In the old days, they used brass rods at the base of each riser to hold
it in place. Personally, I consider it an abuse of hardwood, but if your
heart is set on it, I'd hire it out. Carpet laying is not as easy as it
looks, and getting it tight and square, and getting the outside rolled
edges of the carpet 'stripe' to lay right, takes special tools and a lot
And no, you don't want to reuse the carpet out of the bedrooms.
I'd only think about doing it DIY if you can find someplace that stocks
or will fabricate an edged (and maybe pre-padded) stair runner for you.
Then it is just a matter of putting down the tack strips on each step,
figuring out how to fasten at the top (like with a metal hammer down),
and working your way down the stairs. I'd probably start one step down,
kicking and tacking each step into place (tacks as needed on the risers,
to make the tight bends). Then stretch and square the top end, and trim
it and hide it under the transition strip. Carpet on stairs wears out a
lot quicker than the rest of the carpet. Just for giggles, I'd consider
buying a spare section of runner, and storing it for later.
The old metal rods were so, when the nose of each step got threadbare,
you could loosen the rods, unfold the six inches of slack hidden on
bottom step, and move the whole thing uphill six inches to provide a
It can be done either by taking the carpet with the right equipment or using
metal rods that hold it in place. It is important the carpet be tight in
place and not a tripping hazard.
Keep in mind that carpeted stairs can be more dangerous, are more difficult
to clean, and is the fastest wearing part of the house. I'm glad to be rid
of mine and now we enjoy the easy to clean hardwood. Carpet is falling out
of favor because of all the downsides of it, such as holding dirt and
Not with me it's not. I like carpet, and totally do not like hardwood
floors at all. Sure, I have to have the carpet cleaned a couple of
times a year, but it's worth it to me. The funny thing is, most of the
people I know who do have hardwood floors, have area rugs everywhere.
What's that about? Different strokes I suppose, but I doubt if the
carpet people are going out of business any time soon.
This is not a hard process and can be done with just a handful of
"special" tools. I installed mine a couple of years back and had it
done in under 2 hours. I started at the bottom and worked my way up
as that seems the most logical way to go. The key tool that I used
was my pneumatic stapler with 3/4" staples. Keep it tight by stapling
the carpet where the riser meets the bottom of the tread and then
where the back of the tread meets the bottom of the next riser and so
on. I am just a DIY'r, but everyone comments how nice the stairs
looks. If you have the inclination, air compressor and a pneumatic
stapler, go for it.
Maybe we could swap stairs? :) We have carpet on our stairs and I
absolutely hate it, have thought about removing it since we moved in.
It's the first thing you see when you come in the front door and it
always looks awful. It's a royal PITA to vacuum, and steam cleaning is
even more so of course. The crease at the bottom of the riser (is that
the right term?) always needs extra time to remove pet fur, etc. that
i have bare wood stairs going down into my basement and they can get
slippery with just socks on.
i am contemplating putting those rectangle rug pieces down on each
they are about 10" deep and 20-24" wide.
Is it a finished basement where looks are important? Is it the sort of
indoor-outdoor square 'stick on tiles'?
That sort will fray fairly fast. at the edges and can be hard to pull back
up after being down for a while, but may be suitable enough for an
unfinished basement with a bare (not fancy) stair, and add a safety bit. It
wont look good enough or last long enough though for a finished basement
that guests etc may traverse.
I have a friend who had a semi-finished basement and a problem like that.
Game room and pool table down there so the hubby and his buddies would
gather to have beer and play pool. That part was floored. The other side
was dirt floor with paving stones set in it.
For stair safety, she ran a long thin runner of that outdoor 'green grass'
stuff (heavily staple gunned down with dark staples) and it was sufficiently
nice looking and durable for the conditions.
Gag. Not those nasty clear self-adhesive things? Just strip the wax off
the stairs, and make sure the hand rail is solid. As soon as the shine
wears off, the steps will be fine. Yeah, you'll have to touch up the
finish every few years, but the wear marks add character.
I suppose you could rout some shallow grooves in the walking zone of
each step to provide gripping edges, but the refinishing would be a ton
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.