How to Install Stair Runners Over Carpet

Written by daniella nicole
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A stair runner is something installed to protect either steps or the carpet on your steps. One popular method used to protect carpeted steps is to install a vinyl stair runner over the carpet. Because vinyl stair runners have tiny teeth on the underside, a lesser amount of work and securing implements are needed. If the carpet on the steps is thick, installing a vinyl runner rather than a carpet runner may be your best option. Though staircases come in multiple styles, a straight staircase is the easiest staircase on which to install runners.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • The proper width and length of vinyl stair runner material
  • Knowledge of the anatomy of stairs
  • Vacuum
  • The appropriate number of stair rods and stair holds or small nails or tacks with heads.

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  1. 1

    Read the instructions carefully before you begin to ensure you understand what needs to be done and everything you need to complete the job. Set aside adequate time to complete the job in one shot as a partially installed vinyl runner on carpeted stairs can be a safety hazard.

  2. 2

    Carefully and thoroughly vacuum the carpet covering the stairs. Before you cover up the carpet, you want it to be very clean.

  3. 3

    Starting at the very bottom step, carefully position the vinyl runner. The end of the runner should touch the floor. Use the stair holds or tacks to secure the end of the runner to the first riser. The first riser is located between the floor and the first tread.

  4. 4

    Carefully unroll the vinyl runner so it goes up and over the next step. Make sure it is securely in place, and then use one stair rod or one set of tacks to secure the runner to the second riser.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process all the way up the staircase until you reach the top.

  6. 6

    To secure the runner at the top of the staircase, use tacks at each corner and by the riser edge of the tread.

Tips and warnings

  • Stair rods and holds are decorative and can be expensive. Using tacks in addition to rods and holds is a perfectly acceptable means of securing a vinyl runner to carpeted steps.
  • Carefully check how secure the runner is on each and every step as you go. When you are done, check them again. Vinyl can be slippery, and it is imperative that the runner is completely secure. Add additional stair rods and tacks if needed. It is better to install a few more stair rods or tacks than absolutely necessary than to install too few.
  • Make sure no one ever uses the vinyl-covered staircase with wet shoes or feet. Moisture on a vinyl runner is a safety hazard.

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