Runner Rugs Runner Rugs#
Written By : Uzair Qureshi  |  

Finding the perfect stair rug is a tricky business in itself. But, placing the rug in just the right way on along your staircase is a herculean task altogether! Staircases, specifically those highly polished wood and marble floors can cause a lot of slips- especially when you have kids in the house. Which is why we recommend you to add in rug runners. Stair runners make for a beautiful complete look in your house and also make your space a bit more cozy & comfortable. Rug runners help add personality to any room and protect your hardwood stairs cases from scuff marks or that loud annoying creak in the house. We are here to help you out with all your stair runner ideas which are much more than just providing functional benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about stair rugs for your staircase.


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Why Add in A Stairway Runner? 

Tired of hearing that annoying noise that your stairs make? Or maybe is your floor too slippery? Don’t worry, just by adding in a runner, it will make all of that go away. Wooden floors sure are beautiful, but they come with a price- creaking noises so loud that the neighbors can hear them! Or even if you have those highly polished wood and marble staircases, I’m sure you’ve slipped at least once. For such reasons, we recommend you to add a stair runner. Creating a sophisticated and aesthetic feel is just a cherry on top! Adding a beautiful feel through the use of a carpet stair treads case rug can enhance the overall decor of your place. It adds comfort for your feet and warmth to your home. 


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Types Of Stairs

When choosing which stair runner to buy, you should take into account is the type of staircase you have. Here are some of the most common types of stair runners required for a specific set of staircases non-slip.

● Straight Stair Runners

A classic straight staircase has about 12-13 steps. Choosing rug runners for straight staircases is quite easy when compared with other staircases. Measuring such indoor staircases is also considered to be easier.

● Staircases With Landings

These staircases have 12-15 total steps accompanied by a landing in between. Some steps may even have multiple landings. However, this feature may cause the requirement of professional help when measuring staircases. 


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● Staircases With Pie Turns

This form of the staircase is somewhat similar to the fore mentioned staircases. However, instead of a flat landing, they feature a triangle or pied shaped landing at the corner passage.

Elements To Look For In Your Stair Runner

Stairs in any household are possibly the most utilized and busy natural area rugs in the house. They require to be kept functional with durability and need protection from wear and tear. When buying a star rug that allows for functionality and also adds aesthetic appeal to your home, there are several things to be kept in mind.


As this is an area that gets the most amount of foot traffic in the house, you will need a rug/carpet that stays in place for a long amount of time. Get yourself a stair runner that is stain resistant and is made up of the kind of fabrics that don’t lose its form easily. Nylon composition in carpets allows for stain resistance and is your best bet for safety. Wool and synthetic fabrics are highly durable materials too.


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The material that the stair carpet runner is made out of will account for the resilience it shows over the years. You can go for plush fabrics that are soft on the touch especially if you are a shoe-free household. Or you can go for a blended synthetic material that has a good push back quality to be placed on the staircase. 


Wool is the most commonly used and advised fabric when it comes to stairway rugs. Not only is it highly durable, but soft on the feet too. It is considered that the flatter the wool is, the more it will stick on to your staircase. You should also keep in mind that wool is generally an expensive fabric-the more colored and patterned it is, the higher the price will go. 

Wool blends

This fabric is a mixture of wool and synthetic material such as polyester and nylon. This fabric is also regarded to be great for staircase rugs since mixing up the materials adds in strength while maintaining the wool’s softness.


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Synthetic rugs such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester last for a long time. If you’re in search of rugs for stair runners that have solid texture, you should definitely opt for synthetic rugs. They’re also budget-friendly!

Natural Fibres

Even though some natural fibers such as seagrass rugs are not advised to be used as a stair runner, jute and sisal are considered to be great alternatives for stair step rugs. Even though customers might not like the rough and hard texture of sisal, however, it’s a great choice for stairways where you’re not spending much time. 


