15+ Best Stair Runner Ideas and Designs (With Photos) – Buying Guide

Last Updated on January 12, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Stair runners are a great way to add a little flair and personality to your staircase. However, choosing the right style can be difficult. We will discuss 15 different stair runner ideas.

We’ll also go over how the patterns on the stairs affect their function as well as what materials you should consider when shopping for a new runner. Finally, we’ll give some helpful tips on how to choose the best stair runner for your needs! 

Also if you are looking for stair ideas not only for the home but also for the jacuzzi check out hot tub stairs Canada where you can find the cheapest deals.

Related: 30 Best Kitchen Runner Rugs That You’ll Love (Buying Guide)

What is the stair runner?

A stair runner is a piece of fabric that you use to cover the stairs. It can be a solid color or it can have a design on it. 

The main purpose of the stair runner is to protect the stairs. It will help to keep them from getting dirty and it will also help to keep your feet warm in the winter. A stair runner can also add some style to your home. If you have a plain staircase, you can add some color to it with the runner.

Related: 31+ Best Basement Stairway Ideas and Designs

How to choose the right runner for you

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right stair runner for your home.


The most popular choice is a natural fiber, typically wool or polyester

One advantage of these materials is that they are very durable and will last for years to come with the proper care. Wool stair runners tend to be more expensive than synthetic ones but can hold up better under high foot traffic. Carpet runner manufacturers offer warranties on their products that range from 20 to 100 years.

Wool is naturally flame retardant, which makes it a great choice for homes with children or pets who are likely to start playing around the stairs. Wool also absorbs sound and provides insulation during the winter months so your home will stay warm without having to turn up the heat as much. 

Polyester is a great alternative to wool. It comes in many colors and patterns that can be customized for your home or business stair runner needs. Polyester doesn’t absorb sound as wool does but it also isn’t as susceptible to stains so you won’t have to worry about spills ruining the look of your stairs. 

When choosing your stair runner material, consider what’s important to you. You can also ask the experts at a carpet store near you about the different materials they offer and how durable each one is for high foot traffic areas such as stairs.

Related: 19+ Different Types Of Carpets, Styles, and Pile Options (Buying Guide)

Color and pattern

Choose colors and patterns that coordinate with your decorating color scheme. A bright, bold pattern is ideal for high traffic areas where spills are more likely to happen or when you want a little extra flair in an otherwise neutral area of the home.

A subtle pattern or solid color is a good choice for a formal setting or when you want to avoid too much visual noise.

When selecting a color, keep in mind the natural light in your home. A runner that appears dark when it’s first installed may seem lighter once it’s been in place for a while and vice versa. If your home doesn’t get an abundance of natural light, choose a less noticeable color or pattern.

If you want to create more contrast on your steps, use the same color for the runner and riser but in different shades. For example, if you have dark hardwood stairs with white risers try using a medium brown stair runner that matches your hardwood floor.

The shape of the stair runner

When it comes to the shape of your stair runner, there are a few things you need to take into account. The first is the shape of your stairs. Is it a straight set of stairs, or do they have curves?

The second thing to consider is the size of your stair runner. You want to make sure that you get one that fits well and doesn’t look too small or too big. 

shape of stair runner

Here are a few shapes and sizes that might work well for your stair runner:

  • Rectangular

These runners are typically about three feet wide and go the length of your stairs. This is a good size for most people’s staircase, as it fits well without being too small or large.

  • Oval

If you have long curves on your stairway, this shape might work best to make them look more uniform. They are typically five feet wide and about 100 inches long.

  • Runner in a runner

This option is two stair runners that are side by side instead of one big piece. This allows you to have different patterns on each or can be purposefully designed with the same pattern to make it look like one large rug. It will fit well if your stairs are curved, and is typically around 200 inches in length.

  • Runner on a runner

If you want to add color or more pattern than just one stair runner can provide, this option may be for you. It’s four runners placed side by side instead of two, creating an interesting design that will brighten up your staircase.

How much do you want to spend?

This is another question that will help you choose what kind of stair runner will work best for your home and budget. Depending on the type, a good stair runner can range in price anywhere from $25 up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per yard. You need to decide what is best for your budget, and then you can start looking at the different options.

To trim or not to trim?

It’s a common question when it comes to installing runners: should you trim the edge of the runner so that it fits snugly against each step, or leave some excess material and let it hang over the side? The answer depends on your personal preference and the look you’re going for. 

If you want a sleek, polished look, then trimming the runner is the way to go. However, if you prefer a more rustic or traditional look, letting the runner hang over the edge can be a nice touch.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to trim: if your stairs have particularly narrow steps, leaving too much excess material on the sides of the runner can make them difficult to walk on.

