Hello! Here’s my brain dump on stair runners. I’m happy to edit and add, so shoot any questions my way.

Current Stair Situation

Click here for details and product links on my entry, stair runner.

Tutorials I like:

I start every project with a Google and Pinterest search. There are so many talented people willing to tell you everything they know– for free. After researching, I take bits and pieces of what I learn and craft my own plan.

Young House Love, Stair Runner Tutorial

I used YHL as my guiding light for my first runner install. Many runners later, I still refer back.

Home Depot’s nuts and bolts tutorial

Ok. So HD says you can bang out this project in 2-4 hours. Don’t believe them. Other than that, this tutorial is a practical reference guide.


Prefer a video with runner eye candy? This one’s for you.

Remember that I am working on my Basement runner? This is still how far I am on the project.

Pit of Despair, stair runner

Your frequently asked questions:

Measuring for a stair runner: Here’s a good guide. I’d suggest buying a few feet extra. More if you are matching patterns.

Staple gun: This is the staple gun I use. If you have the money to spend, an air compressor, fueled gun is a dream.

Stair damage: Does it ruin the stairs? No. Staples only go in the riser portion of the stairs. Not the treads. You can patch the staple holes of the risers and repaint. If you have wood risers, you will need a matching wood filler. The runner will actually protect the treads from foot traffic wear.

This is what my house looks like during projects.

Runner sources I like: Annie Selkie’s, Dash and Albert. and Safavieh rugs via Overstock or Amazon. Locally, I’ve used Flooring America for pro installs for clients. (They carry Stark Carpet. So dreamy.)

What type of carpet works: I love using thin, indoor/outdoor runners. They are easy to install with an inexpensive staple gun, and hold up well to pets and kids. You will need a nicer staple gun for higher pile. I went this route on my basement steps. I like that it hides the staples like magic and it’s so lux on bare feet.

Pattern or plain: It depends… But I have always gone PATTERN. It’s a big impact and fun in a small space. It’s also easier to hide staples and any stains.

I didn’t always take 100s of house pictures. Here’s a plaid runner in our old house with sassy, toddler Emmeline.

Cleaning: Again. Indoor/outdoor makes life easier. It’s a little awkward to vacuum stairs, but I do it every so often. ha

Splicing together rugs: I love carpet tape. The tape acts as a third hand to hold things in place. I fold under the raw edge of the carpet, cover with carpet tape and staple away.

Carpet Tape where the riser and treads meet helps join rugs.

How much wood should show: For me it depends on the staircase. Ugly stairs, wider runner. Pretty? More stair showing. 4″-7″ is a good place to start. You can craft a faux runner with wrapping paper. Adjust the width until it looks proportional.

Stair Rod: Stair rods hide a million sins, if you are joining rugs. Rejuvenation and Zoroufy have some great options.

Turned stair applications: I cut out the odd shape, stair patterns out of wrapping paper. It’s hard to line up large patterns. I’d recommend a small pattern or solid.

Convincing your mate: I think this was a little tongue and cheek. But, I negotiate between client couples often. I find visual examples are a great way to start a discussion. A Pinterest board is an easy way to organize ideas. You’ll likely start to see a theme appear in what you pin. I also suggest starting that chat when your mate is in a jolly mood.

***Contains affiliate links. I get a little cut, from the companies, on whatever you buy once you click a link. You don’t pay more. So thank you!! My house projects appreciate the extra funds.

2 Comments on Stair Runner Rundown

  1. I love the runner pattern and would like to know where I can purchase the pattern and whether the pattern also comes in area rug sizes. I have been trying to find this pattern for the past year with no success until I contacted Rug.com and they referred me to you. I have my fingers crossed. Thank you.

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