Find the Perfect Fit: How Long Should My Stair Runner Be?


Determining the correct length of your stair runner is essential to enhance safety and the aesthetic appeal of your home.

You may wonder, ‘How long should my stair runner be?’

The answer involves a combination of precise measurements of your stair dimensions, taking into account the tread, riser, and any landings or turns.

This article provides a step-by-step guide to accurately measure and find the ideal length for straight, curved, and unique staircase configurations.

Key Takeaways

  • Precise measurements are essential for stair runner installation, accounting for tread depth, riser height, and extra length for coverage and pattern matching.

  • Stair runner width should align with staircase dimensions and personal preference, with options ranging from standard widths to custom sizing for an ideal fit.

  • Proper stair runner installation is crucial for aesthetics and safety, with end-capping as a necessary finishing touch, and professional installers recommended for complex staircases.

    Infographic on How Many Feet Needed for a Stair Runner from 6 stairs to 14 stairs
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be? Quick Answers:
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 6 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 11 Feet of Carpet for 6 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 7 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 12 Feet of Carpet for 7 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 8 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 14 Feet of Carpet for 8 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 9 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 15 Feet of Carpet for 9 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 10 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 17 Feet of Carpet for 10 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 11 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 19 Feet of Carpet for 11 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 12 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 20 Feet of Carpet for 12 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 13 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 22 Feet of Carpet for 13 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 14 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 24 Feet of Carpet for 14 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 15 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 25 Feet of Carpet for 15 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 16 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 27 Feet of Carpet for 16 Stairs!
How Long Should My Stair Runner Be if I Have 17 Stairs?
Answer: You Need 28 Feet of Carpet for 17 Stairs!


Here is How to Measure your Stairs for the Proper Length of a stair runner

Count How Many Stairs you Have and Include the top riser, for example, if you have 12 stairs add the top riser and now you have 12.5 stairs, this is the right way to calculate a stair runner in linear feet.

Here is the math ( 12.5 Stairs x 19 inches per stair divided by 12 inches equals 19.79 feet, round this up to 20 feet and you are good to go)

Determining Your Stair Runner Length: The Basics

Illustration of a straight staircase with a stair runner

The perfect fusion of function and style, a stair runner, can dramatically transform your staircase. But finding the perfect fit is not a matter of mere eye estimation.

Precise calculation is key, and the devil lies in the details.

From the depth of the tread and the height of the stair riser to the depth of the nose, every inch matters when it comes to ensuring that your stair runner lines up perfectly for a clean, finished look.

Moreover, your staircase dimensions are as unique as your home.

Standard stair runner lengths range from 4.5 meters to 30 meters, but what if your staircase doesn’t fit into these standard sizes? The answer lies in custom-sizing.

By adding a buffer of approximately 30cm to your total measurement, you can ensure proper fitting during installation, even if your staircase dimensions are unique.

Calculating Runner Length for Straight Stairs

Calculating the runner length for straight stairs may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually a straightforward process. Here’s how to calculate runner linear feet for your stair runner:

  1. Measure the depth of each tread. Most runners have a tread depth of about 19 inches.

  2. Multiply this by the total number of treads to calculate the total length in inches for a stair runner.

  3. Convert this number into feet to get a rough estimate of the required runner linear feet.

But wait, there’s more! To ensure every part of the stair is properly covered with the runner, you need to add 8 inches for each riser to the total length calculated.

This way, you combine the total of riser heights and stair depth measurements for a precise, math-based approach to determine the necessary runner length.

Adjustments for Curved Staircases

Curved staircases, with their graceful arcs and elegant style, require a different set of considerations when it comes to stair runners.

Unlike straight stairs, curved staircases have varying tread widths, making comprehensive measurements essential to determine the necessary length of a runner.

This is where a professional stair runner installer can be a game-changer.

Precise measurements of each tread on a curved staircase are crucial, given that each step may have a different measure as it wraps around the curve.

Professional installers can provide valuable insights and exact measurements, ensuring a perfect fit for your runner on curved staircases.

Considering the Top Riser and Last Riser

Beyond measurements and calculations, achieving a professional and tailored appearance for your stair runner also depends on placement.

Beginning the stair runner at the base of the first riser ensures it’s correctly aligned from the start.

At the same time, it’s crucial to consider the last riser.

The stair runner should align precisely with the edge of the stair tread to maintain a uniform look, ensuring it doesn’t protrude onto the landing for both safety and design considerations.

And, let’s not forget the top riser. The runner must continue to a point just underneath the nose of the top landing to ensure proper coverage and aesthetic alignment.

Similarly, the bottom riser should also be considered for a cohesive look.

The Importance of Accurate Measuring Techniques

Illustration of a person using a measuring tape on a staircase

When it comes to installing a stair runner, the margin for error is slim.

Accurate measurements are vital to prevent safety hazards such as trip risks and to maintain an attractive appearance of stair runners.

After all, an improperly fitted runner can become a tripping hazard, while a runner that is too short or too long can look unattractive and out of place.

Moreover, initial precise measurements are indispensable as they impact the installation process, ensuring the stair runner remains taut, aligned, and properly secured with tack strips or staples.

Precise stair tread measurements are crucial for ordering the correct length of carpet stair treads, ensuring proper fit, and maintaining the overall aesthetic.

Using a Tape Measure for Precision

A measuring tape is your best friend when it comes to precision in measuring your stairs.

Accurate stair depth is measured from the back of the step to the front edge and around the lip to the top of the riser.

The tread width at its widest point, tread depth from back to front edge, and riser height from bottom to lip should all be noted down for precise stair runner measurements.


When you measure for a stair, it’s essential to ensure that all dimensions are accurate to achieve a perfect fit. To measure straight stairs, follow the same process for each step.

