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How to Measure For a Stair 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 stairsways. Our selection of bespoke runners include a variety of weaves, patterns, and colours, 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.

Remember: 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.

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.

 

Here are more detailed instructions.

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 efforless as possible, so all sizes include the binding. So 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.

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Using Calculation

The simplest method to measure a stair runner involves using a piece 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. Here are more detailed instructions.

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

  3. Measure the depth of the stair (labelled C) from the edge of the lip to the top of the riser.
     

  4. Count the total number of risers and the depths across the stairs that the runner will need to span.
     

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

  6. Multiply the count of stair depths by the depth measurement obtained in step 3.
     

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

Stair Runner Calculator

Stair Runner Measuring Considerations

We always suggest adding at least 20-30cm on 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. 

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.

The Final Step
(Pun Intended)

Choosing your rug material and border color couldn't be easier with our Rug Designer. Once you have decided, you can order directly from the Rug Designer Tool.

Important: You also need to decide whether you will be doing the installation yourself as a DIY project or having an installer do the work.

If installing yourself you can follow our Stair Runner Installation Guide.

 

If you will be hiring an installer we recommend finding a local, reputable carpet installer who is familiar with installing natural fiber carpeting such as wool. As always, if you have any questions please reach out to us by phone or email.

Stair Runner Inspiration

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Wool Audrey - Nightfall

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Need Help Measuring or Making a Decision?

Ready to find the one?

 

Our amazing staff can answer any questions you might still have. Just reach out!

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