If you’re not sure what look you want, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and trim the runner so that it fits snugly against each step. This will ensure a safe and polished appearance. 

15+ Best Stair Runner Ideas and Designs

Stair runners are very popular for stairs because they not only decorate the stairway but protect them as well. Stairs can be hard to maintain and keep clean, so a stair runner is your best bet when it comes to protecting your investment in floors that look good all year round. Below are the top 15 stair runner ideas that are popular right now.

Some of these options can be customized with your choice in color, texture, and style to make it even more unique for you. Whatever option you choose, know that there’s a great way to put some personality into your home while still keeping things traditional at the same time!

1. Animal print

1 stair runner ideas

An animal print stair runner is one of the best ideas for modern home decor. The animal print design adds a stylish twist to your interior, creates a cozy atmosphere, and gives it that touch of glamour you’ve been looking for.

It comes in numerous options with different colors and shapes so you can choose the right fit for every style, theme, or color palette you have in your home.

The most popular animal prints include leopard, zebra, and cheetah designs which can be easily fitted into contemporary or traditional interior style with ease.

Leopard print is a timeless classic that never goes out of fashion while the other two are more modern choices perfect for any décor from ultra-modern to rustic chic.

animal print carpet rugs and runners

If you’re thinking of using an animal print stair runner, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure the pattern and colors complement your existing décor otherwise it will look out of place.

Second, choose a style that is comfortable for walking on – avoid very textured or busy patterns as they can be difficult to walk on for some people.

Finally, it is important to take into account the size of your staircases as well as how many runners you need – animal print rugs come in a variety of sizes so make sure you have enough before ordering one.

2. Neutral print

2 stair runner ideas

A neutral stair runner can be a great choice since it is easy to match with any style and color of decor. Neutral options include dark brown, charcoal gray, or even black for those who want something that stands out less than the other colors listed above.

Beige and tan are also popular choices. There’s no need to worry about spills or dirt, either – a neutral runner can easily be cleaned with a quick sweep or vacuum.

A downside to using a neutral runner is that it may not add as much visual interest as some of the other colors. 

3. Oriental print

3 stair runner ideas

Oriental runners are a great way to add some personality and color to your stairs. They come in many different shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect one for your home.

These rugs are also very durable, so you can rest assured that your stairs will look great for years to come.

The most popular colors in this style are red, orange, yellow, and gold. You can find these colors on many different types of flowers that grow throughout the Middle East.

4. Painted

4 stair runner ideas

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to add some personality to your staircase is by painting a runner. You can either use a pre-made stencil or freehand it yourself. This option is great for renters since it’s easy to remove when you move out.

Painted stair runners are also a good option for dogs since they are easy to clean. 

There’s no need to limit yourself when it comes to the color with this type of runner either. You can paint the stair runner any shade you want, making your staircase a great focal point in your home!

5. Patterned print

5 stair runner ideas

Patterned stair runners can be a great way to add color and interest. It’s important to choose the right patterned stair runner for your stairs, though—it should have a similar design or theme as that of your home.

If you have an elegant Victorian-style house with ornate detail, then perhaps choosing a bright red floral carpet might not be the best idea. 

Instead, try something more subtle and in keeping with the overall design of your home. A classic plaid or stripe would be a good option for a traditional house, while a funky abstract pattern could work well in a more contemporary setting.

6. Striped print

6 stair runner ideas

Striped stair runners can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any home. They come in a variety of colors and designs, so you can find the perfect one for your space.

If you want to add a pop of color to your home, consider a striped runner. It will brighten up any staircase and make it more inviting. Plus, striped runners are a great way to add some personality to your space.

7. Avenue print

avenue print stair runner

Avenue is a great way to add some color and personality to your stairs. This runner is available in a variety of colors, so you can find the perfect one for your home.

The pattern on this runner gives your stairs an elegant and sophisticated look, while the color options allow you to choose one that fits perfectly with any room in your home. 

8. Beach print

beach print stair runner

Beach stair runner ideas are often very simple. If you’re looking for a stair runner that is more on the traditional side, this might be your best bet. You can find some beautiful coastal designs with seashells or starfish in different colors and patterns to complement any house decor style.

Another idea for beach-themed runners is having one made out of bamboo. This would give a more natural look to your stairs and could be used in either a casual or formal setting.

9. Homespun

homespun stair runner

Homespun is the epitome of rustic beauty, with a unique mottled look and soft texture. It’s also durable enough to withstand high traffic areas like stairways and hallways.

