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

LAST UPDATED: Nov 26, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Jul 18, 2016 | By: Julie Blanner

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.

dash-and-albert-runner

basement-before
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, scroll down to my DIY card. 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

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beautiful basement stairs on a budget

how to update your basement stairs on a budget
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How to Redo Basement Stairs

All the details to makeover stairs with cost efficient, easy to clean stair runners! Pretty and practical basement stair ideas.
Course DIY
Cook Time 4 hours

Equipment

  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Double sided tape

Ingredients

  • 13mm Stair Nails Any color.
  • Stair Runner

Instructions

Take off old carpet if needed and clean steps

    Take Measurements of the Stairs

    • Select one stair tread and measure its depth and the step height. Multiply the height by the number of step and the depth by the number of treads. Add the two figures together then add 6 inches to account for waste. This is the total length of runner you will need. If you need more than one runner, add an additional 12 inches to the total to account for the seams where the carpets will join.

    Install Carpet Runner

    • Cut a strip of double-sided tape slightly shorter than the width of the rug and press the tape along the top edge of the riser of the first tread, placing it just under the nose. 
    • Line up the top edge of the runner rug with the tape and press firmly. Use the carpet tacks to the rug in place, starting in the center and then at every three inches on either side. Be sure there is a nail in each of the outer edges. 
    • Smooth the rug against the stair. Nail the rug to the bottom of the stair in the center of the rug and then at every three inches on either side. 
    • Repeat the process of nailing the runner to the base of the riser as above, then continue over successive treads until you reach the last tread you can cover. 

    If need a second runner

    • If you are adding a second runner, after you have stapled to the bottom of the last finished riser, trim the trailing edge of the first runner, leaving a 2-inch piece free to overlap. 
    • Overlap with the second runner, carefully aligning the sides of the two runners and pressing the finished edge against the riser. 
    • Staple into the second runner as above, then continue the installation process as described above for the remaining treads to be covered

    Finish the step

    • Fold the end of the runner under and press it tightly against the final riser to create a hem. Nail into place against the riser. If the final riser ends in a moulding, fold and staple the hem so that it sits above that piece.

    LET’S CONNECT!

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