can be a tricky and time-consuming task. That’s why most people will pay a professional fitter to do the job for them. But there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t do it yourself.
Even as a complete DIY novice – with the right tools and some basic knowledge – you can achieve fantastic results, and save a little money in the process. So why not have a go? Just follow our step-by-step guide and you’ll have it done in no time.
What will I need to fit my stair carpet?
- Heavy-duty carpet underlay (e.g. Plushwalk 10mm)
- Carpet grippers
- Carpet shears or a sharp utility knife
- A heavy-duty staple gun
- Fitting tools (e.g. knee kicker, hammer, stair tool)
6 steps to install carpet on a staircase
Step 1: Prepare the staircase
Preparation is the key to all successful DIY jobs.
So first things first, remove the old carpet – along with any old carpet underlay, gripper rods, tacks, nails and staples that you find underneath. You should also take the opportunity to give the staircase a thorough clean. Before you start the fitting process, sweep each step individually to remove loose dirt or debris and use a vacuum to get rid of any dust.
Step 2: Fit new carpet grippers
When installing carpet on the stairs, carpet grippers are more important than ever. Not only will they enhance the final results, they secure the carpet in place and ensure it’s safe to walk on.
Grippers should be placed at the back of each tread (with the angled edge facing away) and at the base of each riser (with the angled edge facing down). Leave a gap of approximately 10mm and install them on every step – except for the one right at the bottom.
A detailed guide on how to fit carpet grippers can be found here.
Step 3: Add underlay to each step
The staircase is one of the busiest areas of the home. To withstand the high levels of footfall and protect your new carpet, a high-quality underlay is essential.
Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, we stock a range of underlays that are suitable for use on the staircase – and we particularly recommend Plushwalk 10mm. Cut from thick ‘bounce back’ memory foam, this offers exceptional levels of underfoot comfort, insulation and durability. And at 10mm thick, it’s safe and easy to fit on the stairs.
Cut individual pieces of underlay to perfectly fit the shape and size of each tread and place these on the inside of the carpet gripper. To secure them in place, use a heavy-duty staple gun and apply staples every 2-3 inches around the edge.
Step 4: Cut the carpet to size
Calculate the area of each step by adding the height to the depth, and multiplying this by the width. Each step in the staircase should measure the same. But to be on the safe side, you may wish to take measurements for each one individually.
Then, measure your carpet and cut it to size using a sharp utility knife. Be sure to take your time and do this very carefully. It’s very easy to make a mistake at this stage and the last thing you want is to get to the last step, to find your strip of carpet has gradually become too wide or narrow.
Step 5: Fit the carpet
You’re now ready to fit the carpet to the stairs.
Roll up the strip, leaving the underside facing outwards, and start at the bottom step. Align the carpet carefully. Then, once you’re happy with its position, staple it to the base of the first riser. Pull the carpet tightly over the first step, using a knee kicker and stair tool to push it firmly against the carpet grippers and ensure it’s as snug as possible.
If the carpet has an overhang (also known as a nose), be sure to add staples underneath this. This will prevent any gaps under the carpet and help to avoid rucking.
Step 6: Repeat with each step
Repeat the process above with every step, until you reach the top of the staircase.
Ideally, you should try to use one strip of carpet to cover the entire staircase. But if this isn’t possible, always cut the fabric at the base of the riser and start the next strip with a full step. That way, you won’t be able to see the joins. And if there’s a pattern in the carpet, take care to line this up correctly.
Start your DIY project today
Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, we stock everything you’ll need to install stair carpet like a professional – including carpet underlay, carpet grippers, fitting tools, hammers, knives, and shears. All of which are of the highest quality and available for an affordable price. So why not take a look, invest in the right tools, and get started?
And remember, you’re always welcome to get in touch with our experts. Whether you’d like further advice on how to fit stair carpet, or have a question about the best underlay, grippers, and tools to use for your project, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0203 887 0994. Or if you prefer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.
- Alex Illidge