Unless your room is completely perfect in shape and size, you’re going to end up with leftover materials when purchasing new flooring.. In fact, most retailers add in extra materials as a backup just in case pieces are damaged during the installation. Since the cost of the extra flooring is included in the cost of purchase, most installers will encourage their customers to keep them. So what do you do with them? Most people just pile them in the basement or garage letting them collect dust until one day you say to yourself, “Why the heck do I still have this?” And, in the trash it goes. We’re here to say that those flooring leftovers don’t have to sit around and collect dust! We’ve come up with four easy, affordable, and creative DIY ideas to take that leftover flooring from pile of clutter to a custom creation!
- Add an Easy to Clean Cabinet Lining: Peel-and-stick laminate flooring can be reused in place of shelf paper to line the bottom of cabinets and drawers. Since the tile is thicker and less absorbent than traditional shelf paper, it does a much better job protecting the wooden bottom of cabinets and drawers from small leaks and spills. You can even line the cabinet underneath the sink to provide an extra moisture barrier. Installation is simple: make sure the bottom is completely clean and dry, then peel the paper off the laminate and stick it down. Use a razor blade or utility knife to cut squares smaller for a custom fit.
- Create an Awesome Accent Wall: We went into great detail in a previous blog, Flooring, The New Paint for Your Walls about how flooring materials can be used to create an awesome accent wall. So why not use your leftover flooring materials? It works well with wood, stone, laminate, tile, or even carpet in very specific situations, such as a music room. Install this feature in a different room than the flooring to create a cohesive feel from room to room.
- Create an area rug: Carpet remnants make excellent and inexpensive area rugs. The best part is you have complete control over the size and shape of the rug. You also get that sense of cohesion and uniformity when elements from one room are recreated in a different room. In order to create the area rug, you will need to cut the rug to size and then bind the edges. DIY products exist to bind the edges of the carpet but it can be tricky if you have never done it before since most remnants are not cut perfectly straight. We suggest leaving this one to the pros. Contact your retailer and ask if they offer carpet binding services. If they do not, they will most likely be able to refer you to someone who does.
- Use Leftover Tiles in the Garden: Why limit your flooring to just the indoors when there are so many clever outdoor uses too? An easy DIY project is to create a garden path using leftover stone tiles. Simply clear the area designated for the path of any weeds and garden debris. Then lay out your tiles to make sure the placement and staging is to your liking. Dig a small hole where each tile will be placed and level out the earth underneath to prevent rocking, someone tripping, or even breakage of the tile. Tamp the tile down, be cautions to use enough force to ensure the tile is level but not too much to break the tile. Last fill in the spaces between the tiles with sod, mulch, stone, or whatever you like! If you have any broken tiles on hand, these are great for flower pots! Simply add a small layer of broken tiles to a pot before adding soil. The tile fragments allow water to drain through the drainage hole of the pot without losing any soil through the opening.
As flooring professionals, we always recommend holding on to a few pieces of leftover flooring material for warranty and replacement purposes. It is much easier to repair flooring by simply inserting a leftover piece of material than to order a replacement. Often it is impossible to find an exact match, after the fact, since materials are usually made in batches.
If you’re still at the beginning stages of shopping for new floors, Bob Wagner’s Flooring America is here to help. Our knowledgeable and friendly sales staff is ready to help guide you through the process from choosing the correct flooring, to installation and beyond. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.