Many people love the warm look and feel hardwood floors lend to a space. However, some miss the feel of a plush carpet under their feet and the reduced noise factor a carpet can bring. There are a number of possible solutions to this, one of which is not always readily apparent: Simply add carpet. Many people question whether carpet and hardwood can coexist. After all, people choose hardwood floors both for their durability and their beauty. If done properly, installing carpet runners for stairs can emphasize the elegance of hardwood floors.

hardwood flooring with carpet runner


The first step is to choose a carpet style, thickness, and pattern. For a solid-colored carpet, pattern isn’t really an issue. As Ronda with Conklin Bros. points out, every carpet is different. A thicker warp or thinner weft, the way and direction in which the individual carpet fibers are woven into the carpet matrix, and the basic type of carpet will all impact how the carpet can best be cut to match the chosen application. When a patterned carpet is chosen, this adds another dimension of difficulty, as the pattern must be cut precisely and evenly so the end result is eye-pleasing and uniform.

carpet runner-

The carpet seen in this video is 100% New Zealand wool. It is considered a flooring-industry leader for durability, beauty, and its resistance to usual wear and tear caused by foot traffic. Carpets placed in stairwells and on traffic aisles tend to wear out more in the middle where people normally walk, leaving the edges looking newer. New Zealand wool is a good choice for resisting this kind of wear because of its natural crimped-yarn construction, giving it more resilience and ability to spring back from wear. This in turn permits the carpet to retain its beauty and functionality longer than many synthetics, with an estimated lifetime in the neighborhood of two decades depending on traffic and other factors.

Conklin bros crew

The background look in this particular carpet selection by this client is known as an abrash. This means that because of variations in the natural dyes used in an Oriental-style carpet, the colors will actually change a little over time. Some will become more vibrant, while others will fade into the background. The darker background and the open floral pattern helps to mask dirt and other traffic stains caused by both humans and pets. Because of the modern Persian styling, this carpet blends well with a number of interior decoration schemes and colors, which made it an ideal choice for this particular project.

Installing the carpet runner

The second step, then, is cutting. Using a row cutter, the carpet is trimmed to the required dimensions. As a carpet runner is typically meant to be “framed” by the underlying floor, the runner will measure somewhat less than the dimensions of the staircase. This creates another consideration, because the carpet must be measured to account for both the rise, or vertical elevation, and the run, or horizontal distance, of the staircase. A runner may consist of several rows, depending upon the height and horizontal distance to be covered and how the carpet must be cut.

marbin finishing up on the install

Now that the raw runners are ready, the carpets are always run through a sewing machine for a finished edge. This edging will either be a nylon binding or a surged edge (an overcast stitched look). This finishes the edges and makes the runner appear even straighter, because it cleans up any possible imperfections in the cuts caused by the carpet’s type, pattern, or manufacturing flaws.

The carpet runner is installed and looking great!

During the installation process, a, pad with a water resistant surface is being applied. This should protect the wood stairs from moisture, as in carpet steam cleaning or with a spill or possible pet accident, while adding a cushion. The carpet runner is then placed and smoothed into position using a carpet kicker as we see Marbin doing here. This eliminates ripples and bulges in the runner and allows for a smoother, more “finished”-looking walking surface after installation. The carpet is attached to the staircase with staples. When the last staple is attached, the result is a beautiful and functional addition to the house’s wood flooring that will preserve the wood’s elegance and reduce potential safety hazards.

Conklin Bros. employs Interior Design Consultant’s like Susan, whose job it is to work with clients and create for them the perfect carpet for their requirements and esthetic needs. It is this attention to detail that has given Conklin Bros. a reputation that spans over a century. As you can see here, we are committed to giving great results by sweating the small stuff, every time!