How to Fit a Stair Runner

As with any project in the house, it’s done with a budget in mind. A few weeks ago we came across Stair Runners Direct on Instagram and after looking at their site, we opted to go for their Gatsby runner. Again, with budget in mind, we decided we’d fit it ourselves. Quite daunting, but after plenty of research and reading Stair Runner’s own fitting guide we thought we’d give it a go.

Getting Started

First up, here are the tools we used:

  • Staple gun (£20 from Screwfix)
  • Staples (had to get a few more from Toolstation)
  • Hammer
  • Rubber mallet
  • Bolster Chisel/Chisel
  • Scissors (sharp fabric scissors are best, we used what we had)
  • Stanley knife
  • Masking tape
  • Pens and marker
  • Ruler and level
  • Side cutters
  • Carpet grippers (we got a box from Screwfix at £6.99)
  • Underlay (supplied by Stair Runners Direct)

Next Steps

  • Measure the stairs. Mark up the centre and where your runner will sit.

  • Make a template for your carpet grippers (which you should cut 10cm shorter than your runner).
  • Cut your carpet grippers to size (10cm shorter than the runner. Our runner is 50cm, our grippers 40cm).
  • We used a template to line up where the grippers would sit once we cut them.
  • Cut two for every stair (we perhaps could have left more of a gap for rods when we fit them).
  • Fit them approximately 1cm away from the riser and 1cm up from the step with the pins pointing towards each other.

  • Now, cut your underlay to size. We opted not to take the underlay over the lip of the stair, instead just having it as a pad on the step. Again, cut this 10cm shorter than your runner so you don’t see it from the sides. Just as a note, Stair Runners Direct recommend fitting the underlay over the nose of the stairs to help prolong the life of your runner.  

  • Once you have cut your underlay to size, staple them to the stairs.
  • Use more staples at the front of the underlay for added strength and grip.

Fitting the Runner

There’s no right or wrong way to do this part. You can start at the top or the bottom, a lot of the guides we read varied. It could be down to preference or how complicated the fitting of a specific runner is. We started at the top and began by stapling the runner under the lip of the top stair.

We measured the centre and either side of the runner. Then we created two guides for each side to line it up as we went along. It’s so easy to get out of alignment once you’ve popped staples in. 

We used the chisel to crease the runner into the grippers. It would have been good to have a carpet kicker, but they were about £40 so we didn’t buy one for this project. Creasing the runner into the grippers we knocked it in with the rubber mallet and worked the runner under the lip. Next, we held the staple gun as tight to the runner as possible and stapled along the back and under the lip. It gets a little bit easier as you get into it. Pop a staple in every few inches.

Work your way down keeping an eye on alignment and working the runner as you go. As long as you’ve measured up and you’re keeping things in line (and it’s just a straight staircase) the whole process should go fairly smoothly.

We popped a timelapse of the process together. If you have any questions find us on Instagram and feel free to ask any questions! 

When we reached the bottom, we cut the runner a little longer, folded it under itself and then stapled it to the bottom stair to keep it neat. Once done, we checked all staples to make sure none were sticking up or visible.

We’d recommend giving it a go yourself if you have straight stairs. There are some great guides online. A lot of people do it differently so don’t worry too much about getting it 100% right, there are many methods to doing this. Just make sure you use grippers and some good quality underlay. 


  • Runner, underlay and delivery – £194
  • Tools – £20
  • Staples – £6.25
  • Grippers – £6.99 (box of 8)
  • Total – £227.24

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