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17th Feb 2022
How to Measure Stairs for a Carpet (In 13 Easy Steps)

How to Measure Stairs for a Carpet (In 13 Easy Steps)

measuring carpet for stairs
  • Measuring stairs for a carpet correctly may seem daunting but it’s a lot easier than you think.
  • All you need to do is break it down in to a few simple steps.
  • This guide will show you through this process.
  • By the time you’re done you’ll be measuring stairs like a master of the trade.
  • Let’s dive right into it.

Measuring Stairs for a Carpet

When measuring stairs, we need to consider more than the stairs themselves but also the rooms they are connect to.

Most residential homes will generally have a hall (downstairs), stairs and a landing (upstairs). Though some homes will have stairs connected to other rooms like the living room or a bedroom.

The methods discussed in this guide will however work the same regardless of the type of rooms you have.

Some homes will also have 1 or multiple landings in between the stairs called half landings where as others may have twisted steps called kites.

It is therefore important to first establish what areas you’ll be measuring.

1) Note down all areas

Start by making a note of all the rungs of stairs, rooms and landings connected to your stairs.

For example, a hall, a lower rung of steps, a half landing, an upper rung of steps and a landing.

Next take measurements for the rooms connected to your stairs.

Be sure to measure rooms properly and always ensure to measure the width and length of a room from the centre of the carpet trim if there are any doorways in that area.

Next, we’ll guide you how to do this properly.

2) Measure the width of your landing

We start from top to bottom measuring the landing first working our way down to the hall.

To measure the landing, first measuring its width.

To do this measure from the left to right when standing square to the stairs.


top of stairs


3) Measure the length of your landing

Now measure the length of the landing.

Measure the length of the room plus the vertical drop of the top step, otherwise known as the riser.

Make sure to fully measure around the lip of your step with your tape measure if your stairs have them.

Including the top step in your measurements will ensure a neat finish when the carpet is fitted rather than just hanging over the top step.

It is important to measure width and length in this direction due to the way carpet is manufactured, it ensures that you won’t walk against the carpet fibres and will improve its appearance and durability.


stair carpet


4) Sketch out your landing

It is likely that your landing won’t be a standard square or rectangle shape.

You should measure all the dimensions of this area.

We recommend sketching the shape of your landing and jotting down the measurements.

Graph paper may be helpful if you would like to create an accurate scale drawing.


sketching out plans


5) Measure your half landings

If you have a half landing measure it the same way as your landing.

Stand square to the stairs and measure across the area from left to right.

Again, the length will take into consideration the drop (riser) of the top step, but this time for the lower rung of steps.

Take note of these measurements. And make a sketch.

6) Measure your hall

Now measure the hall (or room at the bottom of the stairs) like the landing.

Again, draw out the shape of the room and take measurements from the centre of the carpet joiners in a doorway.

The width is the measurement from left to right when you stand square to the stairs and the length is from front to back when standing in this position.

Again, make a sketch of this area.

Now it’s time to measure your steps.


measure hall


7) Note down any unusual steps

Firstly, look for how many steps differ from your usual rectangle steps.

Note each these down as twisted step 1, twisted step 2 etc.

8) Measure the width of a step

Then move onto your usual rectangle steps.

Measure one step. For the width measure across the step from wall to wall.

9) Measure the length of a step

Then measure the length of the step.

To do this measure the tread (the horizontal part) of the step, around the lip (the overhanging part), if your stairs have one and down the riser (the vertical part).


stairs up close


10) Count your stairs

Count how many stairs you have on this section and make a note of this information.

Don’t include the riser of the top step in your count as the landing has taken this into consideration.

Check a few steps to make sure the measurements are consistent.

11) Repeat for your bottom rung of steps (If you have separated steps)

Then move onto the lower steps (below your half landing).

Check a couple of these to make sure they consistently match the dimensions of the step measurement taken earlier.

Like the top rung count up the steps and take note of this.

Remembering not to include the riser of the top step as this has already been accounted for in the half landing measurement.

12) Measure any bullnose steps

Usually the bottom step is a bullnose step, these are larger than the other steps in the stairs, treat this as a separate step and take note of its measurements.

13) Measure twist steps

If your stairs have curved sections otherwise known as twists or kites measure all these individually.

Their width and length are measured across their absolute widest and absolute longest dimensions.

This should give you a neat rectangle shape that will cover all your step when cut to size.

Once you have all measurements noted down you can then contact a supplier.

The supplier will usually take these measurements and add between 7 and 10cm to both the width and length of each section.

They will then create a plan by drawing all these pieces out on graph paper and arranging them like a game of Tetris to minimise wastage.

You could do these parts yourself if you feel confident just make sure the width and length of the pieces stay in a consistent direction.

However, if you need help with measuring, drawing plans, or fitting a carpet we have an experienced dedicated team of specialists that can provide these services when you buy a new carpet from us.
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Abacus Furniture Solutions 2022