How Long it Takes to Carpet a Flight of Stairs

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Depending on their size, shape, and complexity, it should take thirty minutes to two hours to carpet your stairs.

How to Calculate How Much Carpeting You Need for Your Stairs


Measure the run, rise, and nose of one step, and then multiply that number by the number of steps your stairway has. 

This method only works if each step is uniform in size and shape. If each step varies in size or shape, you will need to measure each step. 

It is recommended that you add an extra 10% to your total calculation. Doing so gives you a little bit of grace if you make any mistakes. 

Is It Difficult to Install Stairway Carpeting? 

Installing stairway carpeting is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but most individuals who do DIY projects should find this relatively easy. It should roughly take a few hours to complete at the most. 

The Spruce rates stairway carpet installation as beginner-friendly. 

Can I Install It Myself, or Should I Hire a Professional? 

This decision depends on your preference. 

If you enjoy learning new things or trying new projects, you should install them yourself. You can finish this project in an afternoon, and it is beginner-friendly.

However, if you do not enjoy DIY projects, don’t have time to spare, or have pain or mobility issues, this one may not be for you. 

Should You Use Carpet Padding on the Stairs? 

While carpet padding isn’t an absolute need, it is largely beneficial. 

Padding reduces noise, is more comfortable to walk on, and will extend the carpet’s lifetime and aesthetic appeal. 

Which Way Should the Pile Face? 

You should align the pile with the rest of the households’ carpet.  

Most carpets run towards the main entrance. However, on stairs, the pile should run downwards.

If the carpeting at the top or bottom of the stairs runs perpendicular to the stairs, choose to make the pile run up and down rather than left to right. The carpet is much easier to clean this way, and the appearance is significantly better too. 

The Different Types of Stairs

Box Stair

A box stair has the risers and treads encased by stringers or walls on both sides. It is the most common type of stairway for residential use. 

Each step is wide, and there is a cascade effect of wood boxes placed on top of each other. This gives it a blocky look. 

These stairs are easy to build, install, and clean.

Winder or Pie Stair

The Winder staircase type is similar to the L-shaped staircase. 

Winder treads are wider only on one side. If there is a turn or corner transition in the staircase, the steps become triangular towards the railing. 

This type of stairs is making a comeback because it saves space in small, modern houses; they take up less space. 

Many people enjoy how clean and aesthetically pleasing these stairs are.  Pie winder stairs pose two disadvantages; they don’t provide an easy path, and it can be challenging to install a handrail. 

Open Stair

This type of staircase ascends without any railing or risers. These stairs use heavy treads and stringers that are beam-like. There are open spaces in between each tread. 

These stairs are practical and exist due to riser connectivity in the back, the spine of your staircase.  

This type of stair is trendy because of its minimalist design. They are a perfect balance between modern and business look. 

The main advantage is that light can reach the whole room without you having to worry about the staircase location. 

Of course, many families with small children usually opt out of this stair type, as the gaps can be a safety hazard. 

Bullnose Stair

Bullnose stairs have a rounded edge to the tread or landings.  Bullnose stairs are a unique style in their round-edged steps, giving your home the effect of grandiosity and luxury. 

The extra rounding can prevent you and your family from tripping while navigating a flight of stairs. 

The Different Types of Carpet 

Carpets are made of fibers such as polyester, wool, olefin, and nylon. 

Soil resistance is how a type of material can prevent stains, hair, and dirt from accumulating in the carpet and causing color changes. 

Polyester is a highly soft fiber and is naturally more stain-resistant than wool and nylon fibers. Recently, polyester fibers carpets have become more resistant. 

Wool carpets are advantageous in how stunning and soil-resistant they are. 

Olefin fiber is easily broken down due to its low durability, but it is extremely moisture resistant. This fiber is primarily used in loop pile carpets (frequently a medium pile). 

These carpets are strong and easily hide stains and dirt. Loop carpets are originally looped and uncut yarns. 

Nylon has the highest durability out of four fibers. Nylon fiber carpets are used in heavily walked and used places such as hotels and industrial zones. Each low pile carpet color is created by using the dye technique. Continuous dyeing of fibers will create smooth and solid colors 

Low Pile Carpet

Low pile carpets are firm, rough, and mostly flat. 

They are the most uncomplicated carpets to keep clean. If you have a pet or a large household, this carpet will be your best choice. It doesn’t collect much dirt, hair or lose this original look.

Medium Pile, Berber, Cut, and Loop Carpet

Medium Pile carpets are the easiest to install, even though they are hard to cut. 

Medium Pile carpet has softer taller fibers than the low pile. It can handle a decent amount of foot traffic and can be easily cleaned of debris. 

Small uncut loops weave together Berber carpet. These woven yarn fibers run in parallel lines. This type of carpet is very low maintenance and is one of the most durable carpets on the market. 

Cut carpet is soft and plush. Made by cutting yarn loops, the fibers have an upright, more admirable, and more formal look.  The tight, compact twists help reduce the crushing and matting of the fibers. The pattern of these fibers also helps hide wear and dirt. 

Loop carpet is made up of small yarn loops. These loops loop higher and lower to create a visible pattern. This carpet is very durable and can handle heavy foot traffic.

High Pile and Shag Carpet

The high pile carpet is the softer and plusher option; it’s also denser, making it last longer. With the fibers being long and cushiony, this type of carpet needs frequent cleaning. 

High pile and shag carpets are hard to cut and install. 

Different Techniques That You Can Use 

Cap and Band Carpet Installation for Stairs

Cap and Band carpet installation is the technique that takes the most time to lay down out of the three strategies. 

You will cut the carpet twice for each step. 

The first cut is for the rise and the second cut is for the rest of the same step. Install the first cut over the thread and nose of each step. The second cut piece lays over the rise of each step. 

With the two-cut process, a professional carpenter will take just over three minutes to complete each step. 

Carpet Panel Stapling for Stairs Technique

Although the cheapest and fastest option, carpet paneling doesn’t provide full coverage. 

However, it does provide some cushioning to the stairs. This technique uses smaller carpet pieces that you can either staple or glue to your stairs.

If you use small panels, you can simply staple or glue them where you wish to place them. The technique installation will take you or a professional carpenter around the same time to install, each step, approximately one minute. 

Waterfall Carpet Installation 

This carpeting style uses one single roll of carpeting that fits the width of the stairs. It is the most common method for installing carpet due to its natural look.

Begin at the bottom of the stairs. Glue or staple the carpet to the bottom of each step.

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