Change in elevation when laying carpet

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Steven JP, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. Steven JP

    Steven JP Member

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    Apr 8, 2019
    Location:
    Virginia
    I am putting carpet on this floor and running it down the whole stairs. Not a runner. What is the best way to make this transition so it is not a tripping hazard? Some people have said to build it up with carpet pad but I feel like that will be very squishy and still be a tripping hazard because the pad will compress while that wood won't. Walking on an inch of pad would definitely feel weird too.
     

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  2. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Mar 17, 2019
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Does the landing at the bottom of the stairs already have its finish flooring installed, and what is it? And what are the current rises from step to step? Ideally measure all of them, but top most, bottom most, and the middle are most important, under the assumption that the middle ones should all be the same.

    I take it the previous upstairs hall finish flooring was 1" thicker than the previous stairs finish flooring?

    Cheers< Wayne
     
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  4. Steven JP

    Steven JP Member

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    Apr 8, 2019
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    The stairs are all the same. About 7 3/8 rise. The bottom of the stairs is carpet. This is my attic I am finishing so there has never been any flooring.
     
  5. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    So is the bottom-most rise (from carpet landing to first wood tread) currently less than 7-3/8" by the thickness of the carpet to be installed? [I'm not very familiar with carpet installations, so I'm not clear on how easy it is to measure from carpeted surfaces.]

    If it's currently 7-3/8" like the others, then your first rise will be off by the thickness of the carpet you're installing. Which is allowed if the thickness is only 3/8", but that's the limit. The proper way to address it would to be lower the current treads by the necessary amount (e.g. if they are 2x, possibly replace them with plywood treads). And that would reduce your substrate height disparity at the top.

    But if you've already accounted for all this, and still have a 1" disparity at the top, I don't have any great suggestions. There are "carpet shims" designed to make small ramps under carpet, but I think 1" would be more that typical.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  6. PlumbNuts

    PlumbNuts SC Licensed Plumbing Contractor

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    Fort Mill,SC
    Can you not just remove the top board to create a level landing?
     
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  7. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    That would definitely create a trip hazard as the top riser would be 1" less than all the others, so no. The building code requires that in a flight of stairs the tallest riser and the shortest riser differ by no more than 3/8".

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  8. PlumbNuts

    PlumbNuts SC Licensed Plumbing Contractor

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    Owner, Plumbing Repair Service
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    Fort Mill,SC
    How is removing the top board which is going to create the elevation change that the OP is referring to going to create a "trip hazard"? If the damn thing ain't there he can't trip over it!
    How about reading the entire post and understanding the question before coming on here trying to correct someone else>
     
  9. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    You seem to be considering the top tread in terms of approaching from the hallway side only. And I agree, removing 1" of height there to make it flush with the hall subfloor would eliminate that tripping hazard.

    But it would be creating a new tripping hazard: when walking from that tread to the stairs, or vice versa, the topmost rise would now be 6-3/8" in height, vs 7-3/8" for all the rest. It would be easy to stumble down the stairs. That's why the rises have to all be the same height, to within 3/8", per the building code. As I mentioned in both my posts.

    Likewise.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  10. PlumbNuts

    PlumbNuts SC Licensed Plumbing Contractor

    Joined:
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    Owner, Plumbing Repair Service
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    Fort Mill,SC
    If the OP would have responded and was able to remove the top board then I would have asked him if he could have the board planed down so that it was not a trip hazard but still code compliant. I have made no comment regarding anything that you have posted to others and my question was to the OP not you, in the future stay out of my conversation and I will ignore yours.
     
  11. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    That information belonged in your first post. The phrase "just remove" implies no further adjustments would be required, which is a dangerous course of action.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  12. PlumbNuts

    PlumbNuts SC Licensed Plumbing Contractor

    Joined:
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    Owner, Plumbing Repair Service
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    You can't help yourself can you, always have to open your mouth even when told "stay out of my conversations"!
    Unlike you I do not have to write a code requirement manual for every single question someone asks. I will engage with others on here the way I see fit and you can stay out of it.
     
  13. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    If you'd like to have a private conversation with the OP, then you can direct message them. The threads are public for anyone to comment. Which is good so that when incorrect information is provided, others can point that out. I certainly get some things wrong at times, and when someone points that out, I'm happy to have learned something.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  14. runningman

    runningman New Member

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    Aug 22, 2020
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    New York
    OP, what did you get in the end?
     
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