What are stair rods? Have you ever heard of them? Have you ever installed them in your home? Here are all the FAQ’s to make your stairs even cuter.

what is a stair rod

This is the staircase in the center of our home.

It is 110 years old.

I can only hope that I look this beautiful when I blow out 11o candles on my cake.

Can you imagine all the things this staircase has seen?

It’s been around almost as long as Wilbur and Orville Wright. It’s seen airplanes and cars and electric cars and cars that fly and computers and the internet and the Sears and Robuck catalog and phones with cords and phones that you hold and phones that are smarter than all of us.

And through it all, it’s kept its composure.

It’s beauty.

It’s amazing moldings and curved stairs and detailed lines and 1908 haircut.

And to celebrate its 110th birthday, we gave it a present that made it even more beautiful.

Stair rods.

what is a stair rod faq and ideas

What are stair rods?

I am so happy you asked.

They are these amazing decorative rods that used to be used to hold your runner in place.

You can see them here going up the stairs.

My mother had them when I was little on these exact stairs.

what is a stair rod staircase with vintage molding

They used to lay carpet on the stairs and kind of tack it in place.

And then, to make sure the runner stayed exactly where it was supposed to, they would install these stair rods.


Carpet installation has come a long way in the last 100 years.

You don’t actually need the stair rods to hold the carpet in place.

But they seriously make the staircase SO MUCH fancier.

stair rods on stairs what is a stair rod

Where can you get stair rods?

Here’s the link to the stair rods that I got. I ordered these for the farmhouse, too.

With the farmhouse, I installed an indoor/outdoor runner as a runner on the stairs. We just stapled it down and then added the stair rods to hold it in place.

You can see that project here.

I thought about doing that with this staircase, too.

But it was a lot more challenging.

It turns at the bottom and then turns at the landing at the top of the stairs and then makes one final turn going upstairs.

That is a LOT of turns.

So we had a local company install the runner.

The BEST thing we did when we installed the runner was to add a carpet pad.

I wasn’t sure about it, but they told me it would make a big difference and they were so right.

I seriously LOVE IT.

They installed the runner, but we installed the stair rods ourselves.

How do you install stair rods?

They come in a kit with instructions.

We ordered ours online from here.

They come in different sizes and finishes (like brass, rose gold, shiny nickel, brushed nickel and bronze) with different finials.

We ordered the brass rods with simple finials (I think I got pineapple finials for the farmhouse).

The stair rods are super easy to install. The kit comes with these brackets that you install on either side of the stair runner.

Then you thread the stair rod through the brackets and attach the finial.

Just be sure and follow the instructions that come with your kit.

What size of stair rods do I need?

Most of the standard stair rods I was looking at come in two sizes 28.5 (that fits most stair runners) and 36″ if you have larger stairs.

The three stairs at the bottom of our staircase are bigger than the rest of the stairs going up the wall.

We ordered two extra stair rods in the 36″ and cut them to fit the runner at the bottom of the stairs.

I love our staircase.

It’s beautiful with its amazing moldings and curved stairs and detailed lines and 2019 stacked wedge.

It’s stood the test of time and still looks like it’s 25.

Maybe it will share its beauty tips. 🙂

PS This is the staircase I’ve waited for Santa on as long as I can remember. The best present ever? My kids standing on the same stairs on Christmas morning.

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  1. Image for David David

    I too love your stairs! I definitely have stair envy (and molding envy, and kitchen envy, and door envy....bottom line - lots of envy)! And if I ever create that addition to my house that I dream of (unlikely) or move to a home that has stairs (more possibly likely) I am 100% on board with runners, carpet pads and rods.

  2. Image for Shelly Shelly

    Really pretty! How are you liking the bench in the picture? I almost ordered it but was wondering what it is like without the top removable cushion. Is it usable without the removable cushion? I would really love to know, so thank you in advance dear lady for your opinion Blessings

  3. Image for Jere Jere

    Karaanne, The stair rods are "the cap on the jar" my own Texas term I use for perfection.(I am 92 year old -Texas born , so I can make up terms!) I live in a 120 old Queen Ann Victorian home and also have the rods on my stairs I also added dust catchers in the corners. i don't know how much dust they really catch but they are definitely "Cute!" ...and you know how important it is to be cute Jere


    The stair rods add the sparkle to the staircase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes it just a little bit fancier, as a 110 year old stair case deserves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It looks beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    Love the detail these provide! Jewelry for the staircase. Another reader (Jere) mentioned corner dust catchers -- I'd never seen those so just looked them up. Fascinating! I love learning about home keeping!

  6. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    I have always loved this look! I currently don't have an upstairs to do this, but if we ever have another house where we do, rods it is! My question is...or more like a statement-ish, once you screw the brackets into the wood, you are sort of committed to always have rods? I guess if you wanted to remove the runner for any reason, you could fill the holes, sand, and paint or stain. Just curious what people do who are in the runner/rod camp. 😊 Happy Monday, friend.

  7. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    GREAT addition to already pretty fantastic stairs! I LOVE runners and rods on staircases! With our toddler grand daughter and the dollhouses upstairs we installed an extra thick carpet pad on those stairs for safety - so I don't have the wood and runner or rods here. One day perhaps we may - but this was it for us once she was born and we replaced all the upstairs carpet. Your new rods look so classy - well done, KA. Love it.

  8. Image for Joan Joan

    I have stair rods and agree that they look great. They are not great to polish. Mine are brass and need polishing again. Do you know of a good way to polish them? Not looking forward to this.

  9. Image for Cam Cam

    Sadly I’ve never lived in an old home. I’m enjoying yours however. I love what you did there with the stairs and since a previous comment mentioned corner stair dust catchers I had to google to take a peak. I have never seen those and they seem like a great idea - no more dust in a hard to clean corner.

  10. Image for Carolyn Driskill Carolyn Driskill

    Made a huge difference ! I love the look of carpet on the stairs! Your one smart cookie Kariann! Really do miss you neighbor!!

  11. Image for Sue Sue

    But if the stair rods are brass, don't they need to be polished? It just seems like one more thing to be done around the house.

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