However, measuring once isn’t enough.

It’s vital to double-check each measurement and use a level to ensure the precision of both the tread and riser measurements.

This way, you can be confident that your measurements are accurate, leading to a perfect fit for your stair runner.

When to Add Extra Length

Every seasoned DIYer knows that it’s always better to have a bit extra than to fall short.

When it comes to stair runners, the same rule applies.

It is recommended to add an extra 6 inches to the stair runner length as a safety margin to avoid the possibility of the runner being too short.

But that’s not the only reason to add extra length. Additional length is necessary for:

  • top and bottom adjustments on the stairs

  • accommodating any landings the staircase may have

  • allowing for matching patterns

  • mitigating any waste from cutting, especially important in patterned runners.

In the case of stairs with non-uniform dimensions, further additional length is required, and extra material may be needed to join two runners if the staircase is longer than average.

Selecting the Right Width for Your Stair Runner

Illustration comparing different widths of stair runners

Selecting the right width for your stair runner is as vital as choosing the right length.

Not only does the width need to align with the staircase dimensions, but it should also reflect your personal preference for exposed stair on each side, typically ranging from 3 to 12 inches.

After all, the width of the stair runner plays a crucial role in how the runner integrates with your existing decor and the overall look of the staircase.

Standard Widths vs. Custom Sizing

Machine-made stair runners commonly come in standard widths of 27 inches, with some available in 30 inches or 36 inches.

These standard widths cater to most staircases and are a convenient option for those looking for a quick and easy selection. As a width runner specialist, I can assure you that these options will suit your needs.

However, for staircases that require different dimensions, runners can be customized to any width and length as needed.

Accurate measurement is crucial when opting for a custom-sized stair runner to ensure a clean and professional appearance upon installation.

In cases of narrow staircases with small margins as little as 1.5 inches on each side, custom runners as narrow as 21 inches wide may be necessary to achieve the perfect fit.

Installation Insights: From First Riser to Top Landing

Illustration of the installation process of a stair runner

Once you have selected and measured your stair runner, it’s time to turn your attention to the installation process.

Stair runner installation should initiate at the first riser to ensure the runner is correctly aligned from the start.

A visible marker, such as painter’s tape, can assist in maintaining the runner’s alignment throughout the installation process, ensuring a smooth and even fitting.

Moreover, padding should be strategically attached to the middle of each tread to provide comfort and protect the runner.

At the top landing, the stair runner should be finished tidily, either by folding under the edge or by continuing into the landing’s carpet for a seamless transition.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

Whether to undertake a DIY project or hire a professional installer often comes down to weighing the affordability versus the complexity of the project.

DIY installations can be a viable option for straight staircases. For stairs with a landing or a bend, however, professional installation is recommended for optimal appearance and safety.


Curved staircases, in particular, can require specialized measurements and installation techniques. Professionals have the experience to:

  • Avoid costly mistakes

  • Ensure meticulous installation

  • Achieve superior results in terms of safety and aesthetics

  • Ensure the runner’s longevity without damaging adjacent surfaces.

Final Touches: Endcaps and Finishing Treatments

Even with the perfect stair runner and flawless installation, the job is not complete without the final touches.

Endcapping a stair runner is a finishing touch that requires precise measurement to ensure a proper fit at both ends of the stairs.

For a stair runner end-capped on both ends, an additional 3 feet of material is typically necessary to account for the finishing treatment.

Customizing with Comments Section Requests

In the world of online shopping, the comments section during the ordering process is a gold mine for customization. It’s a designated space for buyers to specify customized requests for their new stair runners.

For instance, customers have the option to request unbound ends on runners for ease of adjustment and cutting to the desired final length.

Such requests should be noted in the comments section when placing an order.

Making use of the comments section for additional customization requests can significantly simplify post-purchase adjustments and ensure the stair runner meets specific individual needs.

Stair Runner Materials and Durability Considerations

Illustration comparing different materials for stair runners

Choosing the right material for your stair runner is a crucial decision that will impact its durability and longevity.

From natural sisal runners known for their durability and texture, to resilient wool carpets that effortlessly withstand heavy foot traffic, the options are plentiful.

One popular choice among homeowners is the carpet runner, which offers both style and functionality for your staircase.

In addition to stair runners, carpet runners can also be used in hallways and other areas of the home to create a cohesive design.

However, not all materials are created equal. While nylon is praised for its non-shedding properties, olefins and polyesters are less recommended due to their plastic-like feel. And if you’re looking for a carpet that will stand the test of time, consider tight pile carpets, known to show less wear over time compared to plush carpets.


Choosing and installing a stair runner is a blend of precision, aesthetics, and practicality. From accurately measuring the length and selecting the right width to considering the stair runner material and opting for professional installation, each step contributes to the final result – a staircase that is not only safe and functional but also beautifully enhances your home. Remember, the perfect stair runner is not just about the fabric; it’s about the perfect fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I calculate the length of a stair runner for straight stairs?

To calculate the length of a stair runner for straight stairs, measure the depth of each tread, the height of each riser, and then multiply by the total number of stairs, adding an extra 6 inches as a safety margin.

Do curved staircases require different measurements for stair runners?

Yes, curved staircases require comprehensive measurements to account for varying tread widths when determining the length of a runner.

How do I determine the right width for my stair runner?

To determine the right width for your stair runner, align it with the staircase width and consider your personal preference for the exposed stair on each side.

What should I consider when choosing the material for my stair runner?

When choosing a material for your stair runner, consider its durability, ability to withstand foot traffic, and appearance to ensure it meets your needs.

Can I customize my stair runner order?

Yes, you can customize your stair runner order by specifying your requests in the comments section during the ordering process at







Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.