Carpeting: How To Measure Your Stairs

Carpeting is a great way of covering your floors. Often, it gives a space a welcoming and homely vibe.

Carpeting How To Measure Your Stairs

Accurately measuring a carpet is crucial, as errors can result in the carpet not being large enough to cover the patch of floor. On the other hand, too much carpet for your floors (Check out How To Carpet The Garage Floor?) can be a waste of money.

Stairs can be tricky to measure thanks to their awkward shape. Though you should leave the carpet fitting to the professionals, it is possible to measure your stairs using these instructions. 

Stairs Terminology

Before you can measure your stairs, you will need an understanding of the different parts of a set of stairs. Otherwise, these instructions may not make that much sense to you. To give you a deeper understanding, we’ve explained some of these key terms:

  • Tread: the tread refers to the part of the stairs on which you stand. The tread is horizontal.
  • Risers: these are the parts in between the treads. The risers are vertical.
  • Staircase: this refers to a collection of stairs and nearby areas, such as the walls.

There are also different types of staircases, which will affect how you measure the stairs. Straight staircases are the most common, though you can also get spiral, curved, or split staircases.

The steps themselves come in a range of different styles, such as box, cap, and bullnose. If you know what type of step you have, this can make things a lot easier. This is because the majority of stairs use the same measurements. 

For example, the tread and riser of box stairs are usually both 18 inches. Still, it is worth measuring the height and width just in case, as your stairs could be different. 

How To Measure Stairs For Carpeting

How To Measure Stairs For Carpeting

With these simple instructions, you can easily measure your stairs so that they are ready for a brand-new carpet.


  1. Using a measuring tape, measure the width of the tread. Extend the tape to get the full measurement of this width. Make a note of this measurement for later reference. Measure the length of the tread too.
  2. Now measure the height and width of the risers. For this vertical measurement, you will need to measure the distance from one tread to the other. 
  3. Though every step should be of the same dimensions, it is nonetheless worthwhile measuring a few steps to make sure. This is particularly true if you have an oddly shaped staircase, such as a curved staircase, as the width may differ.
  4. Count the number of steps in the staircase.
  5. Once you have gathered all of these measurements and identified the number of stairs, a simple calculation will tell you how much carpeting is required. This figure will tell you how long the material needs to be. The width will be a separate number that should be consistent.
  6. The rise of the stairs (the vertical measurement) can be added to the depth. Then, multiply this number by the number of stairs. For example, if the risers are 11 inches tall and the depth of the treads is 8 inches, you would add these numbers together to get 19 inches. If there are 15 stairs in your staircase, you would multiply this to get 285 inches. 
  7. Just in case your measurements are wrong, you may want to add a few inches to this figure.
  8. If you wish to re-carpet your landing, this will need to be measured too. With a measuring tape, get a measurement for the width and length of your landing. Multiply the length by the width to get the area of this space. If you wish for your stairs and landing to be some piece of carpet, add this to the measurements. 


All you need is:

  • A staircase: though this may be obvious, you will need a staircase to measure.
  • A measuring tape: this useful item is a must-have when you are getting stuck into DIY projects.
  • A pen and a piece of paper: can be used to jot down the various measurements.
  • A calculator: if you aren’t great with numbers, a calculator, such as the one on your phone, can be used to complete these sums.

Tips For Measuring A Staircase

To help make your stair measuring experience as seamless as possible, simply follow these top tips:

  • Safety is paramount. As a result, you must watch your step when you are measuring these stairs. Otherwise, falling could be fatal.
  • It’s recommended that you round up your measurements instead of rounding them down. Having too much carpet is preferable to not having enough. After all, you will struggle to cover the entire floor if there is not sufficient carpeting. Adding an extra 10% is a magnificent method of doing this.
  • If you are struggling to measure your staircase, you can ask a professional carpet fitter to do the measurements for you. Most fitters will be more than happy to help you.
  • Ensure that your measurements are correct. Though double-checking can be time-consuming, it is worth doing. This is because most carpet providers are unlikely to refund you if your measurements are inaccurate. Therefore, you can lose out on a lot of money if the carpet is too small.
  • Be consistent with your measurements. Though it may sound obvious, it is nonetheless important to use the same measurement system. For instance, every measurement should be in inches.
  • Unless you have experience with fitting carpets, it is not advised that you attempt to do this yourself. Instead, you should hire a professional. Carpeting in general is a hard task, but carpeting the stairs is particularly tough.
  • Curved stairs will likely have completely different measurements for each step. Therefore, you will need to measure every step individually.

Final Thoughts

If you want to give your home a brand-new feel, carpeting your stairs is a sensational solution. Though it may seem difficult to measure a staircase, this technique will make it as easy as possible! 

If you are still worried about making a mistake, the good news is that professional carpeting fitters are there to help you.

Johnathon Gooder
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