When should you use a carpet runner for your steps?

By
Home Builder with The Flooring Girl
https://activerain.com/droplet/786

When should you use a carpet runner for your steps?  First, let me clarify what a carpet runner is - it's when you install carpet on the steps, but you leave some space at the ends so you can see the ends of the hardwood (see below).

carpet runner for steps

So why do people add runners?  There are 3 main reasons:  1) decoration 2) safety and, 3) reduce creaking.

1.  Using a carpet runner for decoration.    If these are your front steps, and especially if they can be seen from your entryway, it is one of the first things your guests (or potential buyers) see.  So, if you want to make a statement and have a grand entrance, this is a really easy way to spice to things up.  It adds some flair and sophistication, and nicer houses tend to have these.  Runners can be very formal in design (think classical patterns or oriental rugs) or they can be simple.  Personally, I love this one because it's pretty and formalizes the entry a bit, but not too much.  It had multiple colors for design flair, but not too much, so it doesn't compete with the oriental rug my customer has in her living room.  I also love the color since it's elegant and contrasts well with the hardwood.  You prob can't see this well from the pciture, but the dots in here have a highlight color in here that matches the butterscotch color wood and a low light that gives it some depth.

2.  Using a step runner for safety.  My 2 most frequent requests for this circulate around babies/toddlers and aging pets.  For the new mom who needs to carry her newborn up and down the steps, she may feel unsafe or afraid that she is going to slip with her most precious possession of all.  Likewise, as toddlers are learning, growing and trying to get up and down the steps, they often slip.  The runner make it less likely for them to slip and/or when they do, it cushions the blow (I suppose the diapers help too).  I also have a lot of customers who love their pets so dearly and as they've aged, the pets are having challenges with the steps.  Carpet runners can provide good solutions for them as well.

3.  Using a carpet runner to reduce creaking.   Adding a carpet runner will not fix the creaking.  But, it will usually muffle the sound.  Sometimes the creaking is due to poor installation of treads or sometimes it's just because the house is old and things have settled.  Other times, it's because there are no treads (treads are one big piece of wood) and an amateur did it the cheap way...they just added in pieces of wood (the same type you would use on the floor) and added a stairnose to the ends.  Over time, this cause the wood to rub against each other and hence the creaking.  If you do have this, you could partially address this by adding some screws in the steps to secure the boards (it won't solve it and it may come back over time, but it will definitely help).  You can then put the runner on top to both cover the screws and further reduce the noise over time.

Now, how do you handle carpet runners on steps if you are selling a home?

This depends if your client currently has a runner or not.

If your customer has a carpet runner, it depends on what condition it's in (is it old, dirty, coming apart?) and what it looks like (is it neutral or taste specific?). If it's in bad condition, something has to be done, ESPECIALLY if it's by the front entrance.  This is the buyer's first impression, and you want it to be a good one.  So, either replace it (and replace with something neutral) or better yet, just rip it up and sand & refinish the steps - that will prob. cost less and be more neutral).

If they don't have a runner, the simpler answer is to just leave it as is, and if new buyer wants to install one and pick their own style and colors they can.  Sometimes, in some places adding a runner can really formalize the place and help sell it.  But, if you do a nice runner, you don't always appeal to all tastes and some customers prefer to either change or not have any runner, so then their perception is that they will have to pay to remove or replace it.

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Vickie Nagy 09/10/2010 05:24 AM
  2. Vickie Nagy 09/10/2010 05:24 AM
  3. Hillary Sheperd 09/10/2010 01:33 PM
  4. Mark Woodward 09/11/2010 01:00 AM
  5. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 09/11/2010 01:13 AM
  6. Michael Pinnock 09/11/2010 05:03 AM
  7. Dan Edward Phillips 09/13/2010 06:02 AM
Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
New York Westchester County White Plains
Groups:
Keller Williams 'Rainers
Westchester Real Estate Network (WREN)
Connecticut Professionals
Addicted to Active Rain
Westchester County
Tags:
carpet runner
carpet for steps
carpet for stairs
westchester carpet store
westchester shop at home carpet

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Rainmaker
88,098
StepStone Realty
StepStone Realty, LLC - Austin, TX
Freedom to Succeed

Great comments.  I've never given much thought to carpet runners but now I can see why we should think about them!

