Choosing the right staircase runner

January 05, 2020


Area rugs can be placed in any room in your home to add warmth, comfort and protection. However, the staircase is the most important area to consider when thinking about rugs for your home. A rug on your staircase will help protect your family and pets from slipping or falling while adding warmth to your space and protection for your floors. Foot traffic on uncovered staircases can leave scuff marks on the stairs and risers. Staircase runners will provide protection from everyday wear and tear on your hard floor surfaces.

Choosing a carpet for your stairs can be trickier than choosing carpet for other areas of your home. First, one must decide on a carpet pattern and color.  There are many staircase rug patterns to choose from.  One may include a pattern with a border or some may include simply an all-over pattern. There are many solid colors to choose from as well.  Whatever pattern you choose should have the appropriate durability because the stairs are the highest traffic area in your home. It is important that the carpet that covers your stairs is durable enough to withstand the traffic of the household and still look good.


Thickness is an important factor to consider when shopping for carpet for the stairs. A carpet that is too thick can cause a safety hazard, because it adds bulk to the front of the stair which acts as a platform to the next step.  A thick carpet can lead to slippage and falls. Keep in mind that rug padding will lay underneath the staircase runner adding even more thickness.

Staircase carpeting is available in various thicknesses. Many people are under the impression that thicker carpet is better and more durable. However, this is not necessarily the case. Some of the most durable carpets are made with the thinnest pile. 



The best materials for staircase runners include wool and synthetic blend of polypropylene. Natural Eco-friendly fibers like sisal, hemp and jute may not be your best option, as they’re harder to clean and can be rough on bare feet. While Sisal carpeting gives a great look, it is not easy to maintain. Indoor/outdoor polypropylene staircase runners are becoming popular. They are thin, durable and easy to clean.

There are basically two styles of installation for staircase runners. Waterfall is an installation where the stair runner flows over the stairs and is tacked down at the base of each step.  Hollywood is installed tightly and wraps closely to fit the risers. Be sure to talk to your installer about which way you would like your stair carpet installed.

Be sure to have your staircase carpet installed by a professional.  Your local area rug retailers will have carpet installers that they can recommend. 





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