5 Stair Carpet Runner Ideas

Small details count in making a home feel cozy. Read our stair carpet runner ideas.

Getting out of bed in the morning and descending cold hardwood steps is not the most pleasant way to begin the day.

As you go up and down the stairs, imagine the warm and soft feel of a luxurious carpet beneath your feet. A runner on the stairs is a terrific way to provide warmth to the home (and your feet) without breaking the wallet.

Installing a runner on the steps may significantly improve the look of your home while also making the stairway a safer area for children and dogs. There is a prevalent notion that this is an expensive and time-consuming task, yet it can be completed on any budget or time frame.
Here are a few things to consider before beginning this project.

Decide How Much You Want to be Covered 

It is important to determine exactly what you want to be covered. Some homeowners prefer to cover the entire stairwell, while others prefer to cover only the middle of the stairs.

If you’re looking for carpet runners for the stairs, chances are you appreciate the look and style of covering only the center of the stairs. This is a great alternative because it is inexpensive and allows the natural wood steps to be seen.

The first stage in this process is to calculate how many inches will be covered in the middle, and once you’ve done that, you’re ready to move on to the next!

Custom Ordered VS. DIY

Next, determine if it’s better to custom order a certain carpet or design for the stair runner or if DIY (do-it-yourself) can be considered. 

Ordering a custom-made design will give you a perfect look to match the rest of your house and could take the stress away from going to countless stores to look for the right pattern. 

This will likely be a more expensive option but would save you time searching far and wide for the look you’re going for. 

If you’re not interested in buying a brand-new or custom-made option, consider the DIY option. Finding carpet remnants from local carpet stores or runners that were made in bulk and can be bought in bulk could end up saving quite a bit of money. 

A nice entryway with a plain beige stairs carpet.

Finishing Touches

Finally, you’ll want to think about the finishing touches. Do you want the landing to be pure hardwood, or do you want to carry the runner over the landing? Do you want the foot of the staircase to be bare or have part of the carpet as well?

These are very important questions because you’ll need more yardage if you decide to include space in the landing or at the foot of the staircase. 

If you have beautiful hardwood floors, it’s probably a great idea to leave these two spaces off and let your hardwoods steal the show. 

Now that you’ve considered the preliminary details, it’s time to make the project unique to your space!

5 Ideas for Stair Carpet Runners 

1. Consider Using Carpet Treads

An inexpensive way to achieve this look is by using treads in the middle of each step. They’re individual pieces and can be bought in packs of 13. 

If you’re not a huge fan of the overflowing look that traditional runners have, this could be a great option! 

It’s also the perfect DIY solution because they typically come with a non-slip backing, which allows you to place them where you want them and then move on to your next task. 

These are a great no-hassle option and provide warmth and depth without breaking the bank. 

A non-slip rug installed on each wooden stair step.

2. Don’t Be Afraid of Pattern

Whether your home has an industrial-inspired style, farmhouse vibe, or mid-century accents, patterns can bring your space to life. 

Some patterns match any style. Using them in a narrow space, such as on the steps, keeps the pattern contained and specialized. 

Industrial-style homes can be paired with unique patterns of different shapes and textures, while farmhouse-style homes can be paired with simple and toned-down patterns. 

If you’re looking for this area to pop, going to an antique store or second-hand store is the perfect place to find unique carpet runners with intricate patterns and designs. 

Busy patterns will match better with light-color hardwood floors, while toned-down patterns will look great with dark hardwoods. 

A royalty themed staircase with an elegant carpet and wallpapers.

3. Use Short-Fiber Material 

This is an area of the house that will get used a lot. Choosing the right type of carpet fiber is important for this project. 

Short-fibers will be great on the steps because they won’t show wear and tear as much as long-fibers will. They’re also easier to clear, which is great for homes with children and pets. 

It’s also a budget-friendly option, as short-fiber options are typically less expensive than long-fiber options. There are unlimited patterns and colors to choose from, and you’ll be saving time and money in the long run! 

A white entry hall winder stairs with a soft beige fiber carpet.

4. Mix and Match With Antique Runners

If you love antique carpets and plan to incorporate them on your staircase, don’t be afraid to mix and match. 

The great (and sometimes frustrating) thing about handmade antique runners is that there are no duplicates.

 If you have a run of carpet that has been inherited, and you want to use it on the steps, but there’s not enough material for all steps, find another one from an antique store. 

Try to find an inverse option to create depth and movement in this area. For example, if you already have a red runner with blue patterns and details, try to find a blue one with red patterns and details. 

This will create a new story and bring meaning to old pieces of history. 

A spiral staircase with a beautiful oriental rug.

5. Use Neutral Tones 

If you don’t want to draw too much attention to this space, using neutral tones is a great way to achieve this. 

Choosing a light brown or beige option will allow the space to blend with any style and give your stairs the update that they need.

If you want to dress this space up subtly, you can look for neutral runners that have a pop of color in the pattern. The pop of color will add interest and movement to the design without taking away the calming neutral color. 

A wooden straight type stairs with neutral colored carpet.
Jessica Childres
Jessica Childres is a Georgia native and former teacher. She loves to share her skills, knowledge and passion with others. She has an ongoing interest in real estate, home decorating, and design.
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