mickmurphed

Does this pricing for a stair runner sound correct to you?

M M
8 days ago
last modified: 8 days ago

We recently received an estimate from our designer (who we are paying a flat fee so prices are not supposed to be marked up) for a Stark wool stair runner that is priced at $18/sq ft. The total for installation and product came back at $6,600 (tax not included.) It's a herringbone pattern so not a solid. Does this price sound right to you or what am I not understanding? We trust our designer of course but I just cannot get my math to work with that number and the price per square foot. This is for twelve pretty standard size steps, 12" deep and 7 1/2" high (on the risers) and they told us they need 33.33 yards, or about 300 square feet. That seems like a lot to us?

Comments (34)

  • M V
    8 days ago

    Hi, just trying to understand a little more....

    How many steps do you have?

    Is the runner going to cover both the steps and the risers?

    What width is the runner going to be? Seems like the average is 27"


    So just doing the math......let's say you are doing 27" wide and each step has a 18" rise/run. That means each step would require 3.375 sq ft and that would be a minimum, so let's argue 4-5 square feet per step. Assuming it is a straight run and not curved stairs.

    How many steps do you have? Is there a landing that has to be covered as well?

    You mentioned 100 square feet above, so you have 20 steps?


    If those assumptions are correct then it seems like there may be an issue or misunderstanding about the measurements, the price or the labour.

    You certainly have the right to question the bill and ask for a breakdown. It might be a simple misunderstanding or something may not be quite right.


    M M thanked M V
  • fraker
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Is it a straight or a curved staircase? Will this require rails at the back of the stair tread?

  • Related Discussions

    To Break or Not to Break...carpet runner on stairs at landing

    Q

    Comments (12)
    Sorry if I was unclear. My idea is to stop the runner at the top step so that the tread and part of the floor are visible at the very top of the stairs. I then want to "carpet" the upstairs hallway using the same carpet at the runner, using a 3-4" border of flooring. Closer to an area rug in appearance as I do not like wall-to-wall. Our carpet company thinks that we should not do this, and continue the runner up and over the top tread. Hope this makes sense. We have a very dark stain in the hardwood floors and I want to show them off a bit, hence the break at the top of the stairs. I am not a carpet person, I prefer area rugs, but our stairs are steep and slick, especially when wearing socks.
    ...See More

    Cost for Wool Stair Runner?

    Q

    Comments (6)
    I have heard ranges of 2k to 5k for more typical runners for my stairs. I guess I'm wondering how much more those brands like Elizabeth Eakin and Merida might be versus more standard - Couristan / Stanton? I have gotten quotes through my designer ranging between 3k to 4k for those. Any ideas? Yes I want wool - no rods - probable width of 3'6". I am working with a designer so I dont want to go do more legwork in person since he is paid a handsome sum;) But I do want some idea of pricing before I suggest some of the upper end lines. Does some one have an idea? thx
    ...See More

    Kitchen Sounds Hollow

    Q

    Comments (13)
    Your home is lovely! I would not want to hide the pretty transom tops of the windows, but a pretty roman shade, maybe even placed below the transom window would add color and a little fabric. Throw rugs really will help. Also, you will in some ways get used to it. When we switched over from carpet to hardwood, it took my ears a little white to adjust, but it no longer sounds hollow. These pictures come from the design blog Home Bunch. This blog features many homes similar to yours and you may get some ideas from it. While I like your home the way it is - and don't feel it is cold, a soft blue / green wall color or even a creamy yellow might warm it up a bit for you.
    ...See More

    Advise on wool sisal runner for stairs... Please help!

    Q

    Comments (86)
    Since there are kids involved, definitely good to have carpet on stairs, especially as kids tend to run, not walk. I slipped down an entire flight of stairs carrying my newborn (he was ok, as he was on my chest), but I hit my head on all those steps. I would recommend carpet for safety. The bars that attach a loose runner to stairs are not strong enough to withstand kids & big dogs running on them; also a safety hazard. Also, in the dark, you tell the last step from the carpet/wood transition, and avoid missing a step. We have a narrow staircase, so the installers wrapped the carpet all the way around the step. It's not a runner, but I like it because it gives a more uniform appearance.
    ...See More
  • M M
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    This is for twelve steps, straight up no turns. Yes it will cover both the treads and the risers, and be about 29 inches wide on each step.

  • M M
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    The landing will not be covered as we already have a different carpet upstairs. Great questions.

  • anj_p
    8 days ago

    Did you ask your designer?

    I know patterns can result in sticker shock when it comes to carpet because there's so much waste, but that seems pricey. (You may be paying for the length * 12', not the length*width.)

  • M V
    8 days ago

    Well I guess your next step is to ask the question of the designer for a breakdown so that you can fully understand the quote.

    This does not need to be confrontational at all, and the designer should be able to provide details easily and professionally. I don't think you need to be afraid to have the conversation.

