Odds are that if you have a staircase in your home, it’s used quite often and seen by almost everyone who comes in to your home. With that being the case, don’t you want it to look nice and maybe even a bit classy and elegant?

There are a few different things that you can do to a staircase and it all really depends on your design style, comfort choice and how it works for you and those in your household. Of course, each has its own pros and cons.

For example, some people choose to leave the look of the hardwood stairs and keep them bare (meaning no carpeting). There are many beautiful species and stains of hardwood and this could be a beautiful look all on it’s own. However, some people have experienced a lot of slipperiness on bare stairs. This probably wouldn’t be that good of an idea where there are elderly people living, small children who are just learning to crawl/walk or are constantly climbing the stairs alone, or even those with pets that use the staircase, as well. Another issue that people find to be tiresome regarding bare stairs is how much dirt and dust piles up and how noticeable it is, if not routinely cleaned up.

The other main option with a staircase is to install a stair runner. Stair runners can be installed using broadloom carpeting or already finished stair runners and this material can be found at all sorts of stores and flooring showrooms. When considering a stair runner, there are many different options. Stair runners come in different fibers, all kinds of different styles and many different colors. These will all depend on your style choice. The other main thing that you have to decide is what type of installation you prefer; the two basic types are hollywood (the runner is wrapped around the edge of the tread and stapled under the nose of the stair) or waterfall (the stair runner flows continuously all the way down, without being fastened to the risers). See the pictures below to differentiate between the two. Some people choose to have a floating install, which means only the top surface of each stair is carpeted and the carpet on each step is not connected to the next.

Hollywood: Screen-Shot-2014-02-06-at-2.04.58-PM   Waterfall: renzulli 006


Other design choices that have to be made is how much stair you want visible on each side of the runner. Some people choose to have no stair shown, while others stick to the rule of thumb of 4″ of stair showing on each side. It really all depends on your design choice. With wider staircases, the area of stairs still visible is generally larger than 4″ on each side. Another option is to have stair rods installed on your stairs or not to. Some people think it gives the staircase a more elegant look, while others either don’t like the look it has or sometimes complain that the stair rods cause issues with stubbing toes on them. Again, it’s based on your personal preference and no one way is the right way. The following images show staircases with stair rods installed. Stair rods also come in different finished and designs.

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When having stair runners installed, there is a chance that there may be some extra carpeting left over. In situations where this is the case, you can sometimes ask the installers to make bound area rugs from the excess material so that is not wasted. This is something that you should speak to your sales associate about when discussing your install.

If you have any questions or would like to look at some carpeting samples for a stair runner in your home, contact us at (630) 633-5407 to set up a consultation!