In the grand scheme of things, stairs can be pretty boring. You walk up them. You walk down them. In fact, the only time you might even consider this medium of transport is around Christmas when decorations hang from the banister. Stairs, however, are the secret to sprucing up your home décor year round.
For those who’ve chosen a home full of hardwood, vinyl, or tile flooring, you may have thought your visions of carpet were long gone, but stair runners can breathe life back into your design dream.
Your home, like anything and anyone else, has one chance to make a first impression. When guests enter your front door, are they met with a bare foyer and a staircase void of personality? A runner can change that. From a neutral color and tempered pattern to a bold hue or print, the stair runner offers you a chance to express yourself and set the tone for your entire household.
So, what do you need to know? Here are some frequently asked questions about interior design’s best kept secret.
What are they made of?
Runners are typically made with woven wool or synthetic pile fibers. Both have pros and cons as well as prices, although synthetic fibers tend to be less expensive. Since the possibilities of patterns, colors and textures are endless, speak with the experts at Eastman’s Carpet and Flooring to help you find the best choice for your needs.
How long will it last?
There’s no concrete answer to this. Just like a fully carpeted home, it depends upon the wear and tear it is expected to see. Homes full of young children will want a runner that is more durable than say a home with a retired couple. The appearance of your runner will largely depend upon your expectations and the maintenance you perform on it. If it’s taken care of properly, a stair runner can retain its beauty for many years.
How do I maintain it?
Prolonging the life of your stair runner is as simple as following a few basic steps, no pun intended.
- Make it a “no shoes” area to cut down on the dirt that will embed itself in the fibers.
- Vacuum like there is no tomorrow. This alone could add years to the life of your runner.
- Don’t forget to keep the hard floors around it clean as well. It doesn’t take much for dirt to travel.
- Invest in a good, professional cleaning every now and then. It will give your runner the makeover it will need after a year or so of being walked all over.
How wide should it be?
The runner should be about 6 inches narrower than the staircase.
How long should it be?
It depends on what kind of staircase you have – straight, curved, etc. – and what kind of landings you have. The professionals at Eastman’s Carpet and Flooring can help you determine the exact length of runner you need.
Do I need a pad beneath it?
While it’s not required, it is certainly recommended to install a carpet pad no less than ¼” thick under your runner. It will reduce the wear on the treads as well as add a more luxurious feel to the carpet itself.
Can I install a runner on my own?
The short answer is yes. The wise answer is let the professionals do the dirty work. It may seem like a simple enough job, but it requires planning, patience and the proper tools to ensure the process produces a perfect product. If you still want to tackle it yourself, make sure you’ve read plenty of instructions and have a professional on speed dial to answer questions that will arise.
Start shopping. Visit Eastman’s Carpet and Flooring to see all the samples and swatches you can choose from, and start making your home look the way you’ve always dreamed of.