How do I remove carpet from my stairs?


t carpet on my stairs are ugly and dirty and I need to know the easiest way to remove it

q how do i remove carpet from my stairs

The person who installed them died

  7 answers
  • on Nov 03, 2018

    You can usually just pull off the carpet. The real challenge is what’s underneath. It’s likely carpet grade stairs that doesn’t look nice bare. You’ll need to cover them with carpet again or build them up with wood. :)

  • Seth Seth on Nov 03, 2018


    Use a utility knife with a new blade to cut the carpet under the lip of a stair from one side to the other and peel it back. If you accidently knick the the wood it won't show. You will quickly see if the treads are real wood or just plywood. Depending on how well the carpet was installed, you might find the carpet is attached to tack strips or it may just be stapled to the wood. Just pull the carpet free from the tack strip and cut it again so you are not dealing with unwieldy pieces of carpet. Use a pair of needle nose pliers or a small flat head screwdriver to get at difficult staples. If you are going to re-carpet, leave the tack strips in place. If you decide to restore the wood, remove them with a small pry bar. Once you remove the carpet from a tread, you will be able to get to the staples holding the piece on the side, which may also have been glued. Based on what I can see from the picture, it looks like your treads are real wood and may be worth restoring.

    • Cheryl Johnson Cheryl Johnson on Nov 04, 2018

      Omg, thank you, thank you, I’ll tackle it next Saturday, I’ll let you know how well I did

  • Nancy Dillow Nancy Dillow on Nov 03, 2018

    Seth is exactly correct! I have just sold my home (2093sf), and will be moving into my new home (1366sf) later this month.

    The stairs in my old home (all 14 plus landing) had never been updated, and I was getting them renovated to match my flooring downstairs. I didn't use the sophisticated tools, I used a serrated knife and a screwdriver. Starting at the top, I yanked the carpeting lose and found that two steps were exposed. I kept up the pattern ("cutting" the carpeting into slices so I didn't have more than I could handle). I felt great every time I threw a slice over the banister! Same with the landing. Then I attacked the carpet strips with my screwdriver and a hammer. After all the carpeting and carpet strips were gone into the trash, I had to sweep up all the debris caused by so many feet going up and down the stairs. The treads were short on each side, so I was glad I had decided to have professionals replace the whole stairway by professionals.

  • Holly Jones Holly Jones on Nov 03, 2018

    Do not remove the treads. It maybe a pre fabricated staircase. If it is removing the tread will ruin your staircase. If you remove the carpet and you have real wood treads it is easiest to sand them down and refinish them in place. If they are plywood or osb treads they can be recovered with a Retro tread that can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes. They cost about $37 each, but your going to have to be handy with a saw.

  • Jim Evans Jim Evans on Nov 04, 2018

    Get your wife to do it!

  • Diane Coverdale Diane Coverdale on Nov 04, 2018

    If you the carpet and find really yucky wood underneath, take a trip to your favourite flooring or hardware store and take a peek at the available peel and stick tiles, or if you have the extra cash other types of tiling! Vinyl or ceramic tiles that could be adhered to both the tread and riser.

  • Suzzann Suzzann on Nov 05, 2018

    That’s a really hard job! You really want to do that? The tack strips are very hard to get up without gouging the wood.