Cheapest Way To Replace Carpet On Stairs

You must have searched for many budget-friendly DIYs and makeover options with easy installation procedures. On the same line, you might be searching for the cheapest way to replace the carpet on the stairs.

But you should know that it is not as simple as replacing a floor carpet; instead, the installation may first include a complex removal process followed by nailing, accurate measuring, and precise cutting of the carpet.

Cheapest Way To Replace Carpet On Stairs

However, you don’t have to worry about it because we have brought you an easy replacement procedure that will also contain some ideas for carpet material that goes well on stairs.

Why Is It Difficult To Replace Carpet On Stairs?

Why Is It Difficult To Replace Carpet On Stairs

Carpet installation can be tricky and time-consuming when it comes to stairs, and this is mainly because of the continuous tread and rise present in it.

If you are planning to replace the carpet from stairs on your own, then you must have all the tools that are required, both in ripping the old carpet and installing a new one.

Besides this, you need to take the proper measurement of each tread of your staircase to avoid cutting inaccurate dimensions of the rug.

You might be confused and worried because of the level of accuracy this installation needs, as when it comes to carpeting a flat floor, you do not have to take numbers or measurements, and you can do the whole replacement procedure easily.

Well, yes, you have to go through all these tricky steps if you are planning to do carpeting by yourself. Although, if you know the proper method to do this, the replacement will become as easy as pie for you.

Is Carpet Replacement Expensive On Stairs?

Is Carpet Replacement Expensive On Stairs

Most houses have between 10 and 15 steps in each staircase, and the replacement cost varies according to the length and width of these treads.

The average cost to install carpeting on the floor is about $3 to $7 per square foot, whereas for stairs, the cost is $14 to $36 per step. You can clearly see the hike of $11 to $26 compared to the cost of floor carpeting. This hike is mainly because of the exact shape configuration, extra cutting, and tack strips.

But what if I tell you that you can still manage to do this replacement on your own without letting it be a burden on your pocket?

Yes, you can, and if you are unsure how to do this, let’s break it down for you!

Cheapest Way To Replace Carpet On Stairs

Carpets are the most popular staircase option, as they benefit for anti-slip resistance. Else, it comes in various designs and texture that gives a fashionable essence to the traces.

To embrace this on your stairs, you can also install a new carpet by replacing an old one, and for that, you first have to select the carpet that suits your room and stairs well, and also comes under your budget easily.

Carpet Material That Fits Well On Stairs

Carpets may look like the most luxurious flooring for stairs, but it cannot cover the fact that this flooring is most difficult to clean when stained and quickly gets old-fashioned.

For your help, we have provided you with a variety of alternatives and the idea of their cost to transform your staircase.



The significant advantage of this material is that it tends low to ignite and does not fade easily over time. Also, this is the most cost-friendly option, which ranges between $1 to $3 per square foot.

But its biggest drawback is its durability, which is low; hence, you cannot use this material on those staircases that tend to get high foot traffic.



Cotton is one of the most liked options, whether it be for floors or stairs, and this is mainly because of its high durability, texture, and comfort. This option can cost between $2 to $7 per square foot, depending upon its type & material. Else, it can retain dyes effectively, which is why it comes in a variety of colors and designs.

Also, this carpet has low volatile organic compounds (VOC); however, you must be ready for easy staining and sliding concerning the staircase with heavy pedestrian traffic.



Nylon carpet can cost you between $3 to $6 per square foot and give you highly durable, easy maintenance, and versatile options that can easily match your requirements.

However, be aware of static shocks you may get in winter and the high emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from this fabric.



This high-range carpet option can cost you around $7 to $24 per square foot, depending on its thickness and type. Such as cut-pile carpets are typically more expensive than loop-pile or Berber carpets.

This carpet is more eco-friendly than the other options we discussed and is highly durable. But its most significant disadvantage is that it will most likely get permanent staining.

