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Stair Runner Size Guide

GH100 Sisal Grand Herringbone Praline Stairs.jpg

Finding the perfect runner for your stairs can transform them into a stunning and functional feature of your home, and our guide is here to make that process simple and enjoyable. In this guide, we’ve curated some amazing tips to help you select the ideal stair runner size and provide precise measuring instructions to ensure a perfect fit.

We’ll explore different methods for measuring your stairs, whether it’s using string and tape for a quick measurement or calculating the dimensions for a bespoke runner. This guide will assist you in making a choice that ties your staircase together beautifully and ensures your runner fits perfectly with your staircase layout.

Join us as we dive into the best options to make your staircase the ultimate space of comfort, safety, and style with our exquisite range of runners. Follow our step-by-step instructions and use our stair runner calculator to achieve the perfect fit for your home.

How to Measure your Stair Tread For a Runner

Stair runners are the hallmark of a well-designed home. Often an underappreciated feature, they serve to protect beautiful hardwood flooring from scuff marks, quieten creaks, and prevent slipping. Beyond their functional advantages, rug runners also bestow an elegant design appeal to your stairways. Our selection of bespoke runners includes a variety of weaves, patterns, and colors, allowing you to find the ideal match for your space.

Measuring for a bespoke-sized runner is essential, as you'll want the runner to align perfectly for a neat, finished appearance. Fortunately, measuring is straightforward. This guide outlines the two most common methods to measure a stair runner.

Measure twice, order once. If you have any questions related to the fitting of a stair runner, please consult with your local carpet fitting professional. Stair runner installation can be taxing, and if you are in doubt, asking advice is always encouraged.

Method 1: Using String & Tape for Measurement

The simplest method to measure a stair runner involves using a length of string and tape. Simply tape the string to the top of the stairs and lay it down as you would the runner itself. Once laid out, measure the length of the string. The only equipment you'll need are string, tape, scissors, and a measuring tape.

Measuring the Width


First, let's tackle measuring the width. To cover your entire staircase, just measure its full width.

  • Note: At The Natural Rug Company we want to make things as effortless as possible, so all sizes include the binding. You don’t need to calculate anything extra.

It’s more usual for stair runners to be narrower than the staircase. This allows some of the staircase beneath to show. Depending on the staircase's total width and personal preference, you can set things to see 8-30cm exposed on each side.

Measuring the Length

Next, we'll measure the length.


  • Begin by securing a piece of string with tape under the top lip of the stairs, where the rug will finish.

  • Then, lay the string down the back of the step (the riser) and fix it at the base of the step with tape.

  • Continue by running the string over the step, wrap it over the lip and tape it beneath the lip (if you prefer the rug to wrap around and under the lip), then secure the string again at the bottom of the riser. If you're aiming for a waterfall effect, extend the string over the step and attach it at the bottom of the riser. Keep fixing the string down the stairs, mimicking the desired appearance of the runner.

  • Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, mark this point on the string with a piece of tape. Do not attach the string to the bottom step; simply mark the spot. Now, remove all the string you've taped to the stairs for measurement. It's easier to measure once detached.

  • Measure the string from the starting end right to the marked end. This measurement is the length you need.

Method 2: Using Calculation

For a more detailed approach you can also measure the height of the treads and risers individually and then calculate the total length. Here's a step-by-step approach to calculating the length of your stair runner manually:

  1. Measure the width: Begin by measuring the total width (labelled A in the diagram above) of the staircase. Should you wish to have parts of the stair visible on each side of the runner, deduct the desired amount in centimetres from the overall width. That way, when set in, it will be equal on both sides. A common practice is to leave about 10 centimetres of stair exposed on each side, offering a visual contrast that enhances the aesthetic appeal and shows off the stair flooring beneath.

  2. Measure the riser: Measure the height of the stair riser (labelled B) from the bottom to the lip of the step above.

  3. Measure the tread: Measure the depth of the stair, known as the tread (labelled C) from the edge of the lip to the top of the riser.

  4. Count risers & treads: Count the total number of risers (B) and the treads (C).

  5. Calculate risers: Multiply the count of risers by the height of a single riser from step 2.

  6. Calculate treads: Multiply the count of stair treads by the tread measurement obtained in step 3.

  7. Add together: Sum the results from steps 5 and 6 to calculate the total length required for the stairway runner.

Important Considerations when Measuring and Ordering a Stair Runner

Work with a Certified Installer
We recommend working with a certified installer to ensure your stair runner is fitted perfectly. If you are confident in your measuring and DIY skills, you can follow our Stair Runner Installation Guide. However, for most homeowners, partnering with a professional installer familiar with natural fiber carpeting, such as wool, is the best choice for stair runners. If you have any questions, please reach out to us by phone or email.

Add at least 20-30cm to your stair runner
We always suggest adding at least 20-30cm to your final length because the last thing you would want is to receive the runner and find that it is too short! The runner can always be cut down in length when installed. The top end of the runner will often be fixed below the flooring near the landing, so this will hide any reduction in length.

Option to leave ends unbound
It is a common request for us to leave the ends of the runner unbound so that it can be easily cut down to size. If you would like this option, just leave us a note in the comments section of the order and we are happy to accommodate this.

Design your own


Choose from over 300 Stunning Materials & 200 Borders, using our Rug Builder. Any Size You Like & Order Free Samples Before Final Purchase

Stair Runner Calculator Tool

Our Stair Runner Calculator Tool is designed to make the process of measuring for your stair runner simple and accurate. This handy tool helps you calculate the precise length and width of the runner needed for your staircase, ensuring a perfect fit every time. By entering a few key measurements, you can easily determine the exact dimensions required, taking the guesswork out of the process and providing peace of mind that your stair runner will look and function beautifully.

How to Use the Stair Runner Calculator Tool

  1. Total Width of Stair (cm): Measure the total width of your staircase from wall to wall. If you prefer to have a margin of visible stair on each side, subtract the desired amount from the total width.

  2. Space on Each Side (cm): Enter the width of the margin you want on each side of the runner. This is the amount of stair that will remain exposed.

  3. Riser Height (cm): Measure the height of one stair riser, from the bottom to the top of the riser.

  4. Stair Depth (cm): Measure the depth of one stair tread, from the front edge (lip) to where it meets the riser.

  5. Number of Steps: Count the total number of steps in your staircase, including the top landing. Each riser, including the landing at the top of the stairs, counts as one step.

  6. Calculate: After entering all the necessary measurements, click the "Calculate" button to get the total length and width of the stair runner required for your staircase.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your stair runner fits perfectly, adding both style and safety to your home. If you have any questions or need assistance, our team is always here to help.

Stair Runner Rug Inspiration