Introduction

how to Install a Flat-Weave Cotton Stair Runner
Photo: Laura Moss
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If you have plain old stairs, a runner can make a statement and soften your footsteps. Runners made of woven cotton are affordable and easy to work with, and they range in style from beachy to baroque; here, we chose heathered stripes to complement a cottage-style interior.

To simplify the job, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers employed the waterfall method: The runner cascades from step to step, a look that suits the pattern and is more casual than tightly wrapping the nosing.

Runner: Blue Heron Stripe Woven Cotton Rug by Dash & Albert, 30 inches by 12 feet, about $$124

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    Tools List

    • 100-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • carpet scissors
      Scissors
    • straightedge guide
      3-foot straightedge
    • black marker
      Felt-tip marker
    • staple gun
      Staple gun
    • flat prybar
      Thin pry bar
    • pneumatic staple gun
      Narrow-crown pneumatic stapler and air compressor
    • bolster chisel
      Bolster chisel

    Shopping List

    Felt carpet padding to cushion the runner

    Flat-weave cotton runner(s)

    Double-sided carpet tape to adhere the top end of the runner-inch staples for the staple gun to secure the padding

    1-inch 18-gauge narrow-crown staples for the pneumatic stapler, to secure the runner