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Flooring and Carpeting/Carpet stair to tiled floor transition


Top step and floor left corner
Top step and floor lef  

Top step center
Top step center  
Hello Carey,

We tiled the second floor, and now we're changing the staircase carpet. In the pics you can see the top step where it meets the tiled floor. The old carpet has been removed, and I'd like to know what my options are when installing the new carpet in this step in order to handle the transition from the carpeted area to the tiled floor. Thanks in advance.



Similar questions have come up (see answers 12/18/12 and 1/4/13) came up a couple of years ago, and here is how I solved the problem in my own home.
In my case, the carpet had been 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 much worse than the surrounding area because people tend to step differently on the top step.

The treads on my stairs are oak, and standard treads are a full 1" thick. I purchased one at Home Depot and cut it to 1/2 the width of the others (see photo), did a bit of fitting and finished it to match the others.  HD and Lowes also carry stair treads in pine.  

Since the top tread seems to take a little more stress than the others, I used screws to attach it rather than nails.  Finish head screws have smaller heads than others and leave a smaller hole.  I countersunk the heads about 1/4" and filled the holes before staining and finishing.  

The new tread will need to reach the tile - minus sufficient room for the carpet to be tucked; the carpet installer can determine this.  He will install a piece of tackless strip at this distance from the tile to form a "gully" for the carpet to tuck against the tile.  Hopefully, he can locate some tackless strip made for commercial carpet with shorter pins; if not, and must use residential strip, he will hammer the pins down after the carpet is tucked in, lest the pins protrude high enough to touch a bare foot.   

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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