Waterfall Runner on Stairs

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by Jim McClain, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    This was asked in an email (you may have to click near the bottom of the quote to see it all):
    When I told her I don't do 1-on-1 support, she implied that I might have the only answers that mattered. I'm guessing she didn't realize how insulting that was to me. So, I'm leaving you her concerns because I believe there are pros here who can offer as much or more than I can. Don't expect a photo because I doubt she will join to participate. But I suspect you all already know what it looks like.

    If your replies don't help her, they will surely help others who come here with a similar dilemma.
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Jim buddy, it is the floor "pro" community, pro isn't plural... I mean sure community might be right? But someone has to be the pro... might as well be you :)

    Hard to know what aspet of a waterfall install someone doesn't like without seeing it. Deep nosing could leave a large gap that some people might dislike, personally I don't like the look of waterfalled stairs, but runners I think look fabulous. I don't know what trim one would install under a nosing unless this was in regards to a wood staircase that had trim where a riser meets the nosing to hide a cut?

    Philidelphia isn't exactly a small city, I would have a hard time no one there has ever heard of a waterfall install.

    Hard to know the answer without seeing it. Thanks for sharing that though, strong commitment to community I think is probably what got this thing going, probably will be what keeps it that way too..... even if you are "the" pro :)
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    I'm not the pro, I am just one of a community of pros.

    The trim she is talking about, I assume, is that cove trim that some stairs have under the stairnose:

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  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    The “returned home” has backfired more than once in flooring installation.

    Somehow communication broke down. I’d like to know the before discussion. Then the “initiative” the Installer took.

    Stairs with runners are art to me, the artist? Are there companies who specialize in stair carpet runners? Just like hardwood stair installation, it’s a fine honed craft.
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  5. Chris 45

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

    If it was that important, maybe she shoulda stayed home. Runners don’t take that long to install.

    So, if she is really unhappy, the answer is to have it redone. Does she want the wood trim cut out where the runner goes? Does she want the runner to go over the trim? I don’t really like that look myself but I’m certainly capable of installing a runner that way. Time to hammer out the details so there is no room for error or misinterpretation the 2nd time around.
  6. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    I would like to know what the carpet is that was being installed. Some carpets if stapled under nose looks like a drive by shooting. In this area almost all wood steps have that molding on it. You need to get the staple right in the curve part to make it look good.
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  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    That and other questions just reinforce my reasons for posting that big yellow notice on the contact page. There's always more questions. It's pretty rare that an answer is as straightforward as the one asking the original question expects.

    I would also like to point out a feature some of you may not be aware of on the forum: the Similar Threads box that is usually just below the last post (or below the quick reply editor) of any topic. In this topic, there are a couple of very good topics listed there about stair runners.
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  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I have cut that trim piece out to do the contour step look. Sounds like a lack of communication.
  9. Brynda123

    Brynda123 New Member

    There was an excellent discussion with the installer before I left. The reason I left: the installation that was supposed to take one day was already on day two. I had taken the prior day off.

    "Thank you" to those who responded. Answers to your questions: the installer fully understood what I wanted and acknowledged it verbally and practically with a demonstration 5 minutes before I left the house.

    Why did I leave? I had to leave the house because the installers were on the second day of an installation that was scheduled to be one day, (I had to go to work since I had taken the prior day and a half off to be home while they installed).

    Yes, the trim under the stair nose is/was "the problem". Why he did not "see that" when he was standing right there before I left, I have NO Idea.

    Type of carpet: all nylon Shaw "IN the Loop".

    Did I ask the carpet sales owner if that carpet would "work" on a stair case for a runner down the middle? Yes. Several times. Did the owner of the carpet store see the job and measure? Yes. Have I paid for the carpet and the installation. No, not a dime. The owner of the carpet store and I are in the process of involving others (attorney, carpet inspectors, etc.).

    Yes, Philadelphia is a big city. I live in the suburbs. "Waterfall" runners may be done, but I have been a real estate broker for 35 years in this area, and have listed and sold hundreds of homes, and the ONLY time I saw what I now know to be a "waterfall" runner was in a "flip" HUD home that sold for under 60k. Ugly. Awful. Tacky. Cheap. My opinion.

    Thanks for reading.
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Hey, I understand. Pool safety fence guy wanted to install when I was going to Daytona one weekend. I said no, I want to be there when it’s being done, holes in concrete then changing cutting fence to fit etc.

    I kinda want to be at home for everything, destroy my drywall for a bath fan, I don’t care as long as I approve.

