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What is a Carpet Remnant?

This is a look at various colorful carpets on display.

If you are considering adding new flooring options to your home, you may have seen a carpet remnant option pop up from time to time. But what exactly is a carpet remnant? All too often, people incorrectly believe that a carpet remnant is a piece of second-hand or sub-par quality carpeting that could not be sold in the carpet store.

In truth, flooring remnants, including remnant carpet, are the perfect option for any size home and for those looking to score a big cost saving. Below, let’s take a closer look at carpet remnants to understand exactly what this type of carpeting is and how you can use it in your next home remodeling project.

Large commercial carpeting is sold in large rolls. Usually, these rolls are about 30 linear meters. When a person orders a carpet roll for their flooring, the exact amount needed is cut from the roll, leaving the remainder left on the roll to go to waste. The remaining part of the role that cannot be used to furnish an entirely new carpet in a new home is often sold as a carpet remnant.

This portion of the leftover carpet sold as the remnant is just the same quality as the original carpeting sold for a home. The carpet remnant is not a second-hand or ruined piece of carpeting, but rather part of the original carpet that is just too small to sell as part of the larger roll. Buying carpet pieces sold as part of the larger carpet roll is an excellent way to save money when it comes time to refinish the flooring in your home. 

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Where Can I Buy Cheap Carpet Remnants?

This is a look at various colorful carpet samples on display at a store.

Both a large and small carpet store will sell cheap carpet remnants to the public. Often, stores will collect the unsold and unused pieces of carpet and hold a twice-yearly sale. While many large companies hope they will be hired to use the remaining carpet on the roll, often these pieces go unsold. The small carpet pieces that are left on the roll will often be sold at a fraction of the price to help the carpet store recoup the cost of materials.  If your room happens to be the right size and shape for the piece of leftover carpet, it is possible for you to completely update your home with the new carpet for just a fraction of the price. 

How Can I Use Remnant Carpeting?

This is a foyer with a wooden console table on the side and large oval area rug in the middle of the hardwood floor.

Even if the remnant of the carpet in question is too small for the floor you need to cover, there are still plenty of options for a carpet scrap. Using leftover pieces of remnant carpeting can be largely beneficial throughout your home. Some perfect examples of how to use a piece of carpeting in your home can include:

  • Pet Crate: If you can buy just a small piece of carpet remnant, consider cutting it to fit inside your pet crate. This solution is a great way to keep your cat or dog comfortable if they will be lying in the crate for hours each day.
  • Area Rug: Consider covering just a small part of your home with an area rug. Cut the remnant carpet to a size just smaller than the room. This way, you will still see the hard flooring, such as tile or wood, exposed around the edges of the room but will still get the soft and squishy feel of a nice area rug below your feet. 
  • Stairs: If you have hardwood stairs, they can pose quite a danger for pets or people. Adding a carpeted stair runner down the center of the stairs can give you added traction. Consider using a carpet scrap to add a cushioned and high friction center to your otherwise slippery stairs. 

Do Carpet Remnants Require Padding?

This is a close look at a man installing carpets on the floor.

A piece of carpet remnant is just the same as traditional, whole carpeting, but a smaller section. If you want your remnant carpet to look and perform as standard carpeting for your house, it makes sense to add padding to your remnant. Padding can come in a range of thicknesses to allow you to find a style and price point you are comfortable with.

Choosing a thicker carpet padding will not only be softer under your feet, but it will be more absorbent and protective. However, thicker padding will cost more per square foot compared to a thinner alternative.  

If you are using your remnant carpet as an area rug or a runner for the stairs, adding a soft padded backing is a great idea to keep your carpet firmly in place. Not only can padding add extra cushioning, but it can also help keep your carpeting in place. Carpet padding sometimes has a high friction backing, which can stick firmly to hardwood surfaces. Placing the remnant carpet on top of the padding can help ensure the carpet does not slide when you step on it.  

What If My Remnant Isn’t Large Enough?

A close look at a man doing final touches on the carpet after installation.

When it comes to buying carpet remnants, beggars cannot be choosers. Sometimes you only have the option to purchase multiple carpet remnants of the same pattern and style. It is possible to seam together multiple carpet remnants to give the illusion of one large and continuous piece of carpeting. This option allows you to save money buying multiple, small pieces but still obtain the look of wall-to-wall carpeting throughout your room or home.  

Piecing together multiple pieces of carpet is an easy task that most homeowners can tackle on their own. It is common to use hot glue to firmly and securely affix several pieces of carpeting together. For particularly long seams, it is a good idea to use special carpet seam tape. This tape helps create a tight glue bond, activated by heat, to keep the carpet pieces firmly in place.

Combining several carpet remnants may be possible to cover larger square footage by using several smaller pieces. This practice is a great way to utilize leftover carpet and utilize every part of the carpet roll in your home design. 


Buying carpet remnants can be intimidating, especially if you are still unsure of where carpet remnants come from. Below, let’s take a closer look at some frequently asked questions surrounding carpet remnants to understand better how you can use this cost-saving throughout your home with just a leftover piece of carpet. 

Where do carpet remnants come from?

Carpet remnants come from the remaining portion of the larger carpet roll that cannot be sold and installed in the home, often because the remaining amount is too small to outfit an entire room. 

Where can you find carpet remnants?

Carpet remnants can be found at any store that carpeting is sold. Because the remnant is just the remainder of the roll that is not sold, all stores that sell carpeting will at some point have leftover carpet pieces that can be sold as a remnant. 

How big is a carpet remnant?

The size of a carpet remnant can vary depending on how much was left on the unsold roll. A carpet remnant might be 100 square feet, enough to finish a bedroom, or could be just 20 square feet, enough to work perfectly well as a stair runner or as an area rug. 

What is carpet binding?

Carpet binding is a practice that is commonly used to create area rugs from carpet remnants.  Sometimes, a particular pattern or style of remnant carpet will work well as a large area rug in your dining room or living room.  The edges of the carpet can be bound to create a finished and polished edge. 

Carpet binding is typically performed by a professional and will cost between $1 and $4 per linear foot.  There are several possible edges and patterns a professional carpet binder can create on the edge of your carpet remnant.  Plus, carpet binding is also a way that you can restore a frayed or torn existing carpet remnant to restore it to its old beauty.