These stairs. They were by far the most expensive single piece of architecture for our home renovation, mostly because we had relatively small space to fit them into. Between code regulations and the small space, it took us months to figure out something that would work both to code and be aesthetically pleasing. Almost anything my contractor built as an assumption I had to ask him to re-do. It was a painful process. And so I hate to admit that when I got my runner, I was naive. I thought it would be the first uncomplicated thing the stairs had to offer and I. was. wrong. I sat down with my contractor and tried to figure it out, as well as my mom. And there was even a professional carpet layer that saw a picture of it and didn't think it could be done! But alas, a friend sent me a link to this tutorial, which gave me hope and helped me fill in some blanks. Unfortunately it didn't fill in ALL the blanks, so I made costly mistakes, but I'm hoping it will help someone else with a similar challenge.
The first thing I had to do was find out how much I needed for my stairs. And in straight stairs, you can measure rise + run of each step and BOOM, done. But with winders, you have to measure the widest part of the run (my measurements varied quite a bit) + the rise, to get the most accurate measurement for the number of runners you will need. I went with a 2.5x8 runner, so I ordered 4.
So let's dive in! First, the tools you'll need---
With stairs like this, I took one rise and run at a time. So I laid the runner down and measured where each piece needed to be cut first. Below is the remaining piece of a runner, placed at the base of the rise and over the top of the run.
Then, I liked securing 3 staples into the base of the riser on the left, middle, and right, then again at the top of the riser, just below the nose, just to hold it in place while I measure. I took these staples out to make lines and cut, but I felt like the extra time really helped make the measurements more accurate.
Then, I make a mark on the step where it hits the next riser with a sharpie, pulling the runner taut so its not loose when you walk on it.
now make a line from point A to point B, or in this case, from sharpie mark to sharpie mark, using your straight edge that is hopefully longer than mine.
then cut across that line. I liked using my straight edge, then running my utility knife down the line until it cut through the backing, then finish up with a good sharp pair of scissors. Also don't mind my foot trying to distract you from the task at hand.
Lay your cut piece of carpet back down on the step, and make sure it fits perfectly, without leaving space between the runner and the next riser. And see how the runner runs allllll the way over to the edge and hits wall? That's what we'll fix next.
Lay down a piece that is cut perfectly straight across. This was a piece I messed up on, but it had the original binding at the base, so I used it for reference. Now see how that bottom piece extends past the top piece? That's why we have to make the cut into the runner and bring it back in to match the next riser.
make sure the top reference piece is lined up with one side (I did all my cuts on the outside of the runner) so you know exactly how much you need to cut off of the outside piece.
then make a mark on the bottom runner where the reference piece ends and the bottom piece begins to extend past it.
I would make a small mark, then lift it up and extend the mark to the back.
then make another mark where the tread nose curves. I did it here because it made the least conspicuous transition from cut to uncut pieces.
measure the distance between the first mark you made and where the runner ends (or the part that is too wide). Here it's 3 1/8inches.
I didn't want to cut into the binding at all, so I moved my ruler up the tick mark I made and measured 3 1/8inches from it and made another mark. Now I have the widest part I'm going to cut out of my piece.
The second mark I made at the nose of the tread, marks where I will cut to. So I drew a straight line from the mark to about 12 inches into the runner. Now make a V by making a straight line from each of your top tick marks down to the same spot on your bottom line. I did this by eyeballing with the straight edge what looked like a similar angle inside each line down to the bottom point. Keep scrolling to see what I mean.
OKAY. Here's where it gets scary. Here's where you cut out that V. Follow the lines and you'll be FINE. Don't be scared. Make sure your measurements are right one last time, and cut away my friend.
YOU DID IT! See, it wasn't so bad. Now you line your cut piece up just the way it was before, lay those two sides together, and you'll see there's a little extra now on the piece you've moved over. Mark it, and cut off the excess so it lies flush with the stair riser as the rest of the runner does.
now it should look like this.
grab your double sided carpet tape and cut a piece off, pull the carpet together starting at the bottom, and tape the two pieces back together. I make mine extra tight because any give the tape has over time won't separate the two pieces.
In fact, I pull the pieces together so tight it makes a slight V shape, as shown below. You can totally use one long piece of tape, but I liked using smaller ones because I felt like I had a little more control over pulling the pieces together. If you decide to make small pieces like me, just make sure they are close together.
Cut a piece of Jute webbing and lay it on top of the tape. The tape had quite a bit of give and the webbing has about zero, so it holds the two pieces together nice and tight.
then lay another piece of carpet tape at the top.
I kind of put this as an afterthought, but don't forget the padding! It really does make a difference. Make sure you cut a piece that will hide well under the runner and also leaves space for the carpet tape to connect from the runner to the hard surface of the tread.
lay ANOTHER piece of carpet tape at the base of the runner and begin laying the base of the runner to the riser. Once its stuck there, put a few nails in the bottom so you can pull the rest up taut.
then lay the top of the runner down on the tread, pulling up to make sure its flush with the next riser. I put a few staples in places that were clear from traffic to hold it in place. Without the staples, the top started to slip back.
AAAAAAAND you're done! You did it! Now just do that for every other riser and tread, using the same technique.
Here's the finished product and I'm pretty crazy about it. If you have any questions, please let me know! And I'll post updates on how they hold up over a period of time. Good luck!