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What is a Stair Rod?

Paul Scott
Paul Scott

A stair rod is a device used to secure carpet runs on flights of stairs. The rod is secured on top of the carpet in the angle formed between the tread of one step and the riser of the next. The rods are held in place by two brackets and typically equipped with a decorative finial on one or both ends. Stair rods may either be solid or hollow with a round or triangular cross section. Commonly used materials for stair rods include brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and wood and with most featuring attractive, decor enhancing finishes.

Stairs are a challenging location when it comes to laying carpet runs. If not properly installed, carpets slip, bunch, or shimmy on staircases which is not only an eyesore but a serious safety hazard to boot. Installing stair rod sets is an good way of securing carpet runs on staircases so that they remain correctly aligned with all the treads and with no slipping or sliding. They are also not permanent and allow for fairly quick removal of the carpet when cleaning, repairs, or replacement are required. In addition, the humble stair rod is available in a huge variety of attractive finishes which do justice to any home decor.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Stair rods consist of a cross member which is installed above the carpet hard up against the angle between each tread and riser on the staircase. The collective pressure exerted on the carpet by all the rods effectively prevents it from slipping or bunching up. The rods are secured by a pair of “L” shaped brackets, each with a hole at the fulcrum for the rod to pass through. The brackets are secured with screws to the tread and riser faces on either side of the carpet, and the rod is pushed through the bracket holes. Depending on the staircase design, a decorative finial is then attached to one or both ends of the rod.

The rods themselves may be solid or hollow and of either tubular or triangular cross section. Both work equally well, although triangular stair rod designs tend to have a lower, less intrusive profile. Materials used for the rods include brass, stainless steel, forged steel, wood, and aluminum. Most feature highly polished or brushed decorative finishes with brackets embellished with decorative scroll work. The finials used to cap the rods range from simple turned spheres to elaborate crystal orbs. If the staircase is closed on one side, finials are often found on one end of the stair rod only.

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      Man mowing the grass