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How to Redo Basement Stairs on a Budget with Indoor Outdoor Stair Runners

All the details to makeover stairs with cost efficient, easy to clean stair runners! Pretty and practical basement stair ideas.

basement stairs on a budget - brilliant way to save money

YES, I said it, budget. Ugh, I don’t like that word, but sometimes, you just have to make compromises, or what you would think would be a compromise.

We’re currently updating our basement and since it’s a space that the kids will primarily use and rarely be seen by guests, we are trying to limit our spending. I’ve always known how I wanted to do the basement stairs, but there were a few naysayers, including Chris and Nick, our flooring guy. I didn’t let that stop me.

how to update stairs on a budget that will also be durable and easy to clean

Most treads and risers {the steps themselves and the board that connects them} are never intended to see the light of day. Builders use leftover materials, broken or ill fitted boards and as we learned the hard way {from our second level stairs}, even different species of wood. Still, I was determined.



basement before

I don’t have a before of the stairs {sometimes I get a little too anxious}, but this is just to the left of them and are the same cedar walls and worn carpet that surrounded the stairs. You can see the difference a little paint and a couple stair runners can make!

save money redoing stairs with a stair runner

Practical and Inexpensive Basement Stair Ideas:

Redoing basement stairs isn’t difficult or time consuming!

We want the basement to be a comfortable place where the girls and their friends can play and create without fear and burn off some energy on rainy days, so I was excited to fall in love with this stair runner that is so much more durable than carpeting because it’s a soft, indoor/outdoor rug! Whew!

Bonus? The project cost less than $300 to do, which is less than we paid for those 4 stairs of basic hardware store carpet in our sunroom. Seriously.

how to update stairs on a budget that will also be durable and easy to clean

How to Install Stair Runners:

We started by removing the old, dingy carpet and the ridiculous amount of staples that accumulated through the years as carpet had been replaced.

I centered the runner to gage just how much area needed to have nails filled, caulked and painted. Why work any harder than you have to?

Then our flooring guy installed the rug, but guess what? It’s so easy you can do it yourself. Honestly, I’m not sure why we didn’t. If you want to DIY this project, Rhoda of Southern Hospitality has a great step by step tutorial. It took our guys a half hour to do, but they didn’t staple under each individual stair, just at the base of each stair.

how to update stairs on a budget that will also be durable and easy to clean

It took 3 2’6″ x 8 runners to cover our stairs, but I was also able to use the remnant as a kitchen rug in our lake cottage! I measured a tread and riser, added the number together and multiplied the number of stairs to determine how many we needed.

basement stairs on a budget - brilliant way to save money

Click here to see our basement playroom and flooring. Now I have to talk myself out of doing it at the lake cottage.

The Best Stair Runners:

I have rounded up all of my favorite Dash & Albert Indoor Outdoor stair runners {they’re the easiest to clean} and two marled runners that hide the dirt.

dash and albert indoor outdoor stair runners to update stairs on a budget

from left to right

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

and of course you know I love mine!

how to update your basement stairs on a budget


beautiful basement stairs on a budget



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entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner




This post is in partnership with one of my favorite resources, Wayfair. As always, all opinions are own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this site possible! I appreciate your support.

34 comments on “How to Redo Basement Stairs on a Budget with Indoor Outdoor Stair Runners”

  1. Hey, Julie thanks for the shout out on my stair project. We both used Dash and Albert runners! Yours turned out fabulous, I love the pattern and color and yes, paint works wonders. Love your project too!

  2. Julie … your stairs look FANTASTIC! We have to re-do the stairs up to our Master Ensuite … in public view. I will keep take a look at the runners on Wayfair.

  3. It looks fabulous, clean and bright!

  4. Absolutely inspiring. I am going to show my daughter, who is about to redo her basement. The children play there too. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Love it! Did you have to use more than one rug to go the whole length of stairs?

  6. looks great! did you need more than 1 rug to go the whole length of stairs?

    • Thanks, Cami! It’s actually 3 runners {I measured the height of each riser and length of each thread and multiplied by the number of stairs to determine how many I needed}. They’re less than $100 each!

  7. sorry for double comment, thought it didn’t go through! 🙂 still workin on my cup of coffee!

  8. I love it!! I want to rip up the carpet on our basement stairs and Steve keeps protesting, I need to show him yours!

  9. Your basement looks so much brighter! What paint brand, color, and sheen did you use for your basement stairs and walls?

  10. Fantastic job!! How did you join the runners so that it looks so seamless?

  11. That looks so good!! I’d love to see how you made it look so seamless. I want to replace the carpet on my back stairs with a runner like this. I love Rhoda’s as well.


  13. I love the look of this runner and I’m thinking about putting it on my stairs up to my second floor, instead of doing a carpet runner like I had planned. How is it holding up?

    • Really well! I’d absolutely use it on our main stairs. After seeing how our white outdoor rug held up from them and how easily it cleaned I was willing to install it on our stairs. It’s soft on foot as well. If you do, send photos, I’d love to see!

  14. What would you say the colors are? Is that a gray blue or mostly gray? Thanks 🙂

    • No gray, cream, blue and green. I loved the pattern so much I purchased a 3×5 for our lake cottage doorway as well. Have a beautiful Easter!

  15. Thanks! Also what color/ brand did you use for stair paint?

  16. It looks great! Nice job… andI like your choice in the runner pattern too. ????

  17. Did you have a landing? What do you suggest doing in that case?

  18. I love this! However when I add it up it looks like it’ll be closer to $600 for 3 2’6×8′ runners. Eep! Any other ideas on places to get runners inexpensively??

  19. Pingback: The Best of Wayfair

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