Run pad over stair tread edge or not?

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by Westing, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Sorry, we do hang out together a lot here and we tend to get sidetracked when we think a subject has been covered. While some of us may not do it the way others do, I think every Pro participant has such a passion for this business that the job will be done well and last longer than the average, no matter what method or technique is used. And being the owner/admin of TFP doesn't make me righter - I don't have all the answers.

    First consideration is, what are the possibilities. Then, what look do you want, then what can you afford. Properly installed, the hollywood and waterfall styles will last many years - oftentimes longer than you will want to keep the carpet. But hollywood style does require that your stairs have a bullnose. Not all do. I have added a bullnose feature to steps that didn't have them.

    No. In my opinion, no matter the installation method, all stairs with tread and riser construction look best with a bullnose.

    No crystal balls here, but a lack of faith in a HD install. It prob'ly shouldn't be that way here because several of our Pros have worked as HD installers and done them proud. But they may be the exception to the rule. A hollywood install isn't so much more difficult to do as it is more time consuming. It will cost more. And it takes a little bit more carpet - not much, but a little. You add maybe more than a foot to the length for the average stairway in a home with an 8' ceiling.

    I believe so, others don't. There's no official book on installing carpet on stairs. I do believe stretch-in carpet was intended to be installed with a cushion everywhere you step. That would include the nose of a step, in my opinion.

    Again, no book. Some installers don't strip the sides. I don't understand why those installers can't believe carpet needs to be stretched in that direction too. After all, they seemed to understand it stretches the 18" up and over the riser and tread, why not the 36+ inches across the width? The notable exception is, no strip on the sides of the riser when there is a bullnose, waterfall installation. It's a 7" span that has a wedge-shaped void behind it.

    Yes again on the wrapping over the nose. That doesn't mean wrapping under the nose. This is part of the reason hollywood takes more time and effort. I believe if an installer is going to charge extra to do it, they should also do extra.

    In your case, it's obvious they need to fix the pad over the nose issue. But you may run into that age old problem of someone telling you they've done something that way for 20/30/40 years with never a call-back. I don't believe that, you may not believe that, but they do. You might not get tackless added to the sides. I think that's just wrong, but I am not the authority.

    steps-bullnose04.jpg In the photo I showed with duct tape, it was a waterfall installation. I added duct tape for added protection for the cushion. Not all, probably not many installers do that. I did and I got paid for it. I believe all tackless has to be backed up with cushion (but not all cushion has to be lead by tackless). If you don't, you will see a ridge line at the back edge of the tackless. So yes, waterfall steps should have tackless on tread and riser to get a proper stretch and the pad has to be trimmed flush to the edge of the tackless.

    Your installers avoided that ridge line behind the tackless by not using tackless. That saved them time and money, but it cost them extra in both regards because it will be far more difficult to fix their problem with the ugly bullnose.

    There are ways to afix pad to the nose without staples. In the photo here, I used duct tape again. The tape reached under the nose and stuck to the wood. Not very well, as you can see, but well enough to get the carpet installed and the staples used up under the nose through the carpet, also held the duct tape down, along with the cushion, so no creep-back.

    This is just my way. Plenty of good installers, some of which are participating in this thread, do it differently. I did it my way for 35 years and never had a call-back. ;)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I cut them individually so I don't poke a hole in the carpet. Yes, scorpion by bullettools. They discontinued it about a year after they brought it out.
  3. Westing

    Westing Member

    Thanks, Jim! You're right, even though they're redoing the stairs job I can't assume that they'll listen to me and install it the way you all have suggested. But at least I know a lot more about the process and methods and have a better leg to stand on. I'll let you know how their redo goes.
  4. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Take pictures as they are doing it and post them. We will have a better idea of what you are up against also if you aren't happy with the results.


    • Like Like x 1
  5. Westing

    Westing Member

    Small update on the redo install of our stairs carpet: I tried my best not to freak out the lucky HDepot installer crew chosen for our redo (first time it was 1 installer, this time they sent 3 people) with my newfound installation info that you all so kindly provided, but obviously I made sure to discuss my Hollywood install method preference (with pad over the tread edge), and to ask what they were going to do differently this time to avoid us having the same tread edge wear problem.

    Well, I know it's no surprise, but the new crew had no idea that my job was even a redo. The installers also said the original job looked good, and then one added, "We're going to do it the same way, so I don't want to do the job till I talk to my manager." I said that might be a good idea, especially since prior to their visit I'd proactively contacted the installer company that works for/with Home Depot to request a more experienced "fixer" if at all possible, even if it meant pushing my redo date back, and they said no problem. :confused: In talking to them a bit more, I learned that none of them had more than 6 months experience. Again, I'm not surprised by any of this, just sharing and updating my post. More to come.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    O-Boy ! time to think outside ' The Big Box ' invite a Mom and Pop floor covering owner to come see the lack of craftsmanship by the competition. Then ask him or her to replace half the staircase ( free of charge) leaving the other half for potential customers to see the difference. When the sale is closed, you get a small commission. Lets turn your problem into profit and send a message.

