Stair rods are used to hold a carpet runner in place on a set of stairs. They fit in the crease formed where a stair tread meets the riser, the vertical piece that connects one step to another. Some stair rods feature a decorative design.
Installing stair rods is one of the final steps in carpeting a set of stairs. First, tackless strips are placed at the base of each riser. This is a thin piece of wood that has carpet tacks poking out of the front to secure the carpet. Then the carpet pad is stapled in place, without covering the strips. The pad cushions footsteps, cutting down on noise and making the carpet runner last longer.
Starting at the bottom, the carpet runner is rolled into place. At the base of each riser, the carpet is pushed onto the tackless strip and then pounded into the crease. Once the carpet strip is in place, the stair rods are installed. They are held in place by brackets that are screwed in at both edges of the runner. Decorations, if used, are attached to the outside of the brackets.
The stair rods usually have to be cut to fit. To install them, each rod is pushed into its stair crease and then attached to the brackets. The rods can be taken down for carpet cleaning or if the runner needs to be replaced.