A flight of stairs looks quite good in some homes with enough space for you to actually admire the beauty of hardwood stairs. It also poses a hazard to young children who are fond of running up and down the stairs. Couple that with the noise generated by stomping feet. Installing carpet on stairs can minimize the danger of sharp edges and corners and provide cushioning in case of accidental falls.
A carpet over your stairs will protect the fine wood of your stair rungs. The carpet can also absorb noise and with the right color and design can provide elegance to a bare and simple staircase. Below are some tips to help you put carpet on your stairs.
- Determine the amount of carpet material you will need to cover the stairs. Measure the width and length of the tread. This is the horizontal part of the stairs. Measure also the width and length of the riser or the vertical part of the stairs. Carpet padding will provide more protection for the stairs and absorb more sound waves. If you decide you want to use carpet padding, you need to add at least three inches to each stair rung.
- If you are installing the carpet yourself, it is best to use the waterfall method wherein the whole length of the carpet is allowed to cascade to the bottom and secured toward the back of each tread, close to the riser.
- Urethane and sponge rubber underlay are the best materials to use as carpet padding to absorb noise and prevent the formation of mildew.
- Vacuum the stairs and make sure that the surface is flat and there are no cracks and nails that are sticking up. Fill up cracks with wood putty, allow it to dry and sand it into a smooth finish.
- Install the carpet padding first. Use stapler to attach the padding to the edges and corners of each tread and riser.
- Place tack strips on the back edge of each tread and on the top and bottom portion of the riser, including the area that meets the wall. Hammer them in place. If the stairs is located in a stairwell, place the tack strips on both side of the tread close to the walls.
- Place the carpet over the entire staircase and start from the bottom to tie the carpet to the tack strips. Make sure that the carpet lies very flat and smooth over the tread and riser. Tuck the edges of the carpet and make sure that this side seam will catch part of the tack strips. Use a hammer to fix the carpet in place. A seaming iron or a knee kicker will help stretch the carpet. Repeat the process until you reach the top of the stairs.
- At the top of the stairs, use a utility knife to cut out the end of the carpet evenly. Tuck the end of the carpet and secure in place with staples.
Installing carpet on the stairs is not that difficult. The tools are readily available and you only need to decide on the color and design of the carpet. Choose the color that will be complimentary to the dominant color used in your home’s interior.