Any stair carpet needs to be hard wearing because of the amount of traffic that staircases get in busy households. Stair carpet that runs down the stairs to meet the wall can be cut from any normal good quality roll or carpet and fitted by most carpet fitters but you should choose a high quality option in order for it to look good for a reasonable time.
The job becomes a little trickier with more decisions to be made and more skill involved where you are going to use a stair runner carpet that runs down the centre of your staircase.
What stair runner will work on my stairs?
Firstly do you want it plain, striped or patterned?
Secondly what size stair runner will suit your staircase best?
What will happen on any landings – will you continue with a runner carpet or use a fitted carpet?
Will you use stair rods?
So firstly to help determine the answer to the plain or patterned question – if your staircase changes width as it goes from floor to floor, using a patterned stair runner carpet is problematic. This is because, although you can make a pattern join up as you go around corners if the same width of carpet is used throughout by mitring the carpet and joining the sections up neatly, patterned carpets are impossible to join neatly at different widths. So if the staircase changes width, unless there is a landing separating these, it will be impossible to make the pattern join up and the carpet will end up looking odd. In this scenario, it’s best to choose a carpet width that will work on the entire staircase. Or better still, go for a plain stair carpet. For an authentic period staircase look, a Persian type patterned stair runner is a good choice. If you choose a good quality option, this will only improve in it’s period feel as it ages and the colours start to look a little less bright.
Many stair runner carpet designs come in a variety of different widths from 50cm to 120cm. Meaning that you can use a wide stair runner on landings and the landing carpet matches the stair carpet. And a narrower width on your stairs.
How wide should the stair runner be for my stairs?
The rule of thumb for runner carpet width is that it should finish around 8-15cm from the edge of the stairs (multiply this by 2 and deduct from your staircase width to determine your carpet width). So if your stairs are 90cm wide, the perfect carpet width for you would be anywhere from 60-74cm. This also allows for the use of stair rods the measurements for which can be determined as follows:
For all 1/2" (12.5mm) diameter rods, the stair rods should be 10cm over the width of the carpet (5cm each side)
For all 5/8" (16mm) diameter rods, the stair rods should be 12.5cm over the width of the carpet (6.25cm each side)
For all 3/4" (19mm) diameter rods, the stair rods should be 15cm over the width of the carpet (7.5cm each side)
If you are using a stair runner carpet, your stairs need to be looking their best before the carpet is put down. Stairs need to be sanded back to bare wood, and treads varnished; risers should be painted a neutral colour.
As a patterned stair runner carpet is slightly trickier to fit than a standard stair carpet, it may take a little time and research to find a carpet fitter willing and able to take on the job. But the extra time and trouble really is worth it to create a staircase that becomes a talking point whether in your Victorian, Georgian, Tudor or indeed modern house.
The Victorian Emporium sell a wide range of stair carpets in various colourways and widths along with a stunning selection of stair rods and stair clips