Once you’ve chosen the perfect carpet, it’s time to prepare for installation. There are a few different ways to carpet stairs. Two common installation methods create Hollywood and Waterfall stair runner styles. Here are the differences between the two.

Hollywood vs. Waterfall Stair Runners

The “Waterfall” installation method involves bringing the carpet over the edge of the tread and straight down the riser to meet the next tread. Without molding it to the riser, it creates a waterfall effect. It is the most common installation method because of the clean look. This method is more appropriate for thicker carpets that are more difficult to wrap around the edge of the tread. Waterfall carpet installation on stairs creates a traditional look.

The term “Hollywood” carpet style refers to a specific installation method where the installer tacks down the carpet directly to the staircase. As you can see, the carpet is wrapped around the edge of the tread, contouring the nosing to meet the riser. The carpet or runner gets stapled under the nose of the stair. For this reason, the Hollywood stair runners are also referred to as Bullnose stair treads. The process uses more carpet and is more labor intensive, which makes this the more expensive option of the two. Those looking for a statement carpet will choose this elegant installation option.

You need to remember, every home is different and so are the layouts of each staircase. It is always extremely helpful to provide us a picture so we can help you determine the best course of action. The best installation method for you depends on the carpet material, shape of the stairs, and desired atheistic. The premier floor-covering material is wool for a number of reasons. In terms of stair covering, wool provides the most resiliency, which means it will stand up to traffic the longest without showing wear paths. Read more to learn about the benefits of wool carpeting.


Nylons fall just behind wools and are preferred by some because they don’t shed. Olefins and polyesters are at the bottom of the list because they look and feel the most plastic-like. In terms of pile, the most important thing to consider is the pile height. Plush carpets will show wear a lot quicker and more dramatic than tight pile carpets. Check out our Stair Carpet Buyer’s Guide for more information.  No matter which carpet material and style you choose, the Carpet Workroom offers professional carpet installation services

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