Why You Should Consider Roger Oates Stair Runners

In our previous blog post we touched on stair runners and how they can be used to revamp your entrance hall. We thought it would be useful to expand on this topic and to provide some invaluable advice and information. As stockists of bespoke stair runners and rods by Roger Oates, we have had vast experience with this high quality product. We know the frequently asked questions, we understand the common misconceptions and we have the expertise to help you choose the perfect stair runner.


Why install a stair runner?

Stair runners are a popular choice for people who have an exposed wooden staircase and are all too familiar with the noises thud, clunk, clonk. Although beautiful and authentic, wooden staircases are slippery and can therefore be highly impractical. This is particularly problematic when there are children, elderly people or even pets involved.

If you have a staircase which is currently fully carpeted then fear not as most stairs can be filled and painted. A white painted background will make your runner stand out and really helps to make a statement. In fact we install more bespoke stair runners on a prepared and painted finish than we do on real wood staircases, as they are less common. The sides of the stairs which join onto your skirting boards on the landing at the top and in the hallway at the bottom are called stringers. The skirting, stringers and spindles should usually be painted to match, although we have seen many variations.


Roger Oates stair runners


Occasionally a staircase is very narrow and not suited to a runner, or you may simply prefer a fully fitted carpet which is called “close covered”.  In this case a striped carpet can be considered interesting enough to not need to be formed as a runner.  However, a stair runner allows you to show off the stairs if they are real wood but do also look fabulous if they are simply painted.

Beautiful, bespoke and stylish, stair runners can be chosen according to specific personal requirements and have the ability to transform a room. Whether you would prefer a more neutral design to blend in with the surroundings, or a bold and colourful design statement, the possibilities are endless.


Fixed Width Runners

This is when the runner is made at a fixed width and you then purchase the correct length for your stairs. This is available in a normal carpet but will only be ideal if you have straight stairs, as normal carpets with a backing cannot be worked around curves or small landings easily.

The best option with fixed width runners are fabric runners. Roger Oates produce gorgeous designs in this medium which are pliable and have the additional advantage of in-house, hand-sewn mitres being available. This means that no matter what stairs you have we can make the pattern continuous; a huge advantage aesthetically and not always achievable with a normal carpet.


Roger Oates stair runners


Broadloom Carpets

A broadloom is usually 4 or 5 metres wide. If the carpet you select is a broadloom product then it means that we efficiently plan the various parts of your installation into a cutting plan. This usually involves an allowance for the pattern repeat and is a big advantage if, for example, you are considering covering the landing in the same material. This option will not always pattern match if you have triangular stairs called winders, whereas a fabric runner will fully pattern match.


What about my landing?

Customers sometimes wrongly assume that a landing creates a tricky problem for stair runners. We disagree – landings are where the design fun comes in. With various options available you should never let an awkward landing deter you from choosing a stair runner. There are various solutions, which we will cover below.


Roger Oates stair runners

Half landings and quarter landings are the smaller landings sometimes present on the stairs. These are considered part of the runner, which will continue or change direction depending on the material you choose. Fabric runners can be mitred on the corners to continue the design, which is a great look.

There are various options for the main landing, as follows:

1. Fully carpeting

You can utilise the exact carpet used to form the runner from a broadloom product but this is fully fitted on the landing and close covered. This leads the pattern from the landing to the stair runner seamlessly and is our preferred option from a visual perspective. The only catch here is that if you have an epic landing and have a strong design for the runner then fully carpeting the landing can be a very bold statement. In which case we can look to choose a plain carpet which corresponds to one of the colours in the design of the stair runner. For example, a striped carpet may have 6-10 colours including a grey which we can match in store. As a result, the main landing carpet will work with and compliment the stair runner and also the decor.

In the case of a fabric runner, the fixed widths can be sewn together to form a piece large enough to fully cover the whole landing. This again looks amazing but is expensive as the fabric material is costly to purchase in large quantities and labour intensive to have sewn then installed. With Roger Oates installations it is therefore more common that we install a specially selected broadloom product on the landing, which ties in visually and is fully fitted and close covered.

2. Continue the runner

In some cases, particularly when the first floor of the house has a pre-finished or renovated wooden floor, the runner can continue from the stairs leaving timber visible around the edges. This is not so popular if the subfloor is not in great condition. Painted floor boards are impractical when stepped on due to marking, unlike painted stairs where one only walks up the middle.

3. Installing a real wood floor

This can be the whole floor including the rooms or simply the landing.




A further aspect to consider when choosing a stair runner is how it is going to be attached to your stairs. This is essentially a choice between opting just to staple the stair runner in place or to use stair rods. Although stapling will keep the stair runners more securely in place, the primary reason for choosing one option over the other ultimately comes down to aesthetics.

Stair rods are often considered to be quite traditional, even old-fashioned. However, with the option for bespoke designs, modern stair rods can be stylish and contemporary. Made to suit the accompanying stair runner, stair rods can be the ideal finishing touch to a beautifully renovated staircase.


Roger Oates


Here at Hudson Flooring we are proud stockists of Roger Oates stair runners. Their pure wool Venetian flatweave rugs and runners are hand produced and offer the highest possible quality. With an eye for colour and practicality, Roger Oates stair runners have become the must-have interiors staple for homes with a twenty-first century taste. Read more on our Roger Oates page.


Roger Oates stair runners




For those feeling a little overwhelmed by the huge variety of choice on offer, we can offer some advice to quell those doubts:

  • A stair runner that looks stunning in a magazine will not necessarily look as beautiful in your own home. Consider the design carefully in the realm of your own interior space, as what works for one home may not work for another. The best way of doing this is to gather samples, place them in situ and to not be rushed into a decision.
  • Depending on your budget restrictions we would always recommend that you opt for the highest quality you can afford. You won’t regret it twenty years down the line when your beloved stair runner is still in excellent condition.
  • Consider the level of durability required for your home and whether your chosen material is up to the job. Roger Oates flatweaves are exceptionally practical and are capable of withstanding all weathering, from children to pets.

A stair runner will take pride of place in your home for many years to come, so it is essential to make the right decision. Carefully consider what it is that you want and look around for inspiration. For further help or advice, get in touch with one of our experts here at Hudson Flooring and we will be delighted to help.