June 1, 2011

diy nailhead stair runner


Finally, it's done! My Ikea rug and brass nailhead totally DIY stair runner. Installing a carpet runner on stairs turns out to be not terribly hard. That said, I did have some awesome help from my pro carpenter man with nail gun and better measuring skills than me, so that made things much nicer. And freed me up to take lots of pics for y'all. And yes, the pictures don't lie: he did most of the hard work. I sealed the seams, stapled where needed, spread some adhesive, and did the finishing touches, like the nailheads. So, on to the details!

Total number of stairs
26

Time
3 hours, not including setup/cleanup & nailheads

Materials and costs
8 Ikea Hessum rugs    $199.92
carpet adhesive    $12.97
trowel    $2.97
carpet seam sealer    $4.47
nail gun and pins, already owned
staple gun and staples, already owned
hammer, already owned
tape, already owned
utility knife and razor blades, already owned

Total project cost: $235.31

And here's how to install your own stair runner.



{1} Lay out your rug where you want it.


{2} Start at the bottom. Measure and measure again. Make sure the rug is centered on the first stair and straight. The beginning is the most important part to get straight/even, since any crookedness will travel and can become more noticeable as you move up the stairs. You have some wiggle room to correct as you go, but not too much leeway so better to be perfect from the beginning.


{3} We had a little jog in the wall and had to trim the carpet at the beginning to accomodate it.


{4} Lay out a piece of tape at the base to mark your starting line, which is of course straight. Spread the adhesive with the trowel, and you can go right up to and over the tape line.


{5} Lay the rug onto the adhesive, lining up with your at tape line, measuring and measuring again to make sure you're still going straight and centered. Then start nailing. We mainly nailed just under each riser, and let the adhesive do the work on the riser and treads. Sometimes the pins weren't enough to hold the carpet and we resorted to the staple gun. The staples were more noticeable, but only when you're on your knees looking up under the riser! You actually could do this whole project without the nail gun at all and just using a staple gun instead.


{6} When you start to run out of rug, make a cut just at the top of a riser, under the lip of the next tread.


{7} Here's what that edge will look like when you place the next rug down. Spread some more adhesive on the tread and riser above, lay the next rug out, place the seamed edge just over the edge you just cut, and staple/nail in place.


{8} Now that you've got the hang of it, you can spread the adhesive on more steps at a time and really get moving.


{9} Now it's starting to look really good. Almost at the top!


{10} Cut the final rug just under the lip of the landing. Staple/nail in place and seal the edge with carpet sealer to prevent fraying. This stair looked fine to me, and this is my back-of-the-house staircase, but if you're a perfectionist and want every raw edge covered, you could cover this up with a piece of trim molding to create a nice finished look.


{11} Use a rubber mallet to install the decorative nails along the rug's edges. I measured the middle of the tread, hammered in the my first nail, then eyeballed where I wanted the next ones. When I found some spacing that looked good, it was with the nails 3" apart, so I used that measurement going forward. The risers were short and got only two nails, but these were 3" apart was well.


And another look at the finished stairs again!


Here's how they look from the first step.

And if you can't remember the before? Here it is again and go here and here to read more about the original plan.


And another final shot of the after.


My goodness, this whole stairway was a lot of work. Laying the runners was just part of it. Patching walls, sanding, cleaning, painting walls, painting stairs and base molding, installing the runner, hammering in the nailheads. I'm exhausted. Oh, and Michael too. I seriously could not have done, and would not have attempted, this without him. All in all, I'm so very pleased with the results and the savings of doing this ourselves!

48 comments:

Agnes said...

Wow!! I love it!!! It looks pretty amazing. I'm glad it worked out!! Keep up the good work!

Cathy Wall said...

Awesome!!! Love the rugs you used as well as the detail of the nail heads, the finished product is fab. Lucky you to have a wonderful helper too...
Cathy @ Room Rx

Fran said...

Casey, it looks fantastic!! I love the Ikea rug with the nailhead - adds such a custom touch!! I'm filing this one way in my inspiration file!!

Peggy Miller said...

Wow! Nicely done, Casey!! I am also inspired!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

The cost of this project is nothing compared to what it does for your space. It looks amazing. Congrats on another fabulous project.

The Vintique Object said...

The results are amazing -- you must be thrilled. I can only imagine how much work went into it! You all did a great job, and how nice it must be to go up and down these stairs now...
Camille

Kathysue said...

Great job. I just saved an image of another stairway done this way because I loved the look. YOu have shown a great and economical way to get the same look,Great job,Kathysue

My Many Moments said...

Wow, great job! Looks fantastic. I'm so excited to find your blog. We have such similar taste! Thanks for your sweet comment.
Take Care,
Heather

Sarah Warren said...

The nail heads are the perfect finishing touch! I am the lucky gal who gets to walk these stairs every day. Thank you for all your (and Mike's) hard work!!!
-Sarah

Megan said...

It's a stunner! I love what you've done and it has to feel so satisfying to look at the before and after shot here- great work!!

Kate said...

IT'S AMAZING!!!! LOVE IT -- EVEN BETTER THAN I EXPECTED! GREAT WORK, CASE!

Sarah said...

You finished!! Congratulations!! Casey, it looks uh-maz-ing:) Wow, what a difference. My head was spinning just reading your description of the process, I can't imagine actually doing all that work. 3 cheers for Mike!! And thanks for the sneak peek of him;) This totally transforms this everyday, don't pay attention to it space into something really special. Way to go!!!

