A stair runner on your stairs can either accentuate the staircase or cover up old and/or ugly treads. It will give the room or the hall where the staircase is in much more flair.
But these carpet runners are not there just for aesthetic reasons. Wooden stairs can be really noisy, especially when there are kids around, running up and down the stairs.
Without any carpeting, the treads can also become quite slippery and therefore dangerous. A stair carpet runner is a simple and affordable solution.
Last update on 2021-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Stair Runners 2021 Reviews
1. Marash Luxury Collection 25′ Stair Runner Rugs Stair Carpet Runner
2. Carpet Stair Treads Set of 13 Non-Slip/Skid Rubber Runner Mats or Rug Tread
3. iCustomRug, Decorative Area Rug and Carpet Runner for Stairs Hallway, 8 Patterns
4. LAMINET Non-Slip Carpet & Floor Protector – Beige – 20’L x 30″ W
5. Pretigo 6″x30″ Stair Treads Non-Slip Tape (14-Pack) Black Anti-Slip Strips
6. HQCHOOSE Stair Treads Carpet Non-Slip for Staircase 13 Count (8 x 30 Inches) Blue Grey Geometric Stair Mats with Safety Anti Skid
7. Stair Treads Non-Slip Carpet Indoor Set of 14 Brown Carpet Stair Tread Treads Stair Rugs Mats Rubber Backing
8. 14 Pack-(8″x 30″), Non-Slip Stair Treads Carpet Indoor
9. Seloom Stair Treads Carpet Non-Slip with Non Skid Rubber Backing Specialized for Indoor Wooden Steps
10. Stair Treads Non-Slip Carpet Indoor Set of 14 Brown Carpet Stair Tread Treads Stair Rugs Mats Rubber Backing
11. Gloria Rug Stair Treads Rubber Backing – Indoor Skid Resistant Stair mat Set of 7
12. Non-Slip Carpet Stair Treads Non-Skid Safety Rug Slip Resistant Indoor Runner for Kids Elders and Pets with Reusable Adhesive, Light Grey
13. TreadSafe Carpet Stair Treads Non-Slip I 8″x30″ Set of 15 I Charcoal Black I Non-Slip Backing I Stair Runner for Safety
14. Oak Valley Designs Bayside Charm – Carpet Stair Treads – Non-Slip Carpet Treads for Wood Stairs
15. Beverly Rugs Stair Step Treads Non-Slip for Wooden Steps, Indoor Carpet Runner Mats
16. Benissimo Stair Treads Carpet, Landing Latex Non-Slip Stair Rugs, Modern Printed Design
17. Set of 7 Stair Treads Ultra-Thin with Non-Slip Rubber Backing 9”x26”, Red 7 Pieces
Which carpet will fit your staircase?
There a no specific rules about stair carpet runners. In the end, it is just what you like and love. There are some things that you will have to decide before purchasing the carpet and the tools.
- How wide? A question that is asked often, is how wide the carpet should be. First, have a look around to see what you like in other interiors. They say it is best to keep 4 inches of bare wood visible on both sides. However, this also depends on the width of your staircase. Make sure the carpet will provide a comfortable path along the stairs.
- Where to start and where to end? When you have a long hallway, it can look lovely to start the carpet on the floor and let it go up the stairs. You could also just do the stairs, starting on the bottom tread or riser and ending at the back of the top tread. You can extend the carpet on the landing. When it has to make a corner, be aware of how that will work with the color and the pattern of the carpet that you’ve chosen.
- Which color or pattern? Some stairs don’t need much attention, then just go for a simple solid color. But when you would like to turn your staircase into an eye-catcher, you might want to go for an animal print, stripes of a Persian pattern. Make sure it matches the style of your interior. It is not necessary that the staircase carpet matches the area rugs exactly, but go for the same style and/or color.
- Winding, tapered or open stairs. You don’t have to have a straight staircase with treads that are all the same size to get a carpet runner. For a winding staircase, it is just a little more work installing. When the width of the treads are not the same, there are two things you can do: let the carpet change with it (looks nice when a staircase is evenly tapered), or just decide the width based on the smallest tread. For open staircases, each tread should be covered all around.
Stair rug runners enhance your stairway and foyer. They will add a lot to your home, and project an air of sophistication. Stairs are often positioned in a prominent place in the center of the home, so the color and tone that the stair carpet runners project will be very important.
Warm homey browns project a welcoming atmosphere, while reds and burgundy could be more formal. Whenever choosing your stair runner color scheme, make sure that it matches the walls and complements the furniture in the room.
