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Adding a New Stair Runner

Adding a stair runner to our wooden stairs adds texture, style, comfort and safety to our home. We love how it makes the stairs quieter as well!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me go round and round about this seemingly simple update to our home. Ha! But I’m happy to say that it’s done and I love the results! (So does my whole family.)

Let’s take a look at how the stairs looked originally.

These stairs lead into our kitchen, which I was unsure about how I would like that when we bought the house. But I love them! It’s so easy to talk to anyone upstairs because the kitchen is the hub of our home.

Since they come right into the kitchen, I’m including this runner in my kitchen makeover plans. It’s not mentioned in the original post, but I’ve shared about them in subsequent home goals posts. 🙂

Why Did We Need a Stair Runner?

I got several comments that we didn’t need to cover up our beautiful hardwood stairs with a runner. But after several people (including our children) slipped on our stairs, we decided that for safety reasons it was the right decision.

One of my daughter’s first reactions to the new runner was, “yay!! Now we can wear our socks on the stairs!” The girls have been too afraid of falling down the stairs to wear socks on them–until now!

Stair Runner over hardwood floors

Three of our bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, including our guest bedroom, and I hated the idea of my parents–or any guest–ever slipping and falling down the stairs. And if someone still falls down, at least the stairs will be more padded now.

I also loved the idea of adding some texture and pattern to our kitchen space. The stairs come straight down into our kitchen and I’ve been finding as many ways as possible to personalize this space.

The good news is that if we ever decide we don’t want them, we can pull them out and touch up any holes. There was carpet on these stairs before we moved in (the previous owners removed it and refinished the stair treads). And while I can see the marks from where the carpet was before, it was fine!

Which Carpet Did We Pick?

After trying to find a more affordable options, like sisal or a pre-made runner, I ended up with the first carpet I loved: Anderson Tuftex Only Natural carpet in the Plaza Taupe color. It goes perfectly with our Edgecomb Gray walls and I like that it’s got a herringbone pattern, but doesn’t feel super busy or loud.

Anderson Tuftex Only Natural Stair Runner
I know everything is super neutral in this photo. I hope to add some fun art to the hallway someday!

After I ordered samples from a sisal rug company, I was worried they would feel to rough. And my kids love to sit on the stairs and talk to me while I’m cooking. I wanted it to be comfortable for walking, but also sitting. In my research I also read that when sisal wears down it gets slick. So over time the sisal stair runner would get slick and possible still cause someone to fall.

I even ordered a sisal runner and was planning to DIY everything myself, but in the end I returned it and decided to go with carpet and not try to DIY it.

Stairs with Neutral Runner

Some decisions we had to make before we ordered the carpet

How wide to make the runner? We measured our steps at the top and they are 37 inches wide. So, I chose a 30 inch wide runner, which left 3.5 inches on each side.

I also decided to center it on the top of the stairs. Originally I wondered if we should center it on the top or the bottom, but realized the open side of the stairs looks like the width of the wall when the runner is centered on the top of the stairs. It would essentially look really funny if it were centered on the bottom opening, as opposed to the top opening. Does that make sense?

Anderson Tuftex Only Natural Stair Runner

How do we plan on cleaning it? I’ve had several people mention that carpet is harder to keep lean that wood stairs. Obviously, right?! First, we have a “no shoes upstairs” rule, which we had even before the carpet. So that cuts down on tracked in dirt to start with.

But we will just use our Dyson cordless stick vacuum to keep it clean. It’s the same way we always keep the stairs clean. We’ve had that stick vacuum for 3 years now and I still use it daily. Love it!

Stair Runner leading to kitchen
You can see how it transitions from the carpet upstairs to the stair runner.

Stair Runner Installation

I’m a DIYer at heart and knew I could do this myself if I were going to order a pre-made runner and just have to cut it once in the middle. No problem! So many other people have done this themselves.

When I ordered the carpet, I learned that the binders had to “seam together” (is that a thing??) the carpet every 3 steps. So, I decided to hire the carpet company’s installer to do it for me. I didn’t want to mess it up! In the end, I’m glad I did this because the guy who ordered the carpet didn’t order enough and had to order more out of his pocket.

Tools used to install stair runner
The installer used these tools to get the fit nice and tight!

At the end of the day, when the installer came back to finish the last 3 stairs, he was in such a hurry that he didn’t do as well of a job on them as he’d done on the first 12 stairs. But I was able to just take my staple gun and staples and fix what he had missed. It pretty much told me that I could have done it myself if I had taken my time and worked slowly.

If I ever had to do a stair runner again, I’d probably just DIY it.

In the end, I’m thrilled with how it turned out. I’m thankful we’re one step further to being done with the kitchen projects. And I’m loving this view in my home! Now to figure out what to put on the walls in this hallway – if anything! We’ll see!

Stair runner before and after

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11 Comments

  1. Thanks. I have been on the fence about putting a runner down my oak stairs with white risers as I love the look. Your post has convinced me to do it. Can’t wait to see it finished now.

  2. Hi Laura-

    I love the color stain on your oak floors, what kind & color stain did you use? Also, what size are the planks?

    Thank you,

    Sue

    1. Hi Sue, I don’t know about the stain of the floor because they were refinished by the previous owner. It’s a nice mid-tone brown stain and I love it! I wish I had a name for you. And the treads/planks on the stairs are 11″ x 44″. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      Have a great day! Laura

  3. I love this! I’d like to do the same on my stairs.
    Can you share the cost of this project? So I have an idea what I’m getting into.
    thanks!

    1. Hi Marissa, it’ll all depend on how much the carpet costs that you want. This carpet was $43/yard, so it was a little more than $1,000 for just the carpet. And then installation was about $400. It’ll depend on your area, I guess, but installing it yourself would be much cheaper if you feel comfortable in your DIY skills. You could buy a pre-made runner for cheaper than the carpet, too! I hope this helps!

      have a great day! Laura

  4. Looks so great! I would love suggestions on runners for stairs that curve- I couldn’t use the beautiful one you choose, because the curving pie-stairs would of course throw off the lines of the runner- any suggestions?

    1. Hi Lizanne, Yes! Speak with a decorating center. I looked up where the carpet I liked was sold and went to that local decorating center. They could have come out and measured my stairs (and the curve) and had their binding company bind it exactly for the stairs. I would definitely hire a professional to order and install carpet for a curved stair situation! Have a great day! Laura

  5. This is my kinda look, Laura!!
    I just love it! ❤️
    Thank you for sharing… gives me incentive to rip out the old carpet and re-do my stairs!!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you like it too!! Good luck with those stairs! I know it’ll all be worth it! xo, Laura

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