Jennifer @ Timeless Interiors said...

Beautiful work, great price, fantastic results! You should be very proud! I look forward to your next project!

Pudel-design said...

I really love it;)
Great job. Love this runner too, I have to go to IKEA and buy one;)
Lovely greetings...

http://pudel-design.blogspot.com/

Rene said...

Wow, wow, wow! It looks amazing Casey! You have really inspired me with this!

Pinning!

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

Your staircase rocks! And the overall improvement of the stairwell is incredible. It looks so polished now. Well done, my friend. Well done.

Rachel said...

Wow!!! It looks amazing!
I'm sure it was a ton of work, but the results are are so worth it.

I love that runner too - maybe I'll go pick one up for my guest bath.

Bettsi said...

That is seriously beautiful! Good job to both of you!

Bromeliad said...

Nice job!

LindsB said...

holy cow, this is the best project ever! I want to move to a place with stairs now just so I can do this project too!

Michelle L. said...

Incredibly worth the work! I am in awe - love the final result SO MUCH!

Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

Love this idea! In addition to my own blog, I work as the managing editor for Tip Junkie Decorate and would love to feature your idea!

hilary @ the upcycle furniture co. said...

love! : ) : ) : )

Cote de Texas said...

fabulous! i know that rug - it looks so great - what a great idea too.

Joni

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Wow, that is just stunning!! I did a similar look last year on a stair project. Love this runner you chose. Mine was a striped jute. Gorgeous the way it turned out.

Mz V said...

This project turned out just amazing! I love it! You should be proud of yourselves....great work with great results. Thanks for sharing!!!

SHERRY HART said...

Perfect! I love it.

Diana @ Our Vintage Home Love said...

I LOVE this! Very cool and so unique! :)

Day Dreaming And Decorating said...

Best looking runner I have yet to see.

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

I have not seen this done before - an amazing job and truly looks fabulous!

Inspire Me Heather said...

You've done a fabulous job with your stairs, it does look amazing and thank you for guest posting on stairs too at my blog!

Lesley said...

I just pinned your project. :) Question. Do you feel that you needed the nail heads to further secure this? They look nice, but I don't want to use them if I do this project. Your thoughts?

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Hi there! I am going to be totally COPYING you on my own stairs! I'll link to your fabulous work, and thank you for going where no woman has gone before!

Emily said...

I was thinking of doing the same thing on my stairs, but I was worried about cutting the rug....does it not fray??

I'd love to hear how yours is holding up! If there's no fraying then I'm definitely doing it!

emilykirkmorrison@gmail.com
whatemilydoes.com

casey at loft and cottage said...

Emily, we didn't (and don't) have a problem with fraying. Part of this is because the cuts were only done at the top of each riser, so they aren't getting any foot traffic. Other than that it's really just the adhesive underneath that keeps it together. I actually bought carpet glue for the fraying but at least with the kind of rug we used I found we didn't need it. Good luck with the project!

Matters of Style said...

Wow!! Amazing!!

Designology Interiors said...

That looks a-mazing!!! I just purchased those rugs for a client- such a nice pattern and super cheap.

cuckoo 4 design said...

Great Idea! Love it! Pinned it!

Anonymous said...

This is very cool!

One question: did you have to search to find a runner where the points would line up so perfectly with your stairs? Or did that just kind of work out for you? I'd love to do something like this, but my stairs are currently carpeted with thick pile (I look forward to the beautiful future where they will no longer be...) and shallow, so not your standard size...

Anonymous said...

I can't tell from the pictures, but are your stairs "finished" or did you paint over the subflooring?

Thanks,
Andrea

casey at loft and cottage said...

Hi Andrea, the stairs were painted to begin with--so, sort of finished I guess. We just gave them a fresh coat. I don't see why you couldn't do this project over a subfloor though...

Anonymous said...

Hey, what length nail shank did you use??? I saw this in a lake house and am determined to do! Love what you did! So impressed!

beth4108 said...

I am inspired and plan to do this project! Thank you! Question, the link to the nail heads sends me to a page of multiple different types. What is the exact name/description of the nail heads?

Julie said...

Hi there! I am dying that I just found your post! My mother in law is heading to Ikea today (we are 2 hours from the closest one) and I was having her pick up a few of these for me to DO THE SAME THING TO MY STAIRS!!! I was wanting to do the nailheads too! It is so crazy to see the EXACT picture of what I had in my mind and see that "YES", it is going to turn out as awsome as I was thinking! Thanks for the pics and inspirations.
Great blog too...
Julie

casey at loft and cottage said...

Hi Beth, It looks like the exact tacks I bought are no longer available, but the closest thing would be the 3/8" smooth brass with 1/2" shaft. I hope this helps. Good luck with the project!

Lan said...

Awesome work on DIY project. I can imagine how hard it is to finish installing the stair runner. But the stair looks completely great after it's done. Congratulations. You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

We are attempting this, and I was curious if there was any difficulty working your way up, rather than down, the stairs, especially with the adhesive?

Thanks!

casey at loft and cottage said...

No problem at all! In fact, I think it was easier going up. With the adhesive we didn't want to work too far ahead so we usually had two stairs above us to do, while we could stand on the carpet we'd just laid down. And it was easier to reach up to stairs above to do the pressing and stapling. Good luck!

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