How to Calculate Linear Square Feet for a Stair Runner

If you're on a budget and trying to cut corners when remodeling, using carpet remnants from an outlet store to cover small rooms and stairways can save a significant amount of money versus purchasing carpeting from designer showrooms. To ensure that the carpet remnant you've chosen will provide enough raw materials to fashion a stair runner, measure the length and width of the remnant and compare its total square footage with the square footage you'll need to carpet your stairway.

Install carpeting on your stairs.

Step 1

Measure the bottom stair, in inches, to determine the length of the stair runner.  Begin at floor level, and measure the height of the riser from the floor to the front edge of the first stair.

The riser is the board that elevates each step from the previous step.  Record this figure.

Then measure the depth of the stair from front to back.  Record this measurement.

Add these two measurements together.  The sum represents the length of carpet required to cover one stair.

Step 2

Multiply the length of carpet required to cover one stair in inches by the number of stairs in the stairway.  This measurement is the total length of carpet required to cover the entire stairway.

Step 3

Determine the width of the stair runner in relation to the width of the stairs.  Decide if you want the carpet to cover all of the area of each step or only the center part, with exposed wood on either side.

Record the desired width in inches. 

Step 4

Multiply the width of the stair runner in inches, determined in Step 3, by the total length of the carpet runner to cover the entire stairway in inches, determined in Step 2.  The answer is the total number of square inches of carpeting required for the stair runner.

To convert this figure into square feet, divide the total by 144 (the number of inches in a square foot).  The resulting figure is the number of linear square feet of carpeting required for the stair runner.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure

About the Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images