How to Buy Used Carpet

Carpet is one of the most ubiquitous flooring materials in use today, and it has many advantages. Carpet is inexpensive, comfortable, often attractive, and can provide insulation from reverberating sounds. Unfortunately, carpet has a relatively short useful life, which means that masses of it are discarded every year. While much of this discarded carpet ends up in landfills, there are many reasons you might want to buy used carpet for repurposing or recycling.


  1. Image titled Buy Used Carpet Step 1
    Assess your intended use for the used carpet. Used and discarded carpet can be repurposed for many applications. Your intended use will affect the amount you need to buy, what condition will be acceptable, and where you should look when purchasing.
    • Small scale repurposing projects can include using carpet scraps to move heavy furniture, make a scratching post for a cat, or create impromptu sound insulation for a home recording studio. These projects will only require small amounts of carpet, and the carpet can be in fairly poor condition.
    • Larger projects might include reconditioning carpet and installing it as flooring. These types of projects will require larger amounts of carpet in fairly good condition. Used carpet is best installed as flooring if it has hardly seen any use and wear, or if the application is one where aesthetics are not a high priority.
    • The largest scale application for purchasing used carpet is recycling the nylon in the carpet for other uses. If you are interested in running a carpet recycling business such as this, you will need to look towards large businesses that are interested in discarding entire buildings worth of carpeting at once.
  2. Image titled Buy Used Carpet Step 2
    Determine your budget. What you are willing to pay for used carpet will affect your ability to obtain it from certain sources. Your budget should depend on the amount of carpet needed and the condition desired.
    • For small projects, you may be able to find used carpet scraps very cheaply or even for free. For larger pieces of carpet in better condition, expect to pay more. For large scale recycling operations, factor in costs not only for acquiring the carpet, but also for other operational costs such as hiring trucks and drivers to load and haul the used carpet.
    • To establish a frame of reference, you may want to check the prices for new carpet at several home improvement stores. When buying used, you will want to pay significantly less than the price when new.
  3. Image titled Buy Used Carpet Step 3
    Search for used carpet in the appropriate venue. There are several places you can look to find used carpet for sale. Some venues are better suited for buying small quantities, while others can be used to obtain large quantities of used carpeting.
    • For small amounts of carpet scraps, search online classifieds sites like Craigslist and Freecycle. Many people give away discarded building materials for free on sites like these to avoid discarding them or to avoid paying to have them hauled away.
    • If you need larger amounts of carpet, you can try browsing at building supply stores. Stores that specialize in carpeting may not have used carpet available for sale, but they may have low-priced overstocked or discontinued carpet. Some building supply stores specialize in selling secondhand materials; these stores often stock used carpet at very low prices.
  4. Image titled Buy Used Carpet Step 4
    Buy the amount of carpet you need and arrange to pick it up. Once you have found used carpet that fits your needs, you'll need to arrange the purchase. If buying from an online classifieds site, you will usually need to pick the item up yourself at the seller's home or business. If you are picking up a large amount of carpet, this may mean renting or borrowing a truck. Building supply or carpeting stores may be able to arrange delivery for you for a fee.


  • If buying carpet online, request to see photographs of the carpet before arranging a purchase. Used carpet that has been stained or damaged by mold or insects may not be suitable for your application.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection

Article Info

Categories: Budget Decorating