Sep 10, 2010 04:19 AM #1
Rainer
208,357
Ilona Matteson
Beach Realty & Construction on the Outer Banks of NC - Duck, NC
Ilona Matteson

Great information!  Who would have thought about using it to muffle creaking?

Sep 10, 2010 04:20 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,026,990
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Very helpful - I, too, have not given much thought to carpet runners but I will from now on!

Sep 10, 2010 04:29 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,847,340
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Good stuff Debbie! Lots of people don't give runners a second thought.

One question - what about those of us who like to run up the stairs?  Do you recommend runners?  You know, runners feel more comfortable with other runners.  Just asking.

My grandmother's house, in which I grew up, had no carpet on the stairs.  I fell down those stairs many times.  Yep, now you know what happened...  who knows what I could have been?

Sep 10, 2010 08:11 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,672,535
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Daniel - Thx.  Glad I provided some useful ideas

Ilona - Yes, it can be a simple solution - kills 2 birds w/ one stone - improves beauty and makes less noisy.

Susan - Yes, this may come in handy for your dog

Jay - ROFL.  Maybe the falling actually made you smarter - got your head in gear.

Sep 10, 2010 09:33 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,847,340
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, apparently you understand getting [your] head in gear!

 

;~)

Sep 10, 2010 10:13 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,672,535
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

I think you might need a protective helmet, Jay.

Sep 10, 2010 12:13 PM #7
Rainmaker
236,405
Hillary Sheperd
Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon - Scarsdale, NY
Co-Owner ~ Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, NY

Great post, Debbie.  I believe you did a similar runner for one of our customers.

Sep 10, 2010 01:32 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,847,340
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I was suggesting that about you!  Remember, I was the fridge puncher.

Although I really could have used a helmet coming down those stairs...

Sep 10, 2010 02:40 PM #9
Rainer
55,077
Mark Woodward
Floor Coverings International - Randolph, NJ
We bring the flooring store to your door

Great post Debbie!  Runners are so often overlooked. Great insight!

Sep 11, 2010 12:56 AM #10
Rainmaker
691,012
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

Hi Debbie, another great post, thank you for your efforts, they are appericated!

Sep 11, 2010 01:04 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,236,196
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

I ALWAYS install them when I re-carpet my rental properties.  It eliminates the repainting of the risers which ALWAYS seems to be required between residents AND it "finishes" off the steps for noise and continued maintenance....

Sep 11, 2010 01:12 AM #12
Ambassador
1,653,271
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Debbie after this post I will certainly pay more attention to carpet runners.  Love your contribution to the network.

Sep 11, 2010 02:54 AM #13
Rainmaker
2,672,535
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Hillary - Yes, we did - we did a green one for her as it went perfectly with her dark hardwood and picked up the green in the living room.

Jay - ROFL.  I thought you inspected the damage rather than created it.

Mark - Thank you and thx for reblogging

Dan - Thx.  That is so sweet.

Wallace - Good point.  Yes, you're right about the risers always taking a beating.  Carpet runners definitely solve that issue.  Thank you for reblogging.

Jennifer - Thank you so much.  That means so much to me.

Sep 11, 2010 11:07 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,847,340
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

While I was head banging to my first concerts, you were head banging in another way!  There's got to be a connection there somewhere.

Sep 11, 2010 11:52 AM #15
Ambassador
1,509,132
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Thanks for always contributing great posts for my clients in my outside blog!

Sep 11, 2010 01:20 PM #16
Rainmaker
2,672,535
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Jay - Yes, sounds like we were separated at birth (although I think you were born a bit before me).

Renee - You are always welcome.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to your outside blog.  That means a lot to me.

Sep 11, 2010 02:14 PM #17
Rainmaker
873,434
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Wow I had no idea you used runners for creaking!

Sep 12, 2010 04:23 AM #18
Rainmaker
2,672,535
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Hi Debra.  yes, it can help. It's doesn't solve the issue, but it helps, esp if combined w/ screws.

Sep 12, 2010 05:08 AM #19
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