carpet runners

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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iamfoundinHim
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:13 pm

carpet runners

Post by iamfoundinHim »

Hi all,

Well, we busted our rears today now that the tenant has "just about" all moved out (has one room left to go, and we gave him until tonight and that's it). We removed the upstairs kitchen, ripped out all the green carpeting (pulled staples found underneath), and opened up the stairwell back up to make it ONE house again finally. Whew!!! :roll:

My question is that when I was a kid I remember there just being a red carpet runner up the stairs (exposed dark wood on both sides). Is this period correct, or would the steps just remain wood?

We're actually working on all the hardwood floors now, and they're coming along great. Lots of work and LOTS of dust, but it's really making a difference. After taking out the carpet upstairs I was pleasantly surprised to find the floors in great shape, just like downstairs. They've been covered for as long as I can remember.

Well, I feel pooped and I'm thinking my arms and shoulders wont' work very well tomorrow after the workout I gave them today so I'd better sign off. Still have ALL my Christmas presents for the kids left to wrap.

Have a wonderful pre-Christmas week!!

Trina from chilly & still snowy PA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43977413@N02/
Image My "mutt" house (1890-1920-ish!)

matchbookhouse
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: Greater downtown Dahlgren, VA

Re: carpet runners

Post by matchbookhouse »

Carpet runners on the stairs were used quite frequently. They look so nice when secured with brass rods that go across the base of each step and anchor to the wood (so the runner doesn't slide). Also using the brass rods kept the homeowner from having to nail or staple the runners to the wood. Are you planning to use plain or oriental-styled runners?

Daniel Meyer
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Re: carpet runners

Post by Daniel Meyer »

matchbookhouse wrote:Are you planning to use plain or oriental-styled runners?
What's the difference? (also pondering some runners)
CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer
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iamfoundinHim
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:13 pm

Re: carpet runners

Post by iamfoundinHim »

Well, I really liked an oriental-styled one (had reds and gold and tans). The plain solid color runners just looked too commercial. :)

I worked about 2 hours today pulling out staples after we ripped out the carpet, and at one point I was wondering what the heck I was kneeling on. I turned over to find a 1/4" staple sticking out of my knee :shock: (yeah, it was in the whole way). First 'casualty' of the renovation. I just kept saying "don't pass out, don't pass out, don't pass out..." and I didn't. Came right out. Thankfully, I'm up-to-date on my tetnus shot (hubby accidentally stuck a screw gun straight through my fingernail when I was pregnant with my son 7 years ago). LOL I was just holding something for him and it slipped. He felt terrible and I tried to downplay it as I tried not to drip any blood on the new floors.

We're actually finding that dark brown porch paint works wonderfully on some of the hard wood floors, and looks really nice. We were concerned about the dark edges and that the stain wouldn't look right because it wouldn't cover. I think it'll look great with the creamy-greenish-colored paint on the walls and dark trim. I'm happy that the integrity of all of the floors are wonderful and we are able to keep them without covering them up.

Well, I'm exhausted but have to feed the kids and get back to the house to paint. *ugh* Will it ever end???

Trina from chilly PA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43977413@N02/
Image My "mutt" house (1890-1920-ish!)

avjudge
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:29 pm
Location: Somerville MA

Re: carpet runners

Post by avjudge »

matchbookhouse wrote:Also using the brass rods kept the homeowner from having to nail or staple the runners to the wood.
And since it wasn't nailed to the stairs, it could be moved 1/2 step (riser->tread, tread->riser) to even the wear. I understand it was common to have enough extra carpet folded under at one end or the other to do this.

(My parents' house, practical rather than a showplace, has solid color - sensible gray - short-loop carpeting nailed to the stairs, but it's done like a runner, with several inches of the wood tread, painted black w/white risers, showing on each side. My house has bare wood treads. So I have no experience with the rods, just what I've heard.)

Anne
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S Melissa
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Re: carpet runners

Post by S Melissa »

The rod thing is more ornamental I think - than practical. Most of the runners are tacked on the stairs. The thing is you just don't want to take a chance at a runner schelping down the stairs with you in tow - and having an accident. Stair carpeting needs to be firm. But - the rods are a nice - albeit expensive - touch.
Melissa
Canton, MI
1860 Italianate - Reuben Huston Home
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Igloochic
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Re: carpet runners

Post by Igloochic »

FWIW I much prefer an oriental type runner to a plain carpet. Ours is plain, which of course wouldn't be period, but it's what we bought it with and it's only been a month, so give me some slack (I'll be saying that in a year as well...there are higher priorities in the budget...like getting the kitchen off the back porch). Anyhoo, so you can see an example...plain carpet runner:

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It does not look horrible...our stairs are quite elegant, but an oriental would be ten times as gorgeous.
The James House - 1889 "Modern" Queen Anne
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iamfoundinHim
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:13 pm

Re: carpet runners

Post by iamfoundinHim »

Absolutely beautiful, and I love the hand railing and wood floors. :)

Trina
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43977413@N02/
Image My "mutt" house (1890-1920-ish!)

Texas_Ranger
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Re: carpet runners

Post by Texas_Ranger »

Actually I do think plain runners might have been used back in the day... definitely were in Germany.
Coconut fiber runners produced on the same machines and with the same designs for probably 100 years:
http://www.manufactum.at/Produkt/189934 ... uster.html
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

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oldhouseluvr
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Re: carpet runners

Post by oldhouseluvr »

For us, having a carpet runner is primarily a safety and maintenance issue and I can't believe that people thought differently 100 years ago. Before we installed the runner, I have a constant fear that one of my kids would slip on the steps in their socks. That did in fact happen on our attic stairs when one of my DD friends fell down the steps. Fortunately there are fewer steps and she wasn't hurt. The other issue we had was with wear on the treads. Our treads were replaced at some point and appear to be pine. I suspect the new treads are softer wood than the original and they were showing a lot of wear. Having the runner made it much easier for the dog to go up and down as she got older.

We installed a practical solid carpet runner, but at some point after I paper the hall and stairway, I plan to replace it with a print or floral.

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