Carpet Remnants Buying Guide 2022

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carpet remnants buying guide

Carpet remnants get a bad reputation and are often overlooked. However, those that understand the full potential of the product get immense joy from their investment.

In this article we will not only explain what carpet remnants are, but help you decide where, when and how to buy.

With our carpet remnants buying guide you will have a new understanding of how remnants work and how they can be an ideal addition to any room in your home.

Interesting Uses for Carpet Remnants

Below we cover the common and practical uses for carpet remnants, but don’t let that stifle your creativity.

Here are a few other ways to use carpet remnants you may not have considered.

  • Furniture Moving. Heavier furniture may not push or glide well getting it to another room or out to the moving truck. But placing it on a remnant runner and pulling will protect the feet and make moving easier.
  • Mechanic’s Friend. In the garage a remnant can be used to offer some comfort while laying on the ground, as a tool catch to prevent damage or under heavy equipment to protect the concrete.
  • Workout Studio. In your home gym, you can place carpet remnants under your equipment for comfort, padding and noise reduction. It also helps protect your floors from dropped weights.
  • Laundry Room Sound Suppression. Carpet remnants under your washer and dryer can prevent vibration noises, offer comfort underfoot while changing loads and even help keep dropped clothes clean.

What are Carpet Remnants?

what are carpet remnants

Popular belief portrays carpet remnants as the cut off bits from a full carpet install. Similar to the discards when wrapping a present, the cut off parts from carpet are discarded and are not remnants.

Instead, the remnants are the portion left over on the roll that the installation carpet was cut from. All carpet is manufactured and rolled. These rolls typically hold enough carpeting for 2 or 3 full home installations (some have much more).

The carpet company then sells you carpet from the roll. When the roll no longer has enough carpet for a full install but too much to discard, they then sell the remainder of the roll at a huge discount. This discounted remainder carpet is a remnant.

Where to Buy Carpet Remnants

Buying carpet remnants is not always that difficult. You can find remnants for sale anywhere carpet is sold or installed. The list includes big box stores, carpet specialty stores, local professional installers, direct from manufacturers and even through online vendors.

Because of the popularity of remnant installations, there are specialty stores that buy all the local remnant rolls they can find and then sell them to the consumer. Much like a used car dealer buying cars from auctions.

There are several factors you need to consider before you head out to buy any carpet remainders, and we will cover those further below. But what is important to remember is that while carpet remnants are discounted to sell, the amount of discount is based on how bad the seller wants to be rid of the remnant rolls.

For this reason, big box stores and manufacturers and carpet stores that sell full installs. They typically do not want to store and maintain remnants and offer the largest discounts so they can be rid of their stock faster.

Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Right Carpet for Your Space

buyers guide buying right carpet for your space

As mentioned above, there are several factors you need to consider before you buy any carpet remnants. Let’s take a closer look at those factors and discover why they are important to your final purchasing decision.

Coverage Area

If you plan to carpet the entire floor, you need to know the square footage of the space. Likewise, if you plan to use remnants as an area rug or other type of flooring that doesn’t cover the entire area, you need to know the size of the space you plan to cover.

Knowing the square feet will tell you how much carpeting you need to buy and will ensure you get everything you need for the installation, binding and sealing, as needed.

Type of Carpeting

Before you head out, you also need to know what type of carpeting you wish to buy. Just because you are buying remnants doesn’t mean you have to settle. While stock is smaller and more limited, you can still find specific brands, piles, textures and colors.

Make sure you get the type and style you need for the given project. It may take longer to find the one you like, but the time and research is well worth it in the long run.

Installation Methods

Installing carpet remnants can be a simple DIY project or it may require professional install. If, for example, the remnants need to be bound and you plan to install as wall-to-wall in a smaller room, professionals may be the way to go.

However, if you want to use the remnant as an area rug or in a specialty situation, DIY is most likely the best option. It will come down to your skill, budget and desire (or available time).

If you do plan to go the professional install route, we can help you find the best installer for your money. We have partnered with Networx to offer you a free-to-use tool that will send you results right to your inbox.

Tools and Accessories

When it comes to carpet remnants, the tools and needed accessories will greatly depend on how you plan to use the carpet. For example an area rug won’t need tack strips and edge fasteners, but you may need a binding kit for the cut edges.

Transition molding, thresholds and even stair caps may be needed for your particular project. Make sure you know what is needed as far as extras and pieces to make your rug whole. But also, include the tools and equipment needed to put it all together.

Cost & Warranty

Carpet remnants are virtually impossible to price out, so you will need to do some leg work on your own. Depending on the brand, style and type of carpet, how much is left on the roll, and how badly the seller wants to be rid of it, you can expect varying discounts.

If the carpet normally sells for $4 per square foot, as an example, you can find remnants discounted 10% at one store and 85% at the next. How much you save over the original price is a variable that needs research.

Also, it is important to note that remnants do not come with any warranty, guarantee or promise. For this, you are left on your own. However, with proper care and maintenance, your new remnant rug will last you many years, just as if you bought it directly and fresh off the roll.

Advantages of Buying Carpet Remnants

When it comes to the benefits of carpet remnants, there is none bigger than the cost savings.

You can essentially get the same carpet as anyone else for pennies on the dollar. Remnants are limited to off-brands or low-quality carpeting.

Essentially it is only selling off leftover carpets that aren’t large enough for a full home install. With the right vendor, you can save thousands and get the same carpet as your neighbor.