So, before considering any of these carpet options, be attentive and ask the retailer about all the pros and cons that are attached to a fabric. And you cannot ignore this attentiveness because you will select a rug for the most risky place, which is your stairs.

Equipment Required

  • Carpet
  • Pad
  • Staple Gun & Staples (at least 1/2″)
  • Scissors or Stanley Knife
  • Hammer stapler
  • Box Cutter
  • Straightedge
  • Wall trimmer
  • Stair tool
  • Tackless strips
  • Hot melt seaming tape
  • Seam sealer
  • Caulk/Caulk Gun
  • Tape Measure
  • Paint

Procedure For Removing The Old Carpet

Procedure For Removing The Old Carpet

The first and most important step of carpet replacement is removing the old carpet. And when I say it’s the most important, then it means you have to burn some extra calories here to make it happen. This is because you have to remove padding, nails, and other hardware that you used to fix the carpet in its place. For this,

  1. Rip the carpet slowly while cutting it with a Stanley knife.
  2. Pull the carpet sections slowly in the upward direction to remove small parts at a time.
  3. Go easy because this step is time-consuming and will take a bit of effort as well.
  4. Use a box cutter to cut the edge of the carpet & padding on each stair.
  5. Roll the whole carpet and its pieces, and then remove it to another room.
  6. Remove the staples with a flathead screwdriver and a hammer.

Procedure For Installing The New Carpet

Procedure For Installing The New Carpet

Whether your home has straight, L-shaped, U-shaped, spiral, or curved stairs, you can follow the same procedure of installation as we are going to discuss now, and for this,

  1. Measure each step individually and cut the caret pad according to measurement.
  2. Make sure that the pad you cut fits well on tackless strips.
  3. Use the exact pad measurement and cut other pads as required on your staircase.
  4. If your stairs are curved, then measure each step before cutting the pads.
  5. Using a hammer stapler, fix the carpet pad on each tread.
  6. For perfect installation, start from the center of each stair tread and then go to the corners.
  7. Take the carpet pad on the front edge of the steps while wrapping it evenly in place.
  8. Also, stretch the pad to fit it tightly against the tread and rise before stapling it to the riser.

After all the initial fixing, here comes the step you were waiting for, and that is carpet installation. But before this, you will need to make a template to cut the carpet of the exact same size as the padding you fixed. In this regard,

  1. Measure each step and raiser with a tape measure and a straightedge, and cut the carpet accordingly.
  2. Place the carpet on the bottom edge of the steps and push the carpet onto the tackless strip using an awl.
  3. Staple the carpet onto the riser just below the tread while stretching it to avoid shrinks.
  4. Now, stretch the carpet into the seam between the tread and the riser. For this, you can use a knee kicker.
  5. During this process, make sure to start from the middle before working side to side.
  6. To create the carpet into the seam, fold its edges around the step using a stair tool and a rubber mallet.
  7. Repeat steps on stairs until the carpet is perfectly installed without shrinks.

Cheapest Way To Replace Carpet On Stairs | Conclusion:

To understand better the cheapest way to replace carpet on stairs, you must first be ready to buy all the equipment and carpet padding because your installation is incomplete without them. But then the very first question that comes to mind is: How much carpet is required for stairs? In many cases, people tend to leave their stairs without any carpet or want to give a new look to the stairs with wood. So, how to change stairs from carpet to wood?

Also, take some advice from your family members, neighbors, or any professional if you are unsure whether you can do it on your own or not.


Which is the cheapest alternative of carpet to cover stairs?

If you want to dig into other options rather than carpeting, then you can choose wood flooring as your option. This option is cheap and durable and is a versatile option for selection.

Should I choose a thick or thin carpet for my stairs?

You might like to install a carpet that is soft on your feet, but that’s not a good idea for stair carpeting. Instead, you can choose thinner carpets with dense fibers, which have 0.5 inches thickness of pile.

Is it cheaper to install a carpet on your own?

By installing the carpet yourself, you can save several dollars in installation charges, but it is only worth it if you are sure and confident to do it on your own.

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