How to measure stairs for carpet

UK Home Improvement

How to Measure Stairs for Carpet

Carpet is one of the most popular types of floor coverings in UK households. 

Providing comfort, functionality and great aesthetics, it’s not uncommon to see almost every room in the house featuring carpet. This includes carpet for stairs. 

Whether you’re looking to replace existing carpet for stairs or have it installed for the first time, we’re here to help. 

Once you’ve chosen your carpet, decided on the style and received all of your materials, you’re almost ready to install it. However, one extremely important thing you need to do is ensure the stairs have been correctly measured.

While you may consider hiring a professional carpet installer to do this for you, there’s no reason why you cannot do it yourself.

In this article, we’ll explain how to measure stairs for carpet, providing you with a step-by-step guide that will outline how to effectively carry out this task.  

The Benefits Of Carpet For Stairs 

As mentioned, carpeting stairs is one of the most popular flooring methods in the UK. And for good reason.

Carpeting stairs can offer several benefits, both practical and aesthetic. Here are some of the advantages of using carpets on stairs. 


Not only can carpets provide a stylish and sophisticated surface for your stairs, but you might be surprised to know that they can actually boost safety. This is because carpet provides a non-slip surface which is especially important on stairs.

A fall down the stairs can be extremely dangerous for people of all ages, so any flooring options that minimise this are worth considering. By reducing the risks of slipping and falling, households with vulnerable occupants such as elderly people, children or those with mobility issues are greater protected.

Sound Dampening

The list of practical advantages of carpet doesn’t end with safety. Carpeting can also help to reduce noise and transmission meaning sounds made in your house will be muffled and less likely to bother your neighbours. This is particularly beneficial in multi-storey homes or apartments where noise can be a nuisance. The sound of footsteps and other activities will be dampened. 


Carpets also offer unrivalled comfort underfoot. This means when you’re walking up and down the stairs, it’ll be a much more pleasant experience which places less strain on your feet compared to other options such as wooden laminate. This level of comfort is particularly appreciated in homes where stairs are frequently used. 


You might be surprised to know that carpet on your stairs can actually save you money. This is because carpet on stairs can add an extra layer of insulation that keeps the warm air in and the cold air out of your property. Therefore, if you have carpeted stairs you can rest assured that heat loss in this area will be reduced which could lead to energy savings. 

Enhanced Aesthetics

Undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of carpeted stairs is how it can enhance the overall look of your staircase. As well as implementing your existing interior design, you can also customise your stairs’ carpet specifically to your own unique style and personal preferences.   

Prevents Wear and Tear

Stairs see a lot of footfall, so wear and tear is not uncommon. However, placing carpet over the top of the stairs’ underlying structure will keep it protected and prevent damage from occurring. As well as helping to reduce this wear and tear, carpets will also hide any imperfections or minor damage.  


The very best carpets are also extremely durable, and as already mentioned able to withstand high levels of foot traffic and regular usage. So, if you’re looking for a flooring option that offers longevity then carpeting stairs is the way to go. 

Easy To Maintain

These days, most carpets are designed specifically so that they’re easy to clean. They require very little upkeep, and more often than not simply vacuuming them on a regular basis is enough to keep them in the best condition. If, for whatever reason, a stain has occurred then they can also be cleaned with relative ease – especially when compared with wood or tiles. 

While there are tonnes of advantages to carpets, it’s also important to note there are a few drawbacks. For instance, they can pick up dust fairly easily so if you’re someone who suffers from allergies or sinus issues, this should be borne in mind. However, as mentioned, vacuuming is enough to rid a carpet of dust.

How To Measure Stairs For Carpet 

Measuring carpets can be a bit more complicated than a normal room, but by following a few simple steps the process can be made all the easier. 

Every section, from the landing to the stairs themselves, requires a slightly different approach and if you haven’t done it before then it can be overwhelming. 

The measurements you take need to be accurate if the installation process is to run smoothly, but by following the steps below you’ll find the process runs smoothly.

Gather Your Equipment 

First things first, you need to gather all of your equipment to complete the task. This includes:

  • A tape measure 
  • A pen or pencil 
  • A sheet of paper
  • A ruler 

Take Notes

Before you begin, it’s worth noting that all the measurements you take you need to note down. As highlighted earlier, there are several different kinds of measurements you’ll likely need to take when measuring stairs for a carpet and it can be easy to forget if you’re not keeping track of the different dimensions. 

We’d also recommend starting on your upstairs landing and working your way down the stairs. 

This leads us nicely onto…

Measure The Landing

Now all the preparation is out of the way, it’s time to start actually measuring. 

We’ll start with the landing. Quickly draw out a floor plan on your piece of paper, making sure you note where the stairs are. Double check this is correct before you go any further as this is perhaps the most important detail. 

Then, measure the landing as you would do any normal room. Make sure to go into any doorways. As part of these measurements, the top stair dimensions is going to need to be included. 

Measure from the doorway or wall opposite and take the tape measure down the top stair into the tread (this is the part of the stair you place your foot on). This needs to be one complete measurement as the carpet from the landing has to run down the top stair in one piece.   

Measure The Stairs 

Once you’ve tackled the landing, you can now progress to the rest of the stairs. 

Take note of how many straight stairs you have and how many are winders. Winders are curved stairs that usually go around a corner. These stairs will need to be measured individually as they will be a different size from the rest. 

When you’re measuring the straight stairs, measure from the back of the previous stair from where it meets the one you’re measuring. Then, measure over the nose and down to the next stair tread. Also, take down the width. 

Jot down all of your measurements making sure they’re accurate. Do it more than once if you need to in order to ensure everything is correct. 

Measure The Turn If Necessary 

It’s normal for some staircases to feature a half landing, otherwise known as the turn. If you have one in your house then you’ll need to measure this, too.

Simply measure the width across the turn, and then back down the other way including the back of the next tread.

Now, back to those winders we mentioned in the last section.

As we said, these need to be measured individually. To do this, measure from the back of the tread, over the nose and down to the riser of the next tread. You’ll also need the width so measure from the inner corner on the narrow edge all the way to the furthest point on the widest edge. 

Do this same process for every winder you have, making sure to jot down the dimensions for later. 

Measure The Hallway 

Once you’ve got to the bottom of the stairs it’s time to measure your hallway space. 

Again, for this, you’ll need a floor plan. Draw one on your paper and measure the room as you would any room in your house. Don’t forget any doorways or alcoves that the hallway may feature. Sometimes walls will not be parallel so it’s also a good idea to take measurements from wall to wall. 

Once all hall measurements have been completed, draw an arrow on the floorplan indicating where the stairs enter the hallway. This is essential for pile direction when the carpet is installed.  

By following the tips above, even a rookie DIYer should have no problem measuring stairs for a carpet. For more handy DIY and interior design tips, be sure to check out the great blogs we have across our site. 


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