Carpet Remnants

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Cheap Carpet Remnants

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Cheap Carpet Remnants 1024 769 Jennifer Dean

Carpets remnants are a popular choice for people shopping on a budget. You can find them at most carpet retailers. These “leftover” carpets are normally offered at heavy discounts. But the question is – is the risk really worth the deal?

What are Carpet Remnants?

remnant carpet for sale

A lot of people seem to be under the impression that carpet remnants are carpets that are out of style or damaged goods. It is neither.

They are simply leftover carpet.

In other words, a remnant is the end of a carpet roll. Carpets are manufactured in massive rolls, and when a customer buys a carpet, it is cut off from the big roll. As more and more customers buy it, eventually what is left is only a few feet (mostly 20 feet or less) that is not enough to cover most houses. Typically the staff will roll it up and sell it at a discount as it is more efficient than hoping customers will buy it piece by piece.

In other situations where the stores are smaller, it comes directly from suppliers or manufacturers. Carpet manufacturers also end up with leftover rolls just like the stores, and they also sell it off the same way. However, when suppliers sell remnants to retailers, they tend to sell it in bulk, like 50 at a time.

Carpet Remnants are Cheaper and More Convenient

A lot of homeowners looking to save more money on new carpets tend to buy carpet remnants. As you can imagine, this is the main reason why there is a demand for it. Buyers get the carpet of their choice at a heavy discount while retailers get some money by selling carpet pieces that they would otherwise have thrown away or recycled.

Besides the discount, it is also more convenient when you buy remnants rather than a fully formed carpeting. When you purchase a remnant, you just have to step into the store, choose the remnant you like and walk out with it after you have paid for it.

There is no waiting period for the order to arrive or even wait as the staff lops it off from the giant roll. The speed and the ease of purchasing remnant carpets make it a popular choice for people working on their weekend projects and DIY installations.

The Downside to Buying Carpet Remnants


However, what you get in convenience, you will lose out on choice. If you are very particular about the design and color of the carpet remnant you want, prepare to visit multiple stores (and put on some extra miles in your car).

Even if you are open to any carpet design and color, you will still have to find a carpet remnant that fits the dimensions of your living space. Learn how to measure carpet so that you don’t end up buying more than you need (or worse, less).

If you are lucky, the store will cut down a larger remnant, so it gets easier for you to install and some may even sell only the portion that you need. Typically they will do it only if the leftover piece from the remnant is still big enough to sell. Some of these left over carpet rolls are not maintained well and can be quite dusty or stained so be prepared to give it a good cleaning after installing at your place.

You Can’t Plan Ahead

Beyond the lack of choice, you’re basically getting a mystery carpet when you buy a remnant. Best case scenario, the salesperson might know what the original carpet roll was like. But most of the time, retailers may not really know which roll they got the remnant from and this is often when the remnant you chose is part of a bulk purchase from suppliers.

Even your retailer at the store can struggle to differentiate between synthetic fibers. Polyester, nylon, triexta, and olefin all look very similar and needs a lot of experience to be able to tell them apart. Even natural fibers like wool (which are normally easier to differentiate) can be a gamble sometimes. You have no other choice but to trust your salesperson on the quality and make of the carpet you are considering.

You Won’t Get a Warranty

This is probably the biggest downside to getting a carpet remnant. You will most likely purchase your remnant “as is,” meaning there is no warranty on your carpet. The receipt won’t even specify the carpet in terms of dimensions, face weight, density, fiber twist, longevity and so on.

The good news is it’s not the end of the world. The lack of a warranty will not affect the quality or use of your remnant. In fact, you might not even need a warranty in the first place if you are simply looking for a basic carpet for low traffic spaces (like the nursery, basement or bedroom) or keeping it for a short period of time (for a rented property for instance).

If you are placing your remnant in high traffic areas like your family room, a hallway or the stairs, you can’t afford to pass up on a warranty.

Use Caution

Most homeowners buy carpet in the hope that it will last them a decade in heavily trafficked home spaces. If you get the details right, it isn’t too much to ask for. But remnants are a different story. They are mostly not labeled and do not come with warranty so it might keep you up at night if durability is what you are looking for.

You want durable carpet in heavily trafficked spaces like stairs, hallways, family rooms, living rooms, etc.

If you are carpeting the entire house, be prepared to put in a little more work than usual. It isn’t simple to work remnants from wall to wall, but the money is worth the extra work. Spend a little more time and be creative when looking for remnants that will look good throughout your home.

If you can also make your remnant carpets work in heavily trafficked areas in your home, you will make your greatest savings from there.

Best Ways to Use Remnants

Considering the disadvantages, the most fail-safe way to make remnants work is to use it in areas where durability is not important and where you don’t need a whole lot of carpet. Don’t get me wrong; remnants can also be high-quality, but it’s a lot less risky when you don’t need them to be.

Another creative way to use remnants is to make area rugs out of them. Check out DIY ideas on the internet. You will find plenty.

Where to Purchase Cheap Carpet Remnants?

We’ve already touched on this. You can buy remnants from nearly any carpet store – local carpet stores near you, carpet manufacturers, big-box retailers, online sellers, and carpet stores that specialize in selling remnants. Sometimes you can even find it in places you wouldn’t expect like carpet cleaners and carpet installers.

But the best places are stores where they don’t necessarily want remnants but have them because of leftovers. These are typically your local carpet stores or big box retailers. The reason this is a good place is that they will probably have a decent selection to choose from and will be priced at a heavy discount since they don’t normally get a lot of buyers for it.

You will get a wider selection at remnants stores, but they will not be as cheap as the other options. Online sellers and manufacturers are good options, but you will not get the chance to see it in person before you make the purchase.

If all you are looking for is to save as much money as you possibly can, carpet installers and cleaners are your cheapest option. Their stock is generally very limited, but you can often get it at dirt cheap rates because all they want is to get rid of it.

Tips to Buy Carpet Remnants

Now that you know all the pros and cons of buying a remnant, it’s time to do a little homework.

Find out the square footage of the space you are looking to cover, any details you want to keep an eye out for, and how to compare the choices you get and determine the kind of carpet you are getting. All these are important skills you can’t afford not to acquire when getting a remnant because without knowing the amount of carpet your space needs you won’t know what remnants you will be eligible for. You also need to have some knowledge of the details of the carpet you want because most remnants are not labeled and without guarantee.

You will find a lot of information on the internet on how to estimate the amount of carpet you need. You can also call an installer and have him give you the exact estimate.

As for figuring out the kind of carpet you are purchasing, you can find plenty of buying guides on the internet. It shouldn’t take you more than half an hour to groom you up into a skilled carpet shopper.

Is it Really Worth It?

Remnant carpets can be a gold mine of savings. It’s a safe bet for DIY installations or for spaces where the carpet’s durability is not much of a concern.

Since remnant carpets don’t cost much, not a lot of people are bothered about the lack of a warranty. But in the event your remnant turned out to be defective, it will be a big loss to you.

Ultimately it’s up to you whether the money you get to save on purchasing a remnant is really worth the risk of the possibility of something going wrong with your carpet and not having a warranty to cover for it.

If you buy something on this page, we may get a small share of sale at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products that we have used ourselves and feel are really useful, not because of the limited compensation from the links through our posts.

    Jennifer Dean

    Jennifer Dean is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, author and mother of two beautiful kids. You can visit her at

    All stories by: Jennifer Dean

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