Cost to Install a Stair Runner – 2021

| Last Updated: August 23, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 711

$ 375

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 45% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

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The average price to Install a Stair Runner noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to install a stair runner? A carpet installer or handyman charges $711 to install a carpet runner, which includes labor and material, but a homeowner can do the job for $375.

A stair runner is carpeting designed and sized to fit on a stairway and adds warmth and comfort to your steps. They’re particularly attractive when they complement a decorating scheme. You’ll find them sold by the foot in widths of 26 and 31 inches at flooring and home centers in a variety of colors, designs, and styles.

You’ll find them online by typing stair runners in a search engine. The runner and padding are fastened to a staircase with tackless carpeting strips secured on the stair and riser using a knee kicker that tucks the material in place.

To install a runner and padding on a 16-step straight staircase, a carpet installer will charge $711. You can do the job for $375, which includes the cost of the material runner, padding, tackless strips plus a day’s rental of a knee kicker.

SF Gate has these instructions to Install Stair Runners.

When choosing a runner, bring along a tape measure to measure its width. You should know the number of steps you’re covering, the width of the step, the depth of the tread, and the height of the riser to correctly calculate the length of runner and padding you’ll require. It also helps to have a rough sketch with those dimensions to refer to.

The job gets tricky and more costly if the staircase turns or winds, which will require more material.

The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a stair runner with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. 

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.