Buying a stair runner online is less complicated than it seems. At rugsdoneright, we have over 20 years experience in selling and installing stair runners, also known as cut roll runners. Stair runners come in many widths varying from 20" to 48" wide. The most common width is 27" for a standard staircase. Selecting the right length is also important. To measure straight stairs, measure both the tread (horizontal step) and the riser (vertical part of step). This should add up to about 18". Then count the number of steps. Be sure to include the last riser, which leads to the upper landing. Multiply the number of steps by the total inches per stair. Then divide by 12 to get the total linear feet necessary for your straight stairs. We recommend adding one extra foot of runner length to your total, just to be safe.
If you have a staircase that takes a 90 degree turn, but has a flat landing, you will need to decide how to lay the runner. Most often people use two runners on these types of staircases. One runner goes up the first part of the stairs and over the flat landing, ending just before the wall. The second runner starts at the base of the second set of steps and continues to just under the nose of the upstairs landing. Another option is to have the runner mitered on the landing. This created a unified look, but the runner needs to be seamed on the landing by a professional installer, and the seam may show after some time due to the stress.
If you have a curved staircase, you will need to have the runner installed by a professional stair runner installer. They should be able to provide a free estimate and tell you how many linear feet you will need.
If you are installing the stair runner yourself, or having it installed professionally, we at buy RUGSdirect are happy to help you every step of the way! Please note: To order, simply add the number if linear feet you will need to the cart. The total can be adjusted when you access the shopping cart page.
How To Measure for Stair Runners
Stairs consist of two parts: Risers (vertical part) and Treads (horizontal part) Most risers are about 8" and treads are approximately 10", therefore we suggest you figure about 19" per stair. All stairs have one more riser than tread, which leads to the top landing. If your stairs take a 90 degree turn, with a landing in the middle, you will add two additional risers- one leading up to each landing. For example 5 steps, then a landing, then another 6 steps,
Calculating Linear Feet:
Take the total number of complete steps (riser + tread) and multiply by 19". Divide that number by 12 to convert into feet, then add 8" for each additional riser.
For standard straight stairs, a 21' cut roll runner will usually suffice. The runner is installed starting at the base of the first riser, and continues up the stairs to end just under the nose of the landing on the second floor.
90 Degree Turns
If you have a 90 degree turn with a flat landing, you will need to decide how you want the runner to look.
One option is to have the runner mitered. This means the runner is seemed together as one continuous piece, like the corner of a picture frame. Although this is a very attractive look, keep in mind that the pressure on the seam from foot traffic will cause the runner to become worn or even pull apart over time.
Another more popular and practical choice would be to run the runner up and over the landing, and then start a new runner on the first riser of the second part of the stairs. Most of these runners are bound on the landing about 3" in from the wall, which should line up with the edge of the runner going up the second part of the staircase.
Pie Shaped Stairs:
If you have a 90 degree turn with three or more pie shaped stairs, you will need to add additional footage for each step. This is based on if you are cutting the runner or mitering the runner on the tread itself. It is best to contact a local installer for an accurate estimate.
Some people choose to end cap the runner so the border pattern continues around the entire rug, instead of just on the sides. You will need to measure very carefully for this type of finishing treatment, as the stair runner needs to end exactly under the nose of the landing. You also need to order the same amount of extra material as the width of the rug (27" width runner needs 3' extra material for a runner end capped on both ends).
What to Order:
Cut roll runners are runners where a custom size can be ordered to be cut off of a roll of continuous product. This means that the runner will not have end borders, and is not finished on the ends. Most of these runners are finished on the sides. A finishing treatment needs to be specified for the ends if you are using the piece in a hallway. Options are fringing, end capping, and surging.
How to Order:
Cut roll runners are priced per linear foot. Simply add one foot to the cart. Once in the cart, increase the quantity to the total length you need. Be sure to round up to the nearest foot. In the comments section upon checkout specify the finishing treatment you prefer. If ordering the end capping, be sure to read all the notes on the product, as there may be additional footage required.