How can I reuse or recycle carpet/flooring samples?

We’ve had an email from Katy:

I work in a carpet store and we regularly get rid of big books of carpet and lino samples.My floor manager just throws them in the bin skip. Can they be recycled?

A lot of our reuses for carpet need it to be in large pieces, not just foot-square samples but some of the reuses for vinyl flooring/lino would work with smaller pieces – mats for under pet food bowls, wipe-clean cupboard/shelf lining or a patchwork of bright colours in a children’s play area/a semi-portable playmat.

Both can be recycled apparently too.

Any other suggestions?

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26 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle carpet/flooring samples?”


  1. KO says:

    I’ve seen carpet squares used to form a bulletin board here http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/how-to/carpet-tiles-as-bulletin-board-077078.

    Also, try a mosaic-like approach and bring many squares together with tape to make a creative wall covering, tapestry or to form a large rug.

  2. Roger says:

    I’ve been looking for these before but whenever i go into a carpet shop they never have any ready to go in the bin. I saw somewhere that you can use heavy duty tape of some sort (duct/duck) to stick several squares together to make a chessboard effect rug.

  3. Rachel H. says:

    I would imagine that small carpet scraps would be good in making some sort of a scratching post for a cat — along with the carpet, one would need some wood/particle board pieces, wood dowels to cover in carpet or sisal (rope, twine … whatever).
    My idea is rather vague, at best … but, I can see it in my mind’s eye — fat lot of good that does anyone, LOL.

    • Kitty says:

      My partner and I actually have constructed a scratching post for our little fella, and he loves it!

      We just used a weighted circular base cut from heavy wood offcuts, cut a straight section of tree limb from a fallen gum tree (we’re in Australia) for the post, added another smaller & lighter circluar base to the top for our cat to sit on, and covered the whole thing in carpet samples. Hey presto, scratching post!

      It only took a few hours, and was much better than paying the $70+ for a pet store bought scratching post, and it used up all the old wood and carpet samples we had lying around!

  4. Kara says:

    You can buy the same carpet joining tape that the pros use at some carpet or hardware stores. That stuff is amazing!

    It depends on the texture of the carpet, but most carpeting is stiff enough to make storage bins by just cutting a square out of each corner and joining the cut edges with the carpet tape.

  5. Alec says:

    My friend also worked in a carpet store and was disappointed to see her boss throw away carpet samples. She started taking the discarded carpet samples to large apartment buildings (we lived in a college town with lots of apartments). She would then go up and down the halls and place a carpet sample in front of everyone’s door who didn’t have a front door mat. Surprisingly the majority of the samples/mats she left in the halls stayed there for several months and seemed to be put to good use.
    Maybe you could also leave a post-it note on their door explaining how you are recycling the carpet sample into a doormat so they just don’t think it’s junk and it is being re-purposed for a reason. Hope this helps.

  6. Leanne says:

    In addition to the carpet tape, it’s relatively inexpensive to have the samples bound together around the edges.

    Use as a mat in front of the stove, the sink, bathroom sink? A long line of them taped together to form a hallway runner. As a mat to put boots and shoes. Affixed to the walls of a small car garage at about door height to prevent scratching doors and bumpers when parking in a small garage.

  7. Cipollina says:

    I think it was Tanith Lee who in one of her books wrote about a very poor but very creative couple who carpeted their floor from wall to wall with carpet samples. They also tiled their bathroom with tile samples. I loved the idea when I was a kid, and wanted a home made just like that when I grew up. It never happened, though, as all my homes have been already adequately tiled and carpeted, or not mine to “play” with.

  8. Give them to the local scrap store! Ours had a load in the other week and we actually took two for our camper van. We will use them to store our muddy shoes on so the floor doesn’t get filthy and as a pretty effective ‘door mat’. At the moment they are in the front of the cab acting as ‘car mats’ My daughters ballet class also uses them to sit on when they are doing their warm up so little bottoms don’t get cold! maybe a youth group or school could use them – particularly as the weather is warming up and regular lessons might be outside.

