May 3, 2011

looking for a stair solution

So, big news around this place: I'm getting a roommate! Yes, my fabulous friend Sarah is moving into the third floor, my two rooms of upstairs space I wrote about here, and I'm looking forward to getting it looking halfway decent for her! Part of that plan is taking care of the staircase, with cracked walls and painted (chipped) steep wooden stairs. In fact they're so steep, and perhaps slippery because they're painted smooth, I've fallen down them one too many times. I could not subject Sarah to that fate—and in fact my plan for a while has been to add a carpet runner here. Now I'm finally going to do it. Deadline June 1.


My inspiration was Megan's Greek key natural-fiber-looking runner purchased from Lowe's. Isn't it awesome? It would certainly bring some style to my sad, plain Jane stairway.


But the cost was a little disappointing. Turns out it's about $190 for the rug but about $550 for labor. Now, I do have a lot of stairs, and the price isn't totally excessive, but it's still more than I wanted to pay. And being such a DIYer, I'm always thinking, why not save money on labor and do this myself. How hard can it be to lay a rug down on wooden stairs? (My father, experienced do-it-yourselfer, says not a word but emphatically shakes his head no.)

My DIY plan, before I'd even investigate the Lowe's professional option, was to buy up a bunch of these runners from Ikea (at $24.99 each) and lay them down with the help of a carpet knife and carpet tape...or something (my plan did not get too specific ;-)
Isn't this rug adorable? I have another version of it in my kitchen and just love it.

Then, because timing is everything and the blog world is awesome, I saw this on Jenny's blog yesterday:


Total, complete fabulousness! Now I am thinking whether I buy the Lowe's rug or the Ikea rug, I really can install it myself, with a carpet knife to fit to size where needed and carpet tape and nailheads to secure (and to look awesome!). All for around $200. So what are your thoughts? Do you forsee obstacles to this crazy DIY plan? Do I need a rug pad? If this were your home, what would you do?

11 comments:

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

Oooooo you are brave but I know you can do it. I'd go for the Greek key runner with nail heads. I personally don't think you need a pad underneath as your going to be attaching it to the stairs. Good luck. Cannot wait to see photos.

gina said...

I like the Ikea runners. That's such a great idea with the nail heads. Don't think a pad is necessary. Can't wait to see everything finished!

Rene said...

We are connected in spirit Casey. My stairway looks similar to yours and I have been tossing this idea around too. When I saw Jenny's post yesterday my wheels started spinning again. Gretchen Opgenorth added a D&A runner which was gorgeous - don't know about the cost though. Darn it, I thought you were going to say the Lowes option was much less than that. You could probably even check your local carpet store (we have Carpets By Henry here) sometimes they have remnants in the back that are very nice and cost less. Will wait to see what you decide.

Kate said...

I like the IKEA runners a lot! And I doubt you need a pad -- we had an oriental runner in our old Colonial growing up with no pad and it was fine....not that I ever tumbled down to try out the landing. And congrats on the roommate!! FUN!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I have no wisdom to share, but if it works, it would look fabulous. Crossing my fingers for you.

Project Shannon said...

We are right in the middle of this project too. The runner goes in next week. We don't plan to use a rug pad, but we plan to use carpet tape on the treads and then staple the carpet in the corner where the back meets the tread. I definitely think it's a manageable project! Make sure you write about any tips!

megan said...

I'm so excited to see how this project turns out for you; we didn't use a rug pad and it's been fine. Love the idea of the nail heads that should make the process easier... we watched a bunch of DIY videos on youtube and weren't brave enough to tackle for our first home improvement project, but looking back could see how this would be achievable. Hope you'll share some pictures of the after!!

The Vintique Object said...

I have a question about the ikea runners. Are they synthetic/washable. I think you should use these. They are perfect!
Camille

SHERRY HART said...

Can't wait to see what you decide....I am leaning towards the Ikea idea.

Sarah said...

Yay for Sarah moving in, that's awesome! No idea about DIYing the rug runner...but if anyone can do it, you can! And mad props when you pull it off:)

casey at loft and cottage said...

Hi Camille, the Ikea rugs are polypropylene so I think they're pretty cleanable. I am still torn between doing it myself (hard work, a two hr trip to Ikea) and just paying Lowe's to do it all!

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