Even though we had our staircase rebuilt with beautiful antique heart pine stair treads, I knew early on that I wanted a colorful runner on the stairs.
Having lived through a full house renovation, all the mess cleaned up and the boxes unpacked I was ready to begin decorating our “new” house. I referred to my Houzz idea books and came to the conclusion that for that area of the house I wanted something colorful and fun! It is not a formal staircase, and it is located at the back of the house by the door that leads to the garage. Upstairs is solely dedicated to our thirteen year old. We figured since she had been a real trooper these last 5 years, we owed it to her. That and the fact that our house has gotten larger as the kids have gotten older, we had space to spare… I decided on Dash and Albert in a pattern called Parasol. The colorful stripes were the perfect compliment to our antique aqua door that I redid and only recently had installed. I had to determine how many feet of carpet I would need before I placed my order. To figure this, I first counted the number of steps. We have 14 steps and the top landing step. Next I had to know the depth of my stair treads and the height of the risers. So….14 – 10 1/2″ treads and 14 – 6″ risers equal 231″ which translates to 19.25 feet of carpet runner. I ordered 2 –2.5 X 12′ runners. At first I was a little irritated with myself for not doing more research on the installation process. I know it looked simple enough but I was concerned that the staples would be visible….not so much the staples themselves but the area where they were on the fabric. I was afraid that the fabric would be pulled taut where the staples were and it would stick out like a sore thumb. I got advice that ranged from using a sharpie to color the staples the color of the fabric so it would not be as noticeable, to using only carpet tape and no staples.
I finally decided to just do it. I had in the garage a large roll of carpet pad, I don’t recall how many feet there was, but I had purchased it at Home Depot or Lowes. It was a returned special order or something like that so I got it for a fraction of the cost. I purchased it knowing that I would eventually be getting a variety of area rugs to go on top of the newly installed antique heart pine floors throughout the house. So…..one day I got busy. I carefully measured and cut out a rectangular piece, 2.5′ long and 10″ tall. I needed 14 pieces that size. I found the center of each stair tread and placed my pad on each tread and secured it with double sided carpet tape. I am a perfectionist so I measured each and every piece, as we all know nothing is exact and I’m sure my stairs were no exception.
The next morning my husband helped me install the runners. He’s not real fond of me using power tools, and even though he would never admit it, I think he agrees, we make a pretty good team! We started at the top step. We decided we wanted the runner on the very top riser, so we placed our very first staples under the top bullnose so they would not be visible. We also used strips of double sided carpet tape on the edges only. When it was time to staple the runner onto the tread, we only used staples on the darkest stripe of our pattern ( I chose a light multi colored pattern, but somehow the heavens shone down on me that day because there were two dark blue stripes and that was all we needed for the staples.) So we continued down each step, repeating the process. Quite a few staples under the bullnose of each step where it would not be visible and then on the top of the tread just 2, one in each blue stripe. So of course we used one full 12′ runner and needed to start on the second. We thought it through and decided to marry up the two pieces of runner on a bullnose area. Worked like a charm. No one could ever find the step where one runner ended and the other began. We were very precise, keeping the fabric straight, not all zig zaggy. We couldn’t afford for them to be crooked, not with all those stripes!!! We rechecked every measurement on every stair. It sounds rather complicated, but it’s not. We were finished by the afternoon and absolutely love the results! It has been several months now and they have held up marvelously!