To install carpet on stairs that are floating you will need a greater degree of precision and care than putting down carpet on stairs that are attached to a wall or banisters. The key is to ensure that the edges of the carpet are neatly folded under it so the exposed edges of the tread would not show any fraying of the carpet fibers.
Clean the Stairs
Sweep the treads clean and remove or hammer down any exposed nail. Concrete treads should be mopped and allowed to dry thoroughly. If there are cracks, it would be necessary to apply putty on them to make sure the tread is leveled.
Cut the Padding and Carpet
Measure out each tread and cut the padding about ¼ inch less than the surface area of the tread. Perform the same for the carpet, but now add the height of the treads to the measurement. Since the tackless strip will go over the edges of the front and back edges of the tread, make sure that there would be enough material to wrap over them. The length of the carpet should also have about ½ inch of the excess carpet: this will later serve as the extra carpet material for rolling under.
Attach the Tackless Strip
Measure out the tackless strip according to the width of the tread. Attach this on the front side of the tread as well as on its backside. These will hold down the carpet, so consider that the angle of the pins should be facing downwards. Hammer down the nail on the tackless strip to attach it to the edge of the tread securely.
Place the Padding
Lay the pre-cut padding strip on the tread surface; use a staple gun to attach. For concrete floors, pour out enough glue to cover the surface and follow any instructions required to reach the necessary tackiness for the glue. Lay out the padding strip and press it on the tread firmly to release any air bubble that may have been trapped between the padding and the tread. Any excess padding that goes over the tackless strip must be trimmed off using a box cutter or a utility knife. If the glue is used, allow it to dry.
Lay down the Carpet
Lay down the carpet on the tread and stretch it over the tackless strip on the outer part of the tread first, making sure that it catches on the pins. Take the right edge of the carpet and roll it under to prevent it from unraveling. If the excess carpet material on the side will create a bulk, trim it first with a carpet knife leaving only just enough to roll it underneath without creating noticeable bumps on top. Do the same to the left edge of the carpet. Stretch the carpet out to the inner part of the tread using the carpet stretcher. Tuck the edge into the gap between the tackless strip and the tread to hide the edge. Do the same on the front edge of the tread.
Repeat Steps 2 to 5
Repeat Steps 2 to 5 on the other treads until the floating staircase is covered with carpet.
Floating stairs give the home a lighter, more airy feel. When you install carpet on floating stairs, you make the treads more comfortable for your family to step on and you can cover any imperfections on them at the same time.