Everything you Need to Know about Stair Runners

August 28, 2019

We had the pleasure of partnering with The Carpet Workroom, our go-to company for stair runners and rugs in Massachusetts, for our stair runners in our home in Boston and thought it would be beneficial to share more about the process and answer some frequently asked questions we often get from clients and TCW receives from customers.

Step 01. Selecting the Carpet 

Since we have a dog and two babes, we knew we needed a stair runner for safety but also because our home has wood floors throughout and we needed to soak up some of the extra noise. It also felt like our home felt a bit bare without something on the stairs. When choosing the stair runner carpet, we wanted to make sure it was a durable material but also had texture/interest.

We began the selection process at The Carpet Workroom Needham location where they have a wide variety of broadloom carpets that can be cut to size for wall-to-wall installation, stair runners, or rugs. I was able to take home samples and compare the different options in my home. It’s super important to bring samples home as the lighting, colors, and finishes in your home will alter the color and perhaps the look of the rug. If you’re not able to make it to their showroom, they have in-home options as well where they can bring samples and can go over the process. Pro Tip: be sure to ask about their in-stock options (located in the front of the Needham location), as they typically save you money and time. 

I took home a few options and was able to narrow it down to 2 that I really liked. We ended up taking a poll when we had our friends over for dinner and everyone really loved the color and texture of the Momeni Heatherly in Cashmere. It has a subtle herringbone pattern which is a timeless pattern and since it’s 100% wool, it would be durable for our family.

#OHIDESIGNHOME Carpet Runner Spec:

Momeni Heatherly in Cashmere 

Step 02. Selecting the Binding

What is carpet binding?

Binding is the finished edge of an area rug or stair runner. Any carpet that isn’t installed wall-to-wall will have a binding on it. Carpet binding comes in a multitude of colors and is typically made of cotton, polyester, linen, leather, etc. Binding also comes in various widths, from 3/4″ to 5″, each giving your rug a unique look. There is also “serging” which is a cotton yarn that wraps the edge of the material.

Since we chose a pretty “safe” option for our carpet as it was neutral and didn’t have a busy pattern, we decided to contrast it with a darker binding. I knew I wanted to do a thin cotton binding, but couldn’t decide on the color. Matt showed me a few options that would look nice and we narrowed it down to the one below.

#OIDESIGNHOME Binding Spec: Narrow Cotton binding in TK Textiles Color 5135

Step 03. Measurements/Determining the Layout:

Since each staircase is different and comes with its own challenges  (i.e. if you have landings, turns or pie shapes vs. a basic, straight staircase), there are typically a few decisions that have to be made about layout. Someone from The Carpet Workroom will visit your home and take detailed measurements and offer guidance for any obstacles your staircase may have. 

We decided to go in about 3” from the edge of the stairs to leave a bit of the wood showing and it also created a straight line all the way up our staircase. For the staircase leading to the basement, we had to go a bit closer to the wall in one area as there is a jut out in the wall and to make it less fussy we decided to create a straight runner there as well vs. cutting around the change in the wall. I also didn’t want to continue the runner in the living room to connect the two as it would be odd in our space since it’s a large room, but in some cases, this is a good idea if you have a hallway. 

Matt from The Carpet Workroom was able to help me determine the layout and go over any obstacles he saw when he came over to measure which was really helpful as it’s even hard for a designer to know they are making the right decision…we lean on the expertise of teams like TCW! 

Step 04. Installation:

We love working with The Carpet Workroom because we appreciate their craftsmanship and we were thrilled with the execution of our stair runners. It only took a couple of hours in the morning and just like that, they were gone and we were left with a beautiful new stair runner.

One question TCW typically asks when installing is what style you would like them to install the carpet. There are a couple of options – Hollywood vs. Waterfall. The Waterfall method brings the carpet straight down from the tread whereas the Hollywood style contours the nosing of the stair and is stapled under the nose of the stair. We went with the Waterfall style as it aligns with our design aesthetic. You can read more about the different installation styles here.

Also, the Carpet Workroom typically always uses their 40-ounce felt pad which adds 5 years to the runner’s life!

Now that we’ve had it installed for over a month, it still makes me so happy every time I run up and down our stairs. Which I do multiple times a day. 🙂 Ii highly recommend the TCW team and hope if you’re local in MA, you can use them for your next carpet/rug needs.



Photography by Coley Stevens
Photography by Coley Stevens
Photography by Coley Stevens
Photography by Coley Stevens
Photography by Coley Stevens

Thank you to Matt and the rest of the AMAZING team at The Carpet Workroom for choosing to partner with Oh, I Design on this piece! We are thrilled to have one of your carpets in our home and many of our client’s homes.