When deciding on decorating your house, carpet is the best option providing warmth and a cozy vibe to your house, but this gets tricky when you install the carpet on stairs.
There are a lot of questions, and the first one should be how much carpet is required for stairs and how to measure the carpet required for stairs.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with complete information on how much carpet is needed for stairs, how you can measure it, and what type of carpet is suitable for stairs.
What Type Of Carpet Is Best For Stairs?
To select the best carpet for your home, we’ve broken down some important factors that you should consider before buying any carpet material.
1. Durability And Quality
When selecting a carpet for your stairs, look for a durable and high-quality carpet.
Stairs are the most high-traffic area in your home, so when choosing a carpet, look for a thicker carpet which can also help with absorbing the sound.
- Polyester– Between 5 to 15 years
- Nylon– Between 10 to 15 years
- Olefin– Between 10 to 15 years
- Wool– More than 20 years
2. Soil And Stain Resistance
The next factor to consider is stain-resistant and soil-proof. Carpet materials like Nylon or Trixeta are both stain resistant and are also made wear-resistant.
3. Pick A Neutral Color And Style
Select a carpet that would match the hardwood flooring or the laminate flooring of your house.
A dark color carpet won’t show dirt or stains on the carpet, while a neutral color carpet will go with any scheme of home decorations.
So, choose a carpet that would go with the aesthetics of your home.
How Much Carpet Is Required For Stairs According To Types of Stairs?
Stairs come in different sizes, shapes, and configurations. The types of stairs you have at your home vary from region to region and from house to house because of the building code of regions.
So, when installing the carpet on stairs, be sure to measure them carefully. Here are some different types of stairs which you can find in various houses and how much carpet is required for each type:
1. Box Stairs
- A box stair is typically in the shape of a box, meaning it is closed by both sides by walls.
- These are approximately 3′ to 4′ wide.
- The usual allowance for the flat part you step on is 10′ and 8′ for the riser (the back of the stair). Therefore for each box stair, you require 3′ x 18″ of carpet.
- A bullnose stair is found at the bottom of the stair.
- These staircases are more comprehensive than the rest of the stairs and are round on one or both sides.
- The thread and the riser both have a measurement of 18″.
- For this type of stair, you are required to measure the width of the stairs and also a few extra inches.
3. Pie Stairs
A pie-shaped stair will require 4′ (or the width of the stairs) x 30″ of carpet for each pie-shaped stair. You’ll have some extra carpet waste in case of pie stairs.
4. Open Stairs
- Open stairs are also known as Hollywood stairs because it has no backing.
- Measure the width of the steps.
- Approximately 20″ of the carpet is required to wrap the carpet completely around the stair.
5. Open or Floating or Cap Stairs
- These stairs don’t have any risers. So, the carpet is required to be wrapped all around the thread.
- Measure these stairs all the way around the step and add 3″. You may need approximately 23″ of the carpet to wrap the stairs completely.
How To Measure The Carpet For Stairs?
To determine how much carpet is needed for the stairs, you must measure the width of the broadloom and then calculate it on the basis of the dimension and the number of stairs.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example:
Suppose you have box stairs at your home. Now for a typical set of 12-box stairs, multiply the 36″ width by 18″ thread and riser, then multiply the numbers by 12 (stairs).
It will give you 7,776 square inches of carpet, which equates to 54 square feet.
Let’s take another example of open-to-railing stairs. You have a flight of 15 stairs with noses open to a railing on one side, and the stairs take a 90-degree turn at corners, making three pie stairs.
Here’s how we will calculate this:
- Pie stairs– three pieces, each 48′ x 30′, for a total of 4320 square inches.
- Cap Stairs– 12 stairs, each 48″ wide, with a rise of 8″ and a thread of 10″ and plus 3″ for nose, for a total of 12,096 square inches.
Pro tip: No matter how much carpet you have calculated, always buy some extra cm of the carpet in case of any mistakes that often happen when installing the carpet on the stairs.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Carpet On Stairs?
The cost to install carpet on the stairs depends on factors like the size of the stairs, the shape of the stairs, the material of the carpet, and the number of stairs. However, if you are looking to replace the carpet, then you can also go for the cheapest way to replace the carpet on stairs. This is because replacing carpet is not an easy task and is quite expensive.
Below is the cost breakdown of installing the carpet on the basis of various factors:
Average Cost Of Carpeting The Stairs
|Cost To Carpet Stairs|
Average Cost On The Basis Of Carpet Material
The average cost of installing a carpet on the stairs also depends on the carpet material you choose, like polyester, nylon, or wool.
|Type Of Carpet||Average Cost Per Square Foot|
|Olefin or Polypropylene||$1-$5|
Cost On The Basis Of Number Of Stairs
|Number Of Stairs||Average Cost|
On The Basis Of The Shape Of Staircase
|Staircase Shape||Average Cost For 12 Stairs|
|Curved||$600 – $1,300|
How Long Does It Takes To Carpet The Stairs?
