Stair Runners - Best Area Rugs to Buy in USA

A stair runner  is a linear carpet or  rug, that runs up/down on interior staircases usually, and occasionally on exterior stairways. Since 'wall to wall' fitted rugging became very popular in the late 1950s, the word can now also describe a less notable design element than it traditionally did formerly. A traditional stair runner was characterized by not covering the full width of the stair but leaving the underlying wood−stone−tile of the tread and risers open to view on the sides. This was sometimes simply to save on rug and sometimes to expose features while preventing wear to the underlying surface. Typically, a stair runner will become more hard-worn, since it gets a more forceful and 'sliding sole' footfall than flat floor rugs in rooms and hallways.


A stair runner  may be held in place and fixed to the staircase by means of rug tacks or a floor adhesive; and/or stair rods used at the base of the risers. It is important that it is fixed securely to avoid accidental trips and slip. Rugs protect stairs from wear and tear and can help to prevent slips and falls. People, pets and dragging heavy items can take their toll on stairs and their coverings. Because of their heavy traffic and frequent use, it's important to find rug  for steps that can handle the abuse that comes with day to day use.

Best Types of Rug for Steps

A rug labeled heavy domestic or extra-heavy domestic is more rigorously tested than other types of rugging and will better withstand the demands of stair use. Pairing the rugging with a good quality, hard-wearing under pad will protect the stairs and make a softer landing for feet. If price is a concern, invest in a premium quality underlay and a slightly lesser quality rug as the underlay will help to prolong the life of the rug.

Wool is naturally fire retardant, has an inherent insulation factor and is stain resistant, requiring less care and maintenance than even synthetic materials. Wool rugging is commonly used in high-traffic commercial spaces, such as hotels and conference centers, for these reasons.

Alternative sustainable, environmentally conscious choices include sisal, seagrass, coir and jute, though jute is less hard-wearing than the others and is not a wise choice for stairs.

Synthetic materials cost less than rugs with natural fibers. Nylon is a popular choice for rugs because of its strength, durability and resistance to stain. Polyester isn't as durable but its moth resistant, stain resistant and non-allergenic. Another synthetic, polypropylene, is a common choice for basements or outdoor areas because of its resistance to moisture but it's quite durable as well.

Blended fibers, often 80 percent wool to 20 percent synthetic fiber, combines the resilience and warmth of wool with the hard-wearing, more investment-friendly properties of synthetics, making them an optimal choice for stairs.

Stair runner Pile Selection

A low, dense pile rug is the most forgiving on stairs, hiding footprints and vacuum marks and not flattening underfoot. Berber, woven and loop-pile rugs all contain looped fibers. Good quality rugs that use heavier yarns and fibers and have a tight weave can better withstand tears and pulls. However, if you have pets with claws, especially those that like to scratch at surfaces, a better option is a twist pile, which will not snag or fray like a loop.

Best Colors for Stair runners

Even durable, stain-resistant rugs and runners can show dirt and wear and tear over time. Light colors are most prone to showing stains, while very dark tones will show dust and fluff; mid-tones are the most forgiving.

Solid colors are an option, but adding a stripe or design adds interest, injects some life and color, and also helps disguise long-term use. Consider the shape of the stairway when selecting the pattern as some will be difficult to match as the stairs rise and turn. For more complicated layouts, consider a weave that incorporates many colors, as do many Berbers.

Selecting the right rug for your home starts by choosing the best rug fiber. Knowing what fiber fits your home's needs is the first step to choosing the best rug style. When choosing your rug, take into consideration the amount of traffic moving across your floor. Paying attention to wear and quality will help you to determine the best rug for your home and family.


Nylon is a synthetic fiber rug, but don't let the name "synthetic" sway your interest away from this rug. Nylon is one of the best-performing synthetic fibers you can choose for rugging. This rug works great in homes because it wears well, is strong enough to resist matting and abrasion, and is easy to clean. Nylon-fiber rugs can also be dyed to suit your color choice.

Wool and Other Natural Fibers

Wool is a natural fiber rug. This rug is soft and feels great under foot. Wool rug is luxurious and long-lasting. Most wool rugs are made from sheep, goat, and camel wool depending on the origin of the rug. Types of rugs include hand knotted, tufted, and gabble woolen rugs. Natural fiber rugs like wool are an eco-friendly choice because they are not synthetically processed. Other natural fiber rugs include: silk, jute, coir, and bamboo.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

Olefin has become very popular in the past 10 years with boom of new homes. Builders found that using Berber (a type of Olefin) rugs in the homes they built was not only cost-effective, but home buyers loved the look and feel. Olefin fiber is easily maintained and static, mold, and mildew resistant. It is recommended to choose a small loop rug as the large loops are quick to attract and hold dirt, and they easily fall over and give the rug a crushed, matted appearance.


