How to measure stairs and landing for carpet

How to measure stairs and landing for carpet

Measuring stairs requires some more complicated manoeuvres than measuring a room. Each section – the landing, the hallway, the straight stairs, and the curved stairs (called winders) – should be measured individually and written down. If you don’t know how to measure stairs for carpet, or how to add all the different measurements up so you can order the right amount of carpet, there’s no need to panic. As luck would have it, our flooring experts have created a simple guide on how to measure your stairs for carpet.

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We’ve broken it down into 10 easy steps (pun intended) and we’ve also got a handy video where we show you how to measure your stairs and landing in person.


  • Tape measure
  • Pen or pencil (popped behind your ear to look extra professional)
  • Piece of paper
  • Ruler
  • A helpful assistant - if you can find one!


  • Only record the actual measurements on your plan. We’ll add any allowances or extra centimetres later.
  • Winders/curved stairs must all be measured individually as they will all be slightly different.
  • Measure from the top of the stairs to the bottom as this is the way the pile direction will go.
  • Measure the width and depth of the doorways of your landing and hallway and jot down this information on your plan.
  • Make sure to measure any dropbacks or alcoves on the landing and hallway.
  • Take a few measurements wall to wall across the landing and hallway as some walls are not parallel!
  • Take photos so we can see your stairs, hallway, and landing in more detail.
  • Use our carpet calculator to help you get a good idea of how much it could cost for your favourite options. 
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How to measure stairs for carpet

When you’re working out how much carpet you’ll need for your stairs, carefully measure the whole area, from the landing, work down the stairs to the hallway, and keep detailed notes as you measure.

If you follow this handy step-by-step guide on how to measure stairs for carpet closely, your final plan should include a landing sketch, individual stair measurements and a hallway sketch – everything you need to order carpet for your stairs. Grab your tape measure or ruler and let’s get measuring!


  1. Draw a floorplan of your landing and hallway then mark with an arrow where the stairs come down from the landing. Tapi Top Tip Double (and triple) check this information is included on the plan – it’s very important to ensure the carpet pile goes in the right direction.
  2. Measure your landing as you would a normal room, remembering to go into any doorways. Use our guide on how to measure a room to help you. Tapi Top Tip The part of the stairs that you place your foot on is called a ‘tread’. The edge of the step is called the ‘nose’. The vertical part is called a ‘riser’.
  3. The landing plan will need to include the top stair in its measurements. Start measuring from the doorway or wall opposite the top step, then run the tape measure over the nose of the top stair and down to the tread. This is important to do in one measurement as the carpet needs to run down the top stair in one piece without a join and then all the stairs will run in the same direction.


Now you’re ready to measure down the rest of the staircase.

4. Next, make a list of how many straight stairs you have and how many are winders. The winders will need to be measured individually as they’ll all be different sizes. And we might sound like a broken record, but it’s worth repeating - only record actual measurements on your plan!

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5. When measuring straight stairs, measure from the back of the top riser (where it meets the previous step), over the nose (edge of the step) and down to the back of the next tread (where it meets the next step), then measure the width and jot both measurements down on your plan.


6. If you have a half landing, measure the width across the half landing (see the orange line), then measure the length of the half landing including the drop over the step and down to the back of the next tread (see the grey line).

7. When measuring winders/curved stairs, measure each one individually. Pile direction needs to go over the nose of the stair at a right angle so measure from the back of the stair tread, over the nose and then down the riser of the stair to the next tread, then record the size (see the grey line). To find out the width, measure from the inner corner on the narrow edge to the furthest point on the widest edge (see orange line). Repeat for all your winding stairs and note them down.


Finally, it’s time to measure the hallway!
  1. Draw a floor plan of your hallway, then measure the hallway in the same way you would measure a room, remembering to go into all doorways, alcoves and drop backs. Remember, take a few measurements from wall to wall, as some walls are not parallel!
  2. When all the measurements have been taken, draw an arrow on your floor plan showing where the stairs enter the hallway. This is very important for pile direction.


Our handy video guide on how to measure your stairs for carpet


When it comes to volume, it’s all going to come down to how much carpet you need to cover your stairs and landing, and which carpet you go for! For example, if you have a staircase with 13 steps and 1.2 metres by 1.2 metres landing, you will need to calculate the total square metre coverage of the stairs and add this to the total square metre coverage of the landing to get your total - you would be looking at 10 square metres of carpet.


If you took a carpet priced at £5.99 per m2, you would pay around £59.99 for all the carpet material. We highly recommend that you have your carpet professionally fitted, which would cost around £52. You will also need additional underlay and accessories, and when you include delivery, this would come to roughly £295 for both your carpet and all services. You can book an appointment to chat to our floorologists today to find out a more accurate quote.


Skill level will dictate how long the process of carpeting your stairs and landing will take. If you hire a professional carpet fitter, which we always recommend, then the process will be much quicker and take around 30 minutes on average. If you choose to fit your carpet yourself, then you need to account for learning time (as well as time for possible mistakes!) so this will more likely take close to 90 minutes or two hours.

The process of adding carpet padding will also add time to this total, as it’s an essential part of fitting stairs to ensure that they’re comfy and will extend the life of your stairs significantly.


You may find that over time, your carpet will begin to show signs of wear and tear, as stairs are in use a lot throughout the day. Most standard carpets will need to be replaced every five to 15 years – the longer you can keep them in good condition, the longer they’ll last. If you want to keep your carpet in a good condition for years to come, then there are some key things to do:

  • Add padding underneath your stair carpet
  • Clean your stairs regularly
  • Don’t wear shoes on your carpet

You can read more about looking after your carpet in our carpet care guide.

That’s a wrap on how to measure your stairs for carpet! All that’s left to do is get in touch with us either by visiting your local Tapi store or calling our order direct line on 03330 150 501 and we’ll get you a free quote in the blink of an eye. Also, if you place an order, we’ll be happy to pop over and do a free measurement check to make sure all the measurements are 100% correct.

Alternatively, if you've still yet to choose which flooring to install, then head on over to the By Room section on our Ideas Hub for all the inspiration you need, including guides on the best flooring for hallways, and tips on how to lay a stair runner.

Our handy video guide on how to measure your stairs for carpet

For more help from our flooring experts, watch our ‘how to measure stairs for carpet’ video below. Your staircase is a big focal point of your home – not to mention, it’s probably the only spot in your house where your guests will be face-to-face with the floor, so it’s the perfect place to show off a stylish carpet.

With our helpful guide on measuring stairs for carpet, hopefully, we’ve given you everything you need to get started. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, book a free home visit and one of our flooring experts will pop round to measure up and help you plan. Then, all you need to do is choose your perfect stair carpet from our huge range – and that’s the fun bit!

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Published: 26-01-2022

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