Update Your Staircase: How to Remove and Install Carpet on the Stairs

Many people have lived with gross, drained out carpet on the steps for much too lengthy. Staircases could be a bit intimidating to deal with, which might be why previous carpeting tends to overstay its welcome. In the event you’re able to make a change and improve your previous carpeted staircase, you possibly can examine methods to take away and set up carpet (or, on this case, a runner rug). We hope you discover this step-by-step tutorial useful, with its particulars and lots of pictures to information you alongside the best way. I’ll present you the way to safely take away previous staircase carpet, prep and paint the steps, and set up a runner rug on the staircase.

In fact, your staircase could also be totally different than the one on this instance, however I’ll do my greatest to provide you pointers to unravel any issues you may run into alongside the best way. This undertaking can save on carpet set up value, and you may customise it to your liking. Are you prepared? Let’s get to it.

DIY Degree: Intermediate

Supplies Wanted:

For eradicating the carpet:

  • flat screwdriver & pliers
  • crowbar & hammer
  • gloves
  • muscle mass & endurance

For prepping and portray the steps:

  • medium (one hundred fifty-grit) sandpaper
  • wooden filler & putty knife
  • caulk
  • primer
  • flooring paint (or comparable)

For putting in a runner on the steps:

  • non-slip rug pad
  • runner rug(s), enough size on your staircase
  • measuring tape (optionally available however beneficial)
  • heavy obligation scissors
  • staple gun or electrical stapler

Earlier than: These pictures present the carpeted stairs earlier than beginning this staircase overhaul. The carpet is worn and soiled and wishes a facelift. In fact I didn’t hassle vacuuming earlier than carpet removing started.

In your reference, the elements of a staircase I’ll confer with on this tutorial are: Tread (the “step” a part of the stair), Riser (the vertical half between the precise treads), and Nosing (the sting of the tread that extends barely previous the riser).


Eradicating Carpet Step 1: Start carpet removing. Greedy a nook of the carpet, I started pulling till I had loosened carpet in one of many prime staircase corners. I then pulled the carpet off the whole stair riser. I like to recommend engaged on one half at a time earlier than shifting on; for instance, do one riser utterly earlier than pulling extra carpet up off the adjoining tread.

TIP: Put on gloves (which I did simply after snapping these first pictures, thank goodness) and be extraordinarily cautious. These staples are vicious and sneaky.

Use your flat screwdriver to loosen all staples from the riser. Watch out to not injury the wooden, notably in case your objective is to easily paint the steps and never add a runner.

Use pliers to tug staples out of the wooden. Whenever you assume you’ve eliminated all of them, frivolously run your (gloved) hand throughout the riser floor earlier than shifting on. Likelihood is, you’ll discover one or two staples which were hiding. Take away these.

Eradicating Carpet Step 2: Take away tack strips and carpet pad on treads. Tack strips are sometimes strips of wooden with small grippers (nails) dealing with upward that cling to carpeting and maintain it in place securely. The tack strips are sometimes nailed to the tread, so use a crowbar and hammer to rigorously take away these.

TIP: In case your carpet pad is in fine condition, you would choose to go away a portion of it hooked up to the tread to offer cushioning beneath your runner rug. I merely eliminated the edges of carpet pad on every tread and stored the remaining intact.

The carpet being eliminated right here is at the least the third carpeting job that these stairs have seen, judging by the remnants of shag I pulled up alongside the best way. There’s no scarcity of nail and staple holes, to make certain.

That is what every riser and tread appeared like earlier than I moved on to the subsequent riser and tread – staples eliminated, carpet pad trimmed on sides, tack strips eliminated.

Eradicating Carpet Step three: Proceed eradicating carpet elements down complete staircase. I sometimes pulled off the carpet of two or three stairs then reduce it with a razor blade earlier than eradicating staples. TIP: Protecting the carpet under you intact as you’re eradicating staples from stairs above helps give you a protected place to take a seat or work from.

