Last year, we bought a 1960's ranch trapped in a 1970's remodel. Nearly every wall was tightly sealed in paper or paneling. From the entryway looking into the kitchen, you could see four, yes four, wallpaper patterns in a single line of sight.
Next to that disco, our wall-to-wall carpet seemed like a tranquil sea of beige. But once we scraped the layers of grooviness away and repainted the walls a fierce shade of “Polar Bear” white, that tranquil sea looked more like a muddy delta. Then, as my preschooler, toddler and cat made their own contributions to the situation (rogue art experiments, potty-training mishaps, aging feline fiascos…) I began to wonder how many of these incidents also occurred when the previous family lived here. What was lurking beneath that acrylic fur stuck to my floor?
So I booked a professional cleaner to sanitize and refresh. The results were amazing – at first. Within a couple of weeks, all of those murky mud bars resurfaced. Could they be old stains seeping up from the rug pad below? All I knew was that I wanted wood floors immediately. Except… replacing our floors was a bigger expense and undertaking than I was willing to endeavor with two kids under five.
My solution? Area rugs, of course!
I can hear what you’re thinking…It’s not just because I get an employee discount at Floorplan! (by the way, YOU can get a 30% discount for our first 30 Days, just sign up for our newsletter). That helps, but if I’m going to throw any money at this problem now, I better be able to use it once the wood floors are installed. Area rugs will help protect the wood finish, add warmth and bring some personal style into the now-vanilla space.
Why solve one carpet problem with more carpet?! Hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs can be vacuumed from both sides, allowing for more thorough cleaning when needed. These rugs can also be washed – so the dirt and grime released by steam or water just passes through rug foundation, rather than having to suck it back up with a high powered vacuum. A damaged rug pad can be replaced long before a well-made rug will wear out.
Why use a rug pad if it’s going on top of cushy carpet? It helps to prevent bunching and slips. The added thickness will also improve comfort, particularly with flatweaves. The right kind of rug pad for a carpet cover-up should be two-sided: a felted side to grip the carpet below and a natural rubber side to grip the rug above. If you switch to wood floors down the line, this type of pad can be flipped over, with rubber side down. Natural rubber won’t leave a sticky residue or have a negative chemical reaction with a polished floor finish, as can happen with synthetic rug pads.
If like me, you wish your wall-to-wall carpet would magically replace itself with hardwood but hasn’t, consider area rugs. With the right rug pad, they could be a good short- and long-term solution. Who knows, your carpet cover-up may even make you forget that you needed those wood floors in the first place.