Using carpet runners has become the preferred method for enhancing the style quotient of staircases. Stair carpet runners are a practical solution for adding some cushion to the stairs and making them more aesthetically appealing. Today, the market offers many types of runners that can be used for this purpose. However, vinyl carpet runners are engaging a lot of attention, as they are economically-priced, besides being easy-to-install and durable. The entire process of installing carpet runners is not as challenging as it may seem to some people. With the right kind of tools and some systematic guidance, every homeowner can add a stair carpet runner.
Preparing the Strips
Prepare tackless strips that are 4-inches shorter than the actual width of the runner. Prepare one tackless strip for each of the stair treads that are to be carpeted. Each strip should be placed parallel to the corner, between the tread and the riser.
Preparing the Padding
The carpet padding should be as wide as the tackless strips. Cut the carpet padding to the measured size, using a carpet knife. For accuracy, initially compare one carpet padding with a tack strip to ensure that they are of equal width. Wrap the padding around the front end of the steps. The padding should hang by about 2 inches over the outer edge of each step. Once the carpet pad is placed on each step, secure its positioning by stapling down each pad to the steps with the staple gun.
Trimming the Carpet
Roll down the carpet along the length of the stairs to gain an idea of the desired length. Now, cut the carpet roll about 3-inches wider than the width of finished runner. Turnover the carpet and using a chalk, draw a line on each side of the carpet so that the distance between the drawn chalk lines equals the breadth of the runner.
Creasing and Attaching the Carpet Runner
You can use an awl to fold the carpet along the chalk lines. Carefully, fold the edges of carpet towards the inside and position the carpet on the bottom edge of each of the steps. An awl can be used for pushing the carpet and aligning it on the tackless strips.
Stapling the Riser
The carpet has to be firmly stapled on the riser and a staple gun is the best option for this work. Once the tackless strips and the carpet are properly aligned with the tackless strips being precisely centered on each step, start the stapling using the ½-inch staple gun.
Tucking the Carpet
Push the carpet tightly into the corner between the tread and the riser, using a knee kicker. To ensure that the carpet is properly wedged in the corner, use a stair tool for pushing it hard into the corner.
Straightening the Edges
Newly-installed stair carpet runners often have a few folds that tend to get firm with time if not treated early. To smoothen the carpet, use the awl for pulling at the bottom of the carpet folds. This is the best method to ensure that the carpet is pulled tightly over the edges, removing any chance of folds developing.