How to Carpet Stairs for Style and Comfort in Canada?
Updated: Jun 15
A beautiful staircase can be a great centrepiece in your home’s hallway or foyer – and hardwood staircases can look particularly stunning. However, if your staircase is very large, too much dark wood can make the space feel a little gloomy – and too many feet going up and down those hard stairs can make a lot of noise!
Carpeting can make a great and colourful addition to your staircase. Installing carpeting on stairs softens footfalls and absorbs sound. It can also give feet a better grip on the stairs, and can even offer a little padding in the event of a fall. Lastly, carpeting also absorbs some of the wear that would otherwise be taken by your hardwood – and carpet is easier and cheaper to replace than stair tread.
This post will give you a basic overview of the process of carpeting your stairs.
The first step to take before installing carpet on your stairs is to make proper measurements. This will ensure that your stair runner has sufficient length and width.
Start by picking a single stair. The horizontal part is called the tread and the vertical part is the riser. You’ll need to take the following measurements:
The depth of the tread
The height of the riser
The length of the runner
You’ll need to estimate the length by multiplying the depth by the height by the number of stairs. Make sure to take into account any landings you’ll be covering. It’s also a good idea to add roughly 6-8 inches for waste and errors. You’ll normally order your runner by the foot. It’s better to round up than to round down.
Lastly, you’ll need to pick the desired width of the runner. They vary from narrow to wide, and you should select the width based on the amount of your treads you would like covered.
Methods Of Installing Carpet On Stairs
Once you’ve picked out your runner before you start installing, you’ll need to select the method of installation you prefer. The two main alternatives are the Hollywood method and the waterfall method.
The waterfall method is the simpler, and more common, installation approach. With a waterfall installation, the carpet is only secured to the treads, and left free to fall down to the next riser.
The Hollywood method offers a sharper look. The runner is secured both at the edge of the tread and also on the riser. This gives a very clean appearance, and it’s a popular choice for highly visible stairways, such as a grand foyer staircase.
The type of carpet you’re selecting can also affect which method is easier for you – a very inflexible, heavy carpet is probably a better candidate for the waterfall method, as an example.
Plan How To Install Carpet On Stairs
Once you’re ready to install the carpet, here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:
Moving up your staircase from bottom to top, mark the center on each tread. Also, take careful note of the path you want the runner to follow on any landings.
Next, you’ll want to install some carpet padding. As a rule of thumb, your padding width should be about one inch narrower than your runner's width. Secure one carpet pad for each tread securely and evenly.
Install Runner (using a stapler or tac strips)
When you install your runner, you’ll need to decide between securing your carpet with a stapler or tac strips. Either can look fantastic when done well, but tac strips can offer a more seamless look. On the other hand, a staple gun is a very efficient means of installation and can make your work faster.
Whether you’ve chosen the Hollywood or waterfall method, you’ll need to begin securing your carpet. Working side to side, secure the carpeting to each tread before moving on to the next read or riser. Make sure the rug is smooth and centred before securing it.
Complete The Project
When you’ve installed the whole stair, complete the edge and remove any excess carpet that might be left over. Next, secure the edge in place. You’re finished!
How To Clean Carpet On Stairs?
Cleaning the carpet on your stairs shouldn’t be a hassle. Regular cleaning should be done via a vacuum cleaner, preventing dust and dirt from building up in the first place.
However, eventually, you’ll need to give your carpets a deep clean. The best tool for the job is a dedicated rug cleaning machine, like a Rug Doctor. If you aren’t sure how to use one, or the right tool to rent, this is a great opportunity to talk with a pro.
Adding a carpet runner to your stairs doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it’s a great way to cut down on the noise while adding a touch of colour! It’s also a great way to help preserve the longevity of your stairs if they see a lot of traffic. With proper preparation, you can easily make this great addition to your hardwood stairs.