Update Your Carpeting the Easy Way (With Temporary Flooring)

Install flooring on top of carpet

No matter where you call home, your space should reflect your unique style. But if you are a renter, that can be hard when home improvements aren’t part of your lease.

If your rental has dated, worn, or stained wall-to-wall carpeting, it can take away from your aesthetic no matter how you arrange your home decor.

Or maybe you are a homeowner who wants to put their stamp on their living space, but is on a limited budget. How can you solve your wall-to-wall carpeting conundrum as you are styling your home?

The good news is that there are temporary flooring options you can install that will enhance the appearance of your home. When it comes to temporary floor covering for renters, covering the existing carpet will also mean you receive your entire deposit back at the end of your rental agreement.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of placing temporary flooring over carpet, what your options are, and which type of temporary flooring is the easiest to place.

Why place temporary flooring over carpet?

Temporary flooring is a great option if you are renting, can’t decide on a permanent style, or just want to update your home on a budget without buying new carpet.

When you place temporary flooring over existing carpet, it’s called “floating.” A protective barrier is placed over the carpeting and acts as a blank slate for your temporary flooring installation.

Temporary floating flooring choices are easy to install, and most importantly, can be removed without causing damage to the existing flooring.

They are a great way to update your home without losing your valuable deposit or incurring demolition costs that are associated with removing wall-to-wall carpet.

There are four main temporary flooring options you can choose from.

1. Sheet

This temporary flooring option comes in a single roll. It’s most commonly made from vinyl but can also be found in rubber, cork, and even carpet. Essentially, you roll it out, cut it to fit your room, and you’re done!

Sheet vinyl can be held down by heavy furniture or secured using adhesives. It comes in a variety of colors and designs to fit every style.

While it’s easy to install, maneuvering the roll into a small space can be cumbersome. Also, if part of the sheet becomes damaged, it’s difficult to repair just a small portion.

2. Luxury Vinyl Planks

If you’re looking for a luxurious, high-end look, vinyl plank is your best option. Laminate flooring has been used for years to mimic the look and feel of expensive hardwood floors for a significantly lower cost.

It’s less high maintenance than laminate because it’s waterproof and will offer the same look as wood planks depending on your price point depending on your price point

This option is the most difficult to install and requires tools to get the job done correctly. It is also the most expensive, so it may not be worth the investment if you are in a rental.

3. Tile Flooring

Also known as peel-and-stick tile, this is a cost-effective way to lay a brand new floor over your dated wall-to-wall carpet. These tiles come in linoleum, vinyl, foam, cork, rubber, and even carpet.

Tiles are the easiest to install and will fit any budget, scenario, or room. With so many options, it’s easy to find tiles that match your vibe. Additionally, if a single tile becomes damaged, you can simply swap out the tile to maintain a flawless look.

However, when you are floating tiles over the carpet, they may feel unsteady over high pile carpeting, like shag. This will make the tiles begin to peel and curl, posing a tripping hazard.

4. Area Rugs

Out of all the temporary flooring options, laying an area rug over carpeted floors is the easiest, most temporary choice.

Area rugs come in a variety of colors, sizes, patterns, and styles. You can use them in any room of the house to breathe new life into the space.

  • Choose A Neutral Color Persian Area Rug To Anchor Your Living Room Decor.
  • Lay A Low-Profile Moroccan Rug Underneath Your Dining Room Table.
  • Brighten Your Bedroom’s Beige Carpet With An Eccentric Patterned Rug.
  • Place A Stylish Flatweave Rug In Your Carpeted Entryway Or Other High Traffic Areas.
  • Elevate Your Bedroom Sitting Area With A Plush Shag Rug In Your Favorite Color.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of laying an area rug on top of a carpet.

Benefits of placing an area rug over carpet

Rolling out a new area rug is an easy way to update any room in your home. Not only does it act as a focal point for your interior design, but it offers many benefits when placed over wall-to-wall carpet.

Keep carpet clean: Much like a hard surface, when you place an area rug over a carpet, it’s easier to keep the existing flooring clean. Vacuuming is much quicker than sweeping!

Protect carpeted floors: Between spills, foot traffic, and pet accidents, layering rugs protects your carpet fibers from damage that causes staining and fraying.

Add a splash of color to a room: A beautiful area rug instantly becomes the focal point of your living space and ties in your carefully chosen decor.

