carpet runners

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

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Nancy W
Posts: 1273
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:21 am
Location: Chaptico, Maryland

Re: carpet runners

Post by Nancy W »

I have seen people slip and fall on carpet while wearing traditional hard soled shoes, not rubber or crepe soles. I think runners are beautiful, however I also think they result in a smaller tread. :( That is not a problem going upstairs, but sometimes is going down stairs. My back stairs has a smaller tread and my foot doesn't fit, I go down side ways because my toes hang over the edge of the trend if I go donw normally. :( The main stairs are much nicer. When I have guests who want a tour, we go up the back stairs and down the main stairs.
Nancy
Image
Lower Brambly circa 1895
"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain

Texas_Ranger
Posts: 2355
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:42 am
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Contact:

Re: carpet runners

Post by Texas_Ranger »

You mention a serious issue! In Ireland I once stayed at a 1960s or early 70s place with carpeted concrete stairs (pretty commercial looking hostel). The treads were small anyway and the carpet was thick, so where the tread meets the riser the carpet was curved and took away even more of the tread. I nearly fell down those stairs!
The bad thing with electricity : it almost always works.

http://whatapigsty.blogspot.com

Igloochic
Posts: 629
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:16 pm

Re: carpet runners

Post by Igloochic »

We just finished a total gut remodel of our 1980's townhouse in alaska. We went from a couple of different carpeted stairs, (one a berber type and one a shag) to just wood. I thought I was goign to have to do runners for the kids in socks issue, but frankly, we're all falling down the stairs less with wood than we were with carpet. I fell while pregnant going down from our master suite (shag carpet). I also slipped on the berber type stairs while going up with my tiny little 4lb baby in hand falling into a wall at the top of the stairs...I thought I'd killed him...honestly horribly scary and all because with socks on carpet you can get slippage just as easily if not worse than with wood.

Neither DS nor myself have slipped since we changed to all wood and redid the stairs so the treads and risers were to code (which was admitedly part of the problem, but the carpet was the worst). If you're going to do carpet, make sure it's appropriate for stairs, too much softness can be deadly slippery.
The James House - 1889 "Modern" Queen Anne
Image

melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: carpet runners

Post by melissakd »

Victorian Interior Decoration by Gail Caskey Winkler and Roger Moss goes into carpet in some detail, telling which types were used where. I'd tell you what it said but I don't remember. I do recommend the book though.

MKD
Image
The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

Abuela
Posts: 2348
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Georgetown, DE
Contact:

Re: carpet runners

Post by Abuela »

Rather than start a new thread, I'll ask here...

From a safety perspective, does anyone know of a credible source for information on which is safer, carpet or wood?

If we were to buy a carpet runner, is there any style/thickness/material that's safer than others?

Finally, does anyone know of a good online source for carpet runners and the bars used to secure them?

Thanks!
"Finished" is all a state of mind. ~Angolito

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

My house journal: http://retrovation.blogspot.com/

melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: carpet runners

Post by melissakd »

I know nozzing, nozzing at all...nothing useful anyway, which I nonetheless do not hesitate to share.

I can think of a couple of carpet dangers:

1) Carpet not secure on the surface beneath; I'm sure I'm not the only one ever to 'surf' across the slippery floor on a throw rug. I have no idea whether the repro stair carpet bars do a good job at this. I would imagine that the installation makes a big difference. Anyone else???

2) Any type of shaggy or loose-looped rug or carpet that you can catch a high heel in---probably more of a danger with homemade throw rugs, as I'm sure there are standards for carpet manufacturers.

3) Carpet and padding so bulky that it reduces the functional size of your steps, or gives each step a cushy, rounded profile that you can sort of slide down
Image
The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

Mury
Posts: 355
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:49 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: carpet runners

Post by Mury »

Since my family does not wear shoes on the stairs, carpet is safer for us. Of course it must be securely fastened. But bare wood and socks are not a good mix.
Marie

1900ish Victorianish
Image

khwils
Posts: 793
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:21 pm
Location: Kankakee, IL

Re: carpet runners

Post by khwils »

Bare wood and socks aren't good, but... add pledge for some real fun! When I was a youngster I remember my older sister helping mom with some cleaning and she pledged the stairs. Man it was like walking on ice! I think everybody in the family took a ride over the next few months until the stuff wore off! We polished it daily with our socks and butts! I think dad stripped it off with something eventually but everyone really learned to respect those stairs! If I remember correctly my little sister, probably 4 or 5 at the time just sat down and took a ride everytime, it was her way to deal with it.

This also reminds me of mom cleaning the upstairs, we had the thick braided rugs upstairs and they needed to be brought outside to beat out the dirt with the wire rug beaters - remember those! It was our jobs as the kids to ride them down the steps! DCFS would probably have a fit today!

Why doesn't anyone beat their rugs anymore? Probably because we don't have a clothesline to hang them on! It was unbelievable how much dirt came flying out of those rugs. This was one of my jobs. I wonder how that would go over with the 15 year old if I told him to go beat one of the rugs - he'd look at me like I was crazy. I'll bet if I showed him a rug beater he wouldn't have a clue what it is or even believe me if I told him.

That was probably 40 years ago but it proves that it wasn't that long ago that people still did things the old sensible way - what happened?


Kurt

melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: carpet runners

Post by melissakd »

We're lazy, that's what happened. Electric vacuums clean our 6' x 8' rugs without our having to move the furniture and wrestle the rug outside, then reverse the process. I do shake my little throw rugs outside, though.

When I was little, my aunts used to babysit me regularly, and their stairs (carpeted) were and still are the most perfectly proportioned in the world for sliding down on one's juvenile rear end. Don't know how much quality play time I got out of those stairs...

:) MKD
Image
The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

Don M
Posts: 6965
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:35 am
Location: Boiling Springs, PA

Re: carpet runners

Post by Don M »

We have a machine made oriental runner on the front stairs. I had it installed right after my old Corgi fell down the stairs the first day in the house. The runner was carefully & tightly installed on the stair treads & risers. The back stairs are too steep & narrow for a runner. The young Corgis sort of slide down those with out falling! I too 'Pledged' wood stairs in our Hawaii House; same results as above; very slippery & I cleaned that off with mineral spirits. Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
Image

Post Reply