How to Measure Carpeting for Stairs

Have you ever considered carpeting your stairs? You may be surprised to learn how easy it really is. The key to installing carpet on your stairs properly is to take the right measurements. There are basically two methods to install carpet on stairs. The waterfall method is where one continuous piece of carpet covers each riser and tread. The other method is the cap and band method, where a separate piece of carpet covers each tread and riser. The waterfall method is most ideal when the steps are all uniform [source: Readers Digest]. We will now teach you how to measure carpeting for your stairs.

  1. Measure the tread The tread of the step is the part you step on. Starting with the top step, measure the depth of the tread. Be sure to extend the tape measure all the way to the outer edge of the step.
  2. Measure the riser The riser, or fall, of the step refers to the height or distance between one step and the next.
  3. Combine the two measurements Add the two measurements together. Then add 2 inches (5 centimeters) to allow for covering the edges and for bulges in the padding. Multiply this number by the number of steps you have to cover.
  4. Measure the width Measure the width of the steps to know how wide the piece of carpet must be. Again add 2 inches (5 centimeters) for allowances [source: Do It Yourself].