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Renovation tips

9 min read

Safety and Comfort Bundled into One with a Stair Runner

Safety and Comfort Bundled into One with a Stair Runner

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. 

Why install an indoor stair runner? 

stair runner

Source: Canva

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. 

Enhanced safety 

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

  • Wet carpet

  • Urgency

Therefore, even non-slip stair runners can be a safety hazard, especially when the rug’s edges start curling, or is especially used. 

Noise reduction 

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. 

Tread protector

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:

  • an adhesive;

  • 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.

What type of runner should you get?

indoor stair runner

Source: Canva

Pros and Cons of Fabric Stair Runners

Fabric rugs are made with natural fibres. Therefore, they are:

  • devoid of chemical products; 

  • VOC-free (volatile organic compounds) and;

  • biodegradable.

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: 

  • flammable;

  • easily stained;

  • 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:

  • formaldehyde-free;

  • non-toxic;

  • readily available;

  • inexpensive.

Therefore, a fabric stair runner has the added benefit of being eco-friendly, even though it’s not always aesthetically pleasing. 

Rubber Stair Runners: Durable and Low Maintenance

Rubber is extremely resilient. Typically manufactured out of recycled tires, rubber stair covers are:

  • non-slip;

  • UV resistant;

  • mould-proof;

  • durable.

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 or Jute Runners: Aesthetic and Eco-Friendly

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:

  • unique; 

  • pileless;

  • biodegradable and eco-friendly; 

  • cost-effective;

  • resistant.

These natural fibre rugs are perfect for heavy foot traffic areas. 

How much does a stair runner roll cost?

  • 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

Find the Perfect Runner for Your Indoor Stairs

indoor stair runner

Source: Canva

A rug perfectly suited to your interior décor

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. 

Colours, Patterns, and Textures 

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;

  • Oriental and;

  • geometrical patterns.

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: 

  • Plush

  • Ribbed

  • Textured

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. 

Mass-produced or custom-made rugs: What are the available options?

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

Indoor Stair Runner Installation and Maintenance Guide

indoor stair runner

Source: Canva

Stair Runner Installation Guidelines

Step 1. Prepare materials

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.  

Step 2. Maintain a margin between the walls/guard rails

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.

Step 3. Define the runner’s path

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.

Step 4. Tack strips

Tack strips are strips onto which three or four small nails sit. The rug will then be secured onto it. 

Step 5. Install rug pad

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.

Step 6. Install stair runner

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. 

How can you make a stair runner hold?

indoor stair runner

Source: Canva

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:

  • grip strips;

  • rug pads;

  • Velcro;

  • double-sided tape.

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.

Effective Maintenance Tips for Rug Durability

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:

  1. Always clean a stain from the edges toward the centre (to prevent it from spreading).

  2. Always blot the stain with a rag soaked in a cleaning product.

  3. 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.

Indoor Stair Runner: Safety and Comfort Bundled into One

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. 

Get 3 quotes for your indoor stair runner installation

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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