A Cheap Carpet Secret
By Steve Gillman
If you want cheap carpet that you can easily install yourself,
I have a secret for you. I once carpeted a large bedroom for
a total cost of about $12. Yes, you read that right, and yes,
it was new carpet. How did I do it? With carpet samples.
In that case I bought them for 25 cent apiece at a closeout
sale, and it took 36 squares of carpet to finish the room. The
only other supplies were the staples, which cost maybe a dollar.
Today you might pay a dollar each for squares of carpet, although
I found them available for half that just a few weeks ago. In
any case, this is cheap, cheap, cheap.
It is unusual, though, and you may have to consider the resale
value of your home. I did the bedroom in a rental mobile home
this way, but normally, you will want to save this trick for
areas like basements, playrooms, and maybe a kids clubhouse.
It isn't that it looks so bad - actually it looks just fine if
you mix the various colored squares of carpet well.
For a children's playroom, the multi-colored floor is perfect,
and if a spill stains one of the carpet squares, you can easily
pull it up and install a new one in its place. This is another
advantage of carpeting a room this way.
All you will need to carpet a room with carpet samples or
squares is a carpet knife and a staple gun. Use 5/8-inch staples.
Start at any corner, and just put the piece in place and staple
it in two or three places on each side. If you wiggle the stapler
head down between the fibers, or between the border and the fibers,
the staples will usually be well-hidden.
If you are carpeting a basement floor, you can use carpet
tape instead of staples. In either case, this is best done where
padding isn't too important, although you can use padding too,
if you don't mind the complications. Without it, this is pure
You may want to lay out the pieces first, to decide where
each will go. As you come to walls, heating registers, and other
obstacles, you can easily cut the pieces to fit. If you make
a mistake, it cost you perhaps a dollar. Just start over with
a new piece.
Samples range in size, but are usually at least 18 by 18 inches.
Even at a dollar, this makes it less than 50 cents per square
foot to carpet a room. That's a cheap way to carpet a room! Using
pieces that are all the same size is the easiest way to go. Estimate
how many pieces you'll need, then call around to find a carpet
store that has enough leftover samples for sale.
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A Cheap Carpet Secret