How to Install Outdoor Carpet on Concrete Stairs

Lead Image
  • 24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 130-300
What You'll Need
Carpet shears
Tape measure
Electric grinder
Safety goggles
Outdoor carpet
Carpet adhesive
Notched adhesive spreader
Utility knife
Adhesive solvent

Even without prior experience, you can learn to install outdoor carpet on concrete porch steps. Be prepared to spend most of your time preparing the concrete, collecting material and tools, and buying your carpet. Compared to the time it takes to do all that, installing the carpet will be a snap. Just follow the steps below to get the entire project finished inside one weekend.

Step 1 - Prepare the Concrete Surface

crack in concrete

If your steps have been painted, remove any peeling or cracked paint with a putty knife or grinder. Sweep off all dirt and paint debris. If there are oil or grease stains remove them with solvent or muriatic acid, then use a stiff bristle brush and scrub with a mixture of hot water and detergent. Next, rinse off with your garden hose, and let the concrete surface dry. If it has cracks, holes, or chips, be sure these are thoroughly dry. Remove any loose chips, dirt, or debris in these indentations. Apply concrete patching primer, and when the primer is dry, fill the indentations with concrete repair filler. When this is dry, use a electric grinder to level the surface of the dried filler with that of the concrete.

Step 2 - Cut Your Carpet to Fit the Steps

Measure the width of the steps and of the carpet. If the carpet is wider than the steps use your straightedge and utility knife to cut a strip of carpet about 2" wider than the width of the steps. If the steps are wider than your carpet you'll need two strips that, when laid side by side, are 2" wider than the steps.

Step 3 - Apply Carpet Adhesive

Starting at the top and back of your steps and working your way across the top surface of the porch or step, begin applying carpet adhesive onto small areas of the step surface. Use a notched adhesive spreader and spread the adhesive on to the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the step on which you will glue your carpet. Be sure the adhesive is spread to the far edges of the step, so that there are no excessive pools of adhesive or air bubbles left under the carpet.

Step 3 - Lay Your Carpet

concrete stairway

Lay the edge of your carpet against the vertical back surface of your porch or top step. Begin unrolling your carpet, 12" to 15" at a time. Be sure you have about one inch of spare carpet at either side of the stairs. Starting at the center of the carpet, press it down against the adhesive, smoothing it flat as you work toward the left and right edges. When you reach the bottom step, use your utility knife to cut off the spare carpet that is left over. Finally, use a pair of carpet shears to trim off the edges of the carpet at the left and right sides of the steps.

Step 4 - Allow Drying Time

Let your adhesive dry for at least 12 hours before walking on it.