Category Archives: Staircase Terms

Width of a Stair Runner

Shop for stair runners by Width.  While there are no “rules” for your runner width, you may find it helpful to begin your search within a width category. The largest hall and stair runner selection exists among 2 width categories:  26″ to 27″ runner width is most commonly used on a staircase width of 39 inches or less.  30″ to 31″ runner width is often best for stairs 40 inches wide or more. Although fewer choices – 36″ wide runners (and a small group at 41″) are available for extra wide stairs, generally more than 44 inches for example. 

When searching this topic, you’re likely to find oversimplified answers to questions like these: “How wide should a stair runner be?” OR “How wide should a carpet runner be on stairs?”  But the first question you may want to answer is: “How wide are my stairs?” Staircase and hallway widths vary – you may prefer a runner width in relation to your hall/stairs that falls outside of the suggestions you’ll find.

It is important to understand that stair and hall widths vary more than runner product widths – and most often within one staircase or hall there are a variety of widths. It is less common for a staircase or hallway to be a consistent width throughout. Many articles place significant focus on the Reveal. There are no “rules” as to the reveal. (Reveal = the exposed area alongside the runner) and the reveal can and often does vary.  If you’ve been told or read that a specific reveal is the rule or if you find this most important to you –  the runner will often need to be entirely custom made throughout. We can help with that too: Custom Width Runners

Flexibility on the reveal allows the runner to be a standard width which is generally less costly.  However,  fabrication (alterations) are possible in some ready-made runner products, handled on a case-by-case basis.  OR a stair runner project can utilize a hybrid approach –  utilizing custom and standard material. Please Inquire. 

All stated runner widths are approximate. 

You may also be interested in Reveal. Please visit our Resources page for additional information.


A structural component that supports the treads and risers. Typically there are two visible stringers and at least one hidden under the treads and risers on a staircase. Those that are visible are typically on either side of the stairs. Stringers alongside are generally routed to receive treads and risers for boxed in stairs. An open staircase or open portion of a staircase may have a visible stringer sitting under the treads and risers. A stringer is a main structural support for most stairways. It is also often a finished, visible trim component which in many cases is painted the same color as the risers and other finish trim.

Carriage is another term used to describe stringers.