Our second reader question comes from Kathleen. (We have readers!) She is looking to install a stair runner, similar to the one we discussed here. Thanks for checking us out, Kathleen - I hope we can help!
The basic tools you need are staple gun, carpet seaming tape, and carpet rods.
The indoor/outdoor rug by Dash and Albert is a great choice for a runner. The striped patterns are divine and the durable fabric will hold up well in a high traffic environment. D&A runners are 2.5 feet wide by 8 feet long. The general rule of thumb is give yourself 2 feet for every stair.
Given that math, if your staircase has more than 4 steps, which it probably does, you'll need to seam together a couple runners. For this purpose, you would use hot melt seaming tape to "sew" together more than one runner. I might cut off the hemmed end of the runner using a utility knife and a clear quilting ruler. But that could also be a bad idea....you'd have to look at the weave of the rug.
While stair rods are optional, that may be the easiest way to install the runner, especially if your staircase is straight. You just staple the rug to the underside lip of the top step and secure the rug via the stair rod. Stair rods are inexpensive and make installation pretty easy. They only cost around 8$ each - check 'em out at Home depot here.
Mark Donovan has a great tutorial on You Tube here. It demonstrates a simple straight staircase runner using rods.
Of course, if your staircase is like mine and has landings, this makes the project more complicated. You need to miter the piece to fit the angles of the landing. Handy Man's Club of America has a great tutorial where they also discuss landings and corners here.
This are certainly more complicated ways to install a stair runner, using upholstery tacks and step pads. This Old House has an online tutorial here for installation using tackless strips nailed to each tread.
My strategy with this project would mirror my approach to recipes. Look through a bunch of different methods and come up with a hodge podge strategy. It all depends on what look you like (stair rods or not) and how complex your staircase is. Mine has 2 landings, so I need to bone up on my geometry!
Good luck, Kathleen, and keep us posted about your progress! Thanks!