How To Install Carpet Padding On Straight Stairs

If you want carpet on your stairs to last longer, install carpet padding. Carpet padding is placed on between the carpet and sub-floor. It helps absorb some of the impact from foot traffic, and it prevents slips and noisy stairs. Here are some tips to install carpet padding on a straight stair case.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • pry bar
  • broom
  • tape measure
  • piece of cardboard
  • chalk
  • utility knife
  • tack hammer
  • tack strips
  • carpet tacks
  • staple gun and half-inch staples
  • padding

If you are replacing carpet, remove old tack strips with the pry bar. Pull the old carpet from the stairs using the pry bar; starting from the top. Remove old stuck padding with a utility knife. Sweep the stairs, so the padding adhesive will stick better.

Install the Tack Strips

Measure the length and width each step individually, since stairs can be different sizes. Mark the center of each step with chalk. Measure the carpet width, and cut the strips one-fourth of an inch narrower than this figure with a hand saw.

Position a tack strip on the back stair tread with the points facing the riser around an inch from the rear tread verticals. Leave three-fourths of an inch on each side of the tack strip. Include a strip for the landing, if needed.

Move the padding to the front of the stairs, and repeat the process to install the padding on the front treads. Hammer the strips in place using tacks. Place tacks four inches apart.

Lay the Padding

Set the padding on a flat surface on a piece of cardboard. Cut a piece of padding the same width as each tack strip and three inches longer the tread. The extra measurement drapes the padding over the front of the steps.

Set the padding so it butts the strip, but it doesn't cover the strip on the rear stair tread. Staple the padding on the back tack strips; spacing it at three-inch intervals along the back edge. Space staples six inches apart.

Staple the padding to the front of the steps; placing staples three inches apart. Use the utility knife to cut extra padding where the riser and nosing meet. The padding should have no wrinkles after installation.

Installing carpet padding on straight stairs yourself doesn't require special skills, and it saves you money. All it takes is the rights tools, and precision. If you don't trust your skills, or you need advice on buying materials, visit your local carpet center, like Carpet Depot Inc.