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Flooring and Carpeting/Transition from wood stairs to carpet on top


carpet at top of stairs needing finishing piece
carpet at top of stair  
We removed old carpeting from our stairs and painted the wooden stairs and the landing is still old carpeting.  We don't want to replace the old carpeting at this time but we would like to put a transition piece on the carpeting to finish it.  On one of your posts you mentioned a wood tread for top of stairs transition.  What is a wood tread and would something like this work for our problem. We would appreciate any ideas you might have for our situation.  Thank you for responding and for your website.

my stairs
my stairs  
My case was similar to what I think yours looked like, the carpet was wrapped over the edge of the wood at the top. I didn't like the way it looked, and the carpet at the top step usually ends up looking worse than all the others.

The treads on my stairs are oak, and the standard treads are a full 1" thick. I purchased one at Home Depot and did a bit of fitting and finished it to match the others.  HD also carries stair treads in pine.  

Since the top tread seems to take a little more stress than the others (for some reason, people seem to step harder on the top) I used screws to attach it rather than nails.  I used finish head screws, as these have smaller heads than others.  I countersunk the heads about 1/4" and filled the holes.  

You will need to pull the carpet back far enough to get it out of the way. After determining how far back the new tread will reach, remove the pad from this area.  You will need to install a piece of tackless strip about 1/4" from the tread in order to form a "gully" where the carpet tucks down against the face of the tread.  Note: the pins (very sharp nails) on ordinary tackless strip will probably be too long for this and will protrude through the carpet and make those first steps very painful!  

If you are unable to locate some tackless strip made for commercial carpet with shorter pins, and must go with residential strip, you should hammer the pins down after the carpet is tucked in.  

Attached is a photo of my stairs.  

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Carey Mitchell


Any question regarding carpet, including specifications, maintenance, installation, regulation.


Retired after 44 years in carpet manufacture, technical and research. Served 33 years as Director of Technical Services for the world's largest carpet manufacturer.

The Carpet and Rug Institute, Technical Chair - 12 years; American Society for Testing and Materials (40 years); American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (39 years); Society of Cleaning and Restoration (Board of Directors); US National Textile Research Consortium; Cleaning Industry Research Institute (Board of Directors and founder); Canadian General Standards Board Technical Advisory Committee; The Fiber Society; Alzheimer's Association of NW GA (Board of Directors); Trout Unlimited; Federation of Fly Fishermen

AATCC Review (Textile Chemist and Colorist Journal); Journal of the American Industrial Hygiene Association; International Journal of Flooring Sciences Cleaning Digest; Cleanfax Magazine; Floor Covering Weekly; Floor Covering News; Proceedings of the Technical Conference of the Polyurethane Association; Proceedings of the Symposium on the Science of Cleaning;

BS in Chemistry and Business Administration, University of North Georgia

Awards and Honors
Carpet and Rug Institute, Smrekar Award, 1998; Carpet Industry Leadership Award, 1994; Cleanfax Magazine Person of the Year, 1996; Cleaning Digest, person of the year, 1997; Institute of Inspections,Cleaning and Restoration Certifications award,1997; ISCT Lipscomb Award, 2004

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