A guide to measuring stairs and landings for carpet

Stairs can be tricky to measure, so we recommend contacting our call centre or a fitter to help you calculate the correct size. The matching upper landing carpet and ground level hallway carpet, if applicable, will also have to be factored in, as well as the carpet pile direction for each area, which should always run down the stairs.

Measure up and we’ll do the rest
If you would like us to make the calculations for you, please use this guide to make a quick drawing of your measurements and send them to us. We will calculate the amount of carpet you need. See the bottom of this page for a typical drawing template.


First measure any straight steps
We will deal with winding stairs, mid landings, upper landings and hallways in a moment, but first, measure the main steps by measuring a riser (the vertical part of the stair) and then one of the treads (the flat/horizontal part of the stair).

Calculate the total height of the stairs
Combine the tread width and the riser height, add 5cm to allow for fitting and trimming and multiply by the number of stairs. Eg. in the example 20cm tread + 15cm riser + 5cm allowance = 40cm.


Measure the stair width
Measure left to right across the width of the main steps, remembering to factor in an extra 5cm either side to allow for trimming the carpet. Eg. in the example: Step width = 85cm + 10cm allowance = 95cm
Therefore the measurement for each step is 40cm x 95cm.
Multiply this by the total number of steps for your total stairway length.

See ‘Here’s how much carpet you’ll need’ below to see how this translates into the amount of carpet you’ll need to order.


Measuring winding staircases

Winders need to be measured individually, at their widest point. Record your measurements for each winder from the top of the stairs down.

Eg. Winder 2 has a tread and riser of 50cm and a max. tread width of 120cm.

Add an extra 10cm allowance to each dimension for trimming (ie. 5cm for each side).
For winder 2, you’ll need a piece 60cm x 130cm.


Measuring mid landings
These also need to be measured individually and the riser needs to be included in your measurement.

For example
This mid landing has a width of 85cm and a length of 100cm.
Add an extra 10cm allowance to each dimension for trimming (ie. 5cm for each side).
You’ll need a piece 95cm x 110cm.


Upper landing and pile direction
As you will have the same carpet on your upper landing, as you have on your stairs, you will need to take measurements for this area too.

Remember the top riser is part of the upper landing carpet, not the stair carpet. The upper landing carpet will fold over to create the top riser, so allow for this in your calculations. Pile direction is a key consideration, as you will need to ensure the pile (and any pattern) runs across your landing, down the stairs and across your hallway in the same direction.

Otherwise, measure your hallway/landing in the same way you would any normal room. See guide.


Which way does the pile direction run on a carpet?
Pile direction will always run along the length of the roll, (vertically in this diagram). It is important that the pile runs across your landing and down the stairs, all in the same direction. This is essential for durability and appearance.


Here’s how to work out how much carpet you’ll need.
In this diagram, we have taken a 4 metre wide carpet and added the different pieces which will make up our stairs and upper landing carpet based on our example above. You could also add your hallway carpet.

Every stairway is different, but by using this principle, you will easily be able to determine how much carpet to order.

Bear in mind, there will usually be some wastage, particularly if you hallway is L-shaped, but usually you will be able to put the pieces together in a way that makes the best use of material.


Remember, we do not cut the individual pieces. The carpet will come in one piece for either you, or your fitter to cut and fit. And the pile direction must always flow the same way.... down the stairs.

If you would like us to check your measurements before you order, send us a quick drawing template, similar to the example below and we will calculate the amount of carpet you need.

Other items

Most carpets will benefit from underlay both for comfort and increased durability, so factor this in by working out the amount of ‘square metres’ you will require. (Multiply the total length x width to calculate the total area). See listing

Door Bars
You may wish to order new door bars (thershold bars) for your hall carpet(s), where the carpet meets a door way. These can be purchased in either 2.7m or 9m widths and easily cut to size. See door bar listings.
Also see our Guide to door bars / Threshold bars and profile trims for further information.

Gripper rods
Gripper rods are required for fitting carpet when using underlay, so if you don’t already have them installed, calculate the number you’ll need by measuring your wall perimeter for the hallway(s). taking into account alcoves and window bays. Grippers are fitted with a 10mm gap away from the wall/ stair and are not fitted across door thresholds, so factor this into your measurements See listing

Where should gripper rods be placed on stairs?
Grippers should be placed at the back of each tread and the bottom of each riser. .

If you are using stair runners, bear in mind, these are purely decorative, so it is still essential to fit gripper rods.

How many grippers will I need?
You will need one length of gripper for each riser and one for each tread. Multiply by the number of stairs, taking into account any mid landings and winding stairs. Carpet Grippers are 1.52m / 5ft in length (10 per pack). See listing


We’re here to help!

Also see our room measuring guide for information on how to measure for rooms. If you need help or advice on measuring, or fitting your carpet, remember our experts are always on hand 7-days a week.