Stair runner carpets can be purchased in a wide variety of attractive patterns and designs. The typical Victorian design is a patterned centre panel with plainer side sections, termed as rails. However for the unconfident or inexperienced DIYer, matching the patterns on a staircase that is anything other than a straight run can seem daunting.
With a little help from us, you will be able to ascertain what is possible and not possible and whether you can purchase the patterned carpet you would like, and get the pattern to match up for your non-standard staircase, or whether you need to purchase a plain carpet because pattern matching is beyond your abilities. Smaller patterns are easier to join than larger patterns as any imperfections in pattern matching are less obvious. On larger patterns unskilful joins will really stand out and ruin the whole project.
Can you use a patterned stair runner on a staircase with a turn?
In theory a pattern can always match ie create a mirrored effect on any staircase. All you need is to be willing to invest some time to get a great finish or the money to pay a professional carpet fitter who has worked with patterned stair runners before or is willing to learn a new skill.
A traditional stair runner carpet would have stair rods to hold the carpet in place. This is however not an adequate method of fixing the carpet in place and stair rods nowadays are simply used for decorative purposes. This is because the carpet can slip underfoot which on a staircase is very dangerous. Gripper and underlay should be used under stair runner carpets in the same way as they are used for any other carpet.
When a carpet is going up the straight run of the staircase, the carpet should be equidistant from the strings of the staircase on both sides so that it lies dead centre on the staircase.
90 degree turns – these are easy. The carpet is mitred at a 45 degree angle and is joined onto another piece also mitred at 45 degrees. This is a standard join and a carpet fitter would normally use a glue gun to seal and join these two pieces. This method will only work for a single width of carpet.
A T join – the carpet should be semi-mitred so that you are cutting one piece of carpet to join up with a straight run across it where the vertical stem of the T meets the horizontal.
How do you fit a patterned runner on a staircase with non standard turns?
With less standard turns and angles – it is possible to use a patterned carpet here although it could take a little more time to make it look perfect. This is sometimes known as a Venetian finish, due to the variety and complexity of staircases in this City. For the rails to meet throughout the descent or ascent of the carpet, you need to ensure that the carpet is cut and joined on the treads of the stairs. The carpet must always join the riser at a 90 degree angle and it should also leave the riser at a 90 degree angle. The tread is where the intersection between the two piece of carpet should be. This method works for any arbitrary angle. The pattern can then be mirrored throughout the whole run.
It is important to note that this method will only work for a single width of carpet so you cannot purchase varied widths to suit wider hallways and narrower stairs.
The Victorian Emporium sells the full range of beautiful Victorian stair runner carpet and hall runner carpets .