Step 1: Laying out tackless strips for a stair runner

Laying out tackless strips for a stair runner
Rebecca Cinclair Photo:
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Subtract the width of the runner from the width of the staircase (between baluster and skirtboard) and divide by two.

Lightly mark that distance out from the skirtboard and from the balusters on every tread where it meets the riser.

For each tread, use sheet-metal snips to cut a tackless strip 2 inches shorter than the width of the runner. Be sure there’s a nail within a couple of inches of each end.

Place a scrap piece of strip flush against the riser. Center the cut strip—pins angled toward riser—between the layout marks. Butt it against the scrap and nail.

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    More in Flooring

    Tools List

    • knee kicker
      Knee kicker,
      rent from carpet store or rental center
    • Hammer stapler
      Electric stapler with 9/16-inch narrow-crown staples
    • carpet knife
      Carpet knife
    • carpet tool
      Carpet tool
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet
    • metal cutting snips
      Sheet-metal snips
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • hack saw
      Tubing cutter or hacksaw,
      for trimming carpet rods

    Shopping List

    1. STAIR RUNNER

    2. TACKLESS STRIPS

    3. CARPET PAD

    4. LATEX CARPET GLUE

    5. 3/4-INCH CARPET TACKS

    for temporarily holding runner pieces on winder stairs



    6. DECORATIVE STAIR RODS

    optional