Staircase Measurement Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide!

Whether you’re renovating your home, building a new staircase, or simply trying to determine the dimensions for a custom carpet runner, accurately measuring staircase steps is crucial. Even a small error can lead to significant issues during construction or renovation. In this guide, we will take you through the process of measuring staircase steps correctly to ensure a safe and precise fit.

Materials You’ll Need:

Before you begin measuring, gather the following materials:

  1. Tape Measure: A reliable tape measure with both metric and imperial units.
  2. Notebook and Pen: To record your measurements.

Step 1: Count the Number of Steps

Begin by counting the total number of steps in your staircase, including both the treads (horizontal surface you step on) and risers (vertical surface between steps). Knowing the total number of steps will help you plan your measurements.

Step 2: Measure the Tread Depth

The tread depth is the horizontal distance from the front edge of one step to the back edge. Follow these steps to measure the tread depth:

  • Stand at the bottom of the staircase and measure from the front edge of the first step to the back edge, parallel to the ground.
  • Repeat this process for each step, ensuring you measure the same part of each tread.
  • Record each measurement in your notebook.

Step 3: Measure the Tread Width

The tread width is the horizontal distance from one side of the step to the other. To measure the tread width:

  • Position your tape measure at the widest point of the step.
  • Measure from one side of the step to the other side.
  • Repeat this process for each step, recording each measurement.

Step 4: Measure the Riser Height

The riser height is the vertical distance between each step. To measure the riser height:

  • Start at the bottom of the staircase.
  • Place your tape measure vertically against the front of the first step, and measure up to the bottom of the second step.
  • Repeat this process for each step and record the measurements.

Step 5: Check for Consistency

It’s essential to ensure that all measurements are consistent. Check that the tread depths, tread widths, and riser heights are the same or very close for each step. If you notice any variations, make a note of them.

Step 6: Calculate the Total Run and Total Rise

To determine the total run (the horizontal distance covered by the entire staircase) and the total rise (the overall vertical height of the staircase), use the following formulas:

  • Total Run: Multiply the tread depth by the number of steps.
  • Total Rise: Add up the riser heights for all steps.

Step 7: Double-Check Your Measurements

Before using your measurements for any construction or renovation project, double-check your calculations to ensure accuracy. It’s always a good idea to have a second person review your measurements for verification.


Accurate measurements are the foundation of a safe and aesthetically pleasing staircase. Whether you’re building a new staircase or planning to install a carpet runner, following these steps for measuring staircase steps will help you achieve the precise dimensions you need. Taking the time to measure carefully will save you headaches and ensure your project turns out just as you envisioned it.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are for informational purposes only based on industry reports and related news stories. PropertyPistol does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.


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