The basement project continues. Maybe it never ends. I don’t know.
But the most recent completed project makes a huge impact – we finally have carpeting on the stairs going to the basement! With two kiddos (one who’s still a little shaky), having safe stairs is pretty important. And we have found that just having the stairs completed makes us even more likely to go to the basement to play. (And as the temperatures rise, the cool basement will be a wonderful respite.)
We didn’t have a huge budget to finish the basement, and stairs are a fairly straightforward DIY job if you have the right tools. We did have the main stairs in our home professionally installed, but these are used much less and were a great way to save some money. (Ryan has installed carpeting in our rental homes, so it’s not a new skill for him.)
When we had the carpeting installed on the stairs and upstairs in our home three years ago, we ended up with all the “extra” carpeting from the roll. Since stairs are typically narrower than the roll, this can leave a lot of waste.
In our case, just enough “waste” to do the stairs. What are the odds?
So the carpeting has been rolled up in the basement for three years, waiting for its day in the sun.
Ryan purchased carpet pad from Menards (for under $20), then he got going. Before beginning, he installed all new treads and risers to make the stairs nice and solid. And if you remember, he already had plastered and planked the walls over the holidays. (That was just like a month ago, right? ;))
Next, he cut the carpet pad to the width of the stairs. He stapled the pad to the stairs in one long strip, making sure to get it tight around the tread, wrapping the treads by 2-3″.
Then, he moved on to the same process for the carpeting – cutting the carpet to the exact width of the stairs, tucking it snugly on each side against the trim. He used this carpet stair tucking tool to push the carpeting in tightly to the curve of the stairs and then used carpet staples to staple the carpet right at the crease of the tread and riser. Most carpet installers use tack strips, but this seems to hold up just as well for us.
It’s a little slow-going, to make sure the carpet was tight against the angles of the stairs. But soon enough, the job was completed and we were CARPETED BABY.
There was a small remnant of carpeting left to place at the bottom of the stairs. It’s not “installed” but it gives me a little peace of mind because the basement is predominantly concrete and it’s nice to have a little softness as kids bound down the stairs.
A little cleaning tip: I’ve noticed that carpeted stairs can be a prominent spot for stains. Even though we are primarily a shoeless household, there are pets and kids and projects going on all the time. I seem to notice stains on the carpet on the regular.
That’s why I keep a can of Spot Shot® Instant Carpet Stain Remover on each floor of the house, including the basement. There were some dirty spots on the basement staircase from when Ryan was bringing tools and supplies up and down. Just a quick spray of Spot Shot on the carpet and it rubbed right out with a white cloth. (You can get Spot Shot at Walmart or find your local store here.)
So that’s a little overview of our DIY carpeting on the stairway. It’s a great option we used to inexpensively upgrade the unfinished basement stairs – making them both more usable and more beautiful.
What do you think of our new stairway?
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