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How to Install a DIY Stair Runner

TOH reader Jaime Shackford used two off-the-shelf woven runners (about $125 each) to put some grip on her slick oak steps.

DIY Stair Runner Installation

After getting a quote of $2,500 to carpet her dangerously slick oak staircase, TOH reader Jaime Shackford of Edmond, Oklahoma, took the project into her own hands. Using just two off-the-shelf woven runners ($125 each) and supplies from a home center, here's what she did.

How to Install a DIY Stair Runner

1. Staying Centered

Painter’s Tape Marks Area For DIY Stair Runner

Jaime used painter's tape to make sure the runner would be centered on the stairs.

2. Padding

Under Padding For Stair Runner

She cut padding—a thin sheet of felt usually sold as underlayment for laminate flooring—into rectangles slightly narrower than the width of the runner.

3. Adhering to Detail

Double-Sided Carpet Tape On Padding For DIY Stair Runner

She adhered the padding to the treads with blue double-sided carpet tape, pulling the felt over the nose of each step. Then she added more carpet tape for the runner.

4. One Step at a Time

Stair Runner Stapled In Corner Of Tread

Starting from the top, Jaime affixed the runner, securing it with staples in the corners of each tread and along the top and bottom edges. She used a painter's 5-in-1 tool to smooth the runner over the steps' risers and finished it off with square upholstery tacks.


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