How to carpet stairs

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to fitting stair carpet including safety tips, key prep and a step-by-step guide.

Updated 5 July 2019

vacuum cleaner being pulled along blue carpet

Key steps

To lay carpet on stairs, follow these key steps:

1. Gather together everything you need.

2. Follow our step-by-step guide to effectively fitting the carpet.

3. Be sure to avoid any safety hazards while doing so, such as falls or cutting yourself with a knife.

Laying carpet on stairs can be a little fiddly but knowing the right preparation and some key dos and don'ts will help you make light work of it. Here we lay out the right steps to take before carpeting, a step-by-step guide to laying as well as some very important safety tips. Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to laying carpet on stairs.

 If this is the first time you’ve laid a carpet, it might be worth getting an extra pair of hands to help – carpeting stairs can be trickier than covering a flat space. 

How to lay carpet on stairs: What to do before you start

There are a few important prep tasks you need to do before undertaking this bit of DIY:

1. Measure the staircase carefully and work out how much carpet you need.

2. Choose a stairs-appropriate carpet material that not going to cause slippages and can easily be secured.

3. Purchase your carpet and either cut it yourself or get someone else to cut it to size.

4. Make sure you have the tools required to hand. This includes a carpet knife, grippers, stair rods (if using) and something to mark where you want the carpet to start and finish.

How to carpet stairs: a step-by-step guide

Here are the key steps to follow for this DIY project:

1. If you’re using an underlay, site this first. Underlays can help secure a carpet in place and often give a more professional finish. Speak to store guides at your local DIY shop for more details.

2. Apply fix grippers to each step. These are designed to attach the carpet to the staircase and again are readily available at DIY shops.

3. Lay down your carpet in the desired position. You might need another pair of hands here to hold it in position. It’s best to decide how you want it to look in advance to avoid too much playing around with it on the actual staircase.

4. Attach the carpet on each step to the relevant gripper and ensure it is not moving.

5. Adjust to ensure the carpet fits snugly around each step, especially where there is any overhand. This can be tricky so always get professional help if you’re stuck.

6. If you’re laying a stair runner with gaps either side, consider adding stair rods for a professional finish.

Fitting stair carpet safely: Some important safety tips

  • You’ll need a pretty large, sharp knife if you’re going to cut a carpet so be sure to take care when cutting. Always keep knives away from kids and pets.
  • Working on a stairway can be pretty hazardous; remove all trip hazards and be sure to always be in reach of a hand rail just in case.
  • Be sure any carpet laid on stairs is well fitted to avoid any slipping around on the surface which could cause falls.

That’s everything you need to know when it comes to how to lay carpet on stairs and landing. If you’re now feeling inspired for some more carpet DIY action, read our easy-to-follow guide to carpet laying tricks. Laying carpet on stairs doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds so try giving it a go and learn a new DIY skill today.

Originally published 4 July 2019