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UP AND RUNNING A stair runner picks up the pace and keeps your stairway warm. To fashion your own, follow these simple, stylish steps

GAP Interiors/Bill Kingston



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Lay it down Measure your rugs, then measure stairs and mark where the rugs will rest on each step. Make sure that there is equal space on each side of the runner, and mark these lines with a pencil. Make an inside mark, about a halfinch in, that will show where the underlay will rest.


Cut the tackless strips to size. You need one piece at the back of each tread and one piece at the bottom of each riser. Hammer one horizontally to the bottom of the riser, on the vertical part. Leave a ¾ inch gap between that strip and the next, which will be positioned at the back of the tread. This will allow space for the carpet to be pushed into each crease.


Cut a piece of underlay to size and start at the top, wrapping it down each riser. Position it perfectly on your inside mark. Now, secure each piece with a staple gun. Make sure they do not cover the tackless strips but just touch up against them.


Lay the first rug down from the top of the staircase. Use a screwdriver or any other pointed tool to press the rug against the tackless strips.


Pulling the rug taut, staple the area on the top of each riser but under each nose, hiding the staples deep in the pile. Use the blunt chisel to ensure the rug sits in each crease between the tackless strips, and that the strips are adhering correctly to the fibres.

The Rug Company


Continue down the stairs, pulling the rug tightly so there is no slack material. The typical stair will use three rugs – aim for the end of each rug to sit beneath the nose of the riser rather than mid-tread – use a Stanley knife to cut it in the right place, if needs be.



You will need:

Some colourful non-reinforced flatwoven skinny rugs and underlay. We suggest the striped ANDRUP rug and underlay from IKEA (€39.99), which Cork-born furniture designer Aiveen Daly used on the staircase of her beautiful London townhouse.

Tackless strips, cut about 4” shorter than the width of the rugs (two for each step) Hammer Measuring tape Staple gun Screwdriver Wide chisel (blunt, so you don’t damage the rug fibres)

Once you reach the bottom of the staircase and the very last tread, cut any excess rug and staple the last row securely at the top and bottom of the last riser.


November 2011 » HOUSE AND home


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