My DIY Carpet Tiles

If you saw my post Pretty in Pink, you saw the the interior design I did for my daughter’s room, which included architectural details and carpet tiles that I made.

Since our second floor is hardwood, when I started planning the design, I searched for rugs, but I couldn’t find whimsical rugs in the sizes that I needed for her bedroom and sitting room. This turned my search to carpet ties, which yielded two things: my shock at the price ($10-$80 a tile) and dismay at the lack of the appropriate sizes and shades. I thought one of the main benefits of having carpet tiles (for me anyway) was that if they got stained beyond repair, you could pop them out and replace them cost-effectively.

I love puzzles, which is one reason I love design; it’s one big puzzle and this was no different, I just had to solve it. My solution was to make my own carpet tiles. In order to do this – and do it well – a few things need to be addressed:

1.) The two (or more) carpets that are going to be merged together need to be the same pile height. When selecting the carpeting, select the color that is more unique first. For example, every line has neutrals, but not every line has pinks…or at least one that you would use, so choose the hard color first. Then choose from the same manufacturer and product line, the other shade (or shades), because the pile needs to be the same height.

2.) The outer edges of the carpet design need to be bound for a clean, professional look. The store will do this for you, along with cutting the squares. See pictures below.

3.) A plan drawn out for the store because they will not know what you are talking about! Best to have it as detailed as possible to leave with them.

For the plan:

  • Measure room to figure the size of the rug you would like. It is best to keep it in 1′, 1.5′, 2′, 2.5′, 3′, etc. for simplicity’s sake. Make up the odd inches around the rug in the hardwood floor.
  • On a piece of graph paper, with one square equaling one foot, plot out your design.
  • Color it in as the rug would appear.
  • Draw and thick black line around the perimeter of the rug. This is the binding, which will be done by the store and give it a finished look.
  • Tally the number of carpet squares that you have colored (center pieces with no binding), that you have colored and have one bold black line (outer pieces), and have 2 bold black lines (i.e. a corner piece)
  • Tally the the opposite check carpet square (or uncolored if it is cream, like mine) and do the same tally count as above for them.
  • Have the store make the cuts and bind the edges that need them. (You can ask about seaming, but when I asked for this much they were thoroughly confused as is.)
  • Scan or make another copy of this to give to the store. They will probably not understand your design, so don’t leave any room for misinterpretation. Best to have it as detailed as possible to leave with them. 

Carpet comes in 12′ widths, so if your total doesn’t buy a whole row, you are probably going to pay for it anyway (and it’s good to have a few extra), so you might as well take them unless they specifically tell you that you don’t have to pay for it.

To put together, there are a few ways you can put the “tiles” together, depending upon what your needs are. There are different carpet seaming products that will attach the pieces together. I used a one-side, no-iron product. The iron or heat seaming tape is pretty permanent and I wanted to be able to change my tiles out if one got destroyed. I went with one-sided because I just wasn’t sure if having the tiles stick to my floors would cause damage. That was my rationale in the decision-making process for seaming!

The carpet seaming tape is sold at Lowes or any home improvement store. Check the label and make sure you know what you want ahead of time! Do you want to fuse the pieces together to make one solid rug (which is a great idea)? Or 2-sided tape? Or 1-sided with no heat? Regardless, of your choice, make sure it is 3″ in width.

Because of the size of my rug, it was very cumbersome, so I couldn’t flip it over, so I had to lay it out and tape it as it was. I mainly attached them together by lifting a tile and sliding tape pieces under, leaving long tails, then pressing the next one on top of that. With the corners, I created “X”s to secure them even further. Now knowing what the rug endures, I am SO glad I did that!!

This application can be used in any room, in any style, and is more cost effective than most rugs, so let your imagination run rampant!

I hope you like my do-it-yourself carpet tiles! Happy Mothers’ Day, everyone!

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