Traditionally, back in the Victorian era, antique stair rods were made from solid brass. They fitted across a stair tread and were used to hold the carpet in place. In an era when carpets and rugs were regularly cleaned by beating them outside, the stair runner would have been regularly removed, along with the rods, and given a good beating outside.
The brass finish of the carpet rods would have likewise required frequent cleaning to keep them shiny. Otherwise, due to atmospheric conditions such as damp, they naturally tarnished and became darker in tone. Today’s antique-look intentionally resembles brass which has gone a deeper, mellow tone.
Our specialist, online shop sells a great choice of antique stair rods, or to be more precise pre-antiqued stair rods. These are are offered in most designs of finial – simply choose the design you like and then the antique brass finish. Apart from the look, part of the appeal of these pre-antiqued carpet rods is that they have a stable, consistent antiqued brass finish. So, no cleaning required!
Whilst in the Victorian period, stair runner rods fixed the stair runner to the staircase, today stair rods are purely decorative and we fit stair runners securely to the stairs with gripper.
If you are looking for an aged-look but prefer minimal upkeep, then take a look at some of the brass toned finishes. They come as either solid brass or hollow rod options. They are all protected by an invisible, protective lacquer but can be special ordered without lacquer, on request. The polished brass, antique brass, satin brass and antique bronze options all complement a period decorating theme. These finishes are ideal for matching in with other fittings in your home, such as door handles, light fittings and door thresholds.
You can sometimes find old stair rods at salvage yards or even hidden away in the loft, when you move house. Typically, antique stair rods tend to be dented or bent and quite often have no brackets. Sometimes, you can polish up these old carpet rods and return them to a natural, bright brass finish. However, depending on the atmospheric conditions where they are fitted, they will once again become tarnished over time. For anyone who lives near the sea, you will know the combination of salt and moisture is particularly conducive to tarnishing brass. If you do decide to fit your antique stair rods, then be careful to protect your carpet when cleaning the rods.
We sell new carpet rods in a choice of ten finishes, including polished brass and antique brass. In fact, these are the two most popular. For easy upkeep, an invisible lacquer prevents them from tarnishing over time. If you specifically require un-lacquered rods, then please get in touch and we can arrange.
Brackets for cylindrical stair rods come in 12mm (1/2”) and 16mm (5/8”) sizes. The 19mm (3/4”) option can be special ordered. Choose from the Runner version (for stair runners), Front Fix (for fitted carpets) or Side Fix (for fitted carpets). We also sell replacement pairs of triangular rods, which fit our stair rods. Typically, old stair rods which feature a flat face (triangular) tend to be slightly smaller than current triangular designs, such as the Royale. Therefore, we provide foam inserts (free of charge) if required, to avoid the rods rattling in the brackets.