How To Use Rug Pads On Stairs

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How To Use Rug Pads On Stairs

Many staircases consist of an area rug runner that requires a rug pad underneath it for protection and comfort. The runner rug can be wall-to-wall or an area rug runner with some stair showing on each side of the rug. Based on this, there are a few ways to install a rug pad under your staircase rug.

Some people like the look of having a rug or carpet cover their entire staircase, while others like the look of an area rug with the staircase showing on each side of the runner rug. While each look and use has its own look and feel, both should have a rug or carpet pad installed along with the rug or carpet. The padding can add extra comfort for all the use the stairs receive, as well as add the protection to rug and stairs. Since most stairs receive a lot of traffic and use, the right rug pad offers much in terms of comfort and protection.

Rug Pad Under Wall-To-Wall Application on Stairs

how to use rug pad on stairs

You will notice that the carpet pad under this wall-to-wall staircase runner is on the stair tread and not running along the entire staircase.

Since most wall-to-wall applications include broadloom carpet, the rug pad can be either a felt or foam padding. Felt rug pad is more dense and offers better protection, yet since carpet does not contain the qualities of a handmade runner rug, the density is not as important. In this case, one can choose a dense felt rug pad or a softer, more plush foam carpet padding. Foam padding is known to be thick and plush to add much comfort. This is common under wall-to-wall carpet on stairs and in rooms. Felt padding is more dense and offers better resistance to pressure. While it is available fairly thick, felt rug pad is not spongy, so does not offer the softness of traditional foam carpet padding.

Rug Pad Under Area Rug Runner on Stairs

how to use rug pad on stairsMany area rugs are handmade and need proper protection, as well as comfort. While foam padding is an ideal choice under wall-to-wall carpet, felt rug pad is more effective under area rugs. There are many staircases that contain beautiful hardwood finishes that can be seen to each side of the runner rug on the stairs. Here. the felt padding resists the pressure that can penetrate through to cause wear to the rug, as well as cause denting to the floor. Along with the protection it offers, felt rug pad is comfortable. To determine the level of comfort you will receive from this padding, choose the appropriate thickness. felt rug pads are available in 1/4″ up to 1/2″ thick, with the thicker being more dense.

Area rug runners are normally stapled to the staircase to keep it in place. Since the staples are not pushed through onto the actual stair tread, your runner rug still may slip. If this is the case, then a felt and rubber rug pad is idea, where the rubber serves a non-slip function. This type of padding is normally about 1/4″ thick, so it does add ample comfort. Just as important is the protection this pad offers rug and floor. Since runners on staircases receive a a lot of traffic, it is very common for the runner to experience  uneven wear without the right protection. A dense rug pad helps the rug resist the pressure that can normally crush the fibers that make the rug look worn and flat.

How To Install Rug Pad On Stairs

Some people believe in using an actual long runner pad on their stairs and to attach the rug or carpet on top of this. It should be noted that depending on the thickness of the padding, this type of installation may cause an issue – when the padding is folded over the lip of the stair, it can cause a bulge that may make the runner look too thick or may make it protrude too much off the staircase. Besides, when we consider using a staircase, we don’t think of the risers(the vertical part of each step) being walked on. So, there is no need to protect this part of the staircase with a rug pad.

The most practical method of installing a rug pad under your staircase rug is to use separate pieces of pad to place on top of each stair tread. This is the part of the staircase that is actually stepped and walked on and this is where the protection and comfort should be. By placing individual pieces of rug pad on each stair tread, you also prevent the lip of each step being too thick, which prevents tripping hazards. Most standard steps are about 36″ wide and 10″ deep, so the rug pad pieces should be somewhat smaller, depending on the actual width of the runner rug. It is best to use a rug pad tread that is two inches narrower than the runner rug so that the padding does not show.

Once you have all of your rug pad pieces, you then need to adhere them to the actual steps. This is most often done by means of a staple gun. Once you center the pad on each step, insert a staple into each of the four corners of the padding. Do not staple the center of the pad, as this is the part most walked on under the rug and you should not be able to feel the staples. With the proper staple gun, the staples will be implanted in the step without any movement of the pad. Next, center your runner rug on your staircase, taking care to cover each piece of rug pad. Then, using a staple gun again, staple the rug into the section of the staircase where the treads and risers meet – this part is never walked on. There are two benefits to stapling the runner rug in this section: first, in the event the staples are not completely anchored, they will still not be felt because this part of the staircase is never walked on. Next, in the event you remove the runner rug, the minor staples holes will be hidden and not in the center of the steps.

Rug pads can be used under staircase rugs and carpet and if they are properly installed, they will prove to offer the right comfort and protection. Just like with choosing a rug pad for your area rugs, it is important to choose the right padding for your stair runner rug.

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