Can I Put Carpet on Wooden Stairs? | Expert Advice

Can I Put Carpet on Wooden Stairs
Can I Put Carpet on Wooden Stairs

If you’re a homeowner who is asking Can I Put Carpet on Wooden Stairs? and you want to get started right away without spending money on expensive tools, this article is for you.

YES, a carpet can be installed on a wooden staircase. It is a difficult job that takes some preparation, but it does not require any adhesives and can be completed even if you are not a skilled builder or decorator. The easiest way to do this is by using a simple stair runner measuring 12 inches wide. You can also go for a thicker rug, but it will be significantly harder to install.

Theres no need to tear out your old wooden stairs and start from scratch when you can install a carpet on it instead to add more beauty. Whether you’re renovating a small area or simply replacing an old carpet on a wooden staircase foundation this tutorial will show you how to get the job done right.

As earlier stated taking on a project like this isnt that hard you just need to know a couple of things first, For example, will your carpet fit the stairs perfectly? Does it need to be stretched tightly or fixed on the wooden steps with nails or staples?

With that being lets dive into the guide properly and don’t forget subscribe to our blog to be the first to know when we publish articles like this.

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Should You Put Carpet on Wood Stairs?

It’s normal to question if there are any disadvantages to installing a carpet on your stairs, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before.

There isn’t much to be concerned about when installing a carpet on wooden stairs. You should be able to quickly lay a new carpet and make it look beautiful unless the stairs are decaying and need to be replaced.

In some cases, it’s a matter of not being able to choose between just a wooden stairs or a carpet stairs. They end up combining the two just to get a feel of  additional grip, shock absorption, and noise reduction of the rug along side Showcasing the beauty of wood stairs without sacrificing the comfort of carpet.

Carpet on Wood Stairs
Carpet on Wood Stairs

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Does carpet on stairs ruin hardwood floors?

For me its a two way street, 90% of the time it comes down to choice. Do you like the beauty the hardwood floor gives or the reducing noise putting a carpet on it will give you.

In some cases installing carpet is a safety precaution if you have kids/toddlers running around the house.

Here are some reviews on whether or not you can install a carpet on hardwood floor stairs.

Carpeting can enhance the functionality of builder-grade stairs (steps that exist just to move people up and down, with no regard for aesthetics). Unattractive staircases are difficult to repair,hence, Using a  Carpet here will be ideal.

Other the hand if the stairs is not a busy part of the house using a carpet on it will damage beautiful hardwood stairs because the tack strips must be hammered down, leaving holes in the wood.

Carpeted stairs perform particularly well in homes with loud staircases. Young children are frequently the source of this noise. When young children discover the staircase, they will utilize it incessantly. It’s also possible that the stair materials are too thin to absorb sound effectively. It’s often easier to carpet the stairs rather than replace the risers and treads or limit the children use of the stairs.





Softer, for minor falls

Added charges

Quick fix

Collects dirt

Less expensive than alternatives

Eventually may pull away

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How do you install carpet on wood stairs?

There are actually two techniques you can use to place a rug on a wooden staircase. Waterfall Technique or Cap-and-Band Method. Then you may have to cut the carpet into the right size before putting it in place. You don’t even need adhesive!

1. Waterfall Technique

Waterfall is the quickest and easiest way of laying carpet on stairs since it just requires one strip of carpeting.

After cutting a carpet strip the width of the stairs, begin from the bottom and work your way up. A stair runner is a continuous strip of carpet that looks similar to this. We exclusively suggest this procedure for stairs with no nosing (a section of the tread that protrudes beyond the riser).

Waterfall Technique
Waterfall Technique

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2. Cap-and-Band Method| Hollywood Technique

Hollywood Technique or Wrapped nose is another name for cap-and-band. Each stair has two strips of carpet: one for the tread and one for the riser.

The tread carpet butts up to the tread before wrapping around the stair nose. The riser is then attached with another piece. Although more difficult than the waterfall method, it can give a cleaner, sharper look for beginners since you don’t have to worry with having to tighten up carpets. The chopped pieces essentially do the tucking for you.

 Hollywood Technique
A carpeted staircase going to the second floor. Full first step visible using the Hollywood Technique.

How to calculate the Amount of Carpet you will Need To Cover 13 stairs

To calculate the length and width of carpet needed to cover 13 stairs using the Hollywood technique, you will need to measure the total linear footage of the stairs and add 18 inches to that measurement for the allowance. Given riser height of 14inches, stair tread’s depth of 25inches

The total linear footage of the stairs can be calculated by: (number of stairs x tread depth) + (number of stairs x riser height) = linear footage (13 x 25 inches) + (13 x 14 inches) = 437 inches

Then add 18 inches (the allowance) to the total linear footage: 437 inches + 18 inches = 455 inches

The width of the carpet you will need is the width of the stairs, which is 33 inches.

So the length will be 455 inches and the width will be 33 inches.

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Step By Step Guide To Laying A Carpet A Staircase

This step by step guide will work for beginners with no experience or a professional looking to know if he can learn a thing or two using our guide.

1. Choosing the Type of Carpet(Step One)

First thing first, Select the carpet that you wish to install. It is preferable to use a prefabricated, machine-hemmed stair runner. Using one of these will produce the greatest results and make installation much easier.

