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Want cheap carpet? Here’s a secret for carpeting that playroom, basement or den for a fraction of what you would normally pay.


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The only things you will need to carpet a room with carpet samples or squares is a carpet knife and a staple gun. 5/8-inch staples have worked best for me. Begin at any corner. Just put the piece in place and staple it in two or three places along each side. Wiggle the stapler head down between the fibers, or between the border and the fibers, and the staples will usually be well-hidden.

When carpeting a basement floor, you can use carpet tape instead of staples. In either case, this is best done where padding isn’t too important. Of course, you can use padding too, if you don’t mind the complications, but without it, this is pure simplicity.

You might want to lay out the pieces first, to decide where each will go. When you come to walls, heating registers, and other obstacles, you can easily cut the pieces to fit. If you make a mistake, it cost you perhaps a dollar. Just start over with a new piece.

Before you start, estimate how many pieces you’ll need, and call around to find a carpet store that has enough samples for sale. The carpet samples at different stores range in size, but are usually at least 18 by 18 inches. Using pieces that are all the same size is the easiest way to go. Even at a dollar, this makes it less than 50 cents per square foot to carpet a room. That’s cheap carpet!