When you install carpet on your floor area, you should not skip the stairs. The stairway also needs to be carpeted. How to install carpet on stairs may require a bit of patience, time and effort. This space is not level like the floor, but learning how to install carpet on it is not too difficult a feat either.
Why do people think of carpeting stairs as difficult? This is all due to the constant shift in the elevation. There is a technique on how to install carpet on stairs. The technique employs the fitted carpet also referred to as the runner, which is merely a strip of carpet. If you already have carpeted the floors of the other rooms in your house, there is no reason you would not be able to do the same with your stairs.
The first thing to do is to choose the color, design and materials for the carpet. It is best to pick a design that is the same as the carpet in the area nearest the stairs. Take out the tools that you used when you installed the living room or hallway carpet.
The start-up task in how to install carpet on stairs is the installation of the tackless strips
Learning how to install carpet on stairs will require that you know how to install tackless strips. You have two parts of the stairs to consider – the stair tread and its side, which is termed as the riser.
You should measure a 2 inch strip on each shorter side of each tread and draw a line going down the stairs to go along these measured points. Get the middle of the tread and also draw a perpendicular line from this to the riser and further on.
It is time to cut and install the tackless strips. These should be one and a half inches narrower than the carpet runner or the area to be carpeted. Measure and mark the center of every tackless strip. Match the center of the strip to the center of the stair’s tread, onto the edge of the step. Fix the strip in place, hammering the attached tacks to secure it. Tackless strips usually come with protruding nails and these are hammered. You repeat the process on the riser, where it meets the step below. Then repeat the process until all the treads and risers of the stairs are covered.
Time to install the carpet padding
Done with the tackless strips, you now learn how to install carpet padding or underlay. Cut each carpet pad for the tread. It is of the size of the tackless strip, not the size of the runner, but should reach the tackless strip of the riser. Lay and staple the padding to the tackless strip’s edge, at the side of the tread. The sequence of stapling is done at a 3 inch interval. Pull the padding snugly across the stair to reach the stairway nosing. You should staple this also at a 3 inch distance under the nosing. Repeat until all the steps are covered. With the use of a framing square tool, you should check that the padding is placed correctly from the top to the bottom of the stairs.
The final step is laying the carpet runner on the stairs
You are now in the final stages of how to install carpet on stairs. Moving from the topmost step, put the carpet runner between the pencil marks of the first tread. Push the carpet tight to the tackless strip at the edge of the tread. Get the front edge of the carpet knee-kicker and place it on the center of the runner. Keep the shaft of the kicker at the right level and position. You can do this by using one hand to lean on the kicker’s front knob, while the other hand is placed on the shaft level. Hitting the kicker results in the runner being fixed on the tackless strip. Keep repeating the kicking process every three inches from side to side. Pull the carpet down to the riser pushing it tight into the corner where the tread and the riser meet. It is best to use a carpet tool in the process so that the rug is gripped well by the tackless strips. Avoid tucking it under the tread’s nose. Repeat the process for every step until all the treads and risers of the stairs are covered. Continue measuring during the process to ensure that the carpet is properly aligned with the marks on the tread and the riser. With the use of a knife you can now tuck the edges on the riser of the very bottom step.
Just reading the instruction on how to install carpet on stairs, it may seem difficult at first. But once you have done the first pair of tread and riser, it will be just about repeating the process until you reach the bottom step. The main thing is to remain careful with the measurements.