A stair runner is a piece of carpet that doesn’t cover the entire width of the stair. It is classically installed over hardwood or tiled stairs. Runners come in almost all colors and patterns and are also available in different widths. A stair carpet runner is a great way to improve your home without needing to install a fully-fitted carpet. Stair runners come in any length meaning they fit even the most obstinate of spaces. As well as length, their widths range from 22inch wide right up to 47inch, so there’s no doubt you’ll find the perfect fit. There are a number of reasons for adding a stair carpet runner to a stair. One of the most common and perhaps obvious reasons is safety. Wood or tiled stairs can be slippery, which can present a danger, particularly when there are children or people with mobility issues in the home.
Why Carpet Runner on Stairs?
Adding a runner reduces the danger by providing a safe place to walk on the stairs, not to mention the added luxury of the soft carpet underfoot. Furthermore, carpet grips noise much more than hard surfaces do, so adding a runner will make trips up and down the stairs much quieter. To end with, a carpet runner adds style. A staircase featuring a runner creates a beautiful focal point in your home, but you have to be sure to select the proper runner.
There are two options for choosing a runner on stairs:
- A pre-made runner, usually featuring a pattern,
- Or a custom-made runner, often made out of broadloom.
When considering a staircase, a common question is how wide should the carpet runner be. The answer to this will depend on the width of your stairs. For stairs that are approximately 3 feet wide, we suggest a 27-inch runner width. This width allows for good coverage so that you don’t feel like you are walking on a narrow strip, and is not too wide to overpower the stairs. For wider stairs of about 4 feet or 5 feet, a 32- or 33-inch runner is a good option, as it will leave a nice amount of floor showing on either side and will not be diminished by the size of the stairs.
Type of Pattern
Patterned runners are lovely, and come in an immeasurable choice of colors and designs. Be sure that the pattern will work on the stairs. Some patterns are more effective on long, flat surfaces, such as a runner in a hallway, and don’t work as well when they are bent and folded over the stairs. If you have a curved or winding staircase, this is even more of a concern. Unless you have a straight staircase (with no curved steps), we caution against using a precise pattern on stairs, such as a diamond, square, or other geometric design. Non-geometric designs, such as abstracts or the floral designs commonly found in Oriental rugs, are a good choice of pattern for stairs. These designs don’t require the same precise matching as geometrics and therefore create an attractive finished look.
For the scale of the pattern, it is best to go small on a stair runner. Large patterns will be lost and will look too uneven as the carpet bends over each stair. Smaller patterns will kindly showcase the design of each tread and riser. On narrow staircases, a small pattern can help the stairs to seem wider, as multiple patterns repeat trick the mind into seeing a bigger expanse.
Perhaps you would favor a runner with no pattern, or with a subtler design (such as one created by a cut and loop style). In these cases, having a runner made out of broadloom is your best bet. The runner can be cut to your exact specifications and finished on the sides by binding or surging the edges. Having a runner custom made out of broadloom can often be less expensive than purchasing a pre-made runner. It does not require a large amount of carpet to cover a staircase, so you may even be able to purchase a discounted remnant and have it made to your size.
One option for stair carpeting is to cover only the tread (the part of the stair that you step on) with a runner and leave the riser (the back) of the stair uncovered. This creates a different overall effect than covering the whole stair and can be a good choice in more minimalistic or modern decors.
Despite the fact that the carpet runner is a small piece of carpet, it still requires a cushion or underpad. The best cushion for under a runner is very thin so that it doesn’t raise the height of the runner by much. It should also be dense, to adequately support the runner so that the carpet doesn’t flex too much when walked on. A pad of one-quarter-inch thickness is ideal for under a stair runner. Rubber pads are a good option for under a runner because it is firm and very dense.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Stair Runner?
A stairway may be one of the first things a visitor to a home sees. It also presents one of the largest surfaces in the living room or entry. In either case, a stair runner can redecorate its appearance and tie it to the rest of the living space. Stair runners can also insulate wooden staircases and make them feel warmer in the winter. Their installation costs depend on material and location.
The least expensive way to install a stair runner is to do-it-yourself, which confines the cost to that of the runner and supplies, like padding, strips and the rental of a knee kicker. Runners are generally priced by the linear foot, which includes the full width of the carpet. This width ranges from 2 to 3 feet or more. An inexpensive domestic 26-inch wide runner made of polypropylene can cost about $7.77 a linear foot when it’s on sale. An expensive imported runner that is also 26 inches wide and made of wool can run $51.81 a linear foot on sale.
