How to Install Stair Edging on Carpet

Updated February 21, 2017

Stair edging is a type of finish trim installed over the nosing (front portion) of a staircase, where the riser meets the tread. This trim protects the edge of the stairs from damage and wear, and can even add a decorative finish to a boring staircase. On carpeted stairways, edging improves traction to make the stairs safer and lower the risk of slips and falls. When installing stair edging on carpet, it's important to choose the right product for the job to ensure a stable and secure installation.

Examine the nosing of your stairs carefully. The nosing may have a square, rounded or bullnose profile. The stair tread should have the same profile as your stair nosing to ensure a secure fit.

Measure the width of each stair, using your tape measure. Transfer these measurements to your stair edging, marking the correct dimensions on the back of each piece with a pencil.

Cut each length of trim, using a hacksaw. Use the pencil marks you made on the back of each section to help guide your cuts. Do not try to combine multiple pieces of trim to cover a single stair. Use a full-length, single piece for each stair for better safety and a cleaner appearance.

Place each section of trim over the appropriate stair. Hold the edging tight to the stair nosing, then use your drill to pre-drill holes for the fasteners. Pre-drill these holes at all fastener locations shown on your edging.

Screw the trim to the stairs, using the fasteners provided with the stair edging. If no fasteners were provided, use 2-inch wood screws instead. Install fasteners at all pre-drilled holes on your trim, or at the intervals indicated in the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Install the cover plate on the top of each piece of edging to cover the fasteners. Depending on the type of edging you're using, this cover plate may snap or click in place. Other models have a self-adhesive backing that allows users to secure them to the edging. Be careful to align the cover plate precisely, as it will likely be difficult to remove without damaging the edging.


If you have carpet tile on your stairs, choose an edge trim that will slip under the edge of the carpet tile along the front of the tread. This will create a more stable installation. For stairs with thick broadloom carpets, cut back the underpad to the width of the stair nosing trim. This will allow the trim to sit closer to the stairs, creating a safer finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill
  • 2-inch wood screws
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About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.