Stair Shifting

These steps would be called Princess or Wrapped or Upholstered


Stair shifting does not mean an earthquake or moving the stairway to another room. That statement was an attempt at humor. Writing sometimes needs a brain jog. Non-the-less let me continue with information about what stair shifting is.

Shifting steps is simply to move the worn edge to an area that doesn’t get foot traffic. Exactly how this is done depends on how they were installed and how much extra carpet was saved after the original install.

Sometimes our pets can have an accident and leave a urine odor on a step or in a corner or a room. Rather than patching a step it can be replaced by using some of the closet carpeting. This is easier than doing a patch.

The most common stair installs are: 1:waterfall, 2:capped (princess steps)etc.lots of names, and3: upholstered around posts or edges.

Example of Waterfall stairway

Waterfall steps the easiest to shift. The carpet flows over the steps much like water would. It is not tacked tight under the top lip. The idea is to “pull down” the top and put it on the face (the part out toe would kick).  This requires some extra carpet since it leaves a top missing carpet.

I recently had a customer call me to do a carpet fix on their stairway that was wrinkled and I suggested that not only could I get the wrinkles out but it would be economical to do stair shift at the same time. They also had Pet Stains in their Rochester area home.

Princess steps are a little more difficult. Each step is individual. Sometimes they can be flipped end for end.  However most often they are pulled forward about 2 inches to move the worn edge under the steps front lip. These are also called “capped” or “upholstered” steps.

Upholstered Around Posts steps. These are done like the princess steps except it is more time consuming because of the wrapping around the posts. When the steps also have “ears” (wrap around an outside edge) the wrap is left as is. It gets no wear.


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