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Renovation tipsSafety and Comfort Bundled into One with a Stair Runner
Immerse yourself into a world of safety and comfort with indoor stair runners. These accessories convey a warm aesthetic, while also improving staircase safety. Since carpets and rugs are non-slip, they can prevent falls and protect your treads. Find out how to choose and install a stair runner that meets your needs and suits your interior décor.
Installing a stair runner is beneficial in more ways than one. But, be careful. Some advantages are double-edged swords. Prior to choosing one material over another, certain aspects, beyond textures and colours, must be taken into consideration.
Rugs enhance staircase safety, especially when they’re non-slip. However, whether it be a non-slip runner or simply a high-end rug, they must be in good condition.
Otherwise, it’s a definite hazard. In fact, in the United States, a study conducted in 66 hospitals that included 37,991 adults over the age of 65, concluded the following:
54% fell due to a rug
73% fell at home
35% fell in the bathroom
80% were women
There were three main fall hazards:
Where rug meets flooring
Therefore, even non-slip stair runners can be a safety hazard, especially when the rug’s edges start curling, or is especially used.
Noise is made all the more obvious by wooden treads, on which every step is heard. When you’re the proud owner of a furry, four-legged friend, especially puppers, the noise is harder to disguise since you can hear their furry paws and claws hitting every tread.
Stairs are so loud that they’ve even come under investigation by the Building Research Establishment, a UK-based science centre, with the purpose of determining how they can be soundproofed.
The ideal solution is to install a hallway or stair runner. Especially given the fact that installing a stair runner means you don’t have to replace your treads and risers, both of which aren’t thick enough to absorb sound.
There’s no doubt that stair runners protect treads from friction. As a result, the stairs remain in tip-top shape, without losing their shine. However, installing a stair runner isn’t without its drawbacks.
As a matter of fact, the runner is secured to each stair tread using one of the following techniques:
stair rods or;
industrial staple gun.
Therefore, after a few years, when you decide to remove your runner, your stairs will definitely need to be restored.
Fabric rugs are made with natural fibres. Therefore, they are:
devoid of chemical products;
VOC-free (volatile organic compounds) and;
Fabric rugs are typically made of wool or cotton. Hence the flammability question, as all textiles must adhere to standard CAN/CGSB 4.2 No. 27.5, as established by the Canadian General Standards Board.
The issue is that cotton is naturally a much more flammable material compared to nylon, polyester, or even polypropylene. Therefore, it must be treated accordingly.
This is where the downsides start trickling in, as wool, like cotton, is:
rough (coarse texture).
The downside remains that of the flame-resistant treatment since, as we previously mentioned in the upsides section, fabric rugs aren’t only biodegradable but also devoid of any chemical products.
Instead of fireproofing your fabric rugs with health-hazardous chemical products, use carboxylic acid. This product, used for 20 years, is:
Therefore, a fabric stair runner has the added benefit of being eco-friendly, even though it’s not always aesthetically pleasing.
Rubber is extremely resilient. Typically manufactured out of recycled tires, rubber stair covers are:
The ease with which a rubber stair cover can be cleaned is partly the reason why it’s so appealing.
However, a rubber stair runner is plagued by one major disadvantage: its chemical composition. Its manufacturing method—recycled tires—may potentially be carcinogenic.
Sisal is a robust 24-inch by 39-inch leaf originating from an Agave sisalana, a plant native to Mexico. Closely rivalled by nylon fibre, sisal is writing its comeback story in the shape of aesthetic and eco-friendly rug fibres.
Along the same ecological fibre, jute rugs stand out as every last rug is:
biodegradable and eco-friendly;
These natural fibre rugs are perfect for heavy foot traffic areas.
Natural fibre rug roll 35 in x 100 ft: $260
Synthetic rug 50 ft x 26 in: $230
Coconut fibre rug 36 in x 100 ft: $620
Neoprene rug 28 in x 100 ft: $370
Covering your treads and risers with an appealing, colourful, and pattern-imprinted rug can save you a renovation project or two! You can opt for a brown Herrington runner; the latter features one of the most used colours in interior décor.
Sisal has the added bonus of sporting a beautiful white hue, which blends in perfectly with a classic, minimalist, and Zen style.
A grey or black rug, preferably rubber, is the ideal feature to add to an industrial-inspired look.
Synthetic rugs made of nylon, polyester, or polypropylene fibres are available in a wide range of colours, shapes, and textures. Some companies even specialize in custom-made rug printing.
