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Modern Stair Carpet Rods: Frequently Asked Q&A

CarpetRunners.co.uk has been supplying modern stair carpet rods for over 15 years. Here are the questions we are most frequently asked by customers looking to purchase a set for their staircase, along with answers and expert tips. If your question is not covered here, feel free to get in touch.

Q: Do modern stair rods hold a runner on the stairs?

A: No, they don’t. They are purely decorative and your stair runner will therefore need attaching in another way. The normal approach is to use gripper, which firmly holds the stair runner to the stairs and so avoiding dangerous rucks.

Q: Brackets supplied or not?

A: Each individual stair rods requires a pair of brackets to hold it in place on your staircase. The design of bracket will be different depending on whether you have chosen rods for a stair carpet runner or fitted carpet.  Modern stair rods are typically sold with a pair of brackets in a matching finish. It is best to check if the screws are included; they normally are if they are visible and need to match the brackets.

Q: What is the difference between stair rods for stair carpet runners and stair rods for fully fitted carpets?

3 staircases showing front fix stair rds, runner rods and side fix stair rods
From left to right: Front Fix, Runner, Side Fix stair rods

AA: Runner rods straddle the stair runner and over-hang either side, whilst the brackets sit either side of the runner. The decorative ends (finials) are a style feature and should be located on each step, one on either side of the runner. You can see the difference clearly shown in the stair pictures above.

If your carpet is fully fitted, covering the entire staircase, there are two choices:

  • Side Fix Stair Rods: these rods fix to either side of the staircase (stringboard) with simple brackets. The rod is therefore the focus and there are no decorative ends (finials).
  • Front Fix Stair Rods: these imitate the Runner Rods, in that the rod has decorative finials and only stretches across the central area of the staircase. Brackets, designed to screw over the face of the rods, hold the stair rods in place.

Q: How do I get the right length?

A: For a standard residential staircase, when we recommend you should take the width of your runner plus 100mm. This is a good rule of thumb when ordering standard 12mm stair rods.

Example 1: If your stair runner is 625mm wide, the tip-to-tip measurement you should order is 625mm + 100mm = 725mm.

Example 2: if you have a narrow 560mm wide staircase you will need short stair rods: 560mm+ 100mm = 660mm.

There are a few exceptions to this rule mentioned here.

Tip: Some modern stair carpet rods are made-to-order e.g. Arrow, Chatsworth and Balladeer, whilst others are cut to length on site e.g. Homepride and Jubilee. For the former you need to order the exact tip-to-tip length you require, whereas for the latter buy the length option (4 options) appropriate for the width of runner.

Q: Are carpet rods lacquered and therefore maintain their finish?

A: Yes, typically they are and they therefore are easy to clean – simply dust or wipe down with a damp cloth now and then.

Tip: If you have vintage rods then they are probably not lacquered and will need regular cleaning – make sure you protect your carpet when attempting this.

David Smith staircase fitted with stair rods
This David Smith staircase is enhanced with brass stair carpet rods

Q: Can you buy solid rods and are they better?

A: The Premier range of six designs of stair rods are made from a solid metal core and then finished in a variety of finishes. Likewise, the rustic Blacksmith designs. Most other stair carpet rods on the market are hollow.

Shop here to see the choice of stair rods available and request free of charge samples.

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