Measuring stairs for carpets can be tricky, but with some careful steps, you can ensure accurate measurements and a smooth installation process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you measure your stairs for carpets:
Materials needed to measure stairs
- Tape measure or measuring tape
- Paper and pencil for notes
- Calculator (optional, but helpful for calculations)
- Safety goggles and gloves (optional, but recommended for safety during installation)
Before you start measuring, it’s essential to know the key terms used in carpeting stairs:
Step 1: Understand the tread, riser & nose of stairs
Before you start measuring it is important to know the terminology.
- Tread: The flat, horizontal surface you step on.
- Riser: The vertical surface between two treads.
- Nose: The rounded or protruding part of the tread that extends beyond the riser.
Step 2: Measure the width of each tread
Begin by measuring the width of each tread. Start from the left edge of one tread and measure horizontally to the right edge. Make sure to measure the narrowest part of the tread, including any overhang or nose.
Step 3: Measure the height of each riser
Next, measure the height of each riser. Begin from the bottom of the first riser (the surface where the tread meets the riser) and measure vertically to the bottom of the next tread. Measure one full riser, including any overhang if there’s a nosing.
Step 4: Measure the depth of each tread
Measure the depth of each tread. This is the distance from the back of the tread (closest to the riser) to the front edge (nose).
Step 5: Count the number of stairs
Count the number of stairs in your staircase. Double-check your count to avoid errors.
Step 6: Calculate total carpet needed
To calculate the total carpet needed, use the following formula:
Total Carpet Needed = (Tread Width + 2 inches) x (Tread Depth + Riser Height)
Add 2 inches to the width to allow for trimming and fitting the carpet snugly. The formula accounts for one tread and one riser. Multiply this by the total number of stairs to get the overall carpet requirement for the staircase.
Step 7: Buy a bit extra
When purchasing the carpet, it’s essential to account for waste due to cutting and fitting. A common rule of thumb is to add 10% to 15% of the total carpet needed for waste.
Step 8: Consider the direction of the pile
If your chosen carpet has a distinct pile direction, ensure that all the pieces are installed with the pile going in the same direction for a consistent appearance.
Step 9: Hire a professional
Installing carpet on stairs can be challenging, especially if you’re not experienced with carpeting. Hiring a professional carpet installer can ensure the best results and save you time and effort.
Remember, precision is crucial when measuring stairs for carpets. Double-check your measurements and, if possible, have someone else verify them to avoid errors. With accurate measurements, you can purchase the right amount of carpet and achieve a beautiful and seamless carpeting job for your stairs.