Considerations for stair runners
One reason that people are skeptical about getting a carpet for the stairs is that it is hard to keep it clean. In a home where there is constant traffic on the stairs, staircase runners can easily get dirty and worn, so be very careful when choosing your stair carpet runner. If you have children or teenagers in your home, darker colors are a smart choice.
If you decide to choose a lighter color, keep in mind that you will not enjoy being constantly vigilant when your children are around the stairs, and they will not appreciate the nagging. So choosing darker colors is the easy and practical way out. You can choose beautifully matched darker colors, while not compromising on the decor.
It is also important to get a high-quality rug because you don’t want it to appear worn out or used after only a short time. Good quality stairs runners can last you well for many years, so it may be worth it to spend more in the beginning and buy better quality, then spend less at first for the inferior quality and wind up having to replace it sooner.
Non-Slip Stair Treads
Out of the several nonslip stair treads in use today, the most commonly used ones are made of either rubber or vinyl treads. They are installed in stairways in high rise office and residential buildings as well as in stairways of big malls and hotels.
Rubber treads have the advantage of being more durable than the rest of the lot and they are also available in a number of decorative styles. However, if you have an economical perspective then Vinyl is the best option as they are very cheap and offer considerable non-slip stair treads though it lacks a bit in the style and durability segment
Stair Carpet Rods
Stair carpet rods, also commonly called carpet rods and stair rods, are (usually) metal rods used with stair carpet runners and placed at the crease of each step where the stair treads and risers meet, that is where the horizontal and vertical part of the stairs intersect.
Traditionally stair carpet rods held the carpet in place. Today, they are more likely to be decorative and the runner attached using a more modern and superior method like adhesive pads, staples, tacks, nails, tack strips, tackless strips, and others.
Although really just decorative hardware these days, they do serve several purposes including hiding carpet pattern mismatches if the runner had to be cut for installation and hiding depressions caused by the attaching tacks or staples.
Besides, they look great in the right settings, although admittedly they can look silly and pompous in the wrong settings. They would look idiotic for example on my basement steps, but quite grand on my master staircase. We’ll let you be the judge of where you may want to use them, but we are fans of them.
So, really, stair carpet rods are hardware. They include a rod obviously, which can be either hollow or solid, end brackets to hold the bar in place, screws to hold the end bars down, and often a decorative end for the tubes, which may be part of the brackets themselves. Both hollow rods (often called tubular) and solid rods are equally durable and shouldn’t dent, at least not in remotely normal use.
Choosing Stair Tread Rugs and Carpets
There are plenty of choices available when choosing stair tread rugs and carpets, ranging from simple and inexpensive to custom made and far from inexpensive. There are plenty of choices available when choosing stair tread rugs and carpets, ranging from simple and inexpensive to custom made and far from inexpensive.
When looking at stair tread rugs, which we describe as individual rugs that go on each step (definitions and descriptions do vary although we try our best to be consistent), there are many options available.
They range from outdoor stair treads to ones designed for indoor use in just about every color and pattern available, and of course, you can also make or have them made out of pieces of full-size carpet if there is a color/pattern you just need to have. Sometimes these can be made from inexpensive remnants, although most people just buy them ready made. You can find a wide selection locally in most places or a wide selection at AmazonWith stair tread carpet, which we define as a contiguous piece of carpet that covers multiple stairs, usually the entire staircase, there are also plenty of options. If the entire width of the stairs is covered, you can use most any wall to wall carpeting, often the same kind of carpet being used above or below.
If the carpet doesn’t cover the entire width of the stairs, for example leaving a few inches of beautiful hardwood visible on each side, most people opt for a “stair runner.” A stair runner is a piece of carpet that is almost full stair width and already bound on each side. It may be of a fixed size, or come on a long spool and merely cut to length, the top and bottom bound and then installed.
I’ve opted for professional installation in the past, although this is a popular do it yourself project as well. RugSale.com has an enormous selection of stair runners and more.
There are well over 1000 different choices in stair runners available, but sometimes you may have your heart set on a certain kind of rug. You can always have it cut to the appropriate width and use it, but it’ll be expensive as you’ll need to have both sides bound (approximately $5 a foot per side) and end up potentially with a lot of wastage. This is not an uncommon approach, however.
Stair Tread Rugs
These are small rugs you put down on each stair. They help prevent the slippery stair problem and guard against slips and falls. They also are available in a wide variety of designs, colors, and patterns to match or complement your staircase, and to accentuate your staircase’s beauty. They also help protect stairs from both ordinary wear and bumps, bruises, chips, and dings.
Stair tread rugs range from inexpensive yet functional to expensive and near pieces or art.
