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What are Carpet Remnants?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Feb 15, 2024
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Carpet remnants are less elegantly titled as left over carpet. When a person orders carpeting, some of the roll of the carpet ordered may remain, but it usually isn’t enough to fully carpet another person’s home. What usually occurs when there is sufficient leftover carpet is that this material is sold as carpet remnants, at a reduced price. There are many reasons why you might want to look for remnants, and lots of uses they can have.

You can take some remnants and have them bound around the edges to produce elegant area rugs, or remnants can be perfectly sized for things like hall runners. You do need to have any remnants bound, or they will start to deteriorate. If you like a specific style of rug but don’t care for wall to wall carpeting, it makes sense to check available carpet remnants to see if any will suit your needs. Sometimes you can find terrific varieties, and other times there isn’t much available.

Another thing that many people can use carpet remnants for is to carpet a single room. If you have a relatively small room that you’d like to install carpeting in, you may be able to find remnants that are large enough to accommodate these needs. When you use a carpet remnant instead of carpeting on a roll, you can save a lot of money. You may be able to purchase much higher quality carpet within your budget, or keep your purchase amount low. If you’re handy, you can even install the remnant yourself.

Many people have some pieces of leftover carpet after they’ve had a home or room carpeted. It’s a good idea to hold onto some of these pieces. If you ever have damage to an area of your carpet, you may be able to use these pieces as a way to patch damaged areas and still keep your carpeting. While you should save some carpet remnants, you could take a few pieces and have them bound to protect high traffic areas of carpet.

There are numerous stores that specialize in purchasing carpet remnants and selling them to consumers. It’s a good idea to check prices and compare them to stores that just sell and install new carpet. When you have a store devoted to reselling remnants, there may be some markup in price. A store that doesn’t acquire the remnant elsewhere can sometimes offer you a lower price, though this varies.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By myharley — On Aug 16, 2011

I have used carpet remnants more than once in my house. The first time I was looking for some hall runners to put down. When I saw the choices of carpet remnants that were available and how much money I could save, this is what I went with.

These runners get a lot of traffic and would need to be replaced often no matter what. The quality of the carpet was the same, so it was just a matter of getting them cut and bound.

I also save any leftover carpet that I have installed. You never know when you might need to make a small repair in your carpeted area. I had a cat that ruined one area on my living room floor. I don't know why she choose this spot, but thankfully it was in a corner and easy to fix.

Having the leftover carpet made this an easy job to fix that is barely noticeable. The nice thing was I didn't have to worry about finding a matching color.

By honeybees — On Aug 15, 2011

We used carpet remnants when we were carpeting rooms in our basement. Our basement was only partially finished and it was not a real fancy place, but we liked to hang out down there with our friends.

Having some carpet installed made a big difference in how it looked and felt. We were able to save a lot of money by using carpet remnants instead of buying from a new carpet roll.

Because we installed these remnants ourselves, we were able to buy carpet for all of the rooms in the basement at one time. Most places that sell carpet have a pretty good selection of remnants. This is always the first place I look when I want to buy some new carpet.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Aug 15, 2011

I saw an art exhibit once that used hundreds of different carpet remnants to make a giant, abstract, grid like image. The remnants were irregular sizes but all squares and rectangles. They were combined and overlaid on a wall to contrast their colors and textures.

I was surprisingly pleased by this show. I had read about it before and thought "Oh great, carpet on a wall." But the effect of seeing it in person is surprisingly strong. You begin to recognize all those colors from your grandparents house or your principles office or maybe from your first job. I felt nostalgic in a way I would never have expected.

By Penzance356 — On Aug 15, 2011

@Windchime - Your idea to use carpet remnants in your car is good, but please be careful.

My father tried the same thing and didn't realize the carpet would ride up as he used the pedals. It was only good luck that helped him avoid some kind of accident. He was just pulling away from a stop sign when the entire thing got tangled up around his feet.

Now he has the cut offs secured to the floor somehow, which is something I would definitely recommend. I think this is the best idea for carpet remnants which are standing alone in any part of the house too, to avoid slippage.

By Windchime — On Aug 14, 2011

@angelBraids - Thanks for the tips. I was just given a stack of carpet remnants and was wondering what I could do with them.

The ideas I came up with didn't get much beyond putting some in my dog's outside kennel. She would enjoy a bit of luxury I think. I was also considering using some in my car, to protect the foot well carpet there.

By angelBraids — On Aug 13, 2011

I like to use carpet remnants as mats in my tiled bathroom. They're really convenient when you have small children who are learning to use the toilet properly. In the cooler months they give your feet a bit of warmth too.

They can be thrown away and replaced when they get dirty or you want to brighten up the room with some new colors.

Next time I see some heavy duty remnants I'll snap them up as mats for the front and back door. They're handy for people to wipe the mud or water from their shoes as they enter, and much cheaper than the type manufactured specially for this purpose.

By umbra21 — On Aug 13, 2011

Don't forget when you are buying carpet that you might end up needing those remnants for the hard to reach areas of your house.

Ideally you want your carpet to all be in one piece, but sometimes it isn't possible. So, you should make sure to keep the remnants until the end, just in case. And, really, if you only have a few pieces, you might want to keep them on hand in case you need to repair the carpet later on.

If you end up, for example, spilling some paint or something else that is very difficult to get out of the carpet, you might find yourself very pleased that you had the foresight to keep some remnants handy.

By croydon — On Aug 12, 2011

My father renovated our garage to turn it into a rumpus room when I was a kid. It was quite small, but it was nice to have a place to hang out. For a while, it just had a concrete floor, but when he was buying some carpet for the rest of the house, he asked the manager if they had any remnants.

It turned out that they had a piece of very expensive carpet left over that they let my dad have as part of the deal.

So we ended up with thick, luxurious carpet in our rumpus room, while the rest of the house had a much more practical type.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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