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Common Household Remedies Request

Well, I have to wait ten days for my magnificent carpet runner to come in from (sigh) Home Depot. Magnificent by comparison to what was there, at least. Readers, you gave excellent carpet-laying advice before, I followed it, and everything turned out great, and so I turn to you again.

On these stairs, the carpet that used to be there -- a very, very old but rugged runner that seemed as if it might have been indoor-outdoor -- was held in place by brass rods. This is a very classy arrangement and I would like to preserve it. I assume that, because of the rods, I don't need to use those tack boards, or whatever they were called. Can I just run the runner under the rods and tack it in place with carpet tacks? Because that's what the last arrangement was. Or do I need to do better? Thank you!

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jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

do you have pictures of the old set up or a picture of what it is you are talking about. I just can't see very well today;)

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

Since the Runner is a continuous piece the rods and tacks approach be very satisfactory. You need to pay attention to securing the upper end at the top of the stairs and covering it with a standard metal piece, but the rod system has worked for over a century.

The tacks at the back of the step eliminate all the slippage, as the rods alone will allow some until the runner settles in.

People did this so the runner could be removed for cleaning before the age of the vacuum cleaner.

No one uses tack board on stairs. Usually the carpet is stapled in place.

Submitted by lambert on

1. I was advised to use tackboards on stairs with no rods, and it worked very well. The nice thing is that the rug was easier to reposition and remove.

2. How does the rug settle if there are carpet tacks at the back of each tread? Wouldn't that eliminate all the slack?

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

As a matter of safety, you don't want the carpet to move on the steps as that can cause slips, which is why they install the step edges in commercial buildings. The carpet loosens after it is laid, and the really thick carpets often need to be restretched after being down for a while.

Submitted by hipparchia on

that's how the carpet runner was done on the stairs in my grandparents' house. I don't know if there were any additional tacks or tack strips or whatever, but i'm sure there was something at the top and the bottom of the stairs holding the ends of the carpet.

also, the carpet was exceedingly thick and heavy as I recall.