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A Step-by-Step Guide to Measuring Your Stairs for New Carpet and Estimating Costs

Posted by: Emily Cantrill on March 11, 2024

Tips from Poplar Carpets!

Thinking about getting new carpet for your stairs and looking to estimate the costs yourself? Use our useful step-by-step guide to help you along the way.

It's so important to accurately measure your stairs before you buy new carpet. We’ll walk you through the process, offering simple and practical steps to help you estimate the quantity of carpet required and to make it easier for you to get a rough idea of costs before visiting a showroom.*

Here's our guide to Measuring Your Stairs for New Carpet:

Step 1: Start from the top step

Take a tape measure and measure the depth of the tread (the part you stand on) from the back edge to the front edge. Make sure that your measurement is accurate and precise.

Step 2: Measure the riser

Measure the height of the step from the top of one tread to the top of the next. This measurement is known as the riser height. Again, make sure your measurement is accurate.

Step 3: Add 5 cm to each measurement

To make sure that you have enough carpet to cover the entire stair, including the edges and any required underlay, add an extra 5 cm to each of your measurements. This allows for any cutting and fitting adjustments that might be needed.

Step 4: Calculate the total length

Add the measurement of the tread depth and the riser height together. For example, if the tread depth is 22 cm and the riser height is 22 cm, the total would be 44 cm. This total measurement will be the length of carpet needed to cover one step.

Step 5: Multiply by the number of steps

Count the total number of steps in your staircase and multiply this number by the total length calculated in the previous step. This will give you the total length of carpet you need to cover all the stairs.

Step 6: Measure the width

Next you need to fond out the exact width of carpet required. Using a tape measure, measure the width of one step from edge to edge. Add an additional 5 cm to this measurement to allow for fitting and any necessary allowances.

Step 7: Consider half landings or winders

If your staircase has half landings or winders (angled steps), you will need to measure and add extra to your measurements to account for these sections. Measure each section independently to make sure you get an accurate measurement.

Step 8: Calculate Total Square Metres

Multiply the total length recorded in step 4, by the width of the step, to determine the estimated total square metres of carpet you'll need. For example, if the total length of one step is 44 cm (including the tread depth of 22 cm and the riser height of 22 cm) and you have 12 stairs and the width of the step is 90 cm, the calculation will be (0.44m x 12) 5.28 metres x 0.9 metres = 4.75 square metres needed for the entire staircase.

Step 9: Determine Cost Estimate

To calculate an approximate price for your carpet, multiply the carpet price per square metre by the total square metres you require. For example, if the carpet is priced at £25.99 per square metre and you need 10 square metres of carpet for the entire staircase, the calculation will be £25.99 x 10 = £259.90.


Keep in mind that the estimated carpet price does not include underlay or fitting costs, which can vary. Budget for these additional expenses when planning your carpet purchase. It's best to consult with a professional carpet fitter or supplier to get an accurate cost estimate for your specific requirements.

Extras to account for: Additionally, remember to factor in any additional expenses for installation, such as gripper rods, stair-rods, or adhesive. These costs can vary depending on your preferences and the recommendations of the professionals assisting you.

Account for patterned or striped carpet: If you plan to use a patterned or striped carpet, keep in mind that extra carpet will be needed to ensure the patterns or stripes match up correctly. Talk to a professional or come into one of our Poplar showrooms for some guidance on how much extra carpet you’ll need for pattern matching.

Non-standard staircase: If you have a non-standard or curved staircase, you probably don’t want to be attempting this at all! If this is the case, we’d leave it to the professionals. Non-standard staircases require precise measurements and fitting, so professional assistance will definitely be required.

How can Poplar help?

We have a wide range of samples in our showrooms, so call in and let one of our friendly team show you your options or go to our Visit Us above to find a store near you. Come and chat with one of our friendly and experienced team members; we look forward to seeing you!

We are a family-run business with over 50 years of experience, and we love what we do. Our team of over 250 staff members throughout the Midlands offers excellent service and support. We are here to help!

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