10 Money-Saving Carpet Hacks

contributed by Sue S.

Money-Saving Carpet Hacks photo
Are you getting new carpet? These tips can help you prolong the life of your new carpet and reuse that old carpet for other things.

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

Here are a few tips for the new carpeting you’re having installed:

1. Make throw rugs.

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 scraps for repairs.

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.

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3. Install an extra layer on stairs.

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:

4. Line your car trunk.

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. I keep an extra piece to use when transporting plants or other potentially messy cargo.

Here’s a good option for trunk protection if you don’t have any old carpet. 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.

5. Use it for car emergencies.

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.

6. Place it under heavy furniture for moving.

Place small pieces (pile side down) under the legs of heavy furniture you want to move.

7. Use it in the garden.

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.

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.

8. Pad your toolbox.

Cut a piece of carpet to fit in the bottom of your toolbox 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.

9. Use it for your cats.

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.

10. Pad shelving.

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 the carpet’s ability to protect, insulate, muffle sound, provide padding, etc.?

Reusing carpet scraps saves it from the landfill while making your life easier.

Reviewed December 2023

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