Monday, June 6, 2011

Installing a Stair Runner

Our house has 2 sets of stairs which is not uncommon for a house that is 150+ years old.  When we bought the house this front staircase was covered with some really disgusting and dirty 1980s mauve broadloom carpeting.  We immediately tore that out and then the poor stairs were left unused and unloved for the past 7 years.  The only time that staircase got any attention was at Christmas when I would dress up the railing with some lights.

I had been planning on addressing these this spring.  After seeing so many great redos out in blogland (check out My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and Thrity Decor Chick) I had wanted to do the treads a dark stain and do the risers in white paint but once we found out we were moving I decided that I needed a quicker and easier alternative.

After some research I decided to go with a traditional carpet runner.  Prices on this vary a lot so do some comparison shopping.  You can get any length you need and the width ranges from 24 to 48 inches.  I found a lot of really nice choices on Rug Depot but their prices started at $11.99 a foot.  If I had been doing this for my own personal use I might have gone with something there, but since I am putting this in to get my house sold I had to be more frugal.  I checked out both Home Depot and Lowes for their in-stock options.  I decided to go with a traditional black background stair runner I found at the Home Depot that was $3.79 a foot.

When I went into the store I had in mind that I was going to have them install it for me.  I approached the salesman to place my order, and he couldn't believe I wanted it installed.  He said no one had ever asked to have it installed.  He told me that it is super easy to install yourself.  Not quite believing him and knowing that I was on a time deadline I still asked how much for installation - $79 plus $14 per stair - okay I'll do it myself.  I just couldn't pay more for the installation than the cost of the carpet itself.  So the salesman told me how to measure and showed me the tools I would need.  I went home, measured (I added 6 inches to my measurement just to be safe), and sent back the hubby to pick up the carpet.

Yesterday afternoon I started out by measuring from side to side and found the center.  I started at the top stair and unrolled the bolt of carpet down the stairs.  Then I tacked in the carpet using carpet tacks - surprise, surprise.  I used 3 tacks at the top back of each tread; left edge, center, and right edge.  I rounded each stair and tacked in right underneath the bullnose of the stair using 3 tacks.  Apparently this is a style preference and you could choose to skip tacking under the bullnose and just let the carpet ease diagonally into the back of the tread below.

Keeping the carpet tight I then put 3 more tacks in at the back of each tread.  I continued down the rest stairs in the same way.  When I got to where the stairs end and the 1st floor begins I tacked in as close as I could get to the bottom of the riser.  Using the mat knife I ran a cut along the crease of where the floor was meeting the riser.  I used the scissors to help clean up the cut and that was it.

Here are the tools I used.

I was lucky that the carpet I choose was black and the carpet tacks are black so they are completely hidden. I still think that if you used most any plush carpet you would not see the tacks as they get pounded down very low and the pile comes up all around it.

This was such an easy and inexpensive project that I am kicking myself for not just doing this before.  The stairs look great and I only spent about $80 on the carpet and $1.50 on the carpet tacks.  Not including the cleaning it took me less than 2 hours to finish the job.

If I were doing this for myself I would probably add a piece of shoe molding at the bottom riser to dress up where I made the cut but I don't think anyone will notice at all.

Now I just need to finish painting the front door:).

I'm linking up at...

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

1 comment:

  1. Great Job!! Love it when a plan comes together and doesn't completely wear me out. Jo


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