Triexta is a newer rug type that is in the polyester family, but outperforms and outlast other polyester rugs. Triexta is extremely soft and is more colorfast and easy to clean than traditional polyester. This rug is an ideal choice for floors that will have prolonged exposure to high traffic from children and pets.

All of these varieties are available at and you can check it out at any time.

How to Pick a Paint Color That Complements Your Wood Stain

As an interior designer, I've learned that there are a few important steps during a build or remodel that are crucial to the overall success of the space: flooring and paint colors may seem like finishing touches, but they're actually among the elements of a home that people notice the most. Ensuring that your hardwood floor stain and paint colors are a good fit can be a challenge, and it pays to keep a few general "rules" in mind when it comes to pairing paint colors and wood floor stains.

Here are a few rules of thumb to help you decide which colors will best complement your wood stain, and thus ensure a timeless and beautiful outcome:

Rule #1: Determine whether your wood floor stain is warm or cool.
Knowing the undertones of your wood floor will have a big impact on the way your paint color will actually appear. Warm floor stains have yellow, orange or red undertones, while cool floor stains have gray or taupe undertones.

For example, if you want to add color to your walls but don't want to make a really bold statement, select paint in the same color family as the undertones of your hardwood. For cool undertones, choose paint colors in cool whites, grays, blues or greens like Pelican Gray or Smoke by Benjamin Moore. Just be sure to avoid yellowish paints.

Conversely, for warm undertones opt for paint colors in soft creams, peach, salmon or coral. Peach Parfait by Benjamin Moore and Dimity by Farrow & Ball pair nicely with floor stains like those found in Bona's Essentials Collection (warm ambers) or Classic Collection (authentic browns and rich auburns). You can either use these stains alone, or create your own custom look with a combination of stains.

Rule #2: Decide on the look and feel you're trying to achieve.
Are you going for something dramatic with high-contrast or do you want a warm and inviting space? Once you figure out how you want your house to feel, you will be able to narrow down the stain selection for your floors and paint for your walls.

For example, dark ebony floors and white walls will create a high contrast that will draw more attention to your furniture. On the other hand, rich mahogany floors combined with coral or warm cream--painted walls will create a cozy and luxe feeling reminiscent of a study, bar or library.

Rule #3: Consider the architectural style of your home.
The architectural style of your home can help inform your color and floor stain decisions.

Do you want your 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival home to stay true its roots? If so, choose floor stains with warm undertones and then match it with warm paint tones like Farrow & Ball Slipper Satin or Benjamin Moore Navajo White.

If you feel like your craftsman is too dark and heavy feeling, and you want to give it a more contemporary twist, use a cerused (a bit of a white wash) wood finish and marry it with cool paint colors on the walls like Cabbage White and All White by Farrow & Ball or Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. The lighter floors will allow light to bounce and give the space a more airy feel (while darker floors absorb light).

Modern homes typically have lots of windows and lend themselves to an open floor plan. Enhance the abundance of natural light that comes in with bright white walls in a color like Super White or Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. Light floors with yellow undertones are a great match with Sherwin Williams's Creamy or Marshmallow. Dark greyish floors would pair well with Dimpse or Blackened by Farrow & Ball.

Moving Forward

One important thing to remember as you get started: make sure you sample different stains and paint colors in your space, because light plays such a huge part in how the colors actually look and feel.

Visit your local paint store, where knowledgeable people can help you figure out your undertones and complementary color combinations. Bring home samples and apply big swatches of paint to your walls, and then have your flooring installer sample several colors on your floor. Make sure to sample in spots that are both light and shadowed to get a true sense of what the colors will look like.

And finally, be sure to properly care for your floor throughout the years. Clean floors at least once a week with a formula made specifically for hardwood floors, such as Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner; and consider having a trained and certified professional such as a Bona Certified Craftsman help find your perfect stain color or restore your hardwood floor after years of wear and tear.

A Homeowner's Guide to Rugging

There are many reasons for having rug. It softens hard surfaces, making it more comfortable to sit on the floor or for kids to play. It feels warm and comfortable underfoot, and when temperatures outside are cold, it slightly improves the R-value of a floor and helps a home retain heat. And there is the soundproofing advantage: your rooms won't sound like an echo chamber, because rug cushions footsteps and absorbs sound. And perhaps most importantly, rug adds style and color, and lends a cozy feeling to a home.

So you've decided you want rugging for your home. You don't want to skimp on quality, but this is a significant expense so you want a good deal. What things do you need to know when you go shopping?

