Our Quasi Free Area Rug

Posted by John on January 25th, 2012

Remember this old thing? That’s our old wall to wall carpet in our family room. We ripped it out when we installed our hardwood floors. This carpet has a seam in the middle that made removing it into two movable section fairly simple. Lisa and I initially thought about just scrapping these pieces, but we weren’t thrilled with the idea of throwing out two barely used sections of quality berber. That’s when a little light bulb went off above Lisa’s beautiful head. (I don’t actually remember whose idea it was, but I’m getting major husband points by assuming it was her idea.) Way to go Lisa! 😉


We decided to take the sections over to a local carpet store to have them cut down to a smaller size and edge bound, essentially turning them into two large area rugs! Despite the fact that we are in love with the look of our new floor, we knew we needed to have something down on a day to day basis for the baby.

Here’s how we’ve been coping with her play area setup since the new floors went in…

That play area is necessary for a few reasons. First, it allows us to put her down when we’re in the middle of something to keep her from getting hurt. Second, we often hang out with her in there when we don’t feel up to chasing her around the house. Lastly, it gives us a place to hide from the dog!

Currently, the play-yard is resting on a comforter so as not to scuff the floors and make it more comfortable for the baby.

The very same day we started on the floors, Lisa and I ran them over to the carpet store. The two sections were so long I had to bend them in half and to fit in my Jeep and they still stuck out the tailgate. It looked like a giant enchilada folded in half.

Picking them up when they were completed was much easier. They had been cut down to size.


Before I heaved this massive carpet upon my shoulder like Atlas (haha), we threw down an area rug pad. The pad is a foam like net that has a rubbery feel to it. Totally grips the floors. One concern we had with this rug was the underside. Most area rugs have a soft backing. However, wall to wall carpet, which OUR area rugs started out as, has a stiff nylon grid on the back that may not play nice with our floors. Thus, the pad should eliminate any scuffing by keeping it still.



Another issue we had to deal with was impressions left by the end tables and couches. We googled methods for dealing with these and most responses mentioned applying steam from a hot iron and using a stiff bristle brush to work the compressed fabric free.

Lisa used the next best thing, her Haan. She made a few passes with this steaming vacuum and held it over the spot for a few seconds. After she moved it, I just worked the spot with my fingers being careful not to burn my hands. It worked pretty good, although the carpet now looks a little disturbed in that area. I’m sure it will settle down over the next few weeks or so.



Overall, we like it. Kind of weird to spend all the time putting in the hardwood only to throw back down the same carpet, I will admit. We’re planning on removing it for company, so it’ll be in and out quite often.


How much did this cost us? The carpet was free… well, we paid for it during the build, so I guess it isn’t really free. The edge banding cost $2 a linear foot (total perimeter) for a total of about $80 per rug. The floor pad cost about $45 per rug. So, that’s $125 for a huge, quality Berber area rug. Best part is, we know where it came from! No weird surprises or mystery stains!

Have you ever re-purposed anything you initially thought about throwing away?

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  • Kristen

    That's pretty darn clever! I really like that you guys used what you had to make a new rug. I'm going to steal your trick for removing impressions left in the rug from furniture. I don't mind the ones from the couch (since we never see them) but the ones from the coffee table are annoying!

  • Good idea! Looks really nice.

  • Great idea! Very smart 🙂

  • Katie T

    Lisa & John – you guys are so creative. I love what you've done with your new home! Great website too. See you soon. – Katie T

  • I think this looks great! I wouldn't even worry about removing it for company.

  • That's such a clever idea! And it looks great! I dont think it's weird at all, free and easy is free and easy! 😉

    • John_OHFScratch

      True! It IS growing on us!

  • That's a great idea! It was very green of you too- it's nice that a fairly new piece of carpet didn't end up in the landfill!

  • Hi, just found you guys from Buffalo-Roam! I've been browsing your site, and I love it, and your hardwood floors. We are considering staining ours a darker color…what stain did you buy them in? Oh and your rugs look great. We're all about reusing and repurposing 🙂

  • thistlewoodfarm

    Absolutely fabulous! I just ripped up carpet upstairs and painted the wood floors. I wish I thought of having the carpet bound for runners! Thanks for the inspiration and the great comment on my blog!

  • That's a great idea! I didn't know you could do that with a carpet!
    Great work!