Professional installation is more expensive but takes less time and provides a more finished appearance. Runner installers charge about $318 to lay a 26-inch wide carpet across 13 steps of a straight stairway. Compare this to an average cost of $200 for a do-it-yourself project. Both prices include materials. Much of the labor involves preparing the stairway, such as removing molding, and old tack and nails, cleaning up any dirt and painting or staining exposed edges.
The wages of carpet installers vary by location and can affect the cost of installing a stair runner. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the mean wages of carpet installers a $19.39 per hour throughout the country.
Types of Stairs That May Benefit from Carpeting?
Functional, builder-grade stairs that exist only to move people from point A to point B, with zero concern for aesthetic can be improved with carpeting. It is difficult to fix unattractive stairs because they do not lend themselves to painting. Carpet works wonders on stairs like this. Beautiful hardwood stairs will be ruined by the addition of carpeting because the tack strips need to be nailed down, creating holes in the wood.
Where carpeted stairs really excel is in houses that have noisy stairs. This noise may be a result of. Or it might be that the stair materials are too thin to adequately absorb sounds. Rather than replacing risers and treads, it’s often easier to carpet them.
Is a Pad Necessary for a Carpet Runner on Stairs?
Carpet on stairs can cushion the descent down the flight and cut back on the racket when kids, pets or guests ascend the staircase to the second floor. A well-done stair runner installation can greatly improve the look of the staircase as well as improve the safety of the structure. A pad can help the overlying carpet to last longer. It not only raises the runner but increases the comfort level as well. Wood stairs with a runner are much safer and are pleasing to look at as you go about your day.
Benefits of a Stair Pad
A stair carpet runner with a pillow pad adds more than just a pretty piece of fabric along with the steps that lead to the second floor. Wood stairs with a runner leading up to the second floor can be a beautiful addition to an otherwise dull living space. A colorful, cushioned runner can make the staircase a more inviting place to traverse as well as add to the aesthetic of the room. The proper runner and underlying pad can provide a non-slip surface on a slick flight of wooden stairs. A quality pad that is installed correctly can also greatly reduce the amount of noise from computers, televisions or table talk that can bounce off the surface of the wood steps and travel upstairs to reach sleeping infants or resting guests, disturbing an otherwise peaceful space. The safety quotient of wood stairs with a runner increases significantly when a pad and carpet runner is properly installed.
Preparing for Stair Runner and Pad Installation
It’s not terribly hard to install padding on a staircase, but it does take patience and the proper tools. From looking at the typical runner and pad, it would appear that it is a continuous piece as it snakes from the top floor down. However, to fit well, padding needs to be fitted and placed perfectly on each stair tread so it doesn’t slip around under the fabric of the runner. Remove any old strips of tackless carpeting glue or tacks that are stuck to the foot treads. Use a putty knife to scrape off any padding or glue left behind from previous padding installations. Be gentle because you don’t want to cause divots that could compromise the installation of the new carpet padding. Vacuum or sweep each floor tread to remove dust and debris. The surface should be as clean as possible so the pad will firmly adhere to the wood.
Does Carpeting Stairs Make Them Safer?
Stairs leading directly from a living room or central hallway look more attractive and inviting when carpeted. And, a carpeted stairway will quiet your home by softening footsteps and absorbing sound waves. Carpeted stairs are safer, too, lessening your chances of slipping. Choose an easy-to-clean variety with a dense pile. Carpet with attached cushion backing is cheaper and easier to install but isn’t recommended for stairways. Because you want a long, narrow runner, you may be able to buy remnants of high-quality carpeting at much less than the going rates for a room-size piece. The runner need not be one length; seams can be hidden under the tread nosing. Remember, the pile on each piece should always lie facing toward the bottom of the stairs. Both ascending and descending, the pressure of your foot is mostly toward the tread nosing, so unless the pile faces the same way, wear will be excessive–perhaps doubled.
Carpet Runner Vs. Fully Carpeted Stairs
Carpeted stairs add warmth and texture to the home and may also help with noise control and fall prevention. Today’s homeowners can choose between fully carpeted stairs, with carpet covering the entire stair riser, or runners, which cover only a portion of the stairs, leaving the edges exposed to reveal the surface of the staircase.
