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Hollywood Stair Runner vs Waterfall Stair Runner

Updated: 7 hours ago

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 vs Waterfall 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 the Hollywood or French Cap style, the carpet is first attached to the tackless strip at the bottom riser. It is then brought up and tacked securely under the stair nosing with staples. From there, the runner is then wrapped over the nosing and stretched (using a knee kicker) over the tack strip at the back of the stair tread. Once secured, it is held in place with staples placed behind the tack strip.

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

Tip: A rug runner that is upholstered under the nosing uses slightly more carpet and can be more expensive to install due to the additional labor involved.

Waterfall Style Stair Runner vs Hollywood 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.

Carpet on Stairs

Carpeting your stairs has multiple benefits including noise reduction, shock absorption, and added grip. Regardless of which runner style you choose, installing a carpet runner down the center of your wood staircase will add beauty, comfort, and safety to your home.

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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