Reusable if you move: When you remove other types of temporary flooring, you cannot reuse it. With an area rug, you can simply roll it up and bring it to your next home, protecting your investment and maintaining your unique style.

Laying a rug over carpet takes no effort at all. But if you choose layering, you may find your area rug bunching on top of carpet. You’ll need to choose the right rug pad to keep your area rug in place.

No matter which rug you choose, you’ll need to find a way to keep the rug from slipping on carpet. You need a solid, non-slip rug pad to act as a buffer between your temporary floating floor and existing carpet. Let’s take a look at the best rug pad to place over carpeted floors.

What are the best rug pads to place over carpeting?

When you place temporary flooring over carpeted floors, you need to create a solid base that will not only keep the floating floors in place but protect the original flooring.

When choosing a rug pad to place over wall-to-wall carpet, consider the quality. Always go for eco-friendly materials that won’t break down over time and products that aren’t sprayed with synthetic adhesives. Adhesives break down over time and create sticky stains that are impossible to remove.

Here is the best rug pad to place over carpeting to keep your area rug from bunching.

Carpet Lock

best rug pad for rugs on top of carpets to stop moving and wrinkling

Designed to be used over both short pile and long pile carpet, Carpet Lock is 7/16ths of an inch thick and offers a super-concentrated, cushioned buffer between your area rug and carpet.

With more than 45 ounces of rubber and felt per square yard, Carpet Lock prevents shifting, bunching, and wrinkling under heavy foot traffic.

The unique texture of the felt bottom layer gently fastens itself to your carpet without compromising the carpet fibers.

The natural rubber topper offers a non-slip grip that will keep your area rug from buckling and sliding. Because it’s made of all-natural materials, no odor will seep into existing carpeting.

Proudly made in the USA, Carpet Lock also comes with a ten year warranty.

Other things you want to know

When placing temporary flooring in your home, you’ll need to take some precautions to protect the carpeted floor.

Use plywood over high-pile: Experts recommend placing plywood over rugs with high pile fibers. Lay them in the opposite direction of the flooring layer. Always secure multiple sheets of plywood at the seams with tape.

Choose the right materials: Consider the use of your space when choosing materials. If your room sees lots of humidity, you’ll want to opt for waterproof flooring.

Start fresh: Remove all items from the room and vacuum the carpet thoroughly. If possible, remove the baseboards for a clean, professional look.

Use spacers: Ensure a ¼ inch expansion gap is left between the temporary flooring and the wall.

Begin from the right spot: Start plank flooring from the corner and tile flooring from the center of the room.

Keep it tight: Work slowly to ensure all seams are tight and properly secured to the base.

Here are some more things you need to know about temporary flooring, area rugs, and rug pads.

How much does it cost to install a floating floor?

Depending on materials and labor, you can expect to pay between $8 and $20 per square foot to have a floating floor installed over your existing carpet.

You also must include the cost of the protective layer and the right rug pad to ensure your floating floor stays in place over carpeting.

What’s the best way to clean a rug on carpet?

Vacuum weekly to keep your area rug clean. If your rug on carpet needs a deeper clean, follow these steps.

  1. Vacuum The Rug And Bring It Outside.
  2. Shake The Rug To Remove Excess Dirt And Debris.
  3. Follow The Manufacturer's Directions For Cleaning The Area Rug.
  4. Lay The Area Rug Flat In The Sun And Allow To Dry.
  5. Vacuum The Rug Pad And Replace The Area Rug.
  6. Vacuum Once More In All Directions To Revive The Pile.

Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s tag when choosing cleaning solutions and always clean up spills right away to prevent deep-set stains.

Is it hard to remove a floating floor?

No. The process to remove floating flooring is relatively straightforward, but will take some time.

  1. Use A Putty Knife And Insert It Into A Loose Corner, Crack, Or Seam
  2. Pry Up A Corner Of The Tile Or Plank.
  3. If Installers used glue, Squirt Some Nail Polish Remover And Allow To Soak For 30 Seconds.
  4. Continue Removing The Plank Or Tile.

Once the temporary floor is removed, uninstall the protective layer and dispose of it. Use a carpet cleaner to clean the original carpet and vacuum thoroughly to revive the carpet pile.

If you installed your floating floor correctly, your wall-to-wall carpet should be in the same condition as before!

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