Right here’s what the staircase appeared like after nearly all of carpet removing had occurred on the straight stairs. There’s no magic in eradicating carpet from wedge-formed treads. (Observe: A staircase that turns, like what you see on the underside three steps right here, known as a “winder.”)


Prepping Stairs Step 1: Fill in all holes with wooden filler. You would sand previous to this step, which could aid you see the holes higher. I merely vacuumed and commenced, because the solely nail and staple holes I cared about hiding have been within the four” on the edges of every riser and tread.

Wooden filler suggestions embrace utilizing a putty knife.

In areas the place there was wooden injury, akin to splintering or chipping, I discovered the putty knife software to be helpful.

For filling small holes, although, I used my finger. This was far more environment friendly and efficient. Permit the wooden filler to dry completely (advisable no less than 2 hours).

Prepping Stairs Step 2: Sand. Use a medium-grit sandpaper, resembling one hundred fifty, and sand dried wooden filler clean. Sand each floor that will probably be uncovered to be as clean as attainable, together with the risers in addition to treads. Repeat wooden filler step as wanted till floor is clean. (Notice: On your reference, I used two full tubes of wooden filler for this instance.)

Prepping Stairs Step three: Caulk. When floor smoothness is to your liking (and it might take a day or two to get it so), you could discover that you simply’ll have to caulk alongside the sides of the steps the place it beforehand was coated by carpet.

In case you are putting in a runner rug, you gained’t have to caulk alongside the center of the steps.

Caulk alongside the sides of the risers, treads, and nosings, and in addition in a bit the place the tread meets the underside of the riser.

Right here’s the prepped staircase, which has been wooden-crammed and sanded (a number of passes) and caulked. After caulk dries, will probably be prepared for priming and portray.

Portray Stairs Step 1: Prime the steps. I used an angled brush and primed the caulk and stair wooden. I used to be beneficiant in my measurements on the edges, coming in additional than the runner rug would.

Primer dries shortly, and virtually by the point I had completed the sides, they have been prepared for paint. You might calmly sand at this level in case you needed.

Portray Stairs Step 2: Paint the steps. (Notice: I’m not affiliated with Benjamin Moore paints, however this new product – BM Advance – is phenomenal for stairs. It’s straightforward to unfold, self-leveling, and low-VOC – a trifecta of paint perfection for a staircase in the midst of your own home. Plus, when it dries, the stuff is comparable to grease paints in sturdiness. I can’t advocate it sufficient for a challenge like this.)

Stir it up. TIP: Should you choose to tape off your edges whenever you paint, be happy to take action now.

Unfold the paint within the areas you’ve designated (on this instance, within the roughly four” area on the edges of the steps). I utilized the paint pretty liberally in order to make the floor as whilst attainable. The comb strokes completely leveled themselves out, which was a serious bonus for smoothness. Let paint dry. Frivolously sand, in case you discover any areas that want it, then repeat for as many coats as you are feeling snug with. I did three.


Putting in Runner Step 1: Calculate how a lot rug you’ll want. It will take some cautious measuring, as the very last thing you need is to return up brief in your rug size. First, measure one tread, nosing, and riser. When you have a straight staircase, merely multiply this quantity (mine was 19”) by the variety of stairs you could have, then add within the peak of another riser. In case you have a winder staircase, measure the longest distance (e.g., the periphery) on the wedge-formed tread, plus nosing and riser. Do that for all non-rectangular steps, then add the totals collectively.

In your reference, my calculated complete for the staircase was 22.seventy five’. I ordered three eight’ rugs, for a complete size of 24’, and it was virtually precisely sufficient. I feel I had about 1’ left over. You’ll need to be sure to have a bit of additional size in your rugs for any crucial seaming.

Putting in Runner Step 2: Reduce non-stick rug pad to suit every tread and nosing. To save lots of on value, understanding that I might be slicing the pad anyway, I ordered a 5’ x eight’ rug pad and minimize it down accordingly. TIP: You don’t have to pad the risers.