  9. Chicgeek says:

    I don’t know if this really works or not-but I’ve heard of putting a couple in the trunk of your car. If there’s ice or whatever, and the care is stuck and needs a little traction, to put one under each rear tire.
    Again, I have never done that and can’t swear to how accurate this tip is!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Memories memories
    During college my room had lino on the floor, which was always a shock on getting out of bed first thing in the morning!
    One of my fellow student’s parents owned a carpet store and they had the same problem as Kety’s boss.
    Easy solution: I made my own carpet! It took the best part of a month sewing it together with wool, but I easily had the very best wall to wall flooring in our town!
    Putting the carpet books up on a site like freecycle or freegle even gumtree, should produce a waiting list for your carpet books

  11. MMP says:

    Memories flooding back………

    I had lino on my floor when i was a student and the cold kinda shocked me every morning. A fellow student’s parents had the same problem Katy’s boss had~ so I took all the books off their hands and sewed the samples together with wool. I had the most funky wall to wall flooring you’ve ever seen!

  12. we use the off cuts of carpet for smaller jobs like understairs cupboards same with off cuts on flooring. They can also make great main carpet protectors for things like home exercise equipment, heavy furniture etc..

  13. BC says:

    You can also donate the samples to local High Schools for use in classes such as interior design. :)

  14. kathy says:

    you could try donating to a day care or a nursery school. I was a pre school teacher and every day we had “rug time.” the childre would gather on the rug for story time. you could give every child their own carpet square to sit on during this time. The children could be responsible for their own carpet square, storing it in their cubbies and retriving it for ‘rug time.’

  15. Alice says:

    My cat is supposed to scratch carpet samples instead of destroying all my furniture and my actual fitted carpet, but of course she will only scratch expensive things.

  16. mommacat says:

    Got tile, lino, or hardwood floors? Use double faced tape to attatch a
    piece of carpet (loop side down, facing the floor) to a pair of those cheap
    rubber flip flops. Once you have perfected your best Sasquach impersonation you’ll be polishing the floor as you walk around.
    Forklift operators LOVE carpet samples! We know how to apply them to our tines to keep from scratching the load. They are a heaven sent
    item to bicycle or motorbike riders in the sun-belt states as they can
    be used to cover your seat while your ride is parked. No more burned
    buns. Cut a sample in half and wrap the car’s steering wheel at approx
    10 o’clock and also at 2. Get some duct tape (GAWD do I LOVE that stuff!) and wrap a couple of phone books together with a carpet
    sample on the top; child booster seat. Put duct tape on the back of a
    sample and you have a dust cover for your computer keyboard. Warning:
    if you own a cat…..forget I mentioned this one! Speaking of cats, carpet samples can be used to line those small sized pet carriers you use to take catzilla to the vet. Those small sample sized pieces are perfect for
    separating/protecting large glass/ceramic serving pieces in the back of the cupbord (think Grandma’s turkey platter, or Santa’s cookie plate.)

  17. Mary Horesh says:

    I have used carpet samples to weigh down my compost bin lid (which is a compost plastic bag it came in.) I had been looking for something to insulate the compost bin and these are perfect.

  18. Jane47 says:

    My husband has an aluminum jon boat. He uses old carpet to muffle the sound of feet/tackle shifting. It also helps keep the boat clean.

  19. Troy says:

    Hi Katy,

    We sell and take in good quality used carpet tiles.
    We will be more then happy to take any that you have spare.
    Have a look at our website and see what you think.
    http://www.cleanstreamcarpets.co.uk

    Thanks :)

    Troy

  20. heather says:

    Lol I carpeted my hall/ stairs and kids bedroom with carpet sample books hard work but looked good, I find myself here now because im wondering what to do with all the lino sample books :)

  21. Francine says:

    Hi,
    I would be pleased to have some sample lino books – the lino makes good sense for lining the cages of gerbilariums. Many gerbil owners do not like their pets having to tiptoe on wire bars, and therefore suggest lining the levels with lino. Could I contact you PM?
    Best regards, Francine

  22. susan cardinal says:

    i would love to have your samples. I am moving to a cottage and i would like to make the sunroom/green house my bedroom but it is a co coment floor, your samples would be put to good use i am disably and on housing section 8 if not for that i 2would be on thr street. i am very grateful for these programs. i could help with shipping

  23. andy vine says:

    i was wondering where your shop is based as i would be only to happy to collect all the carpet sample books you get .Like you we belive they should not go to land fill please email me and see if we can help thanks andy



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