The Benefits of Stair Runners – Add Flair To Your Stairs!
Stair runners can be bold and exciting or subtle accents that blend with the rest of your home. They are often made from broadloom carpet that is cut to size and bound at the edges but can also be readymade in rolls from some carpet and rug manufacturers. Popular styles include stripes, animal print, large geometrics, and traditional designs.
While style is one of the main reasons you may want to add a runner to your stairs, you may not have known they provide other benefits!
- Your stairs may be old and starting to show significant wear. That could mean paint is chipping off, traffic has worn the tread down, or denting and scuffing from shoes. Stair runners are a way to cover these signs of wear without needing to replace the steps.
- Your stairs may be slick, polished wood, which looks beautiful but can be dangerous. Bare hardwood stairs are especially slippery when wearing socks. However, laying a runner can add texture to your step to improve grip, making them safer to climb.
- Hard surfaces bounce noise around, which can cause chaos in a busy home. Adding a runner to your stairs can help dampen the sounds of bustling children running up and down the steps or the pitter-patter of pet feet. If you have a creaky step, a carpet runner may help muffle the sound.
- Runners add comfort underfoot and can cushion the step, helping with leg fatigue and possible falls. Homes with older occupants or young children greatly benefit from this extra cushion and softness.
When installing a stair runner, you have two installation options: waterfall and Hollywood. Waterfall installation is a more casual style that drapes over the step’s nose and then falls to the next step without being secured to the riser. Hollywood installation has a more finished look since the runner wraps around the tread’s nose and is snug against the riser. This installation style does require more material since it has the extra step of wrapping over the nose. You may also want to consider the way the pattern will look with the installation you are thinking about, as some designs look better with waterfall installations than Hollywood. A waterfall installation may be best for an intricate pattern, so it does not distort the design with the tight wrapping under the nose.
The material your carpet runner is made of is significant. Stairs receive a high amount of traffic and need to stand up to the constant wear. A popular material for runners is wool as it has excellent longevity and comes in many styles. If wool does not fit your budget, nylon will be your second-best bet as it is durable and still comes in hundreds of beautiful styles. Be sure to take into consideration the pile height of the carpet! A thick or high pile carpet will crush and show wear much more than a flat or low-profile carpet.
If your stairs have a landing or turn, you will need to decide how you want the pattern to run. Will it be continuous? Will you leave the landing bare? Will you run the pattern in a different direction once it reaches the landing? Thinking about this beforehand will save you time and stress in the long run. You may need to order more or less material based on how you answer these questions.