Wondering how to measure stairs for carpet is a common problem when decorating a home. Because once you've tackled your staircase ideas, and chosen the material, style and shape, the finishing touches can be just as tricky. A well-considered staircase carpet can transform dull staircases and landings into exciting features, as well as set the tone for the rest of your home.
When it comes to fitting a new carpet, calculating how much carpet you’ll need for your staircase can be a tricky task. That’s why it’s important to get the measurements right.
This general guide will give you an idea of how to measure your stairs, what carpet materials to consider and how much you should expect to spend.
How to measure stairs for carpet
Once you've decided how to decorate a staircase, we’d always suggest hiring a professional carpet fitter to do your measuring and fitting. But if you’d like to get the tape measure out yourself, then read on.
‘Stairs can often seem like a tricky area to measure though the process is surprisingly similar to that of measuring a standard room,’ says Punam Chada, Buyer at Carpetright.
‘Start by measuring the height and depth of each step and adding them together. This will give you the length. Then measure the width of your stairs and multiply the two figures. This will give you the area of each individual step.
‘In order to calculate how much total area your stairs take up, simply multiply this figure by the number of steps in your staircase.
‘We recommend adding 10% to this total, as this will help cover for any unexpected errors.
‘If you aren’t confident, booking a professional measurement service will ensure you order the correct size of flooring. Alternatively, our virtual designs service offers the same great expert advice, all from the comfort of your sofa,’ adds Chada.
Step 1. To measure the square footage for carpet needed on stairs, simply measure the height and depth of one step in inches and add the numbers together. Include an inch extra to wrap around the nose.
Step 2. Multiply that by the number of stairs.
Step 3. Divide that number by 12 and round up to calculate the number of feet.
Step 4. Measure the width of your stairs and round up to the nearest foot. Multiple this number by the number previously calculated in Step 3 to calculate the square footage.
How much does it cost to carpet stairs?
Carpet fitting can be costly depending on what type of stairs you have and what material you use.
The average cost of carpet will be between £15/$20 and £20 /$27 per square metre. And if you’re having an underlay, this will cost between £4/$5.50 and £10/$13.60 per square metre.
For an authentic woven carpet, such as Axminster carpets or Wilton carpets, you’re looking at an average cost of £60 per square metre. This type of carpet is a popular choice as it’s high quality and durable.
If you’re on a budget, however, a tufted carpet may be a better choice. These carpets can have either looped or cute piles. A tufted carpet is made when pile yarns are inserted, by needles, into a pre-made backing fabric. Prices can vary massively depending on the material you go for. A basic synthetic carpet can cost just a few pounds per square metre, whereas a basic wool carpet can cost from £12/$16 per square metre.
When it comes to fitting the carpet, the minimum cost of a carpet fitter is around £300/$400. The price will fluctuate depending on what part of your home you are carpeting.
How long does it take to put carpet down on stairs?
The amount of time it takes to fit a carpet depends on the amount of carpet that is being fitted and the quality of the fitting. However, it should take about five minutes per step and so the total job of fitting stair carpet should be fairly quick.
What type of carpet is best for stairs?
Woven and tufted are the two main types of carpet in the UK. Woven carpets tend to be more expensive as they are labour intensive, whereas tufted carpets are easier to produce and so less expensive.
‘Stair carpets tend to experience a lot of use over their lifetime,’ says Punam Chada. ‘A durable loop or twist style design will make a good choice. The specially designed fibres are durable and will withstand light spillages and can also be easily cleaned with a mild cleaning solution.’
How often should you replace carpet on stairs?
‘The longevity of your stairs will depend on many factors, including the amount of regular use and the style of flooring laid down,’ says Punam Chada. ‘On average, expect a good-quality carpet, paired with the right underlay in a relatively low-traffic home, to still look great ten years down the line.’
‘To increase your carpets longevity, it’s always worth investing in underlay as it increases insulation, reduces wear on the flooring and, most importantly, helps create a softer and more sumptuous feel. By acting as a shock absorber, protecting flooring from the comings and goings of a normal household, it ensures the carpet retains its quality,’ adds Chada.
How do you calculate carpet for stairs?
