Choosing & Installing the Right Indoor-Outdoor Carpet


If you haven't explored the option of indoor outdoor carpet for your home, you're in for a surprise. Although you may remember the springy, uncomfortable turf style carpet or unpleasant woven plastic that was indestructible but uncomfortable to walk on, new styles and materials are making all weather carpet a comfortable, attractive and affordable option.

Choosing All Weather Carpet

Much of the commercially available outdoor carpeting on the market looks and feels much like standard carpet but has the durability of vinyl tile. It's available in lots of colors and textures that make it a popular design option, and it makes for an easy to intermediate installation for the do-it-yourselfer. A typical installation can be completed in a day.

Advantages of Indoor Outdoor Carpet

One big advantage to this style of carpet is that it's very easy to clean, and unlike some of its predecessors, quality indoor outdoor carpet made from olefin fiber in particular is available with ultraviolet protection that makes it fade resistant, stain resistant and virtually indestructible when installed and used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

What to Look For

A good rule of thumb is that the thicker the carpet pile, the better it is, both for feel and durability. You'll also want to check the promotional materials to make sure that the carpet you choose is designated for "all weather" use if you're planning on placing it in a spot that gets a lot of sun or is shady enough for moisture to be a problem. Some manufacturers will designate their carpet "marine" if the backing is mildew resistant. Moisture resistance is important if your carpeting is intended for an area that is completely exposed to the elements. A fully outdoor installation should have both UV and moisture protection. This will cost a little more, but the installation will last longer and look better.

Installing Indoor Outdoor Carpet

Pick Your Installation Style

When putting down all weather carpet, you have a couple of options. You can install it like an area rug or choose to add adhesive. Adhesive is available as a peel and stick option, glued in place or tacked down with double-sided tape. If you're installing carpet in a windy spot or in an area that experiences weather extremes, adding a quality adhesive makes for a more stable, professional looking and long lasting project.

Installation Tips and Tricks

Your installation will last longer if you take some time getting the site prepped correctly. Where extremes of weather and the presence of moisture can create problems, making sure that you have area under the carpet prepared correctly is added insurance.

  • Avoid installing carpet where water tends to pool, like near downspouts or in low-lying areas.
  • Verify that the area under the carpet is clean and completely dry.
  • If installing carpet over wood, first treat wood with an outdoor all-weather sealer, like a deck sealer.
  • If you're putting carpet over a wooded deck made of slats, consider placing sealed plywood down as an underlayment.
  • Always start in the center of the area to be carpeted and work out from there.
  • Choose a length of carpet, or cut carpeting big enough to leave yourself at least three inches of overlap around the perimeter. This is your fudge factor. You'll be cutting it down later.
  • When assembling smaller strips, make sure that the grain or pile is oriented the same way throughout.
  • If you're using adhesive, consider renting a carpet roller to help make a good, consistent seal.

Check Out Indoor Outdoor Carpeting Locally

Now that you have a good idea of what you're looking for, as well as how you're going to install it, it's time take a look at what's available. Check your local carpet stores, as well as home improvement stores, for styles, colors, and patterns that will match your interior or exterior decor.

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Choosing & Installing the Right Indoor-Outdoor Carpet