Stair runners are a potent tool for adding a luxe layer of color, pattern and texture to a hard-working architectural feature.
Runners can span the full width of the stair, or a margin of floor space can be left on either side, simple serging along the edges gives a crisp, clean look, or choose a finish such as nail heads or linen or leather binding for a bespoke touch. Likewise, most runners are waterfalled from one stair down to the next, but tacking the stair runner under the nose makes the effect feel more custom.
MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE
These days, standard stairs have a 7-inch riser and an 11-inch tread. But stair width in older houses can range widely, and even vary stair by stair.
THINK ABOUT THE FLOOR
There are two basic options for installing a stair runner: tacking or gluing. Tacking is most common for residential applications, especially with wood floors, because it is less invasive. However, there are glue adhesives available for dealing with stair materials such as metal or stone.
ENGINEERED TO PERFECTION
Often for older houses—and for any stair configuration other than straight up and down—individual rug pieces will be woven to ensure that the fit is exact, and then installed for a runner-like appearance. Stair rods, which can be purely decorative, serve in these instances to camouflage any seams.
Produced by Kim Healy