To calculate carpet for the stairs, simply measure the height and depth of each step and add the numbers together to get the length. Then measure the width of your stairs and multiply the two figures. This will give you the area of each individual step.
In order to calculate how much total area your stairs take up, simply multiply this figure by the number of steps in your staircase - this is an important equation in staircase carpet ideas.
How much does it cost to cover 13 stairs?
To work out how much it costs to cover 13 stairs, you’ll need to work out how much carpet you will need. Follow these steps:
Step 1. Measure the height and depth of each step and add these numbers together to get the length.
Step 2. Measure the width of the stairs and multiply the two figures to get the area of each individual step.
Step 3. Multiply this figure by the number of steps in your staircase, in this case it would be 13.
The average cost of carpet is between £15/$20 and £20/$27 per square metre, but what you pay will largely depend on what material you use.
When it comes to covering a straight set of stairs, you’re looking at spending between £80 and £100 on average. However, the price will vary depending on what materials you use, the type of staircase you have and if you need an underlay.
How much does it cost to carpet a 12 x 12 room?
To calculate how much it costs to carpet a 12 x 12 room, you’ll first need to work out how much carpet you will need.
To do this, measure the width and length of your room using a tape measure. Then multiply the width by the length to get the area in square feet. So 12 x 12 is 144 square feet. Then multiply your figure by 0.09290304 to calculate the square metre. So 144 x 0.09290304 = 13.37803776 square metres.
The cost of the carpet will depend on the type of material you go for, however the average cost of carpet will be between £15 and £20 per square metre. Therefore, for a 12 x 12 room, you might expect the carpet to cost around £200/$270.
To calculate carpet for the stairs, simply measure the height and depth of each step and add the numbers together to get the length. Then measure the width of your stairs and multiply the two figures. This will give you the area of each individual step.How much carpet do I need for 13 stairs? ›
Multiply the area of 1 step by the number of steps.
Count the total number of stairs and record that number. Multiply the square footage of 1 step—the number you just calculated—by the total number of steps. This is the total area, or square footage, for the stairs you plan to carpet.
For a typical set of 12 box stairs, you'll multiply the 36” width by the 18” tread and riser, then multiply by 12 stairs. The total is 7776 square inches of carpet, which equates to 54 square feet.How much carpet do I need for 17 stairs? ›
The usual allowance for the tread (the flat part you step on) is 10", and 8" for the riser (the back of the stair). Therefore, for every box stair, you require 3' (or the width of your stair) x 18" of carpet.What is the golden rule for stairs? ›
The golden rule for stair negotiation is “up with the good and down with the bad.” This means that when ascending stairs, lead with your “good” or stronger leg. When descending stairs, lead with your “bad” or weaker leg.How much carpet do I need for 14 stairs? ›
Say, 14 steps. Calculate your needed carpet length by substituting these measurements in this formula: length = riser rise × number of steps + tread run × (number of steps - 1) . That is length = 10 inches × 14 + 12 inches × (14 - 1) = 296 inches .What is the formula for stair carpet? ›
How do you calculate carpet for stairs? To calculate carpet for the stairs, simply measure the height and depth of each step and add the numbers together to get the length. Then measure the width of your stairs and multiply the two figures. This will give you the area of each individual step.What is the best pile height for stair carpet? ›
The maximum recommended pile height for stairs is around 1/2" (1.2 centimetres) and for most rooms around 3/4" (1.9 centimetres).What is the average size of a stair carpet? ›
Based on a straight set of stairs with 12 steps you'd roughly need 6m x 90cm (19.7' x 3').How long to fit carpet on stairs and landing? ›
Skill level will dictate how long the process of carpeting your stairs and landing will take. If you hire a professional carpet fitter, which we always recommend, then the process will be much quicker and take around 30 minutes on average.
