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Installing Stair Rods on Runner and Fitted Stair Carpets

New stair rods are typically sold complete with a pair of brackets, which you use to attach the rod securely to the staircase. The bracket design is different depending on whether you are fitting a stair runner carpet or a fitted stair carpet. So, do make sure you choose the correct type when ordering.

Runner stair rods: the brackets are fitted to the staircase, either side of the runner, and the stair rod is set in from the side of the stairs. Quality stair rods are hinged, making it easy to slot in the rod. Both contemporary and traditional designs are available.

Front fix stair rods: these are used when you have a fitted carpet but want to achieve a similar visual effect to a runner rod. The brackets are a semi-circle and fit over the front of the rods and attached through the carpet.

Side fix stair rods: used with fitted carpet where the rod simply fits from one side of the staircase to another and has no decorative ends (finials).

Chatsworth brass stair rods on runner carpet & green staircase
Installing stair rods is a straightforward DIY job

Antique stair rods and missing brackets

If you have found or been given some antique stair rods, then they may be missing their brackets. However, don’t worry as you can purchase replacement pairs of brackets separately. Simply match up to the finish as best you can and choose the closest diameter bracket for your rods. If in doubt, choose the next size up and stuff with foam inserts to avoid the bar rattling or moving.

Measuring up for stair rods

Quality stair rods are normally made to measure. There is a great choice of contemporary and traditional designs, whic are all quality made. For made to measure stair rods you order the tip to tip length that you require for each step and there is no need to have to cut them further. The standard diameter rod for a domestic house is 12 or 12.5mm. For most runner carpet rod designs with a 12mm diameter, add 100mm to the width of your runner – this is the tip to tip measurement of the stair rod which you order. This will allow a 50mm over-hang either side of your runner and give ample space for your bracket to be fitted and show off the attractive, decorative end.

Cheaper stair rods are supplied with the finial already attached to the bracket and separate from the rod section. The Homepride is one such design and you will need to cut the rod to length to fit your runner. The rods are supplied in four lengths only, so purchase the one which is the correct length or slightly longer than you require.

Installing carpet rods with a stair runner using hinged brackets

Stair rod brackets for runner carpets in various sizes - diagram
Hinged brackets are supplied with quality stair rods – ask for high clearance ones for extra thick carpet
  • If your stair runner carpet and underlay is particularly thick, you may need the bracket to lift the stair rod further off the step. In this instance, ask your supplier for high clearance brackets (17mm bracket base).

For an experienced DIY person, the installation of stair rods is pretty straightforward.

  • The hinged brackets should sit on the staircase itself, alongside your runner.
  • Make bradawl guide holes for the screws in the step and riser and fix the bottom section of the bracket on both sides of the runner.
  • Place the stair rod (complete with finial ends) into the cup of the bottom bracket, ensuring it is centred.
  • Screw in the top section of the bracket, securely.

Fitting stair rods when the bracket and rod finial are integral

These cheaper rods come with the bracket and rod finial in one integral piece.

  • The brackets should sit on the staircase itself, alongside your runner.
  • Make a bradawl guide hole for the screws, where the riser and tread meet.
  • Screw in one bracket.
  • Measure up the length of rod required and cut with a sharp hacksaw and slot into the fitted bracket.
  • Now fit the second bracket

What if I have a fitted stair carpet?

For fully fitted carpets (from one side of your staircase to the other), when using the Front Fix design of stair rod, the half brackets simply fix over the front of the centred rod. Then screw them in through the carpet, tightening them up once you are happy the rod is centred.

When using Side Fix brackets, make guide holes on your stringboard (side of staircase) before attaching one bracket. The brackets sit where the tread meets the riser, allowing for the thickness of your carpet. Pop the rod into the fitted bracket, before slotting into the second bracket which you then screw in on the other side of the runner.

And don’t forget:

Stair rods are decorative and you will need to use gripper to attach the carpet or runner to the staircase

Measure each step individually. Don’t assume all your stair rods will need to be the same length.

Getting the brackets true and straight is visually important.

If in doubt, speak to an expert – we are always happy to help customers calculate the correct length of runner rods they need.

Hinged runner rod brackets are supplied as a set: tops and bottoms are not interchangeable, so avoid muddling them up!

Dubai stair rods feature 16mm rods for wider staircases

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