carpet installation for stairs

Old 03-16-02, 03:55 PM
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carpet installation for stairs

what is the best way to install berber carpet on stairs. not sure how to create a smooth edge on each side. also the carpet is difficult to cut without creating frayed edges. any advise will be very useful the carpet will be installed over padding

thank-you in advance for your help,

gary j.
Old 03-16-02, 09:20 PM
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If your cutting the length, then staying in a row will keep it from fraying. Same across the width, only the width is harder to keep from fraying. You need the right cutter, not a utility blade. Its called a cushionback cutter. Some installers call it a top cutter, slide knife, or cookie cutter. It gets down between the rows for a clean cut.

You have picked the hardest carpet to put on stairs as your DIY project.

If you go back some pages here in the carpet forum, there are several threads on stair installation.
Old 03-16-02, 09:38 PM
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Mr. Wright has the "Wright" idea. We just call it a row cutter. It also helps to make sure all the steps are the same width. The step at the bottom of the stairs may not be exactly the same width as the top. So you may have to row cut one side, and use a straightedge for the other, allowing for the difference. It's much easier to cut the carpet in this manner from the backing side, making sure you use a very sharp blade, and clip the frayed parts of the edge with shears (if neccessary).

Use a knee kicker to each step into the corner (where the step and riser meet), and shoot some staples into that corner to hold the carpet in place.
Old 03-17-02, 05:22 AM
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I searched for the post about carpeting steps. Here it is...

That is definitely not a DIY'er job! But if you don't care if
it looks good then go for it.

Does the tread stick out past the riser? Do you want
them to be a waterfall style or an upholstered bullnose

Depending on the style you want, tools will be needed.
Stair tool, rubber mallet, stair stretcher or knee kicker,
glue gun, and an electric upholstery stapler may be

Tackstrip will need to be used on the tread at the back
and the sides, with the pins facing away from you, and if
it is going to be waterfall style, tackstrip the riser at the
bottom leaving a gap as big as double the carpet
thickness, with the pins facing down. The edge of the
tread must be rounded off to prevent cutting the padding
and carpet over the years of use. The padding must go
over the tread edge that you will be stepping on and
then duct tape right on the edge to prevent the padding
from disintegrating from the constant foot pressure. Row
cut the carpet to width, but leave it longin the length.
Hopefully long enough to do the whole run of stairs in one
piece.(except landings and turns) Start at the bottom
and work up. The grain must fall down the staircase.

Either hook the carpet on the tackstrip at the bottom of
the first steps riser bottom, or upholstery staple. Fold the
carpet up and over the riser and take the slack out as
much as possible by hand. Now knee kick it to grip on the
tackstrip on the back of the riser. Don't let the kicker
slide, especially on a loop pile!!!!! Or the carpet is ruined
and snagged!!!! Now take the stair tool which looks like a
huge dull chisel, along with a rubber mallet, and hammer
the carpet into the back of the stair, right where the
riser meets the tread. Rub the carpet on the tackstrip on
the riser and do the next step the same. After you get
them all done, come back and stretch the sides with the
knee kicker.

Being a loop pile makes it that much tougher!! If your
stairs are a different width at the top of the staircase,
then they are at the bottom, or if there are spindles or
post that need to go around, or if the outside edge of
the stairs are exposed and need to be wrapped???? They
are challenging with even cut pile carpets. Now throw a
loop pile berber into the fray and the difficulty has tripled,
to make them look perfect.
Old 03-17-02, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for the help,looks like I'll be calling home depot and coughing up 80 bucks!!!oh well live and learn right?gary
Old 03-17-02, 10:00 PM
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Coughing up $80? That's the installation charge to do a staircase? I won't touch a staircase for less then $200. Those installers don't value their skills, or they have no skills. Are you sure it is only $80 to install your stairs?
Old 03-18-02, 01:54 PM
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Yes that is right,let's hope they don't see this thread!It is 100$ for a piece of 12x9 berber(that I bought)and 80$ to install.I am making the arrangements now,I hope your fee is just cuz your from Texas(lol)and not MI,,,,,,Thanks
Old 03-21-02, 08:56 PM
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GOOD LUCK! I hope they turn out great and last as long as expected.

Make sure they round off the sharp nose on the treads with the proper tool(sander with 80 grit) and control the dust. Use duct tape on top of the padding on the nose of the tread to keep the pad from degrading and cutting through your carpet eventually. Use tackstrip on the sides and not just the back of the tread at the riser. Don't let them riddle it with too many upholstery staples.
Everything should look nice, crisp, and clean when they are done. No more then 3/8" thickness on the padding and no less then 50 oz. cushion. Your really suppose to use felt cushion with a loop pile, but HD doesn't carry it so you will get the warranty voiding, rebond foam cushion. Make sure it is no less then 8 lb. density.
Old 03-22-02, 01:00 PM
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Thanks again for all your input,it really helped in my decision!

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