How many of these carpet tricks have you tried?

11 Carpet Hacks

contributed by Sue S.

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When most of us buy new wall-to-wall carpeting, the installers do their work and take the old carpet and new scraps with them. And, we're glad that they do. But next time you have carpeting installed, you might want to save some pieces for these carpet hacks.

New Carpet

  1. Make throw rugs from sections of leftover pieces of new carpet. For example, I had one piece cut to fit in front of my sofa and bound. I did the same at the front door. These throw rugs match exactly and help keep key areas looking new.
  2. Save some scrap pieces of your new carpet in case repairs are ever needed. Be sure to record the brand, pattern, and color, as well as the place and date of purchase and the installer. Keep this information with the warranty.
  3. An old master carpet layer suggested to my parents that carpet for the stairs be installed with an extra tread's length of carpet at the top and bottom. The extra length was folded under at the top and bottom vertical riser. Carpet wears most quickly on the edges of stairs. When that happens, the extra length allows the carpet to be shifted, so the carpet on the tread of each stair covers the vertical rise on the step beneath it. Each step has "new" (unused) carpet, and any previous wear is hidden at the seam at the back of the stair tread.

Old Carpet

In a typical room, carpet wear is mainly on the paths people walk and sit. The carpet in other areas, such as around the edges, may look almost new. When you take up old carpet, think about how you might reuse the best parts of the old. Here are a few ideas:

  1. One of my favorite uses for old carpet is to line the trunk of my car. I also cut pieces to put over the floor mats in the car during bad weather. These are easy to take out and clean or replace. Recently, I traded in my old car. Because my original carpet and mats had been covered and still looked great, it increased the car's resale value. (Here's another good option for trunk protection. Many fabric stores sell mill-ends of fabric on large rolls at greatly reduced prices. Heavy upholstery fabric and upholstery vinyl make great trunk lining. By using a coupon or waiting for a sale, you can have a heavy-duty liner that's easy to remove and clean for $10-$15.) I keep an extra piece to use when transporting plants or other potentially messy cargo.
  2. Keep a few extra pieces of old carpet in the trunk of your car for emergencies. You will have a pad for the ground if you have to change a tire. If you are stuck in the mud or snow, wedging pieces of old carpet under the tires can get you going again.
  3. Place small pieces (pile side down) under the legs of heavy furniture you want to move.
  4. My 92-year-old neighbor has a large garden. He uses strips of old carpet to cover the paths between the rows. This gives a solid place to walk while keeping weeds from sprouting and protecting the soil beneath from compaction. At the end of the season, he rolls up the strips and stores them for the next year.
  5. For other garden and outside tasks, cut a larger piece (about 3' x 3'). You will have a dry place with a bit of cushioning to sit or kneel.
  6. Cut a piece of carpet to fit in the bottom of your tool box for padding. Keep another handy to use when repair jobs involve taking something apart. Place each piece you remove, in order, on the carpet. Nothing gets lost, and to reassemble the item, you simply reverse the order.
  7. A piece of carpet under a litterbox will help minimize tracked litter. For a scratching post, attach old carpet to a sturdy post. My cat gravitates to the piece of carpet I put on the window seat. I can more easily vacuum the carpet piece to eliminate fur than chase it around hardwood floors.
  8. Carpet pieces make good padding for shelves in places like the garage.

These are just a few ideas to spark your creativity. How else can you take advantage of carpet's ability to protect, insulate, help muffle sound, provide padding, etc.? Reuse saves carpet scraps from the landfill while making your life easier.

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