    • Like Like x 2
  7. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I do like the side by side comparison. Definitely a selling point for a mom n pop shop.
  8. Westing

    Westing Member

    Home Depot / installer did the redo. Much better than the first time so I'm good. And I'll be really good if it holds up. Maybe I'll post wear photos eventually.
    The installer had a lot more experience than their first / typical installers. I finally got the fixer I'd requested. He heard my concerns and did his best to accommodate. He didn't leave any areas short on the sides by the wall as the previous installer had because my stair treads obviously aren't all the same width. He even taped the pad around the edge! Maybe I could nitpick some of the uniformity of the stapling under the bullnose edges but you tell me. Plus, he added staples in the few spots where I'd noticed that so I was okay with it.
    Unfortunately I didn't get any install photos because I kept getting pulled away for my work, but I did at least catch a glimpse while I was on the phone. I saw that he was taping the pad down and he seemed to care about what he was doing.

    IMG_20170801_121924.jpg IMG_20170801_121920.jpg IMG_20170801_121906.jpg IMG_20170801_121757.jpg IMG_20170729_100554.jpg IMG_20170729_100533.jpg IMG_20170729_100522.jpg IMG_20170729_100506.jpg
    Thanks again for all the help!
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Thanks for the up-date Westing, looks good ! and I'm glad your complaint was handled properly.

  10. d.knisely

    d.knisely Pro Member

    oh my what debate sometimes i get myself in trouble defending the carpet installer but it comes down to the installer himself making a difference with GOOD JUDGEMENT every time he knocks on a door and the desire to make it better than the last guy
    there are not many of those out there
    i'm a hd installer ..screws in my back
    evaluate, talk,give options ,slow down and take pride
    yes run the pad over if you're not doing hollywood
    more training
    i do binding and the install would love to teach but hard to find that job because you have to care before you can change
    didn't mean to spout off :) thanks

    stair tool
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2017
  11. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Welcome to the conversation and to the forum d. knisely.

    Just to clarify the statement you made above " Yes run the pad over if you're not doing Hollywood " ......My question, do you prefer to keep the pad short of the nose for Hollywood style ? if so, why ?

    • Like Like x 1
  12. d.knisely

    d.knisely Pro Member

    well i would run it to the edge just for wear and the for thought of kids
    i have seen it stapled over the lip on the 1 1/2 of the face of the tread
    i have had it roll back to the crotch of the step and that's how you learn to pay attention
    that was wonderful for you to throw something back at me... engagement keeps ya thinking i'm ready to learn action...! as the turtle man says
    thanks doug
  13. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    This is how to pad everything, almost. 0813131139a.jpg
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Welcome Doug !.........One of my favorite lines ! " Live Action ".........what happened to the show ?

    I hate removing staples from over the nose, so much so, that I will almost
    never do it and that's easy, since I work top down most of the time. I typically run the pad 3/4'' over the edge / nose.

    My next flight @ the apartment complex, I'll try something different
    and see how it turns out, I'll keep you posted. Crazy idea using 4''
    PVC piping split in half...........and I'll only share if it works o_O

    I believe the consensus, on this forum, is to run the pad at least 1/2'' over the nose, not just to the edge, but that doesn't mean we're right and anyone who doesn't is wrong. It just means it's the consensus only.

    How do you prefer to work a flight of steps, Top down, or bottom up ?

    A wise man once said, " No right or wrong way, just a different way "
    ( The Dobbster :cool: )

  15. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Aw Mike, they, the staples, just scrape off the front just like the flat. I use a 4" scraper.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Floor Boss

    Floor Boss Flooring Professional and Mgr. I Support TFP

    Yes pad over the nose.
    I've had great success removing side strip as I've felt they limit the stretch that I can get bottom to top. Tread and Riser tackless are CRITICAL for waterfall.

    If you're bucking for Hollywood, you won't have enough carpet, as it will take nearly 2 inches more per step.

    For padding Hollywood steps, the trick that I developed was to use my electric tacker on the nose.

    One of my concerns for always padding over the nose was if someone, man, woman, or child were to fall and konk their head, the blow would be softened by the padding instead of getting a sharp wooden blow to the head..... or whatever extremity might hit first.

    You definitely need them to address this. It looks awful.

    My Two Cents and hopefully not confusing the issue.
  17. d.knisely

    d.knisely Pro Member

    better catch up ..yeah i don't know what happened to the show but it was interesting action was always funny when he said it to the step debate..the photo's that kwfloors provided look great i agree that its the best way and may i should reproach a flight but i do start at the bottom and go up .
    as for the floor boss and using the electric tacker on the nose sounds like bloody knuckle situation for removal and the next guy scenario
    didn't mean to fluff feathers :eek:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I am a bottom to top worker too. Here is the scorpion stair stretcher. 1216140922.jpg 1218141556.jpg
  19. d.knisely

    d.knisely Pro Member

    that's cool !! how much and where ?
    so the following day after i viewed your pic's about the pad stapled to the lip i noticed when i was installing a flight of hollywood steps on a new home that the stair tread lip was rounded and seemed narrow how would you a fix the pad to that so i might try/improve on my next install ?
  20. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Ive always wrapped it completely over the nose or don't wrap it at all depending on the specifics of each set of stairs. On the sets that didn't get wrapped, I ran the pad up to the edge and trimmed it flush and used plenty of staples or tape to ensure the pad doesn't curl back on itself.

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