How is a Stairlift Attached to the Stairs?

How Is a Stairlift Attached to the Stairs?

Will The Stairlift Damage My Carpet?

Will The Support Brackets Damage My Stairs?

A common worry before getting a stairlift installed is wondering if the stairlift will damage the walls. This is due to the common misconception that stairlifts are attached to the wall when they are in fact only attached to the stair treads and do not touch or lean against the wall.

To discover exactly how a stairlift is attached to the stairs, and what impact is has on your walls and carpet, take a look at our handy overview below.

How is a stairlift attached to the stairs?

  • The stairlift track is attached by upright support brackets which hold up the rail, keeping the chair at the right distance from the floor, and are attached to the stair treads with a few small screws. These brackets are only attached to the steps themselves and do not touch or damage the walls or banister.
  • The screws used to attach each support bracket to the stair tread are often around 3/16″ (0.5cm) in diameter and there can be 2 to 5 screws per support. The brackets are commonly secured with 4 screws, with one in each corner of the mounting plate.
  • Support screws go straight through any existing carpet, so you do not need to remove your carpet to have a stairlift fitted. Stairlifts can even be installed on concrete, metal or tile steps, which are most commonly required for outdoor stairlifts.
  • Support brackets will be installed at regular intervals along the stairlift track. They should not need to be fitted to each individual step, instead being spaced at intervals of every two or three steps, depending on the individual staircase.

The brackets will also be placed far enough away from your wall or banister to allow the stairlift to travel along the track without rubbing against them. This means that you won’t end up with any scuff or scratch marks from using your stairlift.

  • If the stairlift is later removed, there shouldn’t be any damage to the stairs or carpet, provided that the stairlift has been fitted and removed by a professional, as the supports are only attached with a few screws.
  • These screws are thin enough to go through the carpet without creating a large hole, though they may leave an indentation similar to that left by a piece of heavy furniture on carpet. This can be improved by steam cleaning your carpet and giving it time to return back to its uncompressed shape.
  • While the carpet itself shouldn’t show any damage, the area under each support may be a slightly different colour than the rest of the carpet, which may have faded or worn over time.
  • If you are planning to replace your carpet, and are likely to need a stairlift for a long time, it is worth getting the carpet replaced before having the stairlift installed. While stairlifts can be removed and re-installed to allow for a new carpet to be fitted, this can be costly and time-consuming.
  • The screws keeping the support brackets in place will leave a few small screw holes in the wooden stair treads themselves where they have been fitted. If you have carpet on your stairs then these holes shouldn’t be visible.
  • If you have hardwood stair treads without carpet, there will be small holes from the brackets which you may want to fill in with wood filler.
  • If the stairlift has been placed on stone, metal or tile stairs when fitting an outdoor stairlift, for example, then these holes will be much more obvious and will likely need filling.
  • Whether you have carpet or not, the small holes in the stair treads used for the supports will not pose a risk of damage to your staircase and will not make it unsafe. Below, you can see an image of a stairlift support before the screws have been inserted, giving you an idea of the screw diameter.

If you are still unsure about any aspects of stairlift fitting, get in touch with a member of our team today and we will be happy to discuss any queries you may have.