Take the tread plus nosing measurement; this would be the depth of your minimize rug pads. Minimize the width of the pad to be 2” lower than the width of your runner rug (or, in different phrases, 1” spare on both sides).

Putting in Runner Step three: Loosely staple rug pad into place. Lay a measuring tape on the tread to place the rug pad within the middle of your stair, then staple the pad into place. TIP: You would eyeball this in the event you’re feeling assured.

Place two staples within the pad’s corners on the tread (simply a few inches away from the precise fringe of the rug pad) and three on the underside of the nosing – two on the edges and one within the center.

Observe: It’s not proven right here, however the wedge-formed steps acquired the identical rug pad remedy; the one distinction is that these rug pad items ended up being triangular.

Putting in Runner Step four: Lay your runner rug loosely on the staircase. This provides you with an concept of precisely what you’re working with – have been your calculations proper so you might have sufficient rug? Simply how a lot additional do you need to play with?

(Word: Once they arrived, the runner rugs on this instance have been virtually 2” wider than was marketed. Fortuitously, this reality didn’t make or break the venture for me; however make sure your runner rugs are the best measurement in your staircase earlier than starting.)

It’s useful to know your rug state of affairs earlier than getting in for the everlasting placement, together with the place the seams can be. Right here is a photograph of the loosely positioned runner rug(s) on my stairs.

Putting in Runner Step 5: Start putting in the runner rug on the backside of the staircase. When you have a straight staircase, skip forward to Putting in Runner Step 9; your expertise might be straightforward and easy and far faster than these of us with tough winder staircases.

Lay your measuring tape out so you possibly can make sure to middle (and hold centered) your runner rug all the best way up the staircase. Staple the very backside of the rug to the underside of the primary riser.

Preserving the runner rug straight and pretty taut, work your means all alongside the underside edge, stapling each 2” to three”.

TIP: Don’t be too alarmed concerning the staples’ being seen. They’re seen in case you look arduous for them, in fact, however general aren’t noticeable sufficient to fret about.

Putting in Runner Step 6: Connect the rug to the riser, immediately underneath the nosing. Ensuring the runner rug is straight (e.g., precisely vertical on the edges), pull it gently however firmly taut and safe it to the highest of the riser. Once more, I like to recommend putting a staple each 2” to three”, though this might differ based mostly upon the kind of rug you’ve chosen and your personal consolation degree. These staples will probably be hidden by the nosing.

There, that wasn’t so arduous, proper? It’s about to get a wee bit tough, however you’ve already obtained some expertise underneath your belt, so that you’ll do nice.

Putting in Runner Step 7: Set up runner rug to the wedge-formed treads. Shifting to the farthest nook in your wedge-formed tread, measure the identical distance from the wall that you simply’re aiming to maintain alongside the complete staircase.

Pull the rug taut alongside this edge, then place one “holder” staple on the underside of the riser on this nook.

Pull the rug taut alongside the opposite, nearest nook of the wedge-formed tread, ensuring each side of the runner rug are parallel to one another and the partitions. Place a “holder” staple on this nook. Clean your complete rug face over this wedge-formed tread, pull the rug taut, then staple alongside all the edge. TIP: Place these staples on the underside of the riser, as shut as you possibly can to the tread itself.

Measure your wall-edge distance up the riser and on the nosing of the far nook above your wedge-formed tread. Place a “holder” stple beneath the nosing right here.

Gently however firmly pull your rug alongside the widest a part of the subsequent wedge-formed tread in order that it finally ends up assembly up with the subsequent riser on the similar wall-distance measurement that you simply’ve been utilizing all alongside.

Place a “holder” staple on the underside of this riser to maintain the rug in place.