Homespun comes in many different color options, but the most popular is “Faded Red” because it beautifully complements most home decor styles. 

10. Kashmir

Kashmir stair runner

Kashmir is a highly durable and luxurious wool carpet. Because of its durability, it is often used for stair runners in commercial buildings such as airports and banks, but many residential homes use Kashmir also. 

This type of runner will cost you more than most other types due to the quality materials involved with making it. It comes in various colors but typically has a natural hue. It is very soft underfoot and has a luxurious look. You can purchase this type of stair runner in cut pile, loop pile, or level loop.

11. Konia

Konia is a good choice for stair runners because it is stylish, durable, and affordable. The color options are also endless, so you can find the perfect shade to match your home’s decor.

Konia can also be machine-washed, which is a huge plus.

12. Qashqai

Qashqai is a traditional Persian rug. It is often hand-woven with wool and has a thick, luxurious pile. The design is typically geometric, featuring intricate details and vibrant colors.

Qashqai rugs are perfect for high-traffic areas as they are durable and stain-resistant. They also add warmth and texture to any room in your home. 

If you’re looking for a luxurious and timeless stair runner, consider investing in a Qashqai.

13. Floral print

floral print stair runner

If you are looking for a classy runner idea that is also budget-friendly, this floral stair runner might be your best bet. This stair runner can be easily installed on wooden stairs, concrete steps, or even vinyl floors.

It comes in a variety of colors and patterns to choose from so you are sure to find one that suits your style perfectly. You also have the option of buying it pre-cut into strips for easy installation if you’re looking for something simple. 

14. Geometric print

geometric stair runner

Geometric stair runner ideas are becoming more popular. This geometric pattern is perfect for giving your home a modern look and feel, while also providing some elegance to the space as well. You can use this type of design in any room of your house or even outside on patios, balconies, etc.

15. Aztec print

aztec print stair runner

If you’re looking for a unique and trendy stair runner, go with an Aztec design. This look is perfect for adding some personality to your home and will make a statement when guests walk up to your stairs.

Be sure to choose a color that complements the rest of your decor, or go with a neutral pattern to let it blend in.

How to install carpet runner on stairs

Installing a carpet runner on your stairs is a great way to add some style and personality to your home. Not only that, but it can also provide some extra cushioning and protection for your steps. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow to install a runner on your own.

how to choose stair runner

Determine rug length and width needed

The first thing to do when buying a stair runner is to determine how much area you have. A good estimate for the length of each step is nine inches, so measure from one edge of your stairs to the other and add on at least three feet more. 

To figure out what width will work best with the space you’ve got available, measure across the stairs at several points. The runner should be about a foot wider than your staircase, and you can always trim it down to size if necessary.

Create individual rug pads for each stair runner

If you are using individual rug pads for each stair, then it may be best to use a combination of different material options. Polyester and viscose blend is often chosen because the carpet pile will allow the mat to “grip” better than other runners that do not have this feature. This can prevent slipping hazards on the stairs. 

For instance, your stair runner may be made of wool material but if the pile is not high enough it will slip on hardwood or tile surfaces. A rug pad without a thick pile may also work for this reason as well.

If you are using an individual mat system then choose one that has antimicrobial properties built in to prevent mold and mildew and wiping up spills is also much easier. The runner pad should be at least an inch thick so that your stair runners stay in place. 

Mark cut lines on the rug pad

Mark cut lines on the rug pad with a sharpie. This will ensure that your runner is the correct size and shape for your staircase. 

Figure out which side you would like the rug to lay on for it not to curl up onto itself. Place that down first, then with a ruler draw another line parallel next to the line already drawn so that you have equal measurements all around the runner pad. 

Now that you have cut lines drawn, use a pair of scissors to cut the rug pad.

Adhere carpet tape

Stair runners are made by sewing strips together in a pattern, so attaching carpet tape to both sides before you attach it to your stairs will give added security. The main purpose is so that when people walk on them they don’t shift around or come up off the steps – but also because it will help keep the runner from bunching up as people walk on it. 

For it to be effective, the tape has to be stuck down good and tight – so go over it a few times to make sure that it’s well attached.


Stair runners can be a great way to add some personality and style to your home. The best part of using stair runners is that you don’t have to spend a lot on them, but the options are almost endless when it comes down to patterns, colors, materials used in construction, etc.

Our advice is to stay low and go with a basic stair runner design. Make sure you choose a pattern that matches the style of your home, but also consider matching it to other rugs or carpeting in your house as well. Also, consider comfort when choosing your runners – there’s nothing worse than walking up those stairs barefoot on the cold tile.