Pleating Carpet

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by Karalover, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    I'm having an oriental carpet runner installed on my stairs. There are several pie shaped stairs and the installer says he pleats the carpet to get around the cutting. Does anyone have experience of this or information?
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I know I have never heard of it but I sure would be excited to learn something new.....

    Good luck.
  3. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Pleating a stair runner, to fit properly onto pie shaped steps ? That's a new topic never discussed, to my knowledge here @ TFP

    To me, it's a magic trick that I do not understand. Please ask the installer / Magician to join TFP and post some pictures, we would really like to see
    his or her expertise.

    I removed a flight installed that way, it was a ' butterfly staircase' (pie shaped) but was unable / not willing to install the new one the same way.
    I got permission to cut each step as a separate piece, sorry I don't
    think I have any pictures.

    Hopefully a master installer, here @ TFP , will provide some helpful information and maybe a picture or two.

    Does your installer have a portfolio of runners to look at ? Obviously it can be done, but I'm not a fan about the bulkiness caused from the
    pleat / hem onto the risers and would have no idea how to start folding that mess anyway, it would drive me crazy. That's why I said it's Magic, requiring a special person to accomplish.

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    I'm having a Karastan Cambridge runner installed which as an edge border and a complex pattern so it's not a simple job. The installer came over today to look at the stairs. He says he works a lot with oriental rugs and we initially talked about how to do a square landing with a 90 deg turn. I'd found a good spot to do a diagonal cut so the edge band and field lined up well. He said he didn't like to do it that way as it puts a long seam in a prominent place so he wants to cut off the border where required and sew on border at the top of the carpet so the field seam is against the riser. That sounds like more work to me, but a better way to do it as it places the seams in more inconspicuous places. He also said he'd sew all the seams rather than using heated carpet tape.

    Then we talked about pie shaped stairs. I have a couple of 90 deg turns each with 3 pie shaped stairs. He claims he can do this by pleating the carpet rather than cutting it. I just don't see how it can be done.....where does all the carpet go and how do you keep the distance to the wall on the stairs consistent?

    A quote is in the works and I'll ask for photos and a demonstration before I proceed, but I want to understand what's going on and this is one of the few topics not to be found in a Google search.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  5. Lance

    Lance Charter Member

    I have folded/pleated a runner on a staircase with pie stairs and never made a cut. It is a ooold method and not used very often. If you fold/pleat the pies the distance from the wall will not be equal as the runner maintains the same width on the pie stair. I would cut the border off where needed, fabricate the pie, and then apply the border as needed.
  6. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    That's what I thought, if you just pleat then after you go up a riser the carpet is shifted horizontally on the stair. So you would recommend making individual bits of carpet for the riser and tread of each stair, sewing on border as required and seaming at the base of each riser?

    What do you think about the method proposed for the landing?
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  7. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    When doing a true pie step you need to bring in on one side and add to the other if you are going to keep the same size border along the wall and down the riser. Pleating one side can be done, but you will still need to add to the other. Without seeing the pattern his way sounds ok.
  8. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Please post some pictures after the install. Im interested and would like to see the finished job.
    Your installer sounds very old school. I bet daris would be able to give some insight on whats going on here.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  9. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    Here is a picture of the bottom of the first flight as it is now. I'm going to get a couple of other quotes and see what those installers say and I'll post pictures after the install and describe the methods used.
    photo 1.JPG
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    Here is the pattern and I posted a picture of the first flight with it's two sets of 3 pie stairs would you handle it? I worry about the amount of carpet in the pleat and the bulk.

  11. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I really don't know if I can add much insight to this as I've only seen it a couple time early in my career. I believe what they did was fold the carpet on the riser to make it a straight line to continue the flow. I have never done it.


  12. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I have been trying to wrap my head around this since it was first posted. I cannot come to terms with the benefit. What is the downfall of cutting the runner at the riser and resetting the direction? Sure you lose the pattern, but pleating it you lose the pattern too. I really hope this installer gets the work because my curiosity has gotten the better of me
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I think runners look best when the border is consistent. This would involve cutting and seaming
  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Aesthetics verse Engineering. Symmetrics, I'm not sure of the method of installation, but where as a user/observer just a person using the stairs what would pull my eye to say, "that looks odd" but, it may look normal to someone else. Border work to me is consistent distance of the two materials-runner, hardwood stair. That rug has been there many years, the new one will be 15 more, so therefore extreme detail is necessary.

    I think money,material,labor is bumped up when collaborating, just the other day someone did not like 8k$ worth of floating vinyl flooring just to get thicker vinyl flooring, so it's no rush job, the exact person would be David Hunt? who is master of the final product.
  15. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    This is all great info. I'm going to talk to the original installer about consistent distances from the edge of the runner to the wall. I don't actually mind the look of how the runner is now, with the runner "cutting off the corner" of the pie stair tread, but I think a 90 deg angle so that the runner edge to wall distance is consistent on every tread looks nicer.
  16. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    The one you have now is solid and you can take away or add without any problem. What you have to understand people will notice lines. If they do not look straight then it will not look right. Here are a few that are a pattern with borders being added and taken away. the last one is a little like yours, cutting at an angle on the step giving more of the wood showing.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 3
  17. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    Thanks for the photos. Yes, I understand the geometry of this and that I've chosen the most difficult pattern to lay on a stair with pies and a landing ie one wth a border and a large pattern, Doing it in 3D is even more interesting. I have 2 more installers lined up and will see what they say. The example in your first photo is what I'm leaning towards, but that can't be done with just pleating.
  18. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    that first one was also done by a carpet wizard!!!
  19. Karalover

    Karalover Member

    I know nothing of this "Carpet Wizard" of whom you speak, but that first one is the way I'm going.

    Anyway I've just been trying to work out pleating with an 8' runner rug I have and my stairs. I can't see any way to get both edges up the riser vertical and have then line up with the edges on the previous tread because the diagonal of the pie tread is longer than the tread of a regular stair. Does anyone have photos of a pleated install......I suppose most of those were done when photography was in its infancy though.
  20. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I just meant is was done very very well. Sometimes my brain thinks everyone else thinks what it think's.... turns out it was wrong again.
    • Funny Funny x 1

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