How to Install a Carpet Runner on Stairs

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How to Install a Carpet Runner on Stairs
Install Carpet Runner

Change the look and feel of your stairs easily by installing a carpet runner. Not only will you cushion every step, you’ll prevent your steps from wearing out. Installing a stair carpet runner is simple project that you can do yourself in a relatively short amount of time, approximately half a day. You can add a runner to your stairs by following a few simple steps.

Installing Your Carpet Runner is Simple

You do not have to be a professional to install a carpet runner on your steps. Just follow these basic steps to complete the project and give everyone who takes the stairs a more comfortable walk.

In order to determine how long a runner you will need, first measure the depth of the stair tread and the height of the riser. Multiply the total by the number of stairs; this is your total runner length. Once you know the length of your stair carpet runner, shop for one that you like. Adding a carpet runner to your stairs can change the entire look of your living area.

  1. Start by installing tackless strips on each step, cut each strip so that it is approximately 4 inches shorter than the width of the actual runner. The strips should be approximately 1/2" from and parallel to the corner between the riser and the tread. Attach a tackless strip to the center of the riser and on the back of each tread with the points of the strip facing the corner.
  2. Install the padding, cut the carpet padding to the same width as the strips, wrapping it around the front edge of the steps.
  3. Trim your carpet to size, after you’ve rolled out the length of carpet you need to run the length of the stairs, cut it 3 inches wider than the finished runner will be. Turn the carpet upside down and make a chalk line on either side, making sure the distance between the chalk lines is equal to the width of the runner.
  4. Crease the runner, using a straightedge and awl, you’ll want to score the back of the carpet along the chalk lines. This will allow for easy folding.
  5. Position and attach the runner, now fold the edges of the carpet underneath and center it along the bottom edge of the steps.
  6. Staple the riser, staple the carpet onto the riser just beneath the tread. Make sure you wiggle the stapler in between the fibers as much as possible and do not staple through the fold.
  7. Tuck the carpet into the corner, use a knee kicker to push the carpet tight into the corner of the tread and riser while using a stair tool to wedge the carpet into the corner between the tread and the riser.
  8. Straighten the edges if necessary, use an awl to pull the bottom of the fold out so that the edges of the carpet are straight. When the edges of the carpet are straight, staple them in place again, wiggling the stapler in between the fibers of the carpet.


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