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Carpet runners are long, narrow rugs meant to be used in hallways, galley kitchens, or other areas of the home where space is narrow, but long. They are also used on stairs, but these models do not have the backing used on carpet runners for the floor. Along with area rugs, this type of carpeting can add a decorative element to hardwood floors while making them warmer and more comfortable to walk on.
Most area rugs come in different sizes, and many have matching carpet runners available. Mass merchandisers often retail less expensive area rugs with matching runners included. The more expensive rugs sold in department stores, home improvement stores, and carpet retailers usually have carpet runners available in varying lengths.
Carpet runners are excellent not only for hallways, but also for kitchens. They tend to fit nicely down the length of cabinet and counter space, providing both a cushioned area on which to stand when washing dishes or preparing food and a decorative touch. Avoid wool runners in the kitchen and stick to synthetic fibers that are easier to clean and can withstand water.
It is best to have carpet runners for the stairs professionally installed. A poorly installed piece of carpeting on stairs poses a potential safety hazard, since tripping and falling is a serious concern. Most home improvement stores sell carpet runners for stairs by the foot. They will precut the required length of carpet, and they also sell installation tools, but unless you possess some knowledge of carpet installation, you’re better off hiring them to do it.
Wood stairs and even basement stairs that are not carpeted can be vastly improved in appearance with the addition of an inexpensive carpet runner. Hallways and entryways can also be warmed up with them. While they do not have to be limited to use on bare floors, avoid placing carpet runners, area rugs, and throw rugs on top of padded carpet if elderly people live in or frequently visit your home. Rugs over padded carpet can pose a tripping hazard both to the elderly and to very young children just learning to walk.