Can You Use Carpet Runners on Stairs?

Can You Use Carpet Runners on Stairs? [4 Valid Factors]

You are doing a DIY project in the home and you want to spruce up the stairs but can you use carpet runners on the stairs? Carpet runners are a great accessory to have in the room but how good are they on the stairs?

You actually can put carpet runners on the stairs and in this article I will walk you through exactly how you can do that to give your stairs that upgrade or an altogether new lease of life.

Follow the steps in this article and you will get that new look you’ve always wanted on your stairs. It looks like bright colours are making a comeback in homes.

From bright kitchens all the way to Moroccan rugs in different parts of your home, people seem to be gravitating more and more towards brighter and bolder colours.

Whether you want to go this route or you are the more conservative type and want to stick to subtler colours, a carpet runner on your stairs is a great way to give your stairs that great new regal look.

What Do You Need to Put Runners on Your Stairs?

Before you embark on this project, there are a few tools that you need to have. You will need:

  • Gripper Rods
  • Underlay Pads
  • Tape Measure Mallet/ Hummer
  • Pencil/Marker
  • Staple Gun Carpenter’s Square
  • Carpet Tape Paint/Primer (Optional)

Once you have all your materials in place, it’s now time to begin the whole process.

using carpet runners on stairs

1. Prime or Paint the stairs

If it’s a restoration job, you might want to start by removing any old carpeting that’s there, sand them down then paint or prime the staircase. A new paint job will make the end result even more impressive.

It’s a common practice to not paint the middle part of the stairs where the runner will go but just the railings and outer edges of the stairs. The runner will leave some exposed spaces on either side of the stairs and this is the part that will be painted.

2. Install Gripper Rods

After the priming or painting is done, the next step is to install the gripper rods. As the name suggests, gripper rods grip your carpet so it stays intact in certain places.

Prefer Installing at the place where the stairs angle. You will tuck the carpet between the gripper rods so that it is nice and tight at the angles and does not hang loose.

Make sure to leave about 20mm between the gripper rods and the walls of the stairs so you have a nice space to tuck the rug in.

You put one gripper rod on the top of each stair 20mm from the wall and then another one on the panel also leaving a 20mm space.

The two rods will be at a 90-degree angle from each other leaving a space for the runner to be tucked in. Make sure that the teeth of the gripper rod are facing inside because they are the ones that hold the runner in place.

3. Insert Underlay Pads

The next step is to insert the underlay pads. Underlay pads give your rug that soft feel when you step on it. They are inserted on every step all the way down to the landing.

When you insert your underlay pads, make sure to cut them such that they start from the gripper rods to the edge of each stair.

Make sure they don’t overlap the stairs or cover the gripper rods. The underlay pads should also leave about half an inch on the edges so that they don’t show under the carpet runner once it has been installed.

4. Lay the Runner

The next step is to lay the runner. You need to measure the width of both the stairs and the runner. Measure the difference between the 2 hen and divide that number by 2.

This will give you the width of the space you need to leave on each side of the runner. Cut 2 markers using cardboard or any excess underlay pads.

You put a marker on each side of the carpet for each stair that you are working on. You need to keep the runner right in the middle of the staircase.

Any slight deviation on the top stairs will make the runner bend to one side. To start off, make sure that the edge of the runner is square at the top of the stairs then use your markers to lay each stair then lightly staple them in place while you work your way to the bottom.

Once you are happy that it’s straight, go back and staple it into place firmly. Make sure to tuck the carpet between the gripper rods so that the carpet follows the shape of the stairs.


Can you use carpet runners on stairs? Most definitely you can. This is something that you can take up as a DIY project or something that you can hire professionals to do. Whichever path you choose to take, this is definitely something worth doing.