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Hollywood Stair Runner vs Waterfall Stair Runner

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Hollywood or Waterfall Style?

You’ve chosen the perfect carpet for your stairs and you’re ready to schedule installation, but there’s one last decision to make. How would you like your stair runner carpet installed? There are 2 basic choices known as Hollywood style stair runner installation and Waterfall style. Both installation methods are considered standard in the carpet industry. Sometimes, one is more advantageous than the other and we'll explain why.

Hollywood Stair Runner vs Waterfall Stair Runner
Hollywood Stair Runner vs Waterfall Stair Runner

Waterfall Stair Runner Hollywood Stair Runner

Hollywood Style Stair Runner

The term “Hollywood style” is rumored to come from the early days of Hollywood when stair carpet was installed this way on movie sets. Hollywood style is also sometimes referred to as upholstered stairs, contoured stairs or French capped stairs just to add to the confusion!

Hollywood Stair Runner
Hollywood Stair Runner

To carpet stairs in this style, the carpet is tacked down directly to the tread (over pad) and then continued over the stair nosing and stapled securely underneath.

Hollywood style gives your staircase a more tailored look that blends well with modern and transitional decor. It looks particularly well with solid color carpet and small to mid-scale patterns and creates a beautiful custom upholstered visual.

Waterfall Style Stair Runner

Waterfall style is the more traditional way of installing carpet on stairs. As the name implies, the carpet Is brought directly over the stair nose and then cascades down the riser without interruption. Many clients like the natural look of this type of stair carpet installation.

Waterfall Stair Carpet
Waterfall stair carpet

You might want to consider Waterfall stairs if your carpet choice is a thicker pile or has a large pattern repeat that you don’t want broken.

Waterfall Stair Runner with Stair Rods
Waterfall Stair Runner with Rods

Waterfall style is also the correct installation choice if you are adding decorative stair rods to your carpet project. Historically, carpet runners were installed using stair rods to hold the runner in them in place so waterfall style mimics this time period.

Check out our Stair Runner Gallery for more inspiration!

When it comes to installation style, the choice is yours. Which do you prefer?

Ready to start your stair runner project? Call us 781-455-0505 or contact us today!


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