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How To Measure For A Stair Runner

Do you know how to measure your stairs for carpet runners? It’s easier than you might think, even on winding staircases.

In this easy-to-follow guide we’ll show you how to measure your stairs for carpet runners to ensure the perfect fit and a professional finish. We’ll cover which areas you need to measure to get the correct length and width for your stairs, whether they’re straight or winding.

How to Measure Straight Stairs for Carpet Runners

As you can imagine, this type of staircase is the most straightforward to measure and fit carpet runners.

Step 1. Measure the length

First you need to measure the length of your stairs so you can work out the length of your carpet runner. Don’t worry, you don’t need to measure every step, just the tread and riser of one step.

As illustrated by the example below, the tread is the horizontal surface of the step, and the riser is the vertical surface of the next step above. Once you have measured these, simply add them together and multiply this figure by the total number of steps in the staircase.


Step 2. Measure the Width

Once you have measure the length of your staircase, you need to find the correct width to complete your measurements. Start by measuring the full width of a step, then deduct a minimum of 5 cm from each end. If you want a narrower stair runner, this is fine, so long as there is a minimum of 5 cm clearance at either end.


Step 3. Don’t Forget the Top Step

Once you reach the top step you have two options:

  1. Your carpet runner ends at the top riser - this means you should only measure the length of your stairs up to the top of the last riser, leaving out the top step (which would be your landing) all together.

  2. Your carpet runner continues onto the landing - In this case you should measure the length of your landing and add this to the overall length measurement.


Step 4. End Measurement

Once you have calculated the full length of your carpet runner, you should add a further 10% onto the total to allow for any errors or adjustments. It’s always better to have too much than not enough.


Measuring a Half Landing for Carpet Runners

If you have a half landing – a larger and often square-shaped step in the middle of your flight of stairs – then you will need to factor this into your overall measurements too.

Step 1. Measure the Width

In the same way as with your regular steps, measure the width of your half landing, leaving the same minimum 5 cm gap at either side. Again, you can leave a larger gap if you prefer, so long as it matches the width you’ve set for the rest of the staircase.

Step 2. Measure the Length

Measure the length of your half landing and extend your measurement over the edge to include the riser directly below it, so it will meet the rest of the runner on the step below.

Step 3. Add to Your Overall Measurements

Add everything up, remembering to add the extra 10% length allowance to allow for errors.


How To Measure Winding Stairs for Carpet Runners

Winding staircases are elegant and sweeping, but they do change the rules when it comes to measuring for carpet runners. Winder staircases gradually change angle as they move towards the next floor, and three or four steps may be of an irregular shape to accommodate this change in angle.


Follow these simple steps to measure your winding staircase for a carpet runner:

Step 1. Measure the Width

To ensure accuracy, measure each step of your winding staircase from the inner edge to the widest point of the outer edge. Then deduct a minimum of 5 cm from both sides, though this gap can be increased to achieve your desired carpet runner effect.

Step 2. Measure the Length

Measure the length of each step along the outer (widest) point and extend over the edge onto the riser below it. Repeat for each step to get your final length.

Step 3. End Measurement

Once you’ve added together your final length (including the top step/landing if you are including this), remember to add a final 10% on top of this measurement to allow for errors and adjustments.

Now you know how to measure stairs for a carpet runner you can start on the fun bit, choosing your runner design. We’ve got a huge selection of stunning carpet runners to choose from, including a rainbow of colours, patterns and carpet styles.

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