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Temporary Flooring Options for Renters


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When you rent, you are somewhat limited by the choices you can make. However, that doesn’t mean you have to support the carpet in your rental property. Adding temporary flooring over carpet is a great way to personalize your space and tailor it to your lifestyle, without disturbing your landlord.

What is temporary flooring?

Temporary flooring is an umbrella term for flooring solutions that temporarily rely on existing flooring, such as carpets. Temporary flooring solutions do not require professional installation. They can also be easily removed, as they don’t use adhesives, staples, or nails, often with little to no damage to the floor below.

Reasons to choose temporary flooring over carpet

There are several reasons you can apply temporary flooring to your rental carpet, depending on your preferences and lifestyle. Maybe you don’t want to worry about the impact you and other members of your household will have on the carpet. If you’re accident-prone or have pets or small children, installing temporary flooring can be a great way to preserve the carpet in your rental. Adopting temporary carpet solutions to minimize wear and tear can help you get your full deposit back when you vacate the rental.

Many allergy sufferers cover rugs with a temporary flooring solution that does not attract or harbor allergens. Smooth temporary flooring surfaces are also easy to maintain, so you can keep dust and other allergens at bay.

Maybe you just want your rental property to feel more like you are at home. Adding temporary flooring is an easy way to cover apartment carpet to make rooms in your rental property more modern.

Different types of temporary carpet flooring for tenants

There are three main types of temporary flooring solutions: self-adhesive flooring, floating planks, and vinyl sheets. Your taste and your budget will have an impact on your choice.

Self-adhesive flooring

You will find self-adhesive carpet and vinyl tile with adhesive backing. Simply remove the tiles from the backing and stick them firmly to the mat. Peel and stick carpet tiles have a soft texture, while vinyl peel and stick tiles are smooth and a bit easier to maintain. These affordable options leave no residue, so you can use self-adhesive flooring to cover the carpet throughout your rental.

Floating boards

Laminate planks and vinyl planks are the two most common types of laminate floors. These floating floor choices are a more luxurious temporary hard floor option over carpet.

  • Laminate boards have a tongue and groove design that locks together without the need for glues or staples. They have a core made from wood and resin by-products covered with a layer of laminate. This layer features a design that generally gives planks the appearance of natural flooring surfaces, such as hardwood or stone tile.
  • Vinyl planks are completely man-made, with a fiberglass core covered with a layer of scratch-resistant vinyl. As with laminate planks, the vinyl layer typically has a wood-inspired design. Some vinyl planks lock together like laminate planks do, but many styles require gluing. Clickable and Lockable Temporary Wood Floors on Vinyl Carpet Planks are great for rental.

While both types of floating planks have realistic designs, the prints on laminate planks are clearer and more convincing. Patterns on vinyl planks can look blurry, especially on cheaper planks.

Since laminate boards have a wooden core, they can swell and become soft if exposed to water. There are water-resistant laminate boards that can handle a splash, but they still won’t survive a good soak. Humidity and high temperatures can also have an impact on laminate boards, so they are not the best choice for places with hot and sticky summers. Vinyl planks can tolerate water, humidity and hot days better.

Laminate planks are warmer underfoot, while vinyl planks are a bit cooler to the touch. It is a matter of personal preference what you prefer, although your climate can influence your choice as well.
Vinyl planks are also more durable than laminate planks, but both temporary flooring options are durable if you clean them regularly. You also get what you pay for, with cheaper boards that don’t last as long as more expensive options.

Foam tiles are another modern floating floor option. Made from closed cell foam, these tiles lock together just like laminate planks. They are water and odor resistant and look as stylish as a temporary hardwood floor over carpet.

Vinyl sheets

Vinyl sheets are among the simpler options because they cover a large area without any assembly. These affordable sheets come in large rolls. Simply cut a piece to fit your room. Some people affix vinyl sheets to the floors with duct tape, but you can also weigh them down with your furniture.

What to consider before installing temporary flooring over carpet

Before laying temporary flooring, be sure to consider the impact of your actions. Even though temporary flooring solutions are not permanent, some options such as many vinyl planks can damage the carpet underneath. Look for a range of flooring rather than carpet ideas and be sure to pick one that won’t impact rental property.

Consider the pile of the carpet. Low pile carpet provides a stable surface for your temporary floor boards. Laying your planks directly on a high pile carpet could unlock the planks when you walk. Putting a thin sheet of plywood between your carpet and the temporary boards can solve this problem. Self-adhesive floor coverings adhere more easily to low pile carpets. If you have high pile carpet, you may need a more expensive peel and stick option with adhesive or stronger floorboards. Vinyl sheets are suitable for all rugs, although low pile rugs provide a more stable surface.

Although the temporary flooring is temporary, you should still keep your landlord informed of any changes you make to the property. Write a letter or email explaining why you want to cover the carpet with temporary flooring and the flooring solution you will be using. Wait for their approval before making any changes.

Ready for a new place? Browse thousands of apartments for rent on Zumper and find one with the floors you want.

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