Usually, carpets that are used for living rooms, etc don’t require a level of density that a stair runner might require. Because the carpet or rugs you use here are to be installed properly, you need a combination of fabrics that are tightly woven and a fiber thickness that is less susceptible to change over time. The perfect carpet for the stairs should have a low pile value and woven fabrics that are resilient in nature. A synthetic carpet with a twisted or cut pile will provide for a safe option to be placed on the stairs. The higher the face weight of the rug the better quality it is. Check in the number of tufts per inch and the higher the number the more compact packed the carpet would be.


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Color that hides the stains

It is very important to go for a color palette that does not show every small stain. Go for beige, grey or the different shades in mahogany brown to add to your home. If you have a contemporary style house with lots of open spaces and whites, then go for a tone in grey that is compact and durable for your staircase. Deeper neutral shades that can camouflage any possible stains is your best bet! We would recommend you not choose light shades. This is because staircases possibly receive the most amount of foot traffic. Which ultimately damages the runner and all the dirt and dust can easily be seen. 


This factor depends on you. Whether you want to carpet the whole staircase or if you want to leave the sides bare. However, the rule of thumb is to allow the edges of the steps to be bare, creating contrast and an aesthetic appeal to the staircase. Generally, 4 inches of the floor is left uncovered-allowing the runner to be wide enough and creating a comfortable space for you to walk on. 


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Padding or Underlay

Stairways are probably highly-trafficked areas which can have a negative impact on your rug or carpet. Due to this, underlays are quite essential as they can protect your rug from wear and tear. Underlays not only protect your rug/carpet from wear and tear but provide comfort and reduce noise to a great extent. Felt is the ideal choice for an underlay.

How To Measure Stair Runners

Measure the stairs with accurate precision! Make sure you have the proper equipment and an understanding of basic measuring units. The following supplies and instructions will lead you to get it done perfectly!

Things you will require

    1. Measuring Tape 
    2. Marker 
    3. Double Sticking carpet tape 
    4. Staples
    5. Fabric Scissors 
    6. Rug pads


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Measure the depth of the stair tread

To cut your stair runner in the right size you will need to measure the depth of the stair tread along with the height of the stair riser. The stair tread determines the width you would require for each step. Start with measuring one stair tread by placing the measuring tape at the base of the tread where it meets the stair riser. Run along in the middle of the tread and take the measurement until it meets the top of the riser below. 

Measure the height of the stair riser

Take a measuring tape and start from the top of the stair riser to take the height of one riser by starting from the base of the tread to the top of the next one. Note this measurement to get the exact height one piece would require. 

Adding the measurements

To get the exact length you require, add the measurements of the tread and the rise on the staircase. Now count the number of risers in your staircase and multiply the measurement with that number. For example, if you have 16 risers and your measurement is 20 inches you will require a total of 320 inches of rug runner for your staircase just for coverage.


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Add in extra for the final measurement

When fitting in the runner, you need to keep account of extra length that might be used in adjustments or go in waste. For taking out this number add in 10 percent of the total inches you require. 

Foot or yards?

To get your final measurement you need to see if the vendor you buy from will give it to you in feet or yards.

How To Fit In A Stair Runner

To perfectly fit in stair runner rugs, you will have to have the perfect supplies too! Proper supplies will ensure your fixing is done right. Have a look at the following supplies and thank us later!


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Supplies you will need:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Gripper Rods
  • Snips
  • Hammer
  • Staple Gun

If you’ve bought your stair runner, the next big question is how to fit in that stair runner of yours. Don't you worry! We have you covered for the whole process too. Let us walk you through it with the information below;


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You’ll be using gripper rods. Using gripper rods is not only easy but inexpensive too. Gripper rods are sticks accompanied by small spikes that are used to fix in carpet and rug runners from the backside invisibly. Mark the staircase, with the help of a pencil and ruler, for the desired position for your stair runner. Next, measure the gripper rod and cut 10cm less than your rug runner. Generally, stair rugs are of 55cm width, so you’d want to cut your gripper rod 45cm wide. Make sure to mark this on the stair steps too. Make sure to cut out 2 gripper rods for each step, it is required to use two per step. Fix the gripper rods in with the help of the already installed nails. Fix one stick on each step and one stick on each riser. Remember that you have to place in an underlay as well. It should be placed in front of the gripper rods. Fix them in with the help of a staple gun. 

