How to Calculate the Flooring for Stairs

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Pencil

  • Paper

You will need to calculate the dimensions of the stairs so you know how much flooring you'll need.

Building a staircase is only one part of the process to connect two levels in your home and give it a finished look. The staircase is usually made out of a material like cement or wood and is not complete until you cover it with some kind of flooring. The flooring can be carpet, tile or a composite flooring material. However, before you can cover the staircase, you need to calculate how much flooring you will actually need.


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Step 1

Place your tape measure on the ground in front of your bottom stair and measure the width of the stair. Write this measurement down on a piece of paper.

Step 2

Place the tape measure on the edge of the first stair and measure the distance from the edge to the first rise. Write this down. Count how many stairs you have and multiply that number by the length distance to find the total distance of the stairs. Multiply the total stair length by the width to get the amount of flooring you need for the tops of the stairs.

Step 3

Place the tape measure at the base of one of the stair rises. Measure the distance from the base to the top of the riser. Multiply this number by the total number of risers you have to get the total stair height. Multiply the total stair height by the width to get the amount of flooring you will need for the risers.

Step 4

Add the total riser measurement to the total run measurement to get the total flooring calculation.


You may want to add extra (say 10 square feet) to all of you measurements to ensure that there is enough flooring to complete the stair project.


This method works if all the stairs are the same length. If the staircase tapers at either end, you will need to measure each stair width separately in order to get the right calculations



R.L. Cultrona

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.