We just had carpet installed on our stairs. With our previous 15 year old carpet, I never noticed that there was a gap between the stairs and the skirtboard. With our new carpet the gap is apparent. Some of the carpet sticks out and looks unfinished on the wall side. I'm wondering if it's just because of the gap or if the carpet should have been installed differently. Is there a way to install carpet so the gap between the wall and stairs isn't noticeable? Thank you.

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  • 3
    Was the previous carpet a Berber too? If not, maybe the pile better hid the "gap" than the pile of a Berber does. This looks reasonable to me - I don't see anything that I'd consider a "gap". Maybe another picture to better illustrate the problem would help.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 17:53
  • 2
    FYI, "Berber" refers to a color style (named after indigenous people of Africa whose imperfection-bespeckled rugs tended to have spots of dark color). This is a "multi-level loop" carpet, a type that often sports a Berber style. Therein lies the cause of the nomenclatural confusion. Fair point, though.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 19:49
  • In the carpet world "Berber" also refers to any loop style carpeting, and is not exclusive to a color style.
    – RMDman
    Commented May 5, 2023 at 22:18
  • 1
    Yes, in the same way "flush mount" is used to refer to "surface mount". Common doesn't mean right. :)
    – isherwood
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


There are two aspects to this, making it somewhat subjective:

  • Width of the carpet. This needs to be enough to span the gap, but not so much that it causes buckling.

  • Whether or not it's tucked. If left flat the appearance may be better, but the likelihood that a gap shows is greater. If tucked, there will be a curl in the carpet surface, but the fit will be more snug.

If you're not happy, contact your installer. They may be able to stretch it slightly to close the gaps, or they'll have to reinstall some or all of it.

  • Worst case, jam some piping rope in between the carpet edge and stringer.
    – Huesmann
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 13:32

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