The ones we have on our cellar stairs are inexpensive green oval pieces of carpet we bought inexpensively from Amazon and they are tacked in place. They look OK, they certainly are not ugly, but as essentially no one sees them their look was not a primary concern. Cost and durability were more important. We could have instead used treads made of a number of different materials such as rubber, vinyl, aluminum, or even used non-slip tape.
We also have stair tread rugs on our master staircase which is immediately visible to all guests who enter the house. Décor is much more of an issue here which should come as no surprise. My wife and mother in law spent what seemed to be months looking for something appropriate and finally chose some delightful braided stair tread rugs that match our front hall colors. They also leave a good portion of the hardwood stairs visible, while still making the stairs safer and protecting against wear and tear, especially an issue when there are children.
Stair Rugs for Dogs
Although to some the idea of stair tread rugs for dogs may seem strange, as dogs get older they are not as sure-footed and have trouble climbing stairs.
For example, My dog Tyler is getting on in his years. He is mostly Black Lab with a bit of Shepard, and we know he is at least 10 years old but believes he is closer to 13 or 14. The pound led us to believe he was younger than he is. He’s a great pooch but stairs are no longer easy for him as he’s eyesight is getting poor, he not as nimble as he once was, and I believe he is developing arthritis. He slips pretty easily.
Some stairs are easier to handle for dogs than others, and hardwood stairs are probably among the worst. They tend to be very slippery. Many types of stairs can be slippery and treacherous for older dogs.
It’s very easy to put down inexpensive stair tread rugs for dogs. You can buy standard stair treads cheaply in many places like hardware stores, home improvement stores, and department stores like Walmart and Target. Many are even made with rubber nonslip backing and merely need to be laid down much like welcome mats. There is essentially zero installation, although a quick vacuum of the stairs is usually a good idea.
There are also a couple of other benefits other than your dog being safer, going up and down more easily, and not slipping. When dogs slip they tend to use their claws and your stair treads can get scuffed and scratched. The rugs will help protect against that. Also older dogs, certainly mine, are pretty loud when going up and down the stairs, especially if you are downstairs at the time. The rugs will help muffle the sound of your pooch going up and down.
There are other possible solutions to your dog having trouble will the stairs, and of course nothing will make him or her younger, but stair tread rugs for dogs are a great help as well as inexpensive and trivial to install.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful they are, how well they protect the underlying stairs, or anything else if you slip and die! Of course, there are other things one can do to make staircases safe other than just installing a non-slip surface, and we list a few here.
Perhaps the biggest offender when it comes to safety is random objects stored on stairs. Whether they are children’s toys (which if you have kids will show up everywhere), clothes stored temporarily before being brought upstairs, or other “stuff” accumulating, safety is an issue. Basically, do not use your stairs as storage.
Some stairways resemble closets! If you must store some objects on the stairs, make it short term, such as neatly folded clothes that will be carried upon the next trip, or consider the use of a stair basket, a basket designed to sit on the edge of your stairs and neatly and safely store objects.
Also, make sure your stairs are in good repair. We have had some work done on ours in the past decade as they do receive heavy wear. This includes the treads, as well as banisters, handrails, etc. Check them regularly.
If they are not in a well-lit place, as for example some cellar stairs, add lighting as appropriate. Lighting can usually be added reasonably inexpensively and may even be a do it yourself project. In many cases, simply replacing a burn out bulb or replacing it with a more powerful bulb may be sufficient.
A handrail may be appropriate as well. My mother in law’s cellar stairs (where she did have a nasty fall once) had its safety enormously enhanced by the addition of an inexpensive (yet sturdy) handrail.
Also, take care when you transverse any staircase, Watch where you step, especially if you have kids who may leave random objects all over. If carrying large, bulky, and/or heavy objects, you may want to take an extra trip instead of overloading yourself. They both make movement awkward and restrict your vision, both potential safety issues.
Stair tread rugs and other nonslip surfaces are but one aspect of stair safety. Keeping your stairs in good repair, not allowing objects to accumulate that may be hazards, checking to make sure they are well lit, considering a handrail if one isn’t already there, as well as being careful are all good practices as well.
Installing Carpet runner rugs
Another idea to take into consideration is the installation of your stair runner rugs. Be sure that they are installed very securely so you won’t have anyone tripping on their way up or down the steps. You also don’t want the stairway runners to become bunched up or crooked, as that would negatively affect the whole appearance, besides being a real safety hazard.
Before installation, the staircase should be cleaned thoroughly. The steps must be free of grease, solvents, dust and must be dry.
Your stair runners will turn your nice home into a beautiful one. You’ll feel like a queen with the carpet rolled out for you, so go ahead and enjoy it. You deserve it.
Installing a Carpet Runner on Stairs the Right Way