If you are thinking of doing it yourself (DIY), then you should expect from 6 to 10 minutes per step. For 10 steps, you can expect carpeting to take 20 minutes to 100 minutes.
However, if you are thinking of hiring a professional to do the job, then a single step will be completed in 2 minutes on average.
In installing a carpet on stairs, the technique and the material of the carpet also impact the installation time. This makes it essential to understand the time it takes on the basis of both material and technique.
Time To Install A Carpet- By Material
When installing carpet on the floor, the technique matters more than the material of the carpet, but when installing carpet on stairs, you have to consider both the material and the technique.
For instance, if you have a longer carpet material, then it will take a longer time to install it on the stairs. This is because it will require more work to cut it and then glue it properly.
Here are some common carpet materials that you should consider:
1. Shag And High-Pile
Shag and high-pile carpet materials are heavy carpets. This means you’ll have a hard time cutting through the carpet, which will lead to higher installation time.
If you are a do-it-yourself, then expect 6 to 10 minutes per stair, while a professional will take 3 minutes per step.
2. Cut Pile, Loop Pile, And Berger
These carpet materials are considered to be ‘mid-range’ carpet piles and are easier to cut as compared to shag and high piles.
Still, the time taken to install these carpet materials on the carpet for a DIYer will be 3 to 4 minutes per stair.
In the case of a professional doing the job, it would take only 2 minutes to install a medium-range carpet on the stairs.
3. Low Pile
These carpet materials are the easiest to cut and take significantly less time to get installed on the stairs. Low-pile carpet materials are also durable carpet types.
A DIYer will take around 3 minutes per step, while a professional will take under 2 minutes to do the job.
Time To Install A Carpet- By Technique
The technique is another aspect that is important to consider when installing the carpet on stairs.
There are primarily 3 common types of techniques used in installing the carpet, namely, the waterfall method, stapling method, and cap-and band-method.
Let’s talk about what are these 3 methods and how they impact the time taken to install the carpet on stairs.
1. Waterfall Method
This method uses a single roll of carpet cut according to the width of the stairs. You will need to start from the bottom of the stairs and install each step by stapling and gluing the carpet on each stair.
This technique is the fastest way to install the carpet on stairs. For a DIYer, it will take around 3 minutes to install it, while for a professional or an expert, it will take only 2 minutes per step.
2. Carpet Panel Stapling Method
The carpet panel stapling method is suitable when you don’t want to cover the stairs fully and just want a little cushioning at the center of the stairs.
For this method, you can take small panel carpets and staple and glue them on each step. It would take only a minute for both DIYer and an expert.
3. Cap-And-Band Installation Method
Cap-and-band method takes a lot of time to get installed on the stairs but works for all types of carpets and gives a cleaner look to the stairs.
To do this, you need to make two cuts per step- one for the riser and one for the rest of the step. Most installers will be able to install it by taking 6 to 10 minutes per step, while a professional will take only 2 to 3 minutes per step.
How To Save Money On Carpeting The Stairs?
Choosing a carpet, suppose nylon or wool, then choosing how much carpet you need, then hiring a professional to do the work, doesn’t it sounds like the process will make a hole in your wallet?
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back-you can save some money by following these tips:
1. If the process requires removing the existing carpet, then remove the existing carpet by yourself. This will save you $1 to $5 per square foot in professional removal.
2. Check through multiple carpet installers and get an estimate from them. This will help you to get the best affordable price.
3. Opt for the best but most affordable material, like synthetic or olefin.
4. Use carpet remnants instead of using brand new rolls.
5. Install the carpet next to the spindles and not beneath them.
Do You Need Carpet Padding On Stairs?
We highly recommend installing the carpet on the stairs using padding. The reason behind this is that using padding will help you with less noise of footsteps when walking down or up the stairs.
It will also extend the life of the carpet and ensure the warranty is intact, as most companies do not consider the carpet under warranty if no padding was installed underneath for the time period.
Installing carpet on stairs is very different from installing carpet on the floor. It requires you to carefully measure the width and every dimension of the steps.
This process can also be expensive based on the type of carpet material you choose, the shape of the stairs, and the number of stairs.
Always remember to check with multiple professionals to get the best price for installing the carpet on the stairs.
We hope this article has answered all the questions regarding how much carpet is required for stairs and how to measure it.
How much carpet do I need for 13 steps?
For 13 steps and suppose a 1.2 x 1.2 m landing, you need to calculate the total square meter coverage of the stairs and then add this to the total square meter coverage to get the total carpet required.
Why carpeting stairs is expensive?
Carpeting on stairs requires extra work to fit the flooring and cover every nook of the stairs. This also depends on the shape of the stairs and the material you choose.
Should carpet on stairs be in one piece?
Yes, covering stairs should be in one piece to save time but to save on waste it can also be done in smaller pieces.
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!