Simple Ways to Cover Carpet in a Rental When You Can’t Tear it Up


coffee on carpet
iStock.com/Mukhina1

As a tenant, you have limited options to customize your rental properties. In most cases, you can’t tear the rug out, but you can definitely cover it up. You can do this if you have allergies, want to minimize damage and protect your rental deposit, or if you just want a flooring option that matches your decor. The following tips will teach you how to easily carpet in rental property.

Lay down a rug or hallway rug

Covering a rug in a rental with a rug or runner rug is probably the easiest solution, because you just have to buy it and put it down. Rugs and runners likely won’t cover the entire carpet on your rental property, but larger ones can cover most of your high traffic areas.

There are many beautiful mats and treadmills available in stores and online, which you can easily roll up and take with you after your lease is over. If old carpet is showing up around the perimeter of your rooms, consider options that complement your existing flooring. You can be bold if the rug is neutral, but you might want to choose a subtle rug or rug if the rug is shiny or patterned.

Quality rugs and runners can get expensive, so if you’re on a budget, you might prefer to make some yourself from leftover rugs. As an added bonus, you can cut out your leftovers to perfectly fit the rooms in your rental. Use seam tape and rug binder to bind the edges together and keep the rug from unraveling.

Place a canvas mop

Canvas can also be a great temporary flooring option for your rental. These mops can warm floors, just like rugs do, without collecting dust. A damp mop is enough to keep your mop clean. You can purchase a patterned canvas or customize a plain canvas with latex or acrylic paint to match your decor. Measure the width and length of each room to calculate its square footage. Add a little extra fabric to account for the hems and the shrinkage.

You’ll want to use a preshrunk canvas or shrink it yourself to make sure your mop doesn’t shrink with the mop or spills. If your canvas needs to shrink, soak a large sponge in hot water and rub it over the surface of the fabric to moisten it. After soaking one side, turn the cloth over and apply the damp sponge to the underside. Lay the canvas flat and let it dry for a day or two. It should shrink several inches on each side.

If you bought a plain canvas, you can paint it after you shrink it. Once you are happy with the look of your mop, cut it to size. Make sure to leave 2 inches on each side for a hem to prevent fraying. Sew your hems, then lay your mop on the rug.

Choose peelable and tacky flooring solutions

The peel-and-stick flooring options simply peel off a backing sheet and stick to the top of the carpet. While they will stay in place during your lease, you can easily remove them and make sure they won’t leave a residue when you move out. However, you should still get your landlord’s approval, just in case any damage does occur, as these are semi-permanent options.

The peel and stick carpet tiles have a soft and warm finish, while the peel and stick vinyl tiles are smooth, so you can easily wipe both tiles. They also don’t attract allergens like carpet tiles can. Peel-and-Stick vinyl sheets are like peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, but you can cut them to size and place them to cover an entire room’s carpet.

Start standing in a corner of your room and exit following the directions on the package. You can cut the tiles if the entire tiles do not hold together after you reach the other edges.

Lay parquet strips or interlocking tiles

Parquet boards or interlocking floor tiles lock together like the pieces of a puzzle. Options include rubber, foam and carpet tiles as well as laminate and vinyl floorboards. Prints on planks and floor tiles often make them look like more permanent flooring solutions, such as stone tiles and hardwood planks. As parquet planks and interlocking floor tiles are also semi-permanent, ask your landlord before laying them to make sure they approve. For example, some homeowners are concerned that hardwood planks will trap moisture and cause mold if you spill drinks. If your landlord objects, you should find a less permanent solution.

Each type of parquet and tile has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some options simply lock into place, while others need to be glued. The latter is not the best for rentals. Laminate boards have a wooden core, so they are sensitive to moisture and humidity. If you are in a humid climate or a bit prone to accidents, vinyl planks that resist moisture damage may be better for you. Plus, carpet tiles are warm underfoot, while foam and rubber tiles are a bit cooler. Your tastes and budgets can also influence your decision.

Some installation kits suggest removing baseboards before installing interlocking flooring, but you shouldn’t do this for carpeting in rental properties. Simply start laying the pieces in a corner of your room and walk out from there, following the directions on the package to lock the pieces together. Cut planks or tiles to fit near the edges as needed if whole planks won’t fit, or use our next solution to cover what’s left.

Be creative with furniture and accessories

If your temporary flooring does not cover all of the original carpet, you can cover it with furniture and accessories. Sofas, bookcases, and large flowerpots can all cover a substantial amount of rugs. Be sure to lay down a waterproof runner before decorating with plants to protect the rug.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *