DIY: Remove And Install Carpets On Your Staircase

The same old, moldy carpet can get pretty exhausting to look at. Decorating your staircase is such a vexing task, it’s easy to put off changing and redecorating that stretch of steps, but having done so leaves you feeling great and your staircase looking even better. We have the perfect ideas that’ll teach you how to remove and install carpets on your staircase, so read through and enjoy!



Each staircase is pretty different, but these tips are tried and tested, and should work well with over coming style ruts or other concerns you might be facing, so let’s get on it!

Materials You’ll Need

Removing the carpet:

Flat screwdriver, pliers, crowbar, hammer, gloves, and a good back and strong arms!

Prep and paint:

Medium sandpaper, wood filler, putty knife, caulk, primer, floor paint

Installing a runner:

Non-slip rug pad, runner rugs, measuring tape, heavy duty scissors, your choice of staple gun or electric stapler


Check out the before shot of this staircase; icky carpet and all. No need to tidy up before removing the carpet.

carpet diy

For this tutorial, the basic terms we’ll be using are: Tread; for the steps of the stairs, Riser; which is the vertical part between each of the treads, and Nosing; the edge of the tread.

Step 1: Start letting that baby rip! Start getting your hands on the corners of the carpet, and begin pulling. Try to finish one complete level before moving on, this should make things more thorough.

how to remove a carpet

Slip those gloves on and be careful!

diy carpet removal

Take your flat screw driver and begin taking those pesky screws off, being mindful of the wood. Don’t damage it the best you can, especially if you don’t intend on installing a runner.

how to install and remove staircase carpet

Do a thorough job at taking those staple wires with your pliers.


Step 2: With your grippers, get rid of those tack strips and carpet pads on the treads. Your crowbar and hammer will work wonderfully with this step.

tools for DIY

Your carpet in pretty good shape? Leave some for cushioning your next one!

carpet style

Your staircase and carpet have seen better days, for sure. Make sure the staircase is clear of any remnants of the nails and staples and screws variety. Here it is all tidied up:


Step 3: Power through with removing your carpet, using a cutter to cut out portions of rug before proceeding to taking those staples out.


Here’s how it looks like post-removal!

how to

easy diy

Prep & Paint

stair style

Step 1: With the wood filler, begin filling in the holes, nooks,  crammy. You may sand prior, if you wish.

wood filler tricks

The putty knife does wonders, leveling and smoothing it out so it’s nice and flat, an instant fix to all the damages and nasty bumps you want out of the equation.



how to install carpets

For the itty bitty holes, using a finger was the perfect solution for really getting in there. Let your wood filler set for about 2 hours.

style your stairs

Step 2: Sand! Sand the steps with your sandpaper, preferably medium grit, say about 150. It’s very important that the surface is smooth. apply more wood filler if necessary.


Step 3: Caulk along the edges of the stairs previously carpeted.



do it yourself

easy to do home decor

You can skip this bit if you’re installing a runner.

design prep

Apply the caulk along the edge, tread, and nose of the staircase.


Now it’s prime time for some  paint!

fun home project

Step 1: Prime everything; from the wood of the stairs to the caulk and everything in between. Prime the surface you want paint plastered on for a nice, proper finish.


It shouldn’t take long for the primer to dry, in fact, it’s quite quick. Get your paint ready!


Step 2: Paint! Paint that bad boy! Pick something up that has excellent leveling, great color, and low on VOC.

paint job

Stir the formula every now and then.

paint fun

Take it nice and slow, tapering the paint is fine! keep going at it until you’ve covered the area nice and even. You can even do layers, going back to the spots you missed.

Installing the inner rug


Step 1: Calculations, calculations. For this step, you’ll need to take the measurements of the staircase; tread and all, for good measure. Simple take the measurements of one level and multiply by the number of steps accordingly.  Having a couple of inches excess is good for seaming if needed.

non slip hack

Step 2: With your non-stick pad, snip out portions of it to stick beneath the tread and nosing. You don’t need to do so for the risers.


The width should be two inches less than your runner rug’s measurements.

runner rug

Step 3: Staple the rug into place, keeping it nice and snug on the step.


Two staples on each side of the pad, one in the middle, and three on the underside of the nosing. Repeat the step with every level.



Step 4: Set your runner rug lightly on your staircase to give you a feel of how you want it to look like, if you’re satisfied, or if there’s still tweaking that needs to be done.

staircase and carpet how to

It’s important to go about checking if things check in with you, before making it permanent. It’ll be a lot trickier moving things around and fixing things up once it’s all been tacked and stapled shut.


Step 5: For those of you blessed with a straight staircase, skip over to step 9! As for those with winding ones, start installing the rug from the bottom up.


Keep the carpet centered and aligned with the help of some measuring tape! Staple the bottom of the carpet to the raiser.

easy design

Keep the runner straight and ever so slightly taught, stapling every after two inches or so.

diy rug installation

Don’t get worked up about the staples being visible, because no one has the time of day to get down on all fours and examine your rug with their nose in it.


Step 6: Attach rug to raiser, beneath the nosing. Pull taut so it’s nice and straight, and staple as you go.


Step 7: Keeping a couple inches off the walls, staple the carpet’s farthest corners into the wedge like treads.

carpet diy

Pull edge taught, staple to hold on the bottom riser.

carpet project

Make sure each side is parallel, and a great tip? Staple as close to the tread as possible, by the bottom portion of your rug for a nice, taught application.


Be mindful of the wall-to-edge distance, whip out that measuring tape!

rug home project

Take the widest part of your carpet, tugging it nice and taut so that the tread meets the riser with the exact same measurements required.

glue gun

Staple to keep in position.

rug diy home decor

Carpet looking a tad bit too bulky for your taste? By folding the runner down over the flap, down over the riser, and tightening a folded edge of folded-over rug to the bottom of the riser, excess cloth should be covered and this does the trick pretty darn good.


Practice makes perfect! Keep practicing your folds, because once you’ve stapled that bad boy into place, you’ll have to go through hell and back trying to fix it again.

fun with tools

Very, very. very carefully cut a narrow triangular portion of the rug so that most of the bulk is gone and it looks thinned out and more leveled.


Secure the first flap beneath the nosing, like so.


Have your rug perpendicular to your nosing.



keeping it perpendicular, staple in to place.

carpet tread

rug style

Fold the bottom edge, making the fold touch the tread top, stapling every two-three inches.


Repeat the steps accordingly, being careful with the snipping, pulling taut, and stapling accordingly.

diy prep

home do it yourself tutorial for carpets

Step 8: With the tip of the rug coming from the wedge-shaped stair debacle, align the carpet nice and easy. This is the easy part, you’re over the hump!

carpet chic

Step 9: Install the runner rug straight up the staircase, stapling securely across the bottom portion of the riser, and making sure the rug is perpendicular and taut. Work the carpet from the center to the sides. Cut, fold, and seam when necessary.

staircase carpet application

Step 10: Reaching the top of the staircase, cut the rug, leaving about two to four inches.


Fold the excess material, creating a clean edge.

diy fun

Take the folded end and pull beneath the nosing of your floor, securing it into place.


Step 11: Pop the champagne, and admire your work!


From zero to hero!



You made it through this tutorial, and we expect nothing but the best results from you! We hope you had fun. Good luck!





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