How to Fit a Stair Runner

Created by Adam King, Modified on Thu, 05 May 2022 at 12:46 PM by Adam King

Need to learn how to fit a stair runner? It’s not as difficult as you might think, especially with our step-by-step guide to help you along the way. With our easy-to-follow instructions, you will learn how to install a carpet runner on stairs and create a stunning carpeted staircase in just 10 straightforward steps.



Before we start, have you installed your stair underlay? You need to have laid your underlay before installing your runner. Find out how here.

If you are a visual learner and prefer to watch the runner being laid, please click to view our video guide.

Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

  • Your stair carpet runner
  • Tape measure and ruler
  • Pencil
  • Staple gun
  • Carpet bolster tool
  • Hammer
  • Headless nails (15mm)
  • Stanley Knife

How to install a stair runner:

Step 1 - Unroll your runner and measure the width using your tape measure

Step 2 - Measure the width of your stairs. Then deduct the width of your runner from the width of your stairs and divide it by two. This will give you the exact size of the gap you need to leave either side of your carpet runner to ensure it is central.

Step 3 - Mark out your gap measurements on your stairs using a ruler and pencil. Make sure you mark every step so you can ensure your runner is perfectly central all the way down. 

Step 4 - Keeping your runner rolled up, start from the top step and secure the end of the runner to the top riser using a staple gun. You will need to use at least 5 evenly spaced staples for a secure fit.

Important Tip:  If your carpet has a pile, make sure the pile direction is flowing towards the bottom of the stairs. This will help the carpet wear more naturally over time.

Step 5 - Then use your carpet bolster tool to push the carpet between the gripper gap where the step meets the riser. 

Step 6 - Start unrolling the runner down one step at a time, securing the carpet under the lip of each step using the staple gun and bolstering as you go.

Step 7 - Once you reach the bottom step, secure the carpet with the staple gun as normal and then cut off any excess length using a Stanley knife. 

Important Tip: Do not trim off the excess carpet length until you have stapled the carpet to the lip of the final step, or this could result in your carpet being too short.

Step 8 - Staple the end of the runner to the bottom riser to secure it

Step 9 - Using your headless nails, tack the edges of the runner to the step surface. You will need around 5-6 nails per side of each step (10-12 nails per step). Use the nails on the treads of the step only, not the risers.


Step 10 - Stand back and admire your work.

And that’s how to secure a stair runner; fairly straightforward, right? You can leave your carpet runner as it is, or you can add extra style and character with stair rods. Find out how to install stair rods here.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article