A Carpet Installer's Notebook: Taking a Different Turn Around the Corner
March 11, 2011
Last month I showed you a way of making the corner with oriental runners by making a diagonal (45 degree) seam across the landing. In my opinion, that is probably the best way to make the turn because of hiding the seam. Even though you are not matching the pattern, you can’t really because you are quarter turning the runner; you can fake it better with the diagonal cut. The only problem with the diagonal cut is that you have a seam right at the foot pivot point of the landing.
Having said that, let’s look at an alternative method of making the turn. What I call a “square cut corner” opposed to the previous mentioned “diagonal cut corner” takes the same amount of carpet to complete the turn. (Photo A) The carpet from the first flight will need to come even with the carpet turning to go up the second flight. This gives us solid carpet at the pivot point and enough border to extend past the field and miter with the second carpet.
Again we are faced with the problem of pattern match, which is not possible of course, when quarter turning. Pick the center point of the part of the pattern on the second flight and measure from that center point to the edge of the border (Photo B), 7 ½ inches in this case. That is the same distance the pattern center should be from the border of the runner coming up the first flight. To do these turns properly it is sometime necessary to do the landing separately or start from the landing and stretch the first flight from the top down. The border miters are done the same as explained in last month’s “Turning the Corner.”
As I said last month, with either technique, dealing with a mid-floor landing, (one flight of stairs running to the floor above and one flight running to the floor below) is problematic. You will not be able to fool the eye on both turns. Most, well 90+ percent of the time, the pattern repeats will not match with the landing width or your more important need of keeping the runner centered on the stairs.
This is a situation that the customer must be made aware of before starting the installation or actually it should be brought up during the sales process.
This last photo (Photo C) shows both corner types side by side. Of course you should not mix the corner types on the same job. They each have their benefits. The diagonal looks better on some carpet, like the runner I used in these articles. On others it is of no matter and the “square cut” gives the benefit of not having the foot pivot point on the seam.How much to charge? Well, the “diagonal cut” will be faster than the “square cut.” You should figure an hour for the “diagonal cut” and an hour and a half to two hours for the “square cut.”