How Do I Choose the Best Carpet Remnants?

Cindy Quarters

Carpet remnants are the pieces of carpet that remain after an installation job is complete. Pieces may be the results of carpet trimmed to fit it into the rooms where it is being installed or they may be squares or rectangles that are left at the end of a roll of carpet. Carpet remnants are often sold for use as area rugs, hallway runners, or stair covers, and companies that install a lot of carpet are likely to have a large selection of them. Look for pieces that are made from high-quality materials, such as nylon, and have tightly packed fibers that have a high number of twists for the best durability.

Frieze carpet remnants.
Frieze carpet remnants.

The best carpets are typically made from newer nylon blends that can resist the abrasive effects of a lot of use, and are also often treated with a stain-resistant chemical that helps them keep their appearance longer. They will also have more strands per section than other carpets, since the general rule is the higher the strand count the better the carpet. Twist count, or the number of times each fiber is twisted, is the third factor to consider when looking for the best carpet remnants, and those with a twist count of at least 5 per 1 inch (2.5 cm) will stand up well to a lot of use.

People may buy carpet remnants from a carpet installer.
People may buy carpet remnants from a carpet installer.

Much of the time carpet remnants find new life without any significant changes being made to them except for minimal trimming, which may cause them to shed bits of fiber from the sides. The problem usually doesn’t persist and is not enough of an issue to bother most people. Some carpet stores avoid this by finishing the edges of their carpet remnants with heavy stitching all the way around.

Stitching makes the pieces much more durable and prevents the shedding of stray fibers from the sides of the carpets. Not only does this extend the life of the remnants, it also allows the seller to command a much higher price, since the pieces are now finished rugs rather than just stray bits of carpet. In some cases the seller may also add a no-slip backing to the carpet remnants and sell them for a price comparable to a new area rug, but this is usually only done with very nice, typically expensive, pieces.

For the most part, carpet remnants are a good deal for both the buyer and the seller. Buyers often check carpet stores to find inexpensive rugs that can be used in the house, garage, or other areas, and sellers benefit because the remnants would otherwise end up in the trash. Sometimes the pieces are large enough to cover a small room. While it is not economically feasible for the seller to work with such a small section, for a buyer it can result in significant savings. Often such a piece is not installed, but may be placed in such a way that it covers most or all of the floor.

People typically buy carpet remnants from a local store or installer, but there are also online stores that sell them. For buyers looking for something very specific, online may be the best way to find it, and there is no cost associated with the search, unlike driving around to different carpet stores to look for a particular item. Before making a purchase from an online seller, though, buyers should check the cost of shipping and what kind of guarantee, if any, the seller offers.

Carpet remnants are generally sold at a reduced price.
Carpet remnants are generally sold at a reduced price.

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