How To Install a Carpet Runner on Your Staircase

November 23, 2021

Determining the Stair Runner

Installing a carpet stair runner seems like a task that is unachievable. I promise you if you follow the steps here you can be successful installing your own!

First and foremost, you need to determine the carpet stair runner that you want to use on your stairs. My previous runner, which you can see below was a thick wool rug.

The first weekend we were in our home I painted my stairs and then installed this runner. I had purchased it on a major deal prior to closing on our home. I knew it was going to see a lot of construction and dirt with all the work the home needed. Since we are closing out on the MAJOR construction areas of the home, it was time to change it up.

Here is how it looked when we first moved in! I took to painting those stairs immediately, and then added the runner below.

After completing all the work in this foyer area, added board and batten, it was time for the stairs!

If you were following along on Instagram, then you know I also completely changed out the handrail too! I will write a post on how I did that in the coming weeks. After this was complete came the need for a new runner!

Choosing the Right Runner

To figure which runner, I polled my Instagram following on various carpet stair runners. I knew I wanted one of the beautiful runners from Annie Selke. I had heard so many great things about their durability and how easy they were to clean. Which for a stair runner should be the number one reason to purchase a rug, durability and ease of cleaning.

Many of my followers/friends who currently have their products have raved about how well they have worn over the years. Its exactly what I was needing! Plus, no other company out there had the look that I was looking for and the simple style I wanted.

I had narrowed it down to four different options, which I have pictured below. I was fortunate that a local store had these samples I took them home to see how they looked in my space.

Different Annie Selke runners

The top option is their Malta Blue Wool Rug. The next is their Marlo Platinum rug. The third down is their Herringbone Rug, and the last option was the Samson rug in Gray.

It was such a difficult choice as each one was absolutely stunning. You could truly feel the quality and why so many rave about them.

I ultimately chose the Annie Selke Marlo Platinum rug. I am so happy that I went with this color and subtle print. However, having just put up the light blue faux grass cloth wallpaper in the foyer, and the blues clashing, I knew it was the right choice.

Tools Needed for Installation

Prior to starting the installation, you will want to measure for how much carpet stair runner you will need. The easiest way to measure is to take a fabric measuring tape and slowly work your way down the stairs. I found this type of measuring tape the easiest, as it is flexible. You don’t have to worry about the sharp metal edges of a regular tape.

Here is the measuring tape that I used. Like I said just start at the top and slowly work your way down the stairs adding up your measurements.

Outside of the actual runner, below I have listed the other necessary items you will need to complete this project.

Thats it! This project doesn’t require too much to get it done.

Installing the Runner

The first thing you will want to do, is to cut the rug pad to the size of each step. These do not need to be stapled into place. Once you start installing the actual runner those staples will then hold it into place.

When installing a stair runner, you always want to make sure to start at the top of your stairs. You also want to make sure that the placement of the runner is in the center of that top step. I used a tape measure to make sure the same measurement was on either side of the runner.

Once in the right position, start stapling right at the top of the runner, to secure it in its place. Once you have stapled it along the top, go back and add staples at the base of the kick. Here is where your flat edge will come in handy to really push the runner into place.

As you fold over the runner you will want to make sure that you are pulling tight. You don’t want the runner to be loose on the stairs at all. Once you pull it tight, repeat the same process as above and staple underneath the nose of the tread.

You will continue this same process all the way down the stairs, or until the runner ends.

Connecting Two Carpet Stair Runners

In order to complete my stairs I actually needed to get three runners. I came to the end of my first runner about mid way down the stairs. Connecting two runners is actually quite easy, especially working with these Annie Selke runners. Since their material is very forgiving and easy to cut and mold into place.

Here is where you will want to add the longer staples into your staple gun. You will need the longer as you will be stapling through a little more than normal.

I made sure that the first carpet stair runner was secured under the nose of the step. Once I had this done I cut off the excess, making sure to leave enough to have an overlap.

Next, I took my second runner, FOLDED OVER THE TOP and lined up the pattern with the first. I placed the second runner on top of the little amount I had left over from the first.

Once you are happy with how they have lined up, secure the runner into place with your staple gun. You will do this in the same manner that you did through the first runner installation.

Wrapping up the Stair Runner Installation

Once you get to the bottom of your stairs you will need to create an end. If you are lucky, your runner will just fall to the floor and you can just staple it in place. HOWEVER, chances are you are like the rest. Meaning that you will have to cut the runner to fit the base of the stairs.

Here is how much excess I had from my last runner. To choose where to cut simply push the runner back to the kick and note where it meets the floor.

From there you will want to add enough extra so that you can fold over your end. You do not want the end of the runner exposed at all as it can fall apart. I chose to fold mine over twice. This was done to really ensure the runner would not find a way to fray at all.

Once you get it folded over, simply staple it into place securing it along the entire length of the bottom.

Thats it! Really not a whole lot to installing a carpet stair runner. We were all thrilled with how soft the runner! Our old wool one was very scratchy on the feet. Having the softness of this on our feet felt so good! I know the light color is one where people were skeptical! However with being a house where we take our shoes off, I think it will be okay! (Says while crossing fingers! Hahaha)

Here is a quick video detailing the process!

The Marlo Platinum Runner was the perfect choice!
Annie Selke Stair runner totally brightened this space and elevated the overall look

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