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How to Install a Carpet Runner on Stairs

A runner can add a splash of color to any room and make stairs more comfortable to walk on.

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Step 1: Get the Edges Bound

Measure and cut a piece of carpet to the appropriate length. Because it requires specialized sewing equipment and knowledge, have the edges bound by a professional.

measure and cut carpet to appropriate length

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 2: Mark the Runner Location

Mark the location on each step where the runner will rest. Make an inside mark to show where the edges of the padding will extend and an outside mark to show how far the carpet will extend.

steps marked to show how far carpet will extend

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 3: Install the Padding

Cut a piece of padding to fit on each step. Lay each piece in place, and secure it with a hammer stapler.

padding is secured to each step

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 4: Position the Carpet Runner

Roll up the carpet, and lay it a few steps above the bottom. Then pull the end toward the bottom. You'll need some slack to work with so that you don't tug too hard on the bottom and cause the entire roll to fall down on you. Keep the roll centered as you work your way up the stairs.

lay rolled up runner few steps above and pull down

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 5: Staple the Bottom

Run a row of staples along the bottom of the bottom riser where the carpet meets the floor. Gently wiggle the head of the staple in between the fibers of the carpet to hide the staples. Because the staples are in the corner between the riser and the tread they should stay well hidden.

staple carpet along bottom riser  at floor

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 6: Staple the Carpet to the Riser

Pull the carpet tight, and run a row of staples along the top of the riser where it meets the tread of the stair.

pull carpet and staple riser by riser

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 7: Pull the Carpet Tight

Use the knee kicker to pull the carpet tight as you place another row of staples in the corner between the riser and the tread.

power stretcher will pull carpet tight

Courtesy of Cary Wiedman

Step 8: Push the Carpet into the Corner

Use the stair tool to wedge the carpet into the corner between the tread and the riser.

a stair tool helps wedge carpet into corner

Step 9: Repeat the Process

Repeat the process starting at step 5 as you work your way up the stairs. End the process at the corner between the top tread and the last riser to the floor above. After stapling the carpet to the last tread, use a carpet knife to trim any excess carpet.

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