Yes ideally stairs should be on one piece but can be done in smaller pieces to save on waste. All stairs need to run with the pile down the stairs for best wear. There is no right or wrong way of doing it.Is high or low pile carpet better for stairs? ›
The best carpet for stairs has a low pile—¾-inch or less—to be both more stable underfoot and resilient to traffic. A synthetic plush style in twisted or cut pile is always a safe option, while a looped style like Berber is occasionally avoided (particularly if you have pets whose claws may catch in the carpet loops).Can carpet be too thick for stairs? ›
Thickness is important when choosing the suitability of a carpet for stairs. A carpet that is too thick can be a safety hazard, as it wraps around the front edge of the stair and acts as a ramp for your foot, with nothing substantial to support your foot, leading to potential slips and falls.Is it cheaper to carpet or hardwood stairs? ›
A general rule of thumb is that hardwood generally costs twice as much as carpet, so take that into consideration before you make a decision.What is the thumb rule for staircase? ›
The following is a rule-of-thumb formula for interior stairs, as specified in the Architectural Graphic Standards. Riser + Tread = 17.5 inches (445mm): 7.5 inches (191mm) for the riser height; 10 inches (254mm) for the tread depth. Riser * Tread = 75 inches (1905mm).Why don't you cross on the stairs? ›
Crossing on the stairs invokes bad luck
Many believe that crossing someone on the stairs will bring you bad luck. The origin is down to suggestions rather than anything else; some say it was before the stair bannister was invented, and crossing on the stairs could lead to one person falling off.
Multiply the height by the number of risers and the depth by the number of treads of the staircase. Add the two figures together then add 6 inches to account for waste. The total is the length of the runner carpet you will need to cover the stairs. To convert inches into feet, divide the total by 12.How do you measure carpet for purchase? ›
Basically, measuring for carpet is just a matter of measuring the length and width of the room, then multiplying them together to get the square footage. If your bedroom is 10 by 15 feet, you'll need 150 square feet of carpet for that room.What is the size of stairs in feet? ›
minimum width of staircase should be between 5 to 7 feet and tread width should be 1 foot. Riser height should be 6 inches for the commercial buildings. This clears up how much floor space for stairs in India for non residential properties.How long is a 13 step staircase? ›
While a lot of older homes use tread lengths less than this, all new residential buildings should comply with this minimum tread length rule. If you consider a 10-inch tread length for all your steps, and the number of steps as 13, the length of a flight of stairs works out to 130 inches (3302 mm).
As a result of how they're made, high-pile carpets (think shag and plush) are typically softer and more cushy than low-pile ones (like flat-weave rugs). On the downside, higher pile tends to offer less durability.How high should each stair be? ›
In the United States, the step height standard should be between 7 or 7 ¾ inches at the most, and no less than 4 inches. You should follow other measurements if given by local building codes.Should stairs steps be odd or even? ›
Understanding Vastu for The Number of Steps in a Staircase
The number of steps in a staircase should always be odd (15, 17, 19, or 21). The number must never end with a 0.
Remember that when counting stairs, you are counting how many times you have to lift your foot. If you have to lift your foot to get onto the landing, then it counts as a step.Does the width of a stair landing have to be equal to or greater than the width of the stair? ›
Every staircase should have a landing at the top and bottom. The width of the landing, measured perpendicular to the direction of travel, must be no less than the width of the staircase. The minimum depth, measured in the direction of travel, is 36 inches.Should the width of landing be greater than the width of stairs? ›
The minimum width of landing shall be equal to the staircase width. 6. The size of the tread generally ranges from 270 mm for residential buildings and 300 mm for public buildings.What is the magic number for stairs? ›
Long ago, architects and builders discovered a magical relationship: the sum of the height of two risers and the width of one tread had to be no less than 24 inches and no greater than 26 inches. Any total between those two numbers was acceptable.What are the AS standards for stairs? ›
Risers, goings and treads dimensions
The tread depth (TD) is to be ≥ 185mm and it should not be more than 30mm shorter than the going (G). All risers and all goings in the same flight of stairs shall be of uniform dimensions within a tolerance of ±5 mm.
The 17 1/2 inch stair rule is basically, the stair tread width added to the riser height, should equal around 17 1/2 inches.Do stairs need to be the same height after landing? ›
No it is separated by a landing so it doesnt matter. Just as long as the rise is between 4-7 3/4 inches.
Landings must be at least as long as the stair is wide; a 36-inch-wide stair will need at least 36 inches of space at the top or bottom.What is a comfortable rise and run for stairs? ›
An “ideal” ratio is 7 in. rise and 10 in. tread. These dimensions may vary slightly if the rise and/or run of a stairway must be held within certain limits.