Step 7: Bind the Edges

person finishing the edges to demonstrate how-to install carpet
Photo: Ryan Hulvat
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After the carpeting is cut to fit a set of stairs, you must finish the edges to prevent it from unraveling. One common method is to simply turn under the edges and tack them down to stairs.

However, to produce a more-finished, cleaner look, use a binding machine to finish the edges of the carpeting. The binding machine looks and operates much like a sewing machine, and is used to permanently bind the edges. If you can't find a portable binder, like the one shown here, bring the carpeting to a carpet installer. They typically have one in their shop.

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    Tools List

    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • hand saw
      Handsaw or special wood snips
    • knee kicker
      Knee kicker
    • lever-activated stretcher
      Lever-activated stretcher
    • carpet tool
      Carpet edger
    • edge trimmer
      Wide-blade carpet chisel
    • seaming iron
      Seaming iron and seaming weight
    • electric stapler
      Electric stapler
    • portable carpet edge binder
      Binding machine

    Shopping List

    1. Carpeting

    cut slightly oversized to allow for final trimming



    2. Heat-activated seam tape

    used to bond the seam between two pieces of carpeting

    3. Carpet padding

    for installation under carpeting