Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Install Runner Rugs on Stairs

Images: Shelterness
A beautiful DIY project for sprucing up your stairs.

We can't boast about how amazingly versatile runner rugs are for the stairs without giving some pointers for how they can be installed. As mentioned in our post runner rugs can be installed by a novice do-it-yourselfer without requiring professional installation. Roll up your sleeves, pick out a unique runner that works well with your decor style and get ready to dazzle. Here are some step-by-step tips for sprucing up your stair floor decor.

**As a side note, winding stairs can be a bit more of a challenge, but can still be accomplished without professional help.

Supplies and tools that you will need:
A unique runner rug, of course
Rug/carpet Padding
Tackless strips
Measuring tape
Staple gun
9/16" staples
Carpet Knife
Straight Edge or Carpet Tool
Knee Kicker (rented from a carpet store)
Rubber Mallet
Framing Square
Latex carpet glue (only if the rug has to be cut, to prevent fraying of the ends)

Step 1. Measuring and Cutting Tackless Strips

Runner rugs typically come in 2 widths, 32 and 27 inches. The first thing that you want to do is subtract the width of the runner rug from the wide of your staircase. Be sure to measure between your baluster (our your railing) and your skirt board (the bordering edge of your staircase) when measuring your stair width (see labeled image below). Divide the difference by two.

Image: Home Improvement Stack Exchange

For example if the width of your staircase is 36 inches and the width of your runner is 32 inches, the difference between the two is 4. Divide 4 in half to get two inches on each side.

To determine a length for your runner, be sure to measure each step and multiply it by the number of steps that you have. If you end up having some left over, that will only help should you need excess rug.

Mark that distance out from the skirtboard and baluster on every tread (or step) where it meets the riser. On each tread, you will want to cut tackless strips two inches shorter than the width of the runner. It is best to cut the strips so that they are 4 includes shorter than the final runner width. Be sure that there is a nail within two inches of each end of the runner. Ensure that the strips are approximately half an inch from and parallel to the corner between the riser and the tread.

Image: This Old House

As a way to help with measurement, place a scrap piece of the strips flush against the riser. Center the strip, with pins angled toward the riser, between your layout marks. Line up the cut strip against the scrap and nail. To remain consistent, make a spacer of two strips together to determine how high to place the strips on the riser. Attach the tackless strip, centered on the riser and on the on the back of each tread. Strip points should face the corner.

Step 2: Cutting Padding

Cut the carpet padding the same width as the tackless strips and approximately 3 inches longer than the depth of the tread. Line up the pad to the front edge of the strip. Attach the edge of the pad to the tread with 9/16" staples spaced apart every 3 inches.

Image: diy network

Pull the pad tight around the front edge of the steps and staple about every 3 inches into the underside of the edge of the steps. Cut the pad where the edge of the step meets the top of the riser.

Image: This Old House

Step 3: Beginning to Attach the Runner

First things first, make sure that your runner is square. Use your framing square to check the end. If it is not square, mark the back of the runner and then cut the runner with a carpet knife. If you have to cut the runner be sure to put a bit of latex carpet glue on the edges so that they will not fray.

Roll out the runner and push it up agains the end of the first riser in between the layout marks that you made in Step 1. Staple the end of the runner to the bottom of the riser every 3 inches. Be sure when stapling that you are pushing the stapler through the pile of the rug and against the backing before you make the staple.

Step 4: Attaching the Runner on the Treads

Line up the runner on the first tread and push it toward the tackless strip. Place the front edge of the knee kicker on the center of the runner approximately 2 inches from the riser. While holding the knob with one hand, keeping the kicker level with the other hand, hit the kicker with your knee (see image). The runner will become taut on the tackless strip.

Image: This Old House

Repeat this process every 3 inches from side to side. Should the runner bulge or crease, lift it straight up off the strip and start over.

Step 5:  Attaching the Runner to the Riser

Use the carpet tool and rubber mallet to pack the runner between the strip and the riser. As you near the ends of the tackless strips, staple the runner in the crease of the riser and the tread. Staple each edge of the runner 2 inches above the bottom of the riser.

Image: This Old House

Continue to repeat steps 4 and 5 all the way to the last riser. At the top of the last riser cut the runner tight to fold over the underside of the edge of the step (or nosing). Put the glue on the edges (as before) and staple the rug to tio of the riser every 3 inches along the edge.

Remember when stapling the rug to staple directly onto the stairs and not through the pad.

Step 6: Admiration

Stand back and admire your new stair floor decor. Host a party immediately to show off your new project.

Image: Shelterness
Image: Shelterness

Sources: This Old House, diyNetwork

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