Basic Terms

You'll come across these descriptors as you shop for rugging. Here's what they mean:

Fiber: The material used to make the yarns. Fiber is the most important factor where durability is concerned, although many other things also come into play.
Pile: The length of the yarns, as well as the style or type. All rug is either loop pile or cut pile.
Density: How close together the fibers are mounted in the backing. This is measured in ounces per cubic yard. (If the manufacturer/retailer doesn't provide it, you can calculate it yourself: Multiply the face weight by 36; then divide that result by the pile height in inches.) The higher the density, the more durable the rugging. Stay away from anything lower than 2,100; a density of 3,100 or higher is best.
Weight: This is measured in ounces per square yard and it probably has the greatest impact on rug cost. Face weight describes how much fiber is on the front of the rug; total weight includes the backing, too. A face weight of 40 is best, but 30 to 40 is acceptable. Avoid any rug less than 20.
Twist: This pertains only to cut pile rugs, and it describes the number of times the fibers in a 1-inch-long strand twist on themselves. The higher the twist count, the stronger the fiber and the better its performance. A twist count of 5 is considered good.
PAR rating: The industry's grading scale of Performance, Appearance, and Retention.

Pile Types: Pile is the style of the rug—the way it's woven, constructed, and cut. All rug fits into one of two categories: every rug starts as a loop pile and it either stays that way, or the loop is trimmed so that the style becomes cut pile. Although pile affects the durability and ability of the rug to repel stains and stand up to wear, it's in no way connected to the material out of which the rug is made.

Plush: Closely-packed yarns give plush rug a smooth, luxurious finish. Because they're solid in color, plush rugs show dirt and imperfections more than do multicolored rug. Vacuum cleaner streaks and footprints are also clearly visible on plush. Large rooms may require the use of two side-by-side pieces of rug, which creates a seam where the two join—and plush rug broadcasts these seams. The soft texture of a plush rug doesn't bear up well to hard wear, but it's a nice, elegant rug for formal rooms that don't get much use.
Saxony: This style is less dense than plush, but has been heat-set so the fibers stand up straight. The tips of the fibers are clearly visible, giving the rug a slightly bolder appearance.
Textured plush: This is a plush style rug with more than one color of yarn and fibers of uneven heights—a style disguises marks left by foot traffic and contributes a very soft, casual feel.
Berber: This style has a loop pile with big and small tufts and is usually made from nylon, olefin, or wool. Berber rugging doesn't show footprints or vacuuming marks, and stains have difficulty penetrating the tight weave. Berber is fairly inexpensive, and extremely durable. It's not a good choice for people with pets, however, because their claws will snag the fibers, which leads to unraveling. And stains that do manage to take hold are hard to remove because of the tight weave.
Patterned: A combination of cut and loop pile—usually in the same color tones—creates textures and patterns. These can hide dirt and wear. But because of the loops, this style is not recommended for households with pets.
Frieze: Tightly twisted fibers give frieze an uncombed appearance and exceptional durability, so it's good for high-traffic areas. Because the fibers go in different directions, footprints and vacuum tracks remain invisible. Sometimes called "new shag," this rug doesn't actually have the long, shaggy appearance of disco-era rugging.
Shag: Ah, the 70s. Long, loosely spaced fibers create a rug with a messy, informal, groovy look. Because the popularity of this style has waned, shag can be hard to source, and it's not always well made, so it can look worn fairly quickly. But if you want your room to look fun, well, now, we're talking!

How to Cut a Woven Jute Rug

A woven jute rug is made out of natural fibers that are laced together in a weave pattern. The edges are bound either by the weave itself, a whip stitch or binding tape. They are a natural and aesthetically pleasing addition to any decor but sometimes the size of the rug may no longer suit a homeowner's purpose. Cutting a woven jute rug is possible but care must be taken to prevent the freshly cut edges from fraying.

Step 1
Measure and mark a straight line on the underside of the rug. Cut along the line. If you are planning to cut more than one edge of the jute, use the masking tape to create a temporary binding by pressing the tape along the raw edge and turning under. Repeat with the next side you plan to cut.

Step 2
Thread the needle and then cut binding tape the length of the cut edge of the rug. The binding tape is folded under on both sides. Open one side of the binding tape. If you have temporarily bound the raw edge of the rug with masking tape, carefully remove it. Match the edge of the rug to the opened edge of the binding tape with the right sides facing one another. Stitch in the seam of the binding tape. Make sure the needle goes all the way through the rug weaves.

Step 3
Fold binding tape to the underside of the rug. Press flat. Make sure the binding tape is turned all the way under to prevent it from showing on top of the rug. Whip stitch the binding to the underside of the rug, barely catching the weaving of the rug to limit the amount of stitching that will show on the top side. This process encloses the raw edges in the binding and prevents unraveling.