Choosing a Carpet for Stairs

When choosing a carpet for a stair runner, it is critical to choose a carpet that is durable. Nylon and wool looped carpets tend to provide the best wear. Plush and sisal carpets do not hold up as well on stairs because they get a lot of traffic. Also, stairs develop a heavy wear pattern right up the middle because people step in the center of the stair tread. So a carpet on stairs will appear worn out faster than carpet on a flat floor. So it is understandable that it is always best to buy the highest quality carpet for durability’s sake, since it will wear better and save money in the long. Lower quality carpet will need to be replaced sooner. Here is a what a looped carpet looks like.


An example of looped weave carpet.

Carpet Installation Styles for Stairs

The most popular ways to install carpet runners on stairs are waterfall and French Cap.

The Waterfall method involves attaching the carpet to the tread of the stair and then bending it over the stair nosing and down over the stair riser to the next tread. This installation method is the most common and is the least costly to install since the attachment to the steps is simple.

The French Cap style of installation is more expensive because it requires additional carpeting and because of the complexity of the work. This involves wrapping carpet around the stair nosing and tucking and stapling it under the lip of the stair tread so it precisely follows contour of each step. Below is a “French Cap” installation.


French Cap installation on stairs. Note how the carpet wraps around the nosing of the stair tread, then drops straight down to the next tread.

When it comes to carpet runners on steps, we like to have exposed wood on both sides of the stair tread. The width of the runner needs to be decided before installation. One of the best ways to figure out the width of the stair runner is to use blue painter’s tape to mark off a few steps in the proposed width of the runner. Leave it a few days so you can see if what you like.

Binding Styles

The last part of figuring out your carpet runner project to decide on the edge binding style. David Morris, Inc. offers many types including tassels. The most common types are serged binding and edge binding.

Serged binding incorporates a colored yarn similar to the carpet color. It is sewn to the carpet’s edge in a continuous ¼” wrap. The photo below is a serged binding.


An example of serged edge binding.

Edge binding is less expensive to install and is basically a fabric border tape that we match to the carpet’s color.


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Custom Wool Stair Runner with Miter Seam

We are often asked if we can do custom stair runners. Of course! Our staff is exceptionally talented and their attention to detail is exquisite. We recently completed the custom stair runner shown here. Exposed hardwood stair treads are beautiful, but tend to be slippery because of their gloss finish. Adding a stair runner creates a more comfortable, safer surface to walk on, and also reduces noise when compared to an exposed hardwood surface. And speaking of attention to detail, look closely at the exacting work our craftsmen did on the diagonal (miter) seam across the landing. You won’t get that from the home improvement stores or cut-rate installers.

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The carpet is by Woolshire, and the style is Central Park.

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Custom Stair Runner

We recently completed this installation of a custom stair runner in a beautifully upgraded classic home built in 1920. Note in particular the very fine edge binding or serging. Our carpet technicians are specialists in this kind of customization, which was very important in this home because the carpet had to be custom cut to fit the stairs, the handrails on the top floor, and the unusually shaped hallway.

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The carpet is by Dixie Homes Carpets, the style is Steadfast, and the color is Lodestone. This is a is a STAINMASTER product made with a SuperiaSD BCF Nylon fiber with a 20 year warranty.

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Custom Carpet Installation Masterpiece

This luxurious Karastan custom stair runner has a beautiful serged binding matched to the color of the carpet. It’s deep chocolate tones gracefully accent the hardwood stairs and floor. We listen carefully to you and select a product to faithfully implement your vision. We then choreograph the installation from start to finish, including quality assurance, so the ultimate outcome is a stunningly beautiful installation you’ll be proud of and one delivered with a high level of customer satisfaction. Imagine what our design and installation services could do for your home!

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Karastan® carpets and rugs invite you to “Live Beautifully.” Timeless quality, luxury, and character are Karastan hallmarks, and have been since 1928. Countless fine homes and celebrity residences are appointed with fine carpets and rugs from Karastan the world over. David Morris, Inc. is proud to offer the complete Karastan line, with special emphasis on their wool carpets. Karastan is one of the world’s largest importers of New Zealand Wool. From Farm to Floor, Karastan’s wool carpeting and rugs are one of the most environmentally friendly products that can be used in your home. We also offer their Metropolitan Collection and their SmartStrand® collection which features permanent, built-in stain protection.