To decide between full carpeting and stair runners, first consider the condition of your existing stairs. Homeowners with finished hardwood stairs can install runners, allowing the beauty of the hardwood to show along the edges of the staircase. In some instances, stairs may be constructed from plywood or other materials that are not hardwoods, resulting in an ugly surface that can detract from the appearance of your home. In this case, your only option is to first install hardwood before installing stair runners or simply cover the entire staircase with carpeting to hide the unfinished surface below.
Consider Cost and Effort
This Old House calls installing stair runners a relatively simple do-it-yourself project. Installing carpet across the entire width of the stairway is much more involved, requiring some skill to fold the carpet correctly along each edge and create a seamless finish. Runners also cost less than full carpeting thanks to their relatively narrow size.
While both runners and full carpeting can help prevent slips and falls on stairs when installing correctly, fully carpeted stairs pose fewer potential hazards in the long run. Full carpeting stretches from one edge of the stairs to the other, resulting in relatively little risk of tripping. The edge of a carpet runner lies much closer to the path of travel and may pose as a trip hazard if it becomes loose or frayed over time.
Appearance and Decor
The choice between fully carpeted stairs and stair runners can have a dramatic impact on the look of your home. To maximize aesthetic appeal, consider the other floor finishes in your home to help you choose between these two options. If you already have hardwood at the top and bottom of the stairs, a fully carpeted staircase may look out of place. In homes with hardwood at one end of the stairs and carpet at the other, either option will work as an effective transition between the two materials. For homes with carpeting throughout, consider using carpet to fully cover the stairs for the most cohesive look. Stair width remains another important consideration when deciding how to carpet the stairs. For stairs that remain the same width from top to bottom, either full carpeting or runners will suffice. Stairs that change the width from top to bottom are generally easier to cover with full carpeting rather than a runner, which may need to be custom-made to fit the changing width.
How to Install a Carpet Runner on Stairs?
- Measure and cut a piece of carpet to the appropriate length. Because it requires specialized sewing equipment and knowledge, have the edges bound by a professional.
- Mark the location on each step where the runner will rest. Make an inside mark to show where the edges of the padding will extend and an outside mark to show how far the carpet will extend.
- Cut a piece of padding to fit on each step. Lay each piece in place, and secure it with a hammer stapler.
- Roll up the carpet, and lay it a few steps above the bottom. Then pull the end toward the bottom. You’ll need some slack to work with so that you don’t tug too hard on the bottom and cause the entire roll to fall down on you. Keep the roll centered as you work your way up the stairs.
- Run a row of staples along the bottom of the bottom riser where the carpet meets the floor. Gently wiggle the head of the staple in between the fibers of the carpet to hide the staples. Because the staples are in the corner between the riser and the tread they should stay well hidden.
- Pull the carpet tight, and run a row of staples along the top of the riser where it meets the tread of the stair.
- Use the knee kicker to pull the carpet tight as you place another row of staples in the corner between the riser and the tread.
What’s the best material for a stair runner?
An all-wool carpet is preferable aesthetically. There’s a theory that a synthetic or blend will hold up better, but it is not proven. People first and foremost want the looks, and wool delivers that. Natural fibers like sisal and jute may not be your best choice, as they’re easily stained and can be rough on bare feet. But, sisal or jute is a great look and it’s cheap. Nowadays, sisal is becoming popular. It’s durable and easy to clean.
Wholesale of Stair Runner
You can buy Stair and Hallway Runners at Wholesale and Discount Prices from online shopping. In online shopping, they offer a wide variety of stair runners and hallway runners that are made with beautiful patterns. Runner carpet is made to protect your floor from damage because they are perfect for high traffic stairs and hallways. Carpet Runners are available in a wide variety of patterns and colors that will add style to any hallway or staircase.
Online Stair Runner Stores
You can easily find stair runner samples by selecting the Manufacturer or Collection you would like to browse. Once you’ve selected a collection or category on online sites, you will be able to use the filters to find your favorite category. Online searching will allow some more advanced ways to classify stair runner products by color, style, width, of fiber. You will also be able to sort by price. There are approximately 1000 stair runner products on the online site. You can ask all of your questions related to Carpet by square foot, Berber carpet for sale, cheap carpet for sale, and Cheapest place to buy carpet via online chatting service.