How to Receive Your Stair Runners Right

Clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack — clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp! That should seem familiar if you’ve got wood stairs and a few kids. It’s the noise of a younger kid racing down the stairs, hotly pursued by an older sibling. That is only into the middle landing. You then hear bulge, bulge, aaaugh, bulge, bulge, kerthud — as they slide and take a fall down that set of stairs.

Bare wood stairs are all beautiful, but they’re extremely noisy. And if they’re the highly polished type of wood, it is extremely easy to slip on them. I won’t describe to you the noise that I made when I fell on my bare wood stairs, since amid the slipping, bumping and crashing there was some colorful language.

Stair runners are a great solution to give peace and quiet and extra safety to your stairs. They are sometimes a real design part in their own right. Many of my clients have questions about stair runners, for example: how wide if they are, what things to do at the landing, and where if the runner end? Take a look at these great examples of stair runners for all types of situations.

Deep River Partners

I love this white stair runner contrasts with the colour of the wood and yet allows the spectacular pattern of this railing to be the true standout. It also can help answer two of the most common questions:

1. Where if the stair runner end? You’ve got a few choices. In this picture, the stair runner finishes just under the top lip of the bottom tread. Look closely and you will see that they ended it there since that stair comes with an overhang with lighting beneath it. At the very top, they ended the runner at the rear of the top tread. You will see more options in after pictures.

2. How wide should the stair runner be? As a general rule of thumb, 4″ of bare wood on either side of the stair runner is usually aesthetically pleasing and still allows the runner to be wide enough to give you a comfortable route for walking. But you can vary this depending on the look you want to your stairs.

Christopher Scott Homes

The stair runner here ends at the bottom of the last riser. This is a larger staircase than in the first photo, so they have left of the wood showing. It appears like there is as much as 10 inches or so on either side. That works because there is still a nice wide path of carpet. When determining how wide to make the stair runner, then it’s really about taking into account proportion and operational width.

Schnarr Craftsmen Inc

3. What should I have an open stairs? Whenever you have treads but no risers, then you can wrap each stair with carpeting. Be aware that the carpeting has been continued out on to the bottom landing instead of ending with the stairs. It’s another nice alternative for where to end the runner.

Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

The angle of the photo allows you to see that the wrapped stair treads look good even from beneath.


4. If my stair runner function exactly the exact same as my rugs rugs? Within this grand entrance with sweeping double staircases, the stair runners fit the area rug. It creates a very custom look and increases the general impact — not that this entrance really wanted help with impact. Wow!

THINK Architecture – John Shirley

The stair runner here does not fit the hall runner in the distance, however they do coordinate. Heal stair runners the same as you would an area rug when picking on patterns and colors. When you’ve got an open area where you can see both runner and area rug, they do not need to fit but do should coordinate.


In this home, the stair runner is much like the hall runner under, but they don’t match. It’s a very pretty look that feels collected rather than all-new-matchy-matchy. The upper hall rug is a good colour.

Cynthia Taylor-Luce

In case you decide to have a real eye-popper blueprint for your stair runner, then let that be special by utilizing a good area rug. Just a tiny animal printing goes a very long way.

LDa Architecture & Interiors

5. How should I handle the landing? On a rug with stripes, using a mitered corner is quite attractive. I’d use the exact same type of corner to get a runner which has a border. In this case, they maintained the exact same distance in the wall to the landing on the stairs.

Brownhouse Design, Los Altos, CA

This stair runner leaves a few inches of bare wood on the edges, but when you get to the landing, it is carpeted wall-to-wall.

Cravotta Interiors

This staircase has a really large landing area, so instead of continuing the runner, so the designer has employed an area rug. Again, it is possible to either suit the area rug into the runner, or only have it coordinate.

Hint: Do not neglect to utilize non-toxic pads below your rugs rugs. It’s particularly important when an area rug is not held down by heavy furniture.

David Churchill – Architectural Photographer

You do not need to place any carpet on the landing if you don’t want to. It’ll be somewhat noisy, but not quite the slip-and-fall concern of themselves. This unusually shaped landing is quite small and produces a style statement, so it has been left without any carpeting.

Visbeen Architects

This stairs also does not have any runner around the landing.

Tracery Interiors

7. How do I handle stairs that alter width? You can continue your stair runner at a uniform breadth, allowing more and more wood to show, as in this picture.

Brian Watford Interiors

Despite less of a change in stair width, maintaining the runner breadth consistent functions very well.

Craig Denis

Again, we see that the runner left the exact same width as the stairway widens. The area rug is the identical width as the base of the stairs visually extending the entire staircase.


It’s somewhat tricky to tell in this picture, but it appears like the stairs widen at the bottom and the rug runner widens right together with the stairs.

These stairs are totally carpeted instead of utilizing a runner, so this is also a nice option when your stairs alter width.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

6. How do I attach the runner? You’ve got two choices: basic the runner on or use sticks. The stapling alternative is more secure; it is really possible to get a runner to slide from beneath the sticks. You may like to decide on a stapled option with sticks as an added decorative feature. The sticks look great in this traditional- style entry.


You can still use rods when you have curves in your stairs. Really beautiful!

Glenn Gissler Design

If your look is more modern, then stapling is great. These are stapled where the tread meets the riser to get a crisp, clean look.

In case your stair treads have a bullnose edge, then stapling up beneath that edge gives you nice definition and also a very secure edge to the carpet. You can staple below the bullnose whether you have fully carpeted stairs, as in this photo, or a runner. It’ll work either way.


Children aren’t the only reason you should think about using a stair runner on wood stairs. I will never forget how we removed worn carpeting from our wood stairs. To our dismay, we discovered that our older dog could no longer get up the stairs into our bedroom during the night since he couldn’t get a grasp on the slippery wooden stairs. He would shout at the bottom of the stairs wanting to be with us. Oddly enough, we did not set up a stair runner; we began sleeping downstairs. That is only the weird type of animal lovers we are. Anyhow, having carpeting on your stairs makes them safer for the pets also.

I trust you have enjoyed the strategies and can use them to make a lovely and safe staircase for your home. I love to see how people have managed these issues , so please feel free to upload pictures of your stair runners under!

More stair guides:
10 High Designs to your Handrail
Cantilevered Stairs: Running on Air
Artful Stairs: Continuity in Steel

See related

Comments are closed.