Don’t worry, you can make a carpet runner out of any normal carpet and give it a clean hem to minimize fraying. This is something that should be left to specialists. Make sure you have precise stair dimensions so that your carpet fits properly.

The optimal carpet width is generally between 26 and 32/33 inches. This width will be determined by how much of the stair surface you want to show. You’ll also need to figure out how much carpet you’ll need.

You may do this by multiplying the riser height and stair tread depth by the number of stairs you have. It’s worth noting that if you’re going to utilize the Hollywood installation method, you should add enough to thoroughly secure the carpet. About an inch for each nosing, plus an additional 17 to 18 inches, should enough.

2. Choose Installation Technique or style(Step Two)

After you’ve decided on a carpet, you’ll need to choose an installation technique. The waterfall approach is excellent for difficult-to-manipulate carpets, but the Hollywood technique looks the best.

3. Installation of Tack Strips (Step Three)

Now it’s time to prepare your stairs for carpeting by putting tack strips. These will grasp the carpet backing and secure it in place.

The tack strips should be trimmed smaller. Each step will require a pair.

Nail one strip to each riser, ensuring that it is centered and a quarter inch away from the stair’s bottom. Every tread must also have a strip nailed to it. These strips must be centered and one-quarter inch away from the rear.

4. Install A Carpet Padding(Step Four)

This step is optional, it’s totally base on personal preference.

If you want to give your stairs extra cushion, you could lay a carpet padding base. Carpet padding should be cut into squares or rectangles the same length and width as your tack strips.

Check that your nailed-down tack strips are not obscured by the cushioning. Install by securing the end of your now-cut padding to the tread at the front of your tack strip.

Next, tighten the padding around the nosing of your staircase. Staple it to the next riser beneath, three inches apart.

If you use the waterfall approach, you must cut the corners so they are not visible. Repeat these steps for the whole length of your stairwell.

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5. Install your Carpet Runner(Step Five)

After you’ve put the padding, you may move on to installing the carpet runner. You should work your way up from the bottom. The runner should be centered such that the same amount of stair surface is visible on both sides.

To provide a smooth and clean look, press the carpet firmly into the very first tack strip with your handy carpet awl.

Continue to attach your stair riser carpet runner. It should be attached beneath the subsequent tread with staples set approximately three inches apart. If you choose the Hollywood installation technique, you must staple the carpet to the bottom of the nosing, again placing the staples about two to three inches apart.

6. Secure The Carpet Edges(Step Six)

After repositioning your carpet runner, align it with the nosing and move it towards the next tack strip. Start by placing the front of your knee kicker slightly away from the second riser. Use your knee to firmly push the knee kicker, this will help to secure the carpet edges in place.

Begin by smoothing out the carpet from the middle towards the edges to avoid any wrinkles or bubbles. Without a knee kicker, it will be challenging to properly secure the carpet edges during installation.

7. Secure the Carpet and Stop It from moving(Step Seven)

When the carpet is in the desired position, use a tool called a carpet awl to push it into the gap between the step and the riser. Then, use staples to secure the carpet to the crease where the step and riser meet, both at the outer edge and on any of the ends of the tack strip.

8. Repeat The process in step seven(Step Eight)

Repeat the process of inserting the carpet into the space between each step and riser and fastening it in place with staples until you reach either a landing or the final step of the staircase.

9. Secure the Overhanging Edge(Step Nine)

Once you ascend the stairs, flip the top portion of the carpet and secure it to the overhanging edge of the flooring using staples.

Is there an alternative to stair carpet?

There are several options available as an alternative to carpeted stairs, such as hardwood stairs, which provide a natural and elegant look and are durable and easy to clean. Laminate is a budget-friendly option that offers a similar look to hardwood stairs, and tile stairs offer a unique and modern look.

Concrete stairs are low-maintenance but can be cold to walk on, and can be painted or stained for added color and texture. Vinyl is another budget-friendly option that can mimic the look of wood or tile, and carpet treads provide a softer surface for walking on while still showcasing the natural material of the stairs.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does it cost to carpet 13 stairs?

The price of carpeting 13 stairs with the Hollywood method in California can fluctuate depending on factors such as the carpet material, the stair dimensions, and local labor costs. Typically, the cost can be between $3,000 and $5,000. It is advisable to obtain estimates from various contractors to compare and secure the most favorable price.

Can I install carpet on stairs myself?

It is possible to install carpet on stairs yourself, but it can be a challenging task. It’s recommended to hire a professional for a proper installation.

How do I install carpet on wooden stairs?

Installing carpet on wooden stairs involves attaching a tack strip to the stair, stretching and securing the carpet to the tack strip, and then trimming and tucking the carpet. It is recommended to hire a professional for the installation

How do I measure for carpet on wooden stairs?

Measure the width and length of each tread and riser, and add an additional inch to each measurement for trimming and tucking the carpet

Do I need to remove the existing treads before installing carpet on wooden stairs?

It is not necessary to remove the existing treads, but it is recommended to ensure a smooth and secure installation.

Can I use glue to install carpet on wooden stairs?

Yes, you can use carpet adhesive to install carpet on wooden stairs. But it’s better to use tack strip as it more secure and easy to install.


As you can see there are quite a few steps involved in installing carpets on stairs, but that’s what makes it such a great project for DIYers. It won’t be an easy task, and it does involve a lot of work, but it will all be worth it in the end when you have beautiful carpeted steps, thus adding personality and ambiance to your home.

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