How to Install Carpet on Curved Stairs

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How to Install Carpet on Curved Stairs
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Things You'll Need

  • Tackless strips

  • Tape measure

  • Hand saw

  • Hammer

  • Nails

  • Carpet padding

  • Razor knife

  • Staple gun

  • Carpet

  • Stair rods

  • Power drill

  • Screwdriver

  • Work gloves


Stair rods can be installed for extra finish and a bit of extra holding power to keep the folded pieces of excess carpet held firmly in place against the risers. Set one rod below the bull nose at the top of each riser, and us your power drill to make pilot holes into the face of the riser just outside each edge of the carpet. Use your screwdriver and the screws provided to fasten the rods in place.


Use caution when working with dangerous tools such as razor knives. Serious injury can occur. Wear work gloves for protection.

Curved or winding staircases are a decorative feature of many homes. The placement of mid-staircase landings, or angled steps, redirects the path of the staircase, which allows it to turn corners, or just add a bit of style to an entryway. Carpeting curved or winding stairs involves providing enough carpet to make the turns and cover the steps properly, while hiding any details of the installing from sight.

Step 1

Install tackless strips to each tread and riser on the staircase. Use your hand saw to cut the tackless strips to fit the width of the carpet runner you are installing, minus 1 inch on each side. Place one strip at the back edge of each tread so it sits flush against the riser of the next step, and so that the tacks face away from the tread. Use your hammer and nails to fasten each tackless strip in place.

Step 2

Install carpet padding along the stairs where the carpet will lie. Cut and fit the padding to each step starting from the bottom and working your way up. Place one end of the padding against the riser at the bottom of the staircase and use your staple gun to drive one staple every 3 inches or so around the perimeter of the padding. Drive a few staples into the middle portion of the padding as well to keep it firmly in place.

Step 3

Pull the padding up over the front of the step and drive staples through the padding and into the underside of the bull nose for a tight fit. Cut the padding with your razor knife so it stops at the edge of the tackless strip and fasten it in place with your staple gun. Repeat the process at each step all the way up, stopping at the last riser before the upper landing.

Step 4

Install your carpet from the bottom up as well. Place one end of the carpet against the corner formed by the floor and the first riser. Drive staples, one every 3 inches across the bottom edge of the carpet to fasten it in place. Pull the carpet upward and attach it to the tackless strip at the back of the tread. When you reach your first curved step, angle the carpet as necessary to keep the carpet centered on the stairs. One side of the carpet will require more material while the other requires less because of the turn being made.

Step 5

Keep the tread carpeting flat and single ply, and staple it the underside of the bull nose as before. When you reach the riser, fold the resulting excess carpet over onto itself so that it becomes tucked into a three-layered bundle. Press the bundle against the surface of the riser, and use your staple gun to drive one staple every 3 inches or so to fasten it in place. Continue to the next tread and repeat the process. The treads will be evenly covered, and the risers will hide the rest.


Robert Morello

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.