Home & Living


About Staircases

Strategic use of carpets can do a lot for the beauty of your interior. One great place to use carpet decoration is a staircase. Stair carpets, or runners as they are called, are basically long and narrow carpets that go over hardwood or tiled floors.

Stair runners are not there to cover the entirety of the staircases. Rather, they add a bit of a contrast to the muted tone of the regular flooring. Well, at least that is how the aesthetic aspect of the stair runner works. But that’s not the be-all and end-all of these carpets. There is more to learn about them, and when implemented well, they can completely transform your house into a beautiful place to live. But before you start shopping for them, read this article to get a better understanding of the different types of stair runners and the right way to install them. This will help you make better decisions when you purchase a stair carpet.

A beginner’s guide to stair runners

Stair runners or staircase carpets are an essential item to furnish your house with. However, they are much more than just a decorative item that adds contrast to your stairway. A good runner can also keep your stairs safe from scuffs and scratches and also add more grip to them. But finding a great runner can be sometimes harder than you might think, especially if you don’t know much about runners. This article will tell you everything from the benefits of these carpets to the different types of them and finally the right way to install them in your house. Read on to find out!

Benefits of stair runners

One apparent reason to install a stair runner is the looks. Laying a contrasting mat on the staircase will definitely improve the look of the room. But that’s not all. They also have some functional benefits like reducing noise and improving the grip. If your house has a wooden staircase, you know how noisy it is when someone climbs up or down. Laying a soft carpet on the stairs will dampen the sound and makes the footsteps much quieter. Besides these, staircase mats can protect the surface of the stairway from scuff marks and wear, if you have a habit of wearing shoes inside the house.

Types of stairs

Most people don’t think about the type of stairs they have while shopping for stair runners. Well, that’s not surprising as most people are not architects and don’t care enough about the differences in stair designs. But it is important to get a runner that matches the stair. Almost always, staircases in houses have a square or rectangular landing after every twelve to fifteen steps, unless it is really short. This is there for safety reasons. But sometimes stairs might have pie turns instead of a landing. The shape of the staircase mat is different depending on the type of the staircase.

Staircase mat materials

The biggest decision to make when it comes to choosing a staircase mat is finding the right material. The most common materials for these mats are polypropylene, polyamide, wool, coir, and sisal. Each one of them has its own pros and cons. Polypropylene mats are very cheap. But the material contains a chemical called VOCs that is hazardous to health. It can cause allergic reactions and asthma in some people. Polyamide is a derivative of petrochemicals. They too are pretty cheap but, similar to polypropylene, come with some health risks. Wool mats are a bit more expensive than that. But being a natural material that we have been using for thousands of years, it is completely safe.

Other staircase accessories

Apart from stair rugs, there are certain accessories that you can use to improve the functionality and safety of your staircase. One such thing is called stair treads. In fact, this is an alternative to using stair runners. Instead of a single runner that runs from top to bottom of a staircase, you can use individual treads for each step. This leaves the riser of the stairs bare. Decorative rods are rods that hold the stair runner in place. They can also make the stairway more appealing to look at as well. You can also choose to install a carpet underpad to make the steps feel softer and comfier.

Tips on how to buy Stair Runners

Many things go into choosing a stair runner. Although it might look simple enough at first, when you actually consider the things that make a good stair runner, you will understand how hard it is to find the right runner that suits the overall aesthetics of the home. But it can be easier if you know what to look for in them. Here is a list of tips that you can follow while shopping for a staircase mat.

  • Choose the material – First decision to make while shopping for stair rugs is choosing the material. Go for a material that is soft and grippy. It should not get slippery when it is wet. The material should be soft, as well.
  • Pick the right size – One obvious rule to follow with regards to runners is that they should not be wider than the staircase. But the runner need not be exactly as wide as the staircase. You can decide how much tread and riser you want to expose. This comes down to your aesthetic preferences.
  • The pattern of the rug – It is the pattern of the rug that dictates the final look of the staircase after installing the rug. Fortunately, there are numerous different patterns that you can choose from. The pattern of the rug depends to a certain extent on the material as well. It is always better to go for a subtle pattern that can hide the wear and tear of the rug.
  • Durability and price – For a lot of people, the price of the rug can be the main determining factor that affects their purchase. As you can imagine, rugs made of high-quality natural material are quite durable and therefore expensive. If you want to go pay an arm and a leg for the rug but want it to look expensive, there are synthetic materials that imitate the look of fur and wool.

Staircase mats are one of the elements in the house that are going to take a lot of beating. The impact that the staircase suffers when every person is climbing up and down the staircase will reflect on the mat over time. Therefore, make sure that the mat you are choosing is durable and will hold up to all those things. Although it might be enticing to buy a cheaper product of lower quality, it won’t last very long before needing a replacement. That way, it will end up costing more than otherwise.

Question & Answer

What is the best material for stair runners?

It is hard to select one material as the best out of all other options out there. Moreover, the material that one person might find as good may not be attractive to another person. Therefore, it is safer to talk about the most popular materials for stair runners. The material that most people prefer for its look and durability is natural wool. But as you can imagine, wool carpets cost more. Natural fibres like sisal and jute are also good. But their downside is that it can be hard to clean them if you happen to spill any tea or coffee on them.

What colour is the best for staircase carpets?

There are a few things to consider while choosing the colour for staircase carpets. First and foremost, the colour of the carpet should not hide the steps. A person should be able to make out each step of the stair without having to look closely. The second factor is the ease of maintaining the look of the carpet. A carpet that is too dark will show all the lint. You should not go for a colour that is too light either as they will show even the smallest mark of dirt. So, a medium tone carpet can help you strike a nice balance.

How do you install a stair runner?

Before you install the stair runner, decide which look you are going for. If you are following the ‘waterfall’ style, you can lay the runner through the centre of the stair and let the runner flow over the edge. To hold the runner in place, tack down the runner at the base of each step. The second style is called ‘Hollywood’. In this style, the runner lies close to the tread and the riser. And if the runner is not soft enough, you can consider adding a pad underneath it. To install the runner, you need to use glues that can stick to the carpet and the floor. Additionally, installing staircase rods will give the runner extra strength.

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