Normal Mistakes to Avoid in Installing Stair Carpet
Carpet on stairs, in both domestic and contract installations, is subject to some of the most severe wear conditions of any carpet application. From taking the proper measurements and affixing the tackless strips and padding to correctly scoring and cutting the carpet, there is plenty of room for error when you install carpet on stairs.
At the top and bottom of the stairs, there is inevitably a twisting or turning point. However, the most vulnerable part of the stair is generally the nosing, which receives severe physical abrasion in use.
All this means that great care is required when specifying carpets for stair installations.
In order to avoid any major mistakes, it is best to go into the process with a few helpful techniques. Carpet stair installation may be either a runner or full carpeting. Either way it requires tackless strips, padding and the carpet. Each element may be incorrectly affixed, so it's best to avoid the common problems.Tackless Strip Mistakes
The first thing you will install are the tackless strips. Make sure you nail them to the wood about 1/2-inch from the crotch or corner between the tread and riser. Don't place them right up against the corner. Also, be sure they are completely parallel to the crotch of the stairs. A common mistake is installing the tackless strips with the upward-facing pins pointed away from the crotch. Make sure they point towards it. Don't forget to place one strip on the tread and one on the riser bordering each crotch. If installing a carpet runner, the tackless strips should be cut and placed so that the runner will extend an 1 inch to either side of the strip.Padding Mistakes
After the tackless strips are in place, the padding is up next. Don't make the mistake of cutting one long piece of padding for the entire staircase. Cut individual lengths of padding for each riser/tread combination for each stair. Also, make sure you do not cut each length of padding so short that you have to stretch it too tightly. It should rest somewhat slackly over the nosing. Staple one end of the padding directly against the tackless strip, fold it over the nosing and mark where it meets the next strip. Don't overlap the tackless strip. Cut it so it rests right up against each strip.Carpeting Mistakes
If you are
installing a runner, don't forget to add 4 inches to the runner's final
width. A common mistake is neglecting to fold each long edge over on
itself by scoring along the backside of the carpet. Doing this allows
the frayed edges of the carpet to be invisible. While each pieces of
padding only runs from strip to strip, the carpeting extends the full
length of the stairs.
Fitting carpets on stairs
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"