How To Install Carpet On Steel Stairs?

Steel stairs can enhance the aesthetics of a contemporary household. But it can be quite difficult to install a carpet on steel stairs if you don’t know how to tackle this job. So what are the steps to fix carpet on stairs made of steel? We researched for you and consulted with different experts to give you this answer.

The first step to installing a carpet on steel stairs is to cut the flooring material to the correct size. Then, follow the next steps:

  1. Apply carpet adhesive to the steel stairs.
  2. Press the carpet and the adhesive with a push broom and your hands.
  3. Let the adhesive dry.
  4. Cut excess carpet material and clean the area.

Make sure to gather the necessary materials and tools needed for this job. Keep reading as we talk about the items you need to gather to install a carpet on stairs properly. We’ll also tackle additional information about the steps for carpet installation on steel stairs to help you prevent expensive mishaps.

Red carpeted stairs of spiral staircase with steel handrails, How To Install Carpet On Steel Stairs?

Is It Hard To Install Carpet Yourself?

Carpet installation gray covering stairs floor used to install tools

It can be tough to install a carpet by yourself, particularly if you lack the confidence and knowledge to complete the project with minimal mistakes. Although, advantages like saving money on professional labor are apparent with DIY carpet installations. However, haphazardly doing the steps may result in more expensive mistakes than intended.

What Tools Are Needed To Install Carpet On Stairs?

carpet tile installation

Apart from the typical tools you might possess, securing the equipment and materials necessary for carpet installation on stairs helps reduce repetitive trips to the hardware store. Aside from conventional tools like staples, tape measure, and masking tape, it’s advisable to also secure the following:

  • Straight edge: Ensures straight edges for the carpeting.
  • Knee kicker: Helps stretch the carpet’s material from one end to another.
  • Carpet stretcher: Typically used in conjunction with a knee kicker for the same purpose.
  • Seaming iron: Melts carpet adhesive for the flooring to stick on surfaces.
  • Notched trowel: Used to spread, scoop, comb, level, and finish carpets on uneven surfaces, such as stairs.

Take note that you may not need every carpet installation tool you acquire. Some carpet fixing projects might have fewer demands than others. Still, it can provide peace of mind, knowing that the tools you may need are within arm’s reach.

Check out this seaming iron on Amazon.

How Do You Install Carpet On Steel Stairs?

Red carpeted stairs of spiral staircase with steel handrails

Adding a carpet on steel stairs is still roughly similar to conventional carpet installation projects on stairs made with other materials. Perhaps one of the biggest differences in installing carpet on steel stairs is the adhesive.

In some installation jobs, using staples on stairs made of materials like wood is possible. On the other hand, steel is often more difficult to puncture than wood, even with a staple gun. But you can still secure this flooring on steel stairs with the right carpet adhesive.

Check out this carpet adhesive on Amazon.

Also, flooring manufacturers and retailers often sell carpets in fairly large dimensions. Therefore, you may need to cut a carpet to size before you can start the installation. If you already have an existing carpet on your steel stairs, remove that flooring to let its dimensions serve as a guide for the new model.

Once you trim the flooring material to showcase the correct dimensions and clean the steel stairs, you can proceed with the rest of the job:

What You’ll Need

  • Notched trowel
  • Carpet adhesive
  • Push broom
  • Stair tucking tool
  • Carpet cutter or utility knife

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Use the notched trowel to apply a coat of carpet adhesive to the steel stairs. Ensure that you spread the sticky product evenly to prevent excess residue from flowing from the flooring material.
  2. Press the carpet with your hands to secure the flooring onto the adhesive. Work your way from the bottom of the stairs to the top.
  3. Force the carpet into the tack strip and the corners of each step with the tucking tool.
  4. Take the push broom and use it to press the carpet onto the adhesive further. Let the adhesive dry for about 24 to 48 hours before continuing to the next step.
  5. Remove loose fibers from the carpet with an appropriate cutter.

Read one of our posts if you encounter difficulties in filling the gap between the carpet and the baseboard.

Keep in mind that it’s generally easier to install the carpet’s padding per step instead of laying the entire length of the flooring material onto the stairs. Finally, clean the area after completing the installation job.

You can also watch the video below to see how to install a carpet on stairs. Take note that this clip shows one person affixing a carpet onto wooden stairs. Some differences are apparent, but the overall installation procedure should still be similar to putting carpet on steel stairs.

At this point, you might find it interesting to add another flooring layer above the carpet. Read our post on the kinds of flooring you can put over carpets for more details.

Additional Carpet Installation Tips

Make carpet installation on steel stairs easier than expected by following these points:

Read the Directions

Some pieces of equipment used for this project require properly following of the manufacturer's guidelines. For instance, many carpet adhesives often take about 20 to 40 minutes to dry. But you may also notice that some brands state that it takes approximately 24 to 48 hours for these products to cure.

Proper Cutting

Aim to cut the carpet material according to the risers' dimensions first. That way, you'll save the balance in using treads. You can adjust the tread strip while taking into account the flooring’s thickness to help secure the carpet in place.

How Long Does It Take To Put Carpet Down On Stairs?

It takes about one to two days to install a carpet on the stairs. Professional services may complete this task in about four hours. The operation may also become easier than expected if the area that needs the new carpet is reasonably small.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Carpet On Stairs?

long iron spiral staircase with red carpet in a modern building

Carpet installation on stairs using professional labor generally costs about $300 to $2,460. Homeowners should expect to pay about $750 for experts to complete this operation. Moreover, expenses may increase depending on certain factors, such as:

  • Carpet material: $9 to $180 per square yard
  • Carpet texture: $15 to $45 per square yard
  • Type of stairs: $432 to $915 for 12 steps
  • Removal of existing carpet: $0.50 to $2 per square foot

What Is Waterfall Carpet Installation On Stairs?

Applying a waterfall finish to carpet installation on stairs means letting the flooring material fall over the nose of each step to the next tread. The result is a look that makes the carpet seem like it fell from the top of the stairs while hugging each step.

Don’t confuse the waterfall style with the Hollywood carpet finish. The latter option is usually more difficult to complete since you need to tuck the carpet material into each step.

Final Words

Empty stair with steel wood - Indoor modern architecture

Ensure that the carpet’s dimensions are correct before setting it on steel stairs. Then, apply adhesive to the stair's steps and make sure that the product dries and cures properly. If you think that this operation is beyond your current skill set, think about requesting the help of certified technicians.

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