    There might be an error or it might be a misunderstanding. But, if we assume 4.5 sq ft per step and 12 steps....then that is approximately $1000 for materials and the balance is labour. For a straight run of stairs that feels like a LOT of labour costs.



  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    8 days ago

    I'm not an expert on carpet runners, but you may be paying for the entire roll width and not just for the width of the treads. Plus there's a cost for binding the edges and for installation. By all means ask your designer.

    M M thanked Charles Ross Homes
  • M M
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    They told us that the labor was only $1,000 of the cost, which means that the remaining $5,600 is materials/serging/etc. They told us they would need 33 yards. Our staircase is pretty standard. Isn't that a ton of waste? or can we assume here that there was a measurement mistake?

  • calidesign
    8 days ago

    Ask the designer, and ask about lower priced alternatives.

  • M M
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    We immediately asked for lower priced alternatives, but if everything is marked up to this extent or the pricing doesn't feel right, I'm inclined to do some detective work to try and figure out what I might be missing.

  • kculbers
    8 days ago

    OMG❣️the cost of your carpet runner is what I paid for my new oak stairs: wood, installation, and staining including my handrail and balusters. Your quoted price for the runner seems rather high to me.

  • latifolia
    8 days ago

    If you like traditional, go to an oriental rug store and see if they have a runner.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    8 days ago

    I think you're paying for a 12 ft roll width x the required length of your stair runner. Wool is a very expensive carpet material.

  • Lyndee Lee
    8 days ago

    No way does $500+ per stair sound reasonable! There are quite a few sources of nice stair runners that are no more than $50 to $60 per linear foot.

    I paid a buddy to help me and we installed a stair runner in a couple hours and I am sure a professional would have been faster than we were. I can't imagine how the labor charge would be $1,000 to install carpet on a straight run of steps. I understand the need for prep time, loading time, driving time and work time but I am just not seeing a full day's work for this portion of the project.

    Unless the designer is purchasing an entire 12 foot width in a single length, I can't see the material cost being more than $1,000. I know having just the right item can really make a house look great, but not to the extent that the stair carpet price would buy a nice piece of art or furniture. Looks are important, but it is still something to walk on, not to frame and hang on the wall.

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    8 days ago

    Since I don’t know your designer I have no way of knowing this, but perhaps he/she is planning to make good use of your leftovers (for someone else’s project) on a 12’ wide piece that you only use 28” or so from.

  • M M
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    Wow, SJ McCarthy, that was so incredibly helpful and I can’t thank you enough for going to all that work. The carpet is a Stark Leeto. I can’t imagine this designer (she’s pretty well known) trying to overcharge or keep carpeting so I’m going to err on the side of hope that it was just a measuring or estimate mistake. I know there are charges too for serging and pad but gosh, how much can that really add? Thank you again!

  • SJ McCarthy
    8 days ago

    Ah...I've looked at the Leeto


    LEETO Carpet | STARK (starkcarpet.com)


    That is a beautiful carpet. The strong 'pin stripe' look is going to be a bit of a problem but I still don't see where 4.5 times the surface measurements.


    I think a quick question to the designer...asking her if her measurements had any reason for such a discrepancy. It is most likely a math issue.


    There are many people who have issues with conversions. You would be amazed at how many people can't multiply, divide, add or subtract.

  • M M
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    Fingers crossed. We loved it and then were so disappointed when the price came in.

  • M M
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Well, mystery solved. The measurements were incorrect by double. Houzz to the rescue. Thank you everyone for the input and I guess this is a lesson—it’s okay to question even the most experienced designers!

  • SJ McCarthy
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Yay!!!!....that makes SOOO MUCH sense. I figured double the surface area would be about right but the 4.5 times was way too much!

    Way to go! It takes courage to question someone like a designer or a builder, etc. Good for you for not letting go of this. I'm so glad you could get the rug that you want at the price you expect.

  • M M
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    Is it petty of me that I’m upset there was zero apology from our designer on this matter? This was a carpet she chose, from an installer we don’t have access to due to exclusivity, and an installer they sent to measure with zero measuring instructions as we came to discover. We are paying this designer $13,000 to furnish our dining room, bedroom, and design two bathrooms with minimal changes to layout. She is also minimally responsible for communicating with subs and told us as such from the start. After this carpet came back as too expensive (or so we thought) we expressed our heartbreak and frustration (the price estimate came in very late in the game) that we didn’t know pricing sooner and that there wasn’t a conversation with us about what to expect. My husband and I have spent the last two weeks sending them options as they came up with one alternative that was from Dash and Albert, so kind of low hanging fruit in our opinion. I would just expect some kind of acknowledgement or, “shoot, I don’t know how we missed that, that was a glaringly high square footage for that space, of course we should have noticed.” We only caught it ourselves because they finally told us the price per square foot and we immediately put two and two together and thought something must be wrong. We understand mistakes can be made, but acknowledging your client’s frustration and wasted time over your own lack of attention to obvious details as a professional is just good business.