Now for the rug’s installation part, there are two ways to go about it. The easier method is called “The Waterfall Method”. This method simply involves attaching the rugs or carpet, with the help of a staple gun, with the edges and bringing it down step by step to meet the treads. This is a simple, easy and fast method. The second method, known as the “French Cap Method”, is rather complex and hard. However, it offers a more contoured and tailored look. Customers prefer to call in a professional for this, but if you’re tight on budget and still want to attain this look, I’ll walk you through it. Start by wrapping and stapling the end of the rug or carpet with the edges and tuck it under the lips of the steps for a contoured look. Make sure to tightly pull the stair runner and fortify the rug on to the gripper rods. Repeat these steps and work your way down the stairs until you reach the bottom. When you reach the last step, make sure to cut the rug a bit long and turn it under and tack. Voila! You have now successfully fixed in your stairway rug!


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Styling Your Staircase 

Color and Pattern

Adding in a bit of color onto your stair rugs is a clever choice for several reasons. Firstly, the hues you choose won't overwhelm you since you’re not exactly spending much time there. Secondly, carpeting staircases require less square footage in comparison with carpeting a room. Adding in a pattern and a pop color would go a long way; giving your home an aesthetic look. When choosing which color to go for, we recommend you to go for a medium tone. Dark colors end up showing all the lint and light colors show all the dirt and marks over time. For those of you who prefer a more calm look, choose colors from natural materials. Even if you want to opt for artificial materials, go for earthly colors-they add in a sophisticated look and compliment the wooden floors rather than taking away all the attention. Stair runners, in particular, receive a lot of foot traffic. With time, the abuse that the rugs take on would certainly start to appear. Which is why we recommend adding in a subtle pattern. If you’re interested in buying a striped runner, do not choose horizontal striped runners-as they won't align no matter how much you try to. Go for a vertically striped rug instead. If you have a straight staircase, we recommend not to use patterns such as diamonds, squares, or any other geometrical designs. If the pattern is even a little off, it can ruin the whole look. Although if you’re really into geometrical designs, don’t install the runner by yourself. Instead, call in a professional. We recommend you to use abstract or non-geometrical designs, that are usually found in oriental rugs. Such patterns look great on the stairs and create a sophisticated look.  When going for a patterned look, it’s advised that the scale of the pattern should be small. Large patterns might look too uneven once installed. If you have a narrow staircase and want it to look wider, small patterned runners are the way to go.


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Accessorize Your Stairway Rug!

If you prefer a minimalistic look for your runner then you may want to keep it as is, but if you want a more precise look here are 3 options you can consider.

Rod: You can install long runner rods on the creases of your stairs. They can be made more lively and inviting by getting a runner with a modern pattern as well.

Holders: Stair holders act as clips for your runners, they act similar to rods but don’t go the whole way through. These ‘carpet clips’ are placed on both sides of the creased edges of the stairs. These embellishments can be a good way to spice up your runner decor. 

Nail Head: While it is preferred to go for smooth shapes so that your foot remains safe, you can use any sort of nail-head for this. These nails can add a real spark to your runners if placed evenly on the sides of your runners. You can go for a more subtle look by blending the color of the nail head with your fabric.


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Where Can I Buy Stair Tread Rugs? 