You can also do more with remnants than you can with a standard area rug or wall-to-wall carpet install. As we will cover in more detail below, there are multiple applications and uses for carpet remnants, each one a benefit in it’s own right.

Disadvantages of Buying Carpet Remnants

It may seem like there are a lot of disadvantages to carpet remnants, but to be fair they are all fairly small in importance. Compared to the amount of money you can save, there isn’t much you can say negatively that will sway a decision.

However, there are some notable aspects to consider. For example, you may not find the exact brand or type you are after. You are limited to what is in stock after the roll has been used. Brands, types and colors may not be what you are after.

This can lead to either making alternative decisions, or waiting and hoping your desired carpet becomes available.

Also, carpet is cut from the roll with the understanding that the cut piece will be trimmed and installed by a professional, so the cut edge will rarely be straight, can be frayed and will most likely need binding.

While this is normal, it can waste some time and money to get the carpet cut to size and bound by a pro. If you opt to bind it yourself, we can show you how, but it may be worth your while and time to have it done for you.

How to Use Carpet Remnant Purchases

how to use carpet remnant purchases

As we have mentioned multiple times throughout this article you can use carpet remnants for a lot of things. Let’s go down the list. It will not only show you the versatility of carpet remnants, but will also spark your imagination to come up with new ideas.
  • Area Rugs. The most common use of remnants, by far, is to size for area rugs in living areas of the home.
  • Stair Runners. You can have remnants cut to width and length to use as runners for your stairs. This will help maintain footing, keep the stairs comfortable and provide sound dampening.
  • Hallway Runners. If you have long hallways, carpet remnants make great runners there, too. Providing soft, warm footing for those late night runs to the kitchen.
  • Entryway Mats. Wet and winter months bring a lot of the outdoors, indoors. Using carpet remnants as entry mats will give you an easy to care for area to change shoes or get out of wet clothes.
  • Pet Toys. You can use carpet to make cat toys like scratching posts, or to use under play areas, under food bowls and more. The clean up is easy, and your pets will love the soft padding under foot while they play or eat.
  • Play Areas. Your human babies can get the same use and enjoyment as your fur babies. Placing remnants under the play area provides warmth, comfort and protection of the flooring underneath while your kids play, eat or drink in their play rooms.
  • Sound Dampening. Carpet is a great sound damping device in large rooms where footsteps and echoes are common. Using remnants in larger rooms can dampen the echos and reverb.
  • Stain Protection. Using a remnant rug under your dining room table or coffee table can help your primary carpet last much longer. It will help minimize wear and tear and if it does get stained, ruined or worn, you aren’t out a lot of money, and you don’t need to replace a whole room’s carpet.

How to Bind Carpet Remnants

Carpet binding is when you take the unfinished edge of your remnant and add a finish to it. There are several types of edge finishing, including regular binding, cotton binding, serge binding and rope edge binding.

If you are well versed in sewing machine application and have the tools, time and experience, you can bind carpet to make rugs, runners and area rugs with a professional edge. The purpose of a binding is to keep the edges from fraying and to give a nice, finished appearance to the carpet.

Most homeowners, though, don’t have the time, tools or know-how to properly bind a carpet. In this case you have two options. First, you can hire out the job to rug or carpet shops or to private parties that can charge anywhere from $1 to $5 per linear foot of binding.

The second option is to use a simulated binding, such as Instabind. This is a finished binding edge that you apply to your carpet to protect the edge from fraying while also giving the appearance of a professional binding.

First, you need to ensure your carpet edge is cut straight and true. Once that is done you want to remove the adhesive backing and apply it to the bottom of the carpet, pushing the edge into the binding. Do this all the way around the carpet, cleaning and tucking the corners where they meet.

After this, you need to use a hot glue gun to put a thin bead of latex-based glue all around the binding edge where it meets the carpet. This will prevent fraying and keep the bound edge against the carpet edge.

Sites like Instabond, YouTube and other retailers will offer video guides to applying the binding so you get a professional result.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq carpet remnants buying guide

In this section, we will answer the most common questions about carpet remnants. If you have other questions not seen here, please use the comment section below.

Q. Are carpet squares and carpet remnants the same thing?

  1. No. Carpet squares are not the same as carpet remnants. However, squares can be made from remnants. A carpet square is a pre-cut carpet that is bound on all edges and used for installation in specialty projects.

Q. How long will carpet remnants last in my home?

  1. This will depend on how the remnant is used, where it is used and the quality of the carpet that you buy. In most cases (as an area rug) where the binding is complete and foot traffic is standard or low, a remnant rug can last 5 to 8 years with ease.

Q. What kind of warranty can I expect from carpet remnant install?

  1. In almost every case remnants will not come with any warranty. They are sold as a whole piece and as-is. However, if you have the remnant bound or installed professionally, those services may offer a labor warranty for a year or two.

Q. Can you bind without using glue?

  1. Yes! There are several methods of DIY carpet binding and gluing is only one of the cheaper methods. You can also sew the bindings and have a stronger bind in the long run. Though, this method takes some skill and the right sewing equipment to have a nice, even and professional result.

Conclusion

Carpet remnants are a great way to add rugs, runners and small room carpet to your home. Not only do you save a lot of time and effort, but you can also save a lot of money.

Most remnants will not have a warranty but can be purchased for up to 90% off the original carpet price. With 10 or more feet worth or remnants, you can end up saving thousands of dollars.

Remnants aren’t for everyone and they do include a little extra work, but with the savings and versatility, anyone who chooses remnant carpeting won’t regret the investment.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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