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How to install stair rods and stair carpet clips

Whether you’re giving your hallway and staircase an overhaul, or you’re simply looking to add some decorative elements to this area of your home, stair rods are a great choice. They come in a range of sizes and finishes, meaning you’re sure to find some to perfectly complement your stair runner and the rest of your existing décor.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect ones to match your hallway, you’ll need to know how to install your stair rods. In this guide, we will be discussing:

  • What are stair rods?
  • How to install stair rods
  • What are stair carpet clips?
  • How to install stair carpet clips


Stair rods are purely decorative elements that can be added to staircases. They are positioned in the crease where the tread (the flat part of the step you stand on) meets the riser (the vertical part that connects each step) on the staircase, so it’s easy to see why people may assume they’re there to hold a carpet or runner in place. However, they don’t have any safety purpose, so it’s not essential that you get your stair rods fitted by a professional — instead, you can use it as an opportunity to put your DIY skills to the test.

When selecting rods for your staircase, be sure to take into account your hallway surroundings to best inform you on the colour, finish, and type of stair rod you’ll need. For example, a traditional brass rod may look out of place in a modern industrial-style hallway. A good way of doing this is to match your stair rods to the accent colours you have around your hallway. So, you might want to get some polished gold stair rods to match your mirror frame or the handles on your console table and so on.

To learn more about these beautiful decorative rods, be sure to check out our stair rods information guide.


Once you’ve selected and measured your stair rods, it’s time to learn how to install them. Before doing any work, identify what sort of bracket you’ll be using to fit your stair rods, as this will determine what type of method you follow. The main three types are hinged runner brackets, front-fix brackets, and side-fix brackets, so make sure you know which you’ll be installing your stair rods with.

Before you set about installing your stair rods, you’ll need to make sure you have the following:

  • Your pre-measured stair rods and finials (the decorative ends of your rods)
  • The brackets for your stair rods
  • Bradawl (tool for making holes with)
  • Screws to fit brackets
  • Screwdriver

Once you have these, you can begin. Below, we will be explaining how to fit stair rods with the different types of brackets.


Each hinged bracket is part of an individual set, meaning that the tops and bottoms of these can’t be interchanged with other bracket sets. For this reason, we recommend that you are careful not to mix bracket components when preparing them for fitting. It might be helpful to only take each bracket out as and when you need to use it to avoid mixing them up.

When installing stair rods with a stair runner, the brackets should sit on the staircase itself, on either side of your runner.

  1. Make bradawl guide holes for the screws that will go in your first bracket, adjacent to your stair runner.
  2. Screw the bottom half of the bracket to the stair and then repeat for the bracket on the other side of your runner.
  3. Attach the finials to the stair rod.
  4. Lay the stair rod in the brackets, ensuring it is protruding an equal amount on each end.
  5. Screw the top half of the bracket to the bottom on each side of your runner.
  6. Repeat steps 1–5 until you’ve fitted all your stair rods.


If you have a very wide stair runner or a very narrow staircase, you’re better off using front-fix brackets with your choice of stair rods and finials.

When installing stair rods with a fitted stair carpet, front-fix brackets should be positioned approximately 50–75mm (2–3 inches) inwards from the tip of the finial. Front fix brackets are fitted on top of your carpet once it has been laid and secured properly.

To fit your stair rods with front-fix brackets, you’ll need to follow the below instructions:

  1. Using a bradawal, make guide holes for the screws that will be used to fix your brackets to your staircase. You should make holes on each side of your first stair, making sure they go through the fitted carpet, also.
  2. Slot your stair rod through both brackets.
  3. Position the brackets over the guide holes, ensuring the rod is protruding an equal amount on each end.
  4. Screw the brackets into place and attach the finials to the rods.
  5. Repeat steps 1–4 until you’ve fitted all your stair rods.


When installing stair rods onto a fitted stair carpet, side-fix brackets will need to be positioned on the skirting board on either side of each stair. So, you’ll need to follow the below instructions closely if you’ve chosen these types of brackets:

1. Make bradawl guide holes for the bracket screws in the skirting board on each side of your first stair.
2. Slot your stair rod through both brackets and position the brackets next to your skirting board, over the guide holes.
3. Screw the brackets into place.
4. Repeat steps 1–3 until you’ve fitted all of your stair rods on every stair.


Just like stair rods, stair carpet clips are decorative elements that will add some personality to your staircase, but they’re smaller accent touches. Instead of being positioned into the crease where the tread and riser meet like with stair rods, carpet clips are fitted at the bottom of the riser at each step. They work to neatly define the end of your carpet runner, and will give your staircase a beautiful, elegant touch.

As with stair rods, when choosing your stair carpet clips, you should look to match these to other elements in your hallway. This could even mean picking a thread colour that’s in your runner and finding a match to create a cohesive and stylish feel. 


As previously mentioned, your stair carpet clips will need to be matched up with the end of your runner, in the crease where the tread and riser meet. These will not span the whole length of your stair, and instead are bolted to the riser and clip around the end of each end of the runner.

To install stair carpet clips, you’ll need:

  • Stair carpet clips
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Pencil or pen for marking measurements

To fit these, you’ll need to follow these instructions — and make sure you fit your stair clips before your runner:

  1. Mark the width of the stair runner at the back of the step (where the tread meets the riser).
  2. Measure the thickness of the runner and also mark this on the riser. Make sure to allow for underlay.
  3. Match up the bottom of the stair clip with the mark you made on the riser and make sure it’s straight.
  4. Draw an outline of the stair clip’s base plate section and rotate the plate to find the screw holes.
  5. Mark the places where you’ll need to drill the pilot holes.
  6. Drill the holes and attach your stair clips. Make sure not to press too hard with the drill as this could result in your staircase splitting.

Fitting your stair rods or clips doesn’t have to be difficult. By pre-measuring your stair rods to fit and identifying the type of bracket you have, you should be able to follow the advice given in this guide to complete your DIY staircase project.

Here at Stair Rods Direct, we sell much more than just stair rods. This includes door barscarpet studsunderlay, and much more, so you’re sure to find everything you need to assist you with your home’s hallway makeover. If you’re looking for more inspiration and advice, make sure to check out the rest of our how-to guides, where we discuss everything from how to measure stair runners, to staircase decorating ideas. If you have any questions about our products or a DIY project you have in mind, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.