How Much Does it Cost to Carpet Stairs?

When you aspire to have a house of your own, most often than not, you aim big and would want it large enough to have a second floor. So having at least a stair at home is a dream come true.

But sometimes, having one entails additional care to ensure safety especially if you have children or elderly at home as it is prone to accidents like slips and falls. And when we deal with safety, additional care is also synonymous to additional cost.


One way to help you ensure the reduction or total elimination of these incidences is by installing a carpet or runner in your staircase. That is apart from highlighting your stairs which adds beauty to your home.

When you aspire to have a house of your own, most often than not, you aim big and would want it large enough to have a second floor. So having at least a stair at home is a dream come true.

Other benefits of carpets on stairs aside from the safety and aesthetics includes protecting your precious wood stairs from wear and tear caused by foot traffic not to mention the scratches from pets if you have them; and it can also reduce noise as wood stairs are known for the tendency to squeak no matter how sturdy and secured they seem to be.


If you want all of these for your home, time to start considering having your stairs carpeted. And start it by knowing how much does it cost to carpet stairs.

carpeted stairs

Average Cost of Carpeting Stairs

The price of the carpet itself varies depending on the type and where you purchased it. But it can range from as low as $1 to $2 per square foot for the olefin and polyester type, to the high-end types like wool and patterned type which can cost between $9 and $11 per square foot. You can even find as expensive as $30 per square foot depending on the brand.


A look at the leading carpet brands across the United States would give you an idea of what to expect to spend on the carpeting project:

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When considering having your staircase carpeted, it may be helpful to know how much it costs to have your floor carpeted as a point of reference. Typical inclusions on the cost are the following:

  • Carpeting cost – $1 to $11 per square foot
  • Padding cost – $0.30 to $0.60 per square foot
  • Labor cost – $0.50 to $1 per square foot. An additional of $0.50 to $2 per square foot if additional tasks would be required such as removal of furniture, if the project requires special cuts, disposal of debris especially old carpets, among others.


Considering the cost components above, the regular carpet installation can be estimated at around $300 to $750. Since installing a carpet or a runner in your stairs can be categorized as a task requiring special cuts, among other things, then expect the cost to install carpet on stairs to be somewhat a bit higher than regular carpeting job.

The estimated the cost to install a runner on staircases at around $350 to $800 depending on the size, quality, configuration of the stairs, location, etc.


According to, the average cost to install carpet on stairs with 16 steps, particularly a runner, is around $638 which would take a professional installer about five hours to complete.

On the other hand, it would only cost you $325 for an eight-hour job if you do it yourself.

What are Included

The stair carpet installing price coming from the quote of your prospective contractor would typically include the following cost components:

  • Materials – these include the carpet or runner itself, padding, and all other items necessary for the installation.
  • Labor – this includes the fee for the installation of the carpet or runner from start to finish and any additional activity that may be agreed upon prior to acceptance of the contract.


  • Cost to protect existing structure – this includes any manner of protecting the properties near or adjacent the stairs in order not to damage anything while the installation in ongoing.
  • Cleaning and disposal – debris disposal as a result of the installation like the excess cut outs and materials as well as trash is expected at the end of the project.

Additional Costs

Some of the additional costs that you may encounter when having your staircase carpeted are the following:

  • Custom cuts – contractor may have always expected stairs to have custom cuts and incorporate the extra effort on the estimates but your stairs might have over the top uniqueness that it would merit extra charges.

As mentioned, special cuts would make you $0.50 to $2 per square foot poorer on top of the stair carpet installing price.


  • Removal of existing floor covering – when accepting price quotes online, the existing physical condition of the stairs might not be taken into consideration and would only include the actual installation cost of carpet per se. This is the very reason why an ocular visit from the contractor is important when accepting quotes prior to deciding to agree to the project.

An example is the cost of removal of any existing or old carpet which is typically charged an average of $66.25 per hour with a price range between $56.25 and $76.25.

  • Rearranging or moving of furniture – prior to the commencement of the carpet installation job, keeping your furniture out of the way can save you on the cost of having the activity taken care of by the installer who would typically include this in the final bill.


Like the project requiring special cuts, rearranging or moving of furniture would be charged an extra $0.50 to $2 per square foot of the carpet installation cost.

Shopping for Carpets for Stairs

When deciding to have your stairs carpeted to give it a new look it deserves, cost saving is equally important as getting the best quality and look.

One way to have both is through referral. Ask someone you know who might have had their stairs carpeted by a good professional installer. If that is not possible, ask for quotations from several contractors, compare their price and terms, and even warranty. Ask each one of them for reference of their finished project so you would have an idea of their quality of work.


The provides free estimates and advice from qualified contractors within your area for your carpet installation needs.

Factors Affecting Cost to Carpet Stairs

Type of carpet – your choice of fabrics, design, quality, durability, and brand would hugely affect the overall cost of the project.

The size of the staircase – since the stair carpet installation is based on the square foot, the larger the area of the staircase, the higher the cost.

Full carpet or runner – the choice between the two is largely due to the kind of materials your stairs are made of. If you have beautiful wood for your stairs, you do not want them covered entirely and would opt for the runner type of carpet.


The complexity of the layout of the stairs – staircases that have complicated design cost higher than the simple ones due to the intricacies of the cuts which translates to more effort on the part of the installer.

The condition of the stairs – stairs that are in good condition or well maintained would not typically incur an additional cost. On the other hand, stairs that have issues like those that are squeaking or have damages would have to be repaired first, therefore would entail additional costs.

Your participation – whether you decide to do the stair carpeting yourself, do the rearrangement of furniture, do the removal of the old carpeting, or even do the repairs for minor issues such as squeaking would significantly cut down the cost specifically the labor charge that you would have to pay the installer.


A renowned home improvement expert with almost 20 years of experience in building and repairing beautiful homes in the USA. He's a civil engineer by profession.

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