What is a Waterfall Finish?

Posted on: January 14th, 2021 by The Carpet Guys

What is a Waterfall finish?  This sounds like something you might ask your tour guide on your South American trip of the Amazon.  But in the flooring world, The Carpet Guys know this is a style for finishing a carpet installation on your stairs.  It’s not the only style of finish, there’s the Hollywood style finish as well.  Read on to learn about the two different styles of carpet installation for your staircase.

Staircase Part Names

A staircase has several parts.  The most important parts to know when installing carpet on your stairs are:

rendering of staircase and all of it's parts are labeled
  1. The TREAD is the part of the stair that you step on when ascending or descending.
  2. The RISER is the part that goes up from the first step to the next step.  The “wall” of the steps, if you will.
  3. The NOSE of the step is the lip that protrudes from the tread over the riser.

Note: There are several other parts of the staircase, as you can see in this image, that The Carpet Guys salesperson will need to note on your installation contract as well.  These will all be factors in how easy or difficult your flooring will be for the installer to put in.

Waterfall Style

A waterfall style finish is one of the easier installation methods.  The carpet piece “falls” over the nose to the next tread.  There will be a gap just under the nose of the stair but is not noticeable in most cases.  With a runner, the gap of the waterfall finish will be noticeable from the side of the stairs (see image of runner).

Notice in the side view of the carpet runner you can see the gap where the carpet is falling over the nose of the step but not noticeable in the above image where the carpet is wall-to-wall.

Hollywood Style

A Hollywood style finish is more difficult to install but does provide a more completed look.  The installer tacks and folds the carpet piece under the nose.  Next, it’s attached into the crease of the nose and the riser and dropped down the riser.  It’s rumored this glamorous style came from how carpet was installed on old Hollywood movie sets.  A lavish finish found in most upscale homes today.

If you have the need to replace your old carpet on your stairs, The Carpet Guys can help.  Our installers are trained on all kinds of staircases and can accomplish whatever look you desire.  Don’t know which one will work best on your stairs?  That’s OK!  One of our experience Design Consultants will come to your home and help you decide.  Give us a call at 855-4-MY-GUYS or find us online at www.carpetguys.com

Want to avoid going to the store and having to search endlessly for the right flooring? Click here for a Free In-Home Estimate. One of our Design Consultants will bring our showroom to your home.

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