How to fit a stair runner with gripper rods and underlay

You’ve bought that great new stair runner. The next question is how to fit it. If your stairs are straight you can use gripper and underlay. Its easy and elegant fixing this way.


Jute Boucle stair runner beige border

Gripper rods are inexpensive , 20 pounds for a whole staircase . They are sticks with small spikes on that are used to fit carpets or stair  runners from behind invisibly .


Tools you need to fit your stair runner , with gripper rods and underlay .

For preparation you need a pencil and tape measure. To fit gripper rods you will need a pair of snips and a hammer. For fitting the stair runner underlay you need a staple gun. For fitting the stair runner you need a hammer and bolster.

So , here’s how to get the show on the road !

Lets assume your stair runner is 55cm wide .


Marking the position of your stair runner

1. Mark the stairs with pencil marks showing the intended position of your stair runner . (55cm wide and in the center)     

2. Measure a gripper stick and cut to 10cm less than your runner (so it doesn’t show from the sides). Most of our stair

runners are 55cm so you want your gripper rods to be 45cm wide . Mark this on the stairs too with your pencil .

3. Two for every stair so you need to cut twice as many as you have stairs . So if you have 12 stairs you want 24 sticks cut .


How to fit gripper rods. Spikes pointing in remember

4.  Fix the gripper rods using the pre-nails already inserted in the gripper sticks, sometimes they fall out in the box, if they do , you know what to do, knock them back in !

5. You should fix one stick on each tread and one stick on each riser . The  riser stick should be about 1cm higher than the tread and the riser stick should be about 1cm away from the riser .


It’s really important that you make sure the small pins on the gripper rod sticks are sloping into each other . The pic attached shows what I mean . This is essential to understanding  how to fit a stair runner to create a good outcome .

6. If you are fitting gripper rods to your staircase you also need to fit underlay on each stair . The underlay is placed on the tread and just over the nose of the stair . It should not be on the riser as it might show when you look at the side of the stair runner . It should be in front of and butting up to , the gripper rods stick . It should be 45cm wide so it is not visible from the side of the stair runner .


Position of underlay for stair runner

7.Underlay should be fixed with staples. Complete each stair and you’re good to go and fit your new runner !

Stair runner installation part

Lets recap . In step 1 we marked the intended position of the stair runner . That’s what we will be guided by now .

1.Start by stapling the end of the runner under the lip of the landing .

2. Pull the carpet down tightly and bolster the carpet on to the gripper rods .


How to bolster a stair runner into the gripper

3. Work your way down the stairs until you reach the bottom. .

4. When you get to the bottom of the stairs simply cut a bit long , turn under and tack .

5.  How to fit a stair runner safely is the number one priority. Check carefully that it is secure and strong .

6. Always vacuum before showing your partner for additional brownie points .

7. Time for a cup of tea . You’ve earned it !


Sisal Gold beige border fitted with gripper to oak staircase


TREAD- Part of the stair you tread on

RISER-The upright part of the stairs.

SNIPS-Look like a mixture of pliers and scissors . Very useful for quickly cutting gripper sticks and also light alloys like door bars .


1. A stair runner fitted with gripper rods and no stair rods .

2. How to position gripper rods .