If you don’t know which pattern to choose, note that there are:
Persian and Oriental rugs are, first and foremost, symbolic. The crosses symbolize warding off evil spirits, the ear of wheat fertility or abundance, while the clouds are a sign of divine protection.
Therefore, choosing a rug isn’t simply a matter of revamping your interior décor, but also giving an additional meaning to the space in question.
Texture-wise, there are three different rug types:
A plush-textured rug is characterized by its long and soft pile. One small hitch: it’s hard to clean.
A ribbed rug is known to be rough to the touch. It’s perfectly suited to high foot traffic areas. Despite the resilience and low maintenance factors, the colour range is quite limited.
The textured rug is the winner in terms of the largest amount of colours, patterns, and materials. There are even waterproof versions of this rug.
It all depends on the size of your stair tread. A stair runner is designed to simply cover the middle section of your steps. Therefore, retailers sell runners that are sized according to a standard stair tread.
In Quebec, the standard staircase measurements are as follows:
Risers: 7 in - 7 ½ in
Treads (depth of step minus nosing): 9 ¾ in - 10 ½ in
Nosing: 1 ¼ in - 1 ¾ in
Step width: 36 in minimum
Hence, you can find runners suited to these dimensions in most stores. However, if your stairs aren’t in line with these standards, you will have to opt for a tailor-made rug.
Note that a custom-made runner is much simpler to install compared to a standard-sized rug.
To linearly measure the size of your custom-made stair runner, simply tally up the size of the tread, nosing, and riser, with the total number of steps.
However, if you have a spiral or winding staircase, in such a case, to measure the length of the custom-made rug needed, use the following formula:
Size of rounded step (widest bit) + riser + nosing
To install a stair runner in your home, you first need to measure your stairs. We’ve already provided you with the formula to calculate the length of the rug needed to cover your steps; however, we have yet to give you this little nugget of wisdom: plan for one or two additional steps worth of length. You’ll thank us later!
A rug pad will protect your rug and flooring, prevent it from slipping, and provide additional cushioning for enhanced comfort.
Lastly, with some glue and a spatula, you’ll be able to secure your runner to your steps.
As we previously mentioned, a stair runner doesn’t cover the entire tread. Leave a two- to four-inch gap on either side of the rug.
The runner’s path is where the rug will be installed. If your staircase doesn’t have any landings and is just straight up and down, you solely have a single path to establish. However, if your staircase is divided into one or more landings, you’ll then have more than one path to establish.
To do so, get a pencil and a ruler and mark down where the runner will sit.
Tack strips are strips onto which three or four small nails sit. The rug will then be secured onto it.
Installing a rug pad isn’t a necessity, but it may prolong the service life of your rug. It’s secured to the tack strips with staples.
Stair runners are always installed from top to bottom. The rug’s pile must be facing downward for a better result in terms of texture and colour. Once at the bottom landing, simply cut off the extra rug with a utility knife.
A stair runner secured with tack strips won’t slip. However, a hallway runner or a living room rug can. Let us remember the 20,000 or so Americans over the age of 65 who fell because of a rug. For a number of them, they fell as a result of a rug slip.
To prevent any rug-related accidents that may injure you or a family member, you can install the following beneath your rug:
If none of the above-mentioned solutions suit your needs, consider installing something heavy atop your rug like a piece of furniture, coffee table, or some sort of pedestal.
No matter what, a rug will wear and stain. To prolong its durability, it’s important to vacuum it on a regular basis.
Nonetheless, what really poses a problem isn’t so much dust build-up, but stains. To effectively remove stains, first abide by these guidelines:
Always clean a stain from the edges toward the centre (to prevent it from spreading).
Always blot the stain with a rag soaked in a cleaning product.
Test the product on a small, concealed patch first.
Based on your rug’s composition, or if you think a chemical stain remover will simply make matters worse, you can use a white vinegar and dish soap mix. Apply the mixture to the stain and follow Steps 1 and 2.
Installing a stair runner is an astute way to prevent any risks of slips and falls. Furthermore, it makes for a more comfortable surface on which to tread, courtesy of its cozy and aesthetic appeal. In choosing your rug, you should consider its durability, maintenance routine, and how well it blends in with your interior décor. Therefore, opting for a stair runner means investing in the safety of your dwelling while also adding a dash of comfort and style to your stairs.
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Last modified 2023-11-07
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