Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Installing A Stair Runner

I've still been working away in the basement, but this time on decorating. I knew I wanted to have a carpet runner on the stairs to protect the wood from dents and scratches and also to make it softer and less slick on the feet. I measured and found that I needed 18.5 feet of carpet. Most runners are 7 or 8 feet long so I planned to buy 3. I hunted for a runner in a pattern I loved and a price that didn't make me want to puke (under $40 per runner). Most of the places where I find cheap home stuff (TJ Maxx and similar places, flea markets and yard sales) were problematic because I could never find three of the same rug.

So when I found this baby on one day, I got so excited I sent out frantic, capslock, typo-filled texts and e-mails to Cait to get her opinion. She approved and recommended the grey, so I made my order. They were indoor/outdoor so I knew they would be easy to clean. They were also just the texture that I wanted. They were on sale at the time, so along with coupon codes, I got them for $30 each plus free shipping. Score.

Once they all three came in in the appropriate color (they sent one red one on the first go around) I got started installing them.

I put down two strips of grippy rug tape on each tread first to prevent any slippage.

Then I just went along my way pulling the rug tight and stapling with the longest staples my gun would accept. Whenever one rug ended, I just butted the next right up against it and continued on. Fortunately I didn't have either seam end up on a tread.

I marked in yellow where I placed each staple. Five under the lip of the tread and thee along the bottom of the riser. After I finished stapling one step I hammered each one in all the way because my staple gun is kind of crappy and didn't fire them in all the way.

When I reached the end, I cut off the excess, leaving a couple of inches to fold under. Then I used the finish nailer to secure the end. I used the nail gun because my staples weren't long enough to go through two layers of carpet.

After everything was installed, I did go back with a black sharpie and colored each staple where it was on a grey part to make it less shiny and obvious.

So far, I am loving the runner. It definitely makes going down the stairs a much more cushy experience.

The pattern adds a lot of interest and really plays well with the square wainscotting.

With the leftover bit, I got a bonus rug! This guy will probably end up living in the laundry room once I put a finished seam on the cut edge.

I have a few other projects I have been working on, but they will be taking a back seat for a while since we are prepping for our next big project: refinishing the floors upstairs. The wood floors had carpet over them for a long time and there are quite a few black spots from pet stains. A lot of the finish is extremely thin already, so it definitely needs help.

This is something we have wanted to do for a long time and now is the optimum time to do it since half the rooms upstairs are now mostly empty from moving into the basement. We are currently moving the rest of our stuff (WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF OMG) out of the living room and three bedrooms upstairs, so our basement looks like this at the moment:

A messy house makes me stressed so I am reeeeally excited to be done with this project!

We sanded a test patch upstairs and tried out some potential stain colors. I am leaning towards the top right hand color, which is my old friend Kona. This decision makes me very nervous, since it something that will affect the entire upstairs and we will be living with for the next few decades. No pressure.

The plan is to rent the floor sander this Sunday and see how far we get. It promises to be an interesting experience.

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