How To Install A Stair Runner | Adjusting a stair runner | rugs (2023)

stair runnerare stylish and contemporary and a great way to add texture and a touch of color to your staircase - you can install them yourself with our expert guide at our"How to Fit Stair Runners"Guide. Even if you're not the greatest DIYer, our top tips can get you started and get your stairs installed today. With our expert guidance, we take away the fear of installing a stair runner.

We'll talk about how to fit a stair runner on straight stairs, how to fit a stair runner on stairs that are curved or winding, and even how to measure your stair for a stair runner (yes, that's different thanHow to measure your carpet ladder). Grab your tape measure and rug clips, and meet us at the bottom of the stairs, where we'll begin.

(Video) How to Install a Stair Runner - The Right Way

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Before you start retiringMatteStair runner studs and rug patterns, you need to measure your stair for the type of stair runner you want - whether it's a narrow, wide or patchwork hallway, measurements are key to making your stair runner look good. Check out our for more on the different stair styles to choose from'what is a stair runner'Guide.

How to install a stair runner

First find the middle of your stair with a tape measure and mark it with masking tape - this will help you when attaching your upholstery and hallway to find the middle - if your stair is slightly uneven due to a railing or wall then find it Center according to your preferences of where to go.

You can buy a stair runner that is already a certain width. In this case, you don't have to worry too much about measuring the height and depth of your stairs, but you still need to measure the length to make sure you're buying enough. Here are the three measurements you need:

  • The depth of the steps (the horizontal part of the staircase that is stepped on)
  • The height of the riser (the vertical distance between one ladder and another)
  • The depth of the nose (the often overhanging edge of stairs - if the nose doesn't protrude, the step gauge will cover that)

Multiply these measurements by the number of your steps, add another 30cm just in case and voila! You have all the necessary measurements to order your stair runner.

what will you need

  • Your chosen stair runner
  • tape measure and ruler
  • Pencil
  • Thanks
  • Carpet Underlay/Folding Tool
  • Hammer
  • Brads (15mm) * Or, if you have some, inch wire nails, ring bars or gimp pins. Using a small electric tacker also looks good.
  • sharp craft knife
(Video) How-To Stair Runner | The Home Depot

How To Install A Stair Runner | Adjusting a stair runner | rugs (1)

Prepare your stairs

Give your stairs a good cleaning and maybe a fresh coat of paint if you want them to look fresh - this is also a good time to tidy up or repaint your stairs if they're wooden too. It is best to do all painting before installing the mat.

Mark your measurements

Subtract the desired width of your hallway from the width of your stairs and divide by two to get the exact gap you will leave on each side of the hallway. Use these measurements to mark the center of your stairs with tape.

Optional: Cut and add carpet padding

Your stair may come with extra padding, but if you're adding padding or sub-flooring, use a stapler to attach the padding to your stair - remember you only need the padding for the step and nose, as nobody will will step on the riser! Be sure to cut the padding shorter than the Hustle Runner so you don't see overhangs on the sides when the runner is up. You will find some professional installers installing the underlay directly onto the riser.

Staple from top to bottom

Start at the top of the stair where you want the runner to end (most commonly under the nose of the last step) and staple the end of the runner to the stair. Start in the center and work your way to the edges.

Then use the carpet bender to ensure the carpet is pushed into the corner where the riser meets the bottom of the next step - this will give you a clean edge. Add more staples here to hold it in place. If you have a stair nosing, you can run the stair runner through to the next rung, or you can reinforce the nosing and also staple in place.

(Video) Modern Farmhouse Stair Runner Install DIY How-To | Full Tutorial

Repeat for each level

Continue this process down the stairs, making sure that if you need to join two stair runners together, fold the unfinished edges down and staple along the crease.

Secure the bottom with clips

Trim off any excess material and fold the unfinished edge down before basting the last edge just above the trim.

Secure the edges with headless nails

You can now drive up the stair runner edges with headless nails to make sure the edges don't move with you.

Optional: add ladder bars

A final optional step is to add decorative elements.ladder poles- they sit at the bottom of the ridge and ensure your rug doesn't deviate from the perfect crease you made.

Put a stair runner around corners

Measure the length of your stair runner on the stair you will be walking - this will tell you where to stop your stair runner and place the edge of your new parcel. Place the stair runner against the edge of the landing where you measured, then trim, fold and staple straight at the end. Then continue your stair hallway (remember to fold the unfinished edge) from the edge of this piece and down the next flight of stairs.

With curved stairs like a spiral staircase, all you have to do is account for the width differences at each edge of your hallway, where one side of the step is longer than the other - this requires great care when adding up your measurements to ensure you get the correct stair runner length!


In general, curved stairs need extra width allowance to achieve a nicer finish. If your stair has a landing or is angled (like a spiral stair), your job will be a little more complicated! You can always choose to exit the landing without a stair runner, which is the easiest method, but if you want to continue around the landing and any curves in your staircase, these measurements are important.

It's possible to buy an entire traditional flatweave dowel and then harden it, but it's specialized work and requires a skilled touch.

  • But important tips:If you measure the widest part of your stair that the runner will sit on and multiply that number by the number of risers (plus the extra 12 inches just in case) you will get the curved length of the stair runner.

This is a DIY project that requires a lot of patience - and we always recommend having one of our professional carpet fitters do the job for you, both for your safety and to ensure the job is always done right! Contact the Tapi team to find out more or head to your local Tapi store to check out all the stair runners to choose from.

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