How to remove carpet from your staircase 

How to remove carpet from your staircase 

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Home Decor, Published On
December 21, 2022

Whether you’re fully refurbishing your staircase or are just updating a few stair parts, replacing your staircase’s carpet is a great way to create a fresh new look and feel.

And it’s most definitely a DIY job.

But where do you start?

Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to removing carpet from your staircase.

Firstly, you might find this glossary of terms handy:

Tack strip – A thin strip of wood studded with nails used to secure your carpet.

Padding – The material placed underneath your carpet creates a more comfortable feel and prevents draughts from seeping through.

Tread – This is the part of your staircase you physically stand on.

Riser – Your staircase risers are the parts that connect your treads together.

Removing your carpet

When removing your carpet, start from the top. This makes the job slightly easier on your knees thanks to the added padding from the carpet that’s yet to be lifted.

Step one

Grab one corner of your carpet using a pair of pliers. With some force, you should be able to pull the corner up, releasing it from the staples holding it down.

If this doesn’t seem to work, you can cut a small hole in this corner, then pull it up by hand.

Make sure to be extra careful as there will be lots of sharp staples and maybe even nails to contend with. You’ll also want to avoid breaking your tack strip when ripping up your carpet – we’ll discuss what to do with this further on.

Step two

Now that you’ve released one corner, you should be able to pull the carpet up from the rest of this tread and riser using sharp motions. You don’t need to rush this, some carpets may be attached more securely than others.

Step three

Your next step is to remove the padding from the step.

Carpet padding tends to get squashed over time, so can’t usually be reused. This means you can remove it in sections, using a pry bar to help.

Step four

Look for any remaining staples or nails. Use your pliers to pull these out.

Step five

Move on to your next treat – you’ll have this done in no time!

Top tip

Many carpets are laid in sections however this isn’t always the case.

If your carpet is one big piece of material, you may find it helpful to cut this with a sharp knife every three to four steps. This will allow you to work with less loose material in your way. Plus, carpet can be extremely heavy, so this saves you from carrying and disposing of one big heavy load.

Removing your tack strips

If you’re re-carpeting your staircase, you may be able to reuse your tack strips depending on their condition. If yours look like they’re in good condition, be careful when ripping your carpet up to avoid damaging them.

If your tack strips look damaged, or they’re quite old, you should replace them to ensure your new carpet is securely fastened to your staircase.

To remove them, simply wedge a pry bar underneath the nail heads then pull up to loosen.

This process will break the wood, so you won’t be able to change your mind once you’ve started.

Prepping your staircase

Whether you’re replacing the carpet with a new one or going in a new direction with the design, you’ll now need to prepare your staircase.

This is a really easy process that shouldn’t take too long.

Firstly, you’ll want to sand down your treads to ensure an even surface. Then, hoover any carpet debris and dust, following this with a quick clean.

If you’re carpeting your staircase again, you can stop here. However, if you’re planning on painting or staining your staircase, you’ll need to repeat this process one final time using a finer sandpaper.

Looking for new stair parts?

From replacement treads and risers to statement spindles and handrails, you’ll find everything you could possibly need to update your staircase at Stair Crazy.

If you’ve got any questions or would like to talk in more detail about revamping your staircase, why not speak to their experts? Call 01942 365 509 or fill in their online enquiry form.

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