How to measure stairs for carpets
Measuring stairs is slightly more complicated than measuring a room as the landing, hall, and stairs all need to be measured individually. Use our guide below for step-by-step instructions on how to measure stairs.
How to measure standard stairs
When measuring straight stairs, you will need to take two measurements: the length of the tread and the riser of one step and the width. You only need to do this for one step; however, we recommend checking two or three other steps to ensure they are the same.
Unlike rooms with alcoves, stairs carpet can be fitted with each step individually as the joins are hidden in the groove of the step. Winding stairs, middle landings, and bullnoses will need to be measured separately. Read on for full instructions.
How to measure winding stairs
Some staircases also have curved steps known as winders. These need to be measured individually and in a slightly differently to straight stairs.
To find the width of a winders you will need to measure the widest point. This will mean your tape measure won’t be perfectly parallel to the edge of the step but doing so will ensure you have enough carpet to fully cover. Repeat this process for each winder.
Similarly, when measuring the tread and the riser, your tape measure should be placed at a 90-degree angle to the edge of the step where it’s deepest.
How to measure a bullnose
A bullnose is a larger bottom step with a slight curve that is sometimes found at the bottom of staircases. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes but are very easy to measure. Not all staircases will have these, oftentimes you will find a straight step without a bullnose.
>Measure the tread and the riser as you would but also include a measurement all the way around the bullnose at its widest points.
How to measure a hallway
To begin with it’s useful to draw out a simple sketch of your hallway, marking all doors, storage areas, and any other recesses. Then, measure the widest width and the longest length as you would a normal room.
As some hallways are L-shaped, you tend to have quite a bit of waste so it’s important to take as many measurements as possible to see if you can use the waste for any additional areas, such as your stairs. As each step is fitted individually, you can repurpose offcuts in this way, so long as the pile runs in the same direction.
How to measure landings
To measure a landing, you can follow the process you would use to measure a hallway but with the inclusion of the riser of the top step. The landing piece of carpet will always include the top riser of your stairs so it’s important to include this.
How to measure middle landings
Middle landings can be measured in the same way as the main landing, with the carpet following down over the riser of the step below. Be sure to include this in your measurements.
How to measure hard flooring
You’ll need to take slightly different measurements if you’re looking at hard floors (laminate, luxury vinyl, or real wood). Read our hard floor measuring guide for a full how-to.Hard flooring guide
How to measure for carpet
As carpets and sheet vinyl only usually come in set widths, measuring a room differs slightly to measuring stairs. Follow our step-by-step guide to find the size you'll need.Stairs measuring guide