Bare wood stairs are absolutely beautiful, but they can be very noisy, and depending on their finish, they can be very slippery as well.
Stair runners are a great solution for making your staircase quiet as well as adding extra safety. Depending on your preference, stair runners can be understated or stand out as a design element all on their own.
How wide should the stair runner be? For the most aesthetically pleasing look, leave about 4 inches of bare wood on either side of the runner. This will give you ample space for walking, but will still allow your beautiful wood treads to show. Of course, you can always go wider or narrower with your runner. It’s all about what looks best to you. The wider the staircase, the more you can play around with the width of the runner. It’s all about taking into consideration proportion and functional width.
Where should the stair runner end? You have a few choices. You can choose to have the runner end just under the lip of the bottom tread. Another option is to have the stair runner end at the bottom of the last riser.
Should my stair runner match my area rugs/other carpeting in my home? This is really up to you. Treat stair runners the same as you would an area rug when deciding on patterns and colors. If you have an open area where you can see both runner and area rug, they don't have to match, but they do need to coordinate.
What do I do with landings? Stair runners leave a few inches of visible bare wood on the sides, but when you get to the landing you can choose to carpet it wall to wall. Another option is to leave the landing bare. You can add a coordinating area rug or just enjoy the beautiful peek of hardwood.
What if I have an open staircase? Having treads but no risers, you can simply wrap each stair with carpeting.
How do I attach the runner? There are a couple ways to do this. The first is to staple the runner and the second is to use rods. The stapling option is more secure, but the rods can be a beautiful decorative addition.
Article by Amber Burkhart
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