One thing that might keep you from buying stairway rugs is possibly its maintenance. Since staircases are highly trafficked areas, the runner present on it is likely to receive lots of wear and tear-more than an area rug. The dirt on the rug causes friction against the fiber of the carpet. You avoid this by vacuuming your rug on a day to day basis. In cases of accidents, such as spillages, you just have to relax and be calm. The rest is gonna happen by itself! Start by blotting the stain by using a clean cloth. We do this so that any liquid that has been spilled onto the rug can attach itself to the cloth. Dab the area with the help of another clean cloth, this time using a shampoo or soap. The key is to not rub the rug vigorously, or the runner might get ruined. Footwear is a headache when it comes to runner rugs. Especially those rubber-soled shoes which grips the fibers of the rug, causing it to wear. The golden rule to live by should be “shoes off at the doorstep”! 


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People often find decorating the staircase the hardest part of their home decor! We have mentioned and answered the most commonly asked questions below. 

Q. Where should the stair runner end?

Stair runners usually end at the end of the floor. This is because it helps in protecting the floor’s ends from scuffs-especially when you have white raisers. However, if you have a beautifully polished wooden and marble floor, we recommend you to end the runner right underneath the lip of the bottom step to add a more aesthetically pleasing look. 

Q. How wide should the stair runner be?

Generally, 4 inches of the bare floor is to be left on each side of the runner. This is because it creates a more sophisticated look and also permits the runner to give you enough space to walk on. However, this factor depends on how you want the look to be. You should just take into account the proportion and width of the staircase DIY.


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Q. What if I have an open staircase?

 If you have an open staircase; treads with no raisers, then you should thoroughly wrap the staircase with your rug. It’s up to you if you want to fully carpet each step or leave spaces beside it. 

Q. Should my stair runners be the same as my area rugs? 

It creates a very classic look and increases the overall influence- especially if you have twin staircases. Your area and runner rug should coordinate if you have an open area where both the area and runner rugs are insight. It’s not necessary for them to match. If you have a runner rug accompanied by a pattern that’s very eye catchy, then we recommend you to choose an area rug with a solid color.

Q. How to choose rugs as a stair runner?

When choosing to decorate your staircase with runners, your rugs can work just as well. Runner rugs of sizes  2x7 inches or as far as runner rugs of 2x16 inches can be placed at the foot of the stairs or beginning! This can give some variation and authenticity in decor to your whole staircase by using fun color schemes, such as boho. This will help you to create a very fun-spirited staircase. Not only are you going to love it, but your kids will certainly too. You can also use your flatweave rugs, provided that they are properly fitted on to the staircase with padding carpet tread. 


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Q. How do I handle stairs that change the width?

It’s up to you, whether you want the width of the rugs to change or if you want to keep the width of the rugs consistent. Although, keeping a uniform width works quite well. 

Q. Where can I buy stair rugs?

At Rugknots, you can find several options to decorate your stairs with stair rugs. With some great color choices and patterns, runner rugs can work just as well too! Go through our collection of rugs and find something fun to highlight your staircase with!


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Mistakes You Should Never Make

Selecting the wrong pattern

As mentioned above, you should never choose horizontal patterned rugs. It seldom aligns, and even if it does, it would take hours to do so. The horizontal pattern will be uneven on the staircase with hardly any symmetry. Patterns coming in vertical forms will give a nice effect to look at.

Not ordering enough

It’s important to order at least 2 feet of extra fabric when buying. Even if you’ve thoroughly measured your staircase, you should still buy extra fabric just in case. You can put the leftover fabric to use by making them doormats or runner mats for your kitchen counter. So, in both cases order extra!


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Forgetting the rug padding

Rug padding is an essential factor when it comes to rugs. Whether they’re stairway rugs or area rugs, this is the one factor that should never be compromised. 

Putting in staples in the wrong spot

Make sure the staples are put in the cracks between each step and under the lips/nose of the steps. This helps in keeping the staples invisible and keeps the rug perfectly in place. 

Getting a rug is easier when you shop from RugKnots. So, don't hold back and order yours, right away! 


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