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More On Shaw Carpet Tiles

Commercial installation of Shaw Carpet Tiles

Commercial installation of Shaw Carpet Tiles

A couple months ago we described how Shaw Carpet Tiles are infinitely adaptable. Here’s a pretty typical installation. David Morris, Inc. provided the materials and installation for this 2500 square-foot project at a real estate office in Berkeley, California. Our customer wanted to have the ability to remove damaged tiles in the future and replace them with extras they bought “just in case.”  Traditional Broadloom carpet is more difficult to repair. The tiles are much easier to replace, so a trained installer, handy business owner, or homeowner can easily remove a damaged tile and replace it with one just like it.

Regarding the design, note how the tiles are arranged to provide texture and depth. Powerful adhesive holds each one firmly in place. A wide range of colors, textures, and naps is available and can be mixed and matched at will. Imagine the possibilities!

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Wool News from Unique Carpets, Inc.

We recently received this news in an email from Unique Carpets, Inc. They provide top-quality woolen carpets and rugs. Informational and fun.

Sheep Seldom Shiver

Sheep Seldom Shiver -- Woolen carpet from Unique Carpets, Inc.

Sheep Seldom Shiver — Woolen carpet from Unique Carpets, Inc.

Why is that you might ask?  Well, it’s partly because wolves can hear teeth chattering from a thousand meters, but mainly it’s because sheep are well insulated with their own coat of natural, home-grown wool. By the way, this article appeared in our very first newsletter over four years ago but based on this never-ending winter, we thought it would be a good thing to re-visit it. So here we go: When used as floor-covering wool is not only soft and elegant underfoot, it “breathes”, absorbing moisture when humid and releasing it when conditions are dry. This combined with wool’s heralded natural insulating properties helps keep things cool and comfortable during the hottest months and warm and cozy during the colder months (please note that last part). In fact, wool carpet is unquestionably the BEST insulating material available for use as an interior textile. As a result it can greatly reduce energy costs since tearing out the heater and replacing it with a nuclear- powered 875,000 BTU turbine-fed forced-air unit may not be necessary with a properly insulated floor.

Product Review – Softer Than Sisal

Softer than Sisal carpet from Unique Carpets, Inc.

Softer than Sisal brand from Unique Carpets, Inc.

What was it that drove so many people to this product upon its introduction in 1993? Was it the unique name? We have to admit Softer Than Sisal is an odd name for a wool loop-pile carpet and it might seem pretty obvious that a wool carpet would be softer than sisal. If it is the name we might want to consider Softer Than Granite for an upcoming launch. Upon introduction, Softer Than Sisal immediately became our number one selling product by a considerable margin. We could say that if not due to the name, its popularity must be due to its unique combination of six ends of yarn twisted and spun into a magnificently pure blend of subtle heather color-ways, but those sorts of things rarely show in samples, only after installation when the carpet looks far better on the floor than it did in samples and again years after installation when it still looks better than ever. Perhaps it’s because of its assortment of natural colorways. But as you know, we have no shortage of assortments of natural color-ways. Well, we have to admit we’re stumped but we can tell you that in over twenty years, Softer Than Sisal has never been anything less than our number one selling product. Again in 2014 it outsold its nearest competitor by nearly three to one: An amazing feat in a fashion-driven industry where fame is fleeting. So if you’re looking for satisfied customers and a fashionable statement in 100% pure wool with an unsurpassed and lengthy history of beauty and durability, Softer than Sisal should be on the top of your list, we just can’t tell you why.




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Shaw Carpet Tiles for Unlimited Flexibility

Shaw Carpet Tiles

Shaw Carpet Tiles installed by David Morris, Inc. in a San Francisco Conference Room

David Morris, Inc. is an authorized dealer of the entire Shaw line, including their line of carpet tiles. Shaw Carpet Tiles give you the ability to assemble precisely the floor you want. The room shown at right is in the Shaw showroom, and clearly demonstrates their hexagonal tiles. Note how the designer was able to mix and match tiles at will, with one color dominating and another interspersed to break things up and add a dynamic character. Square tiles are also available. Some customers choose to have a border of square tiles around the perimeter of the room with hex tiles appropriately cut and fitted inside that for a carefully framed appearance. The possible combinations are infinite.

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