Different Ways to Precut Carpet for Stairs

Different Ways to Precut Carpet for Stairs thumbnail
Due to constant traffic, carpet on a staircase is subject to heavy wear and tear.

To properly fit carpet to stairs, it is important that you measure and precut your carpet carefully to avoid imperfections. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional for your stair carpet installation to go smoothly. Choose the precutting method that makes you feel the most comfortable, as there are different ways to precut carpet for stairs. Two basic ways include cutting a length of broadloom carpet that is long enough and wide enough for your stairs. Broadloom carpet comes in one long roll. Conversely, you also can choose carpet tiles, which are smaller individual pieces cut to fit your stairs.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Paper and pencil
  • Calculator
  • Carpenter's square
  • Roll of carpet
  • Utility knife
  • Clear glue
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  1. Cutting Broadloom Carpet

    • 1

      Measure the length of one of your stairs, horizontally. Write your measurement down on a piece of paper. This measurement will determine the width of your stair carpet.

    • 2

      Measure the depth of one of your steps, which is the length from the front to the back of the stair. Measure the height of the stair and add it to the depth. Write this total down next to the length. Count the number of stairs in the staircase, excluding any landings.

    • 3

      Multiply the total depth and height of the stairs by the number of stairs in the staircase to determine the length and width of your broadloom carpet. If your staircase includes a landing, measure the length of the landing and add it to your total to determine the total length of carpet needed, including the landing.

    • 4

      Use a carpenter’s square as a straight edge. Cut one continuous length of broadloom carpet, using a utility knife.

    Cutting Carpet Tiles for Stairs

    • 5

      Measure the length, height and depth of your steps. Measure any landing separately. Remember that carpet tiles are individual pieces, and you will need a tile to cover the face, or front of the stair, as well as the surface stair itself.

    • 6

      Choose a roll of carpet with an adhesive backing, as this will make precut carpet tiles easier to install.

    • 7

      Cut tiles of carpet for your stairs using a carpenter’s square as a straight edge and a utility knife. Cut two tiles for each stair, one to cover the face, and one to cover the surface of each stair. Cut carpet tiles for landings as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the carpet begins to fray during cutting, add a small amount of clear glue to the edge to stop the fraying.

  • If you are unsure of your cutting skills, have a carpet expert at your local home improvement store assist you in precutting the carpet for your stairs. You also can purchase precut carpet tiles for stairs.

  • Seams will be harder to hide when working with precut carpet tiles. However, carpet tiles are easier to replace than broadloom carpet if sections of your staircase become stained or worn.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Valueline/Getty Images

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