Stair Runners & False Stair Treads
Types Of Carpet Runners
Carpet runners come in two types. Pre made or custom made. Pre made runners are specifically made at the factory in a fixed width (usually 24-27 inches) but can be cut or ordered to your desired length. They come as is and can be difficult and expensive to modify if you do not have a common straight staircase.
Custom made runners can be made to different lengths and widths to fit different sized steps and also to accommodate any unusual turns or angles on specialty steps. Custom runners can also be made from any carpet type or style you desire to work with your overall decorating theme. Also, having a custom made runner adds the benefit of being able to add additional border material and/or various types of binding material (fabrics, leather or cork to name a few) to the carpet edges to create a truly unique runner.
Installation Of Stair Runners
The installation of a stair runner can be a daunting challenge on any staircase that is not a common width with a straight run from top to bottom. Any time a stair case has angles, turns or pie shaped steps, it is usually time to call a professional installer to handle the installation.
Basic runner installation consists of measuring your runner and stairs to determine the best balanced visual of exposed hardwood on the stairs on both sides of the runner. Once determined, tack strip and padding should be installed according to your measurements to balance the runner. The tack strip and padding is commonly cut two inches smaller on each side than the size of the runner to allow a nice "drape" of the runner without being able to see the pad or tack strip from the sides. Next the carpet runner can be installed using an electric staple gun to secure the runner and a knee kicker to stretch the carpet onto the tack strip and also to help position the carpet to keep it straight during the installation. Starting from the bottom and working up to the top is the easiest method to work in a normal fashion and to help keep the runner straight.
Once the runner is finished and secured properly, the last finishing touch for the "wow' factor can be a set of brass stair rods. Stair rods can be simple or ornate in design, depending on the look you want to achieve. However, the simple act of installing stair rods will always increase the visual appeal of a hardwood staircase with a runner from beautiful to stunning in one simple step.
Video - Installing Carpet Runner & Stair Rods
Building A New Home? Save on Tread Costs
Standard hardwood treads can become pricey especially if you're facing twelve to fifteen steps for example. Raw material costs can run anywhere between $30 and $100 for each tread depending on the species. Instead veneered partial treads used purely for aesthetic purposes can be used.
For many staircases, some homeowners opt for a finished end also known as a returned end. Instead of spending sixty dollars for a full solid returned tread, a false tread can be used instead running about eleven dollars on the web. The other end typically butting up to stair stringers would run a few dollars less.
Upon installation the two pieces are installed in conjunction with plywood or over existing stairs in stairs like the one shown above. Once completed, stair runners are installed over and hiding the underside.
Image Sources: 7thsthouse.blogspot.com (false treads)