  • SJ McCarthy
    6 days ago

    Nope...not petty at all. An apology from the side of the person who feels slighted (that's you) is simply an acknowledgement of your upset. To have someone apologise to you is to have your feelings recognised and your hurt/frustration validated.


    Sadly, the world (the other person) has decided that offering an apology means acceptance of fault (in this case that would be correct) or an acceptance of failure to offer 'due care'. These are legal concepts. In the Westernized Societies we are HIGHLY litigious. And that means anyone who is in a business relationship (such as this one) will be ADVERSE to making an apology (ie. admit to wrong doing...of some sort).


    There are cultures that will not offer an apology because it is an admittance of 'guilt' for a wrongful action and it causes them to 'lose face'. These cultural norms will often push the person (who should offer the apology) to cover up their wrong doing with more wrong doing (bluffing or chest puffing....seen it! It isn't pretty!).


    Sigh...which means our society has forgotten that an apology is a 'nicety' in polite society and not a legal admittance of guilt. Social Niceties are the grease for the squeaky wheel that is personal interactions. It eases everyone's anxieties and sooths and feathers that *might have been ruffled. In fact they can be used to calm the feathers BEFORE they become ruffled (kinda like a 'preemptive strike').


    " ' Sorry," comes out of Canadians' mouths faster than we can think about an actual statement. I'm more likely to say 'Sorry' when passing someone in the grocery store (thus blocking their view of the shelves) than I am to say, "Excuse me," which is the proper comment in such a situation.


    If we forget to hold the door for someone behind us at Timmy's, and we say, "Sorry! I didn't see you there!", or "Sorry," if you cannot change a 'bad outcome' for someone in distress.


    These niceties are lost in a litigious society. I will, for my part, say "I'm so sorry you had to go through this!" Because I am genuinely sorry for your anguish...and that you have a designer who (appears) to have an upbringing that did not include 'social niceties'.


    Stephanie

  • typeandrun
    6 days ago

    if you have not finalized a decision, please look at my before and after steps with a herringbone pattern

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6036084/carpet-runner-before-and-after

    13 steps about 1200.00 installed

  • M M
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    SJ, i didn’t think of it that way, that it could be seen as admitting fault and give a litigious slant which is not at all what we’re after. We just want someone to acknowledge that they’re not really doing a great job and it’s affecting the trust (and joy) of this process. That’s all! Just the nicety! Just good manners and common courtesy that you have caused someone distress with your laziness. Because really, this was a lazy mistake.

  • M M
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    Typeandrun your staircase looks beautiful!!

  • typeandrun
    6 days ago

    so i hate to ask this but whoever measured.....will they be installing? Given the pattern, you want to make sure it is done properly


  • SJ McCarthy
    6 days ago

    @M M I know...

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    6 days ago

    I would go through everything you are doing just to be sure there are no other items "overlooked" - are all the things you need for your renovations taken care of? Appropriate phone numbers and emails exchanged? Permits taken care of if needed, etc.

    I have priced things wrong - I'm human... but I certainly would apologize profusely and even reassure my customer that I will back track and make sure there are no other issues.

    Be honest and true with your customers

  • ci_lantro
    6 days ago

    I'm the suspicious sort so I would be carefully looking to see if other items have been grossly overpriced.

    I would read the lack of apology as her being displeased that she got caught.

  • M M
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    Many of the items purchased for us were available to the trade only so we wouldn’t have any way of knowing. None of the prices seemed super out of wack but I guess we will never know. I think any mistakes made will be over them not being careful rather than being dishonest but in general my personality is optimistic. That often bites me in the butt.

  • clt3
    5 days ago

    Let me get on my former math teacher band wagon for a second. I had a lot of middle school kids who told me "I don't need to learn this stuff". But this is what happens when someone doesn't have basic skills to look at a number and realize that it makes no sense. Put the numbers in a calculator, hit the keys, but don't realize you hit an extra zero. Ok, off my soap box. Yes, she owes you an apology.

  • SJ McCarthy
    5 days ago

    @clt3 I'm with you! I love numbers and have always enjoyed working with them...unless it was Trig! Boy did I have a hate on for Trig. Fast forward a few years after High School. There I was in an industry that needed to evaluate WAVE FORMS! Doh!


    Yah...it's amazing (tongue firmly in cheek) how much we *should know is being taught in....wait for it...SCHOOL!


    If only we could go back and smack our teenage-selves around a bit. Knock some sense into ourselves. That would have been SUPER helpful!

  • clt3
    5 days ago

    @SJ McCarthy, absolutely! This is pretty basic area calculations and multiplication skills! Funny you should mention Trig though. A couple of weeks ago I was trying to determine if this tile could be laid in a way to make a hexagon that looks like a 3D cube. I knew the angles needed to be 60 and 120. I did use Trig to calculate that this 3 X 6 rhombus tile wouldn't work. Not something I use everyday, but glad I remembered it.