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How to Install Carpet Runner on Curved Stairs

Installing Carpet Runners: The Basics
Installing a carpet runner on curved stairs requires the same tools and procedures as installing carpeting on a straight staircase - up to a point. You will still need to purchase a runner rug in the correct width for your staircase, stair runner carpet pads and, depending on the stair material, tackless strips and nails, adhesive tape or a staple gun and staples. A traditional knee-kicker and stair tool can be used to make the carpet tight on the tread, or you can upgrade to a carpet stretcher for easier, less physically demanding yet equally professional results. However, the similarities stop there.

Carpet Runners on Curved Stairs: Step by Step
With a straight staircase, you can use the waterfall method with a single strip of carpeting or the cap and band method, which requires a separate piece of carpet for each tread and riser pair. With a curved staircase, each step must be carpeted separately. Since they may be of different sizes and shapes and might not be uniform. Each piece of carpeting would run from the bottom of the riser to the bottom of the next riser. This will create the same waterfall appearance, but will give you the option later of replacing a single step or section if the carpeting becomes worn.

Measuring for Curved Stairs Carpet Runners
A special requirement for installing carpet on curved stairs is that you must "re-square" the bottom of each piece. Also, it is a good idea to create a pattern before cutting. Trace the tread dimensions of the first step, cut it out and compare to the other steps. If it is not exactly the same, you may need to create patterns for each step for a more precise cut.

Curved Stairs, Carpet Runners and Patterned Carpet
Using a patterned carpet runner for a curved stairs installation adds an additional layer of complexity that is not recommended for your first stair carpeting project. Since each step must be individually cut, this requires that any pattern be matched with the next step. Unless the pattern is small and frequently repeating, this can be difficult, resulting in a significant amount of excess carpet. For this reason, it is best to stick to solid colors or small repeating patterns for curved stairs.

Dean Flooring Company offers custom-length stair runners, so you can get just the size you need for your curved stairs carpeting project.