You’ve possible observed there’s a little bit of a multitude happening close to the brief finish of the wedge-formed stair’s riser. Don’t fear, you’ll be taking good care of these additional rug inches shortly. Relying on the severity of the angle of your winder staircase, chances are you’ll find yourself with far an excessive amount of rug to safe sufficiently on the riser. That was the case with this instance. If so, pull the sting of the runner rug up the riser close to the wedge tread’s brief nook. (Observe: This can NOT make a perpendicular rug line up the riser.) Rigorously decide the place you possibly can minimize the runner rug in order to omit some extra bulk. You’ll be folding the runner rug down over this rug flap, down over the riser, and securing a folded fringe of the folded-over rug to the underside of the riser.

TIP: It’s crucial that you simply apply folding the runner rug plenty of occasions, ensuring of its placement and the required rug size BEFORE you narrow something. As soon as you narrow, you’ll be able to’t take it again.

Rigorously (oh, so rigorously!) reduce out a slender triangle of rug in order that, with all the folding, the majority is thinned out a bit. Within the photograph above, the piece of rug I’m holding can be folded underneath and secured to the underside of the riser immediately under the orange triangles in order that the rug lies vertically perpendicular up the riser.

Safe the highest of the primary flap beneath the nosing.

Work with the hanging-over piece of runner rug in order that it lies precisely perpendicular alongside the nosing.

When the rug is completely perpendicular, staple the nook into place (instantly over your loosely stapled first flap; staple into the underside of the nosing). You’re ignoring the bubbled-wanting rug on the backside of this riser proper now.

Maintaining the runner rug perpendicular and taut, staple each 2”-three” all alongside the underside of the nosing to safe it into place.

Then rigorously however firmly fold the underside fringe of this rug in order that the fold precisely touches the tread prime; staple each 2”-three” into place.

Repeat this technique for the following wedge-formed steps. In different phrases, you’ll first safe the right alignment of the widest fringe of the runner rug by stapling a “holder” beneath the nosing, then place the rug to be aligned with the subsequent step and place a “holder” staple within the backside of the subsequent riser up at each the extensive wedge-edge nook and within the slender nook…

… then work to clean the rug on the tread itself by working backward to the earlier nosing after which the underside of the earlier riser – which can require the very cautious slicing out of a few of the rug whereas leaving sufficient for folding beneath.

Putting in Runner Step eight: Align the runner rug for the straight stairs with the top of the rug of the wedge-formed stairs. (Observe: It’s completely acceptable to perform a little victory dance when the wedge-formed stairs are accomplished. That was not straightforward.) The straight staircase can be a breeze after these.

Putting in Runner Step 9: Set up runner rug up the straight staircase. Staple the rug securely (each 2”-three”) throughout the underside of the riser, protecting positive the rug is perpendicular and taut the entire means throughout. Then pull the rug upwards vertically and staple the middle of the rug instantly beneath the nosing. Staple outward to at least one aspect, protecting the rug taut and vertical all the best way to the sting. Then transfer again to middle and staple the opposite method, to the other edge. Pull and clean rug up round nosing and onto subsequent tread, then staple rug to the underside of the subsequent riser as near the tread as potential, working from middle to sides.

When a seam is important, reduce and fold beneath the top of the used-up rug a number of inches above its being stapled to the underside of the riser. Staple the folded underneath edge to wherever it falls on the riser. Place the subsequent runner rug over prime of this folded rug’s finish so the brand new rug is mendacity alongside the riser and touching the highest of the tread; staple this finish right down to the underside of the riser each 2”-three” then proceed in your means.

Putting in Runner Step 10: End off the highest of the rug. Once you attain the highest riser in your staircase, reduce the rug with 2”-four” of extra.

Fold the surplus beneath to create a neat edge.

Pull the folded finish of the runner rug instantly beneath the “nosing” of your flooring…

… and staple it securely into place.

Putting in Runner Step eleven: Stand again to admire your new and improved staircase.

I really like the recent feeling of this runner rug on the steps, particularly when in comparison with the drained, worn-out shag carpet that was right here just some days in the past.

Keep in mind that?

I hope you discover success in eradicating carpet, prepping and portray, and putting in a runner rug onto your staircase for a recent, modern appear and feel to your house.

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