    I don’t like when homeowners leave in case I need them to abruptly shut off water supply, or any questions but I do like them being out of the way.
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  11. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Thanks for taking the time to join and respond. I know you're unhappy about it, but my goal is not to help one person at a time, it is to help the industry I fell in love with 45 years ago and to help many, many consumers who share similar maladies now and far into the future.
    This and other information you supplied indicates, as kwfloors said, a lack of communication. If it is as you say, then the lack of communication may be the fault of the retailer and the installer.

    The installer should have discussed any issues he had with the trim with you, or at the very least, with the retailer, who then should have contacted you about it.

    Did the retailer or you discuss the difference between a waterfall and upholstered/contoured installation method? That should have been the first time this should have been brought up so that the retailer knew and would pass that info to the installer.

    If I looked hard enough, I could prob'ly find lots more, but here's just a few waterfall step jobs from one of our members:
    david-hunt0169.JPG david-hunt07597.JPG david-hunt08598.JPG david-hunt09602.JPG

    Waterfall style has been around since the beginning of carpeted stairs. The wrong installer can make it look pretty bad, but done right, it's far from tacky or ugly. It's unfortunate you didn't get what you wanted. It's my opinion that the retailer should have the current carpet removed from the stairs and redone the way you originally requested at no additional cost to you. However, if you knew there were 2 different ways to install a runner, but didn't specify which you wanted, then the problem is shared between you and the retailer for a lack of communication. You see, waterfall style is not an income or home value based installation method. It requires communication of specific needs and the ability of the seller to meet those needs.
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  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Nice pictures Jim, I don’t get it but I’d hang those on my wall.
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  13. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Those are the work of David Hunt.
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  14. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I used to do a lot of waterfall stairs in the 80's here. Now 99% of the jobs want contoured. Some can be too uneven and poorly built that it can't be done that way.
  15. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    There may be a chance to mold the stair nose without removing the runner, but only if the padding stops @ the nose and was not run over
    the nose, fastened to the riser. Also, the runner will have needed to be installed staple method, not tackless strip method. If so, and the runner
    is loose, it's very possible to re-stretch and fasten to the cove molding or
    just under or above the cove molding. Sometimes the cove moldings are already loose and not a good foundation for fastening.

    If the desired look is to have a fully contoured or wrapped nose, then
    removing and re-installing the cove molding is the way to go. Some installers could provide this service, but probably best for a finish carpenter.

    Sorry for the frustration, stair work is very fical, it could take 2 hrs to
    install or two days, it depends on the conditions. I hope are helpful
    information gets you a solution soon.

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  16. Darren Ramey

    Darren Ramey Charter Member

    Waterfall vs upholstered is a regional thing. When I lived in S. California I never once upholstered stairs. I didn't even know that was a thing until I moved to NC. Out here 90%+ is upholstered. These days I typically only waterfall the really high end stuff, stairs that don't have noses at all or combinations of noses/no noses (that last one is more common than you think).

    I upholster steps like yours quite often. Optimally you can remove that molding and cut it to fit the carpet but that is going to require more money and time for me, and also some touching up of the paint. The vast majority of the time I leave the molding on. I like to staple directly under the molding. It gives you a nice straight line, and the carpet stays flat to the riser. It does make the stair nose look bigger, but it's not a bad look at all.
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  17. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    As a flooring installer it's never a good idea to just do something without the customer giving the green light. As jim said communication is vital. Everyone has got to be on the same page.
    That said there was obviously a lack of communication. I'm siding more with the customer on this. Sounds like everything was talked about and agreed upon. BUT...... with all the talk about lawyers being involved and ongoing disputes going with the shop owner i cant help but feel the whole situation got OVERBLOWN real quick. I have to ask how the situation was addressed?
    To me this isn't really a situation that would require a lawyer. If someone came to me in a calm/civilized manner to address the problem i would have absolutely no problem ripping out the 10 sq yard's of carpet and eating the half days labor to make things right.
    You catch more bee's with honey right?
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  18. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Too many lawyers........
  19. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    My wife said that term I believe. So analyze. I don’t catch bees, I don’t think you catch them with honey. Don’t they make honey and we take it?

    Nice only goes so far. I’m tired of all the bs, niceties. She thanks her (Lawyer,Realtor) friends with expensive scotch.

    What I’ve heard a retailer on phone when Mannington denied a claim was they were going to dump their products.

    I need to revisit more retailers, quite interesting conversations!
  20. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    It's a challenge to comprehend what your saying sometimes mike.
    But what im getting at is that even know she was in the right, maybe the way she approached the situation wasn't right.
    Next time you go to McDonald's for a big mac and they forget the pickles go kick the front door in, throw the bag across the room and start screaming about your lawyer. See where that'll get ya.
    Just to set the story straight, bee's do like honey. They Love it! But they don't give a crap about scotch.:cool:
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