Temporary Flooring Options for Renters

Image Source: iStock.com/bill oxford
Image Source: iStock.com/bill oxfordZumper

When you’re renting, you’re somewhat restricted by the choices you can make. However, that doesn’t mean you need to put up with the carpet in your rental property. Adding temporary flooring over carpet is a great way to personalize your space and make it suit your lifestyle better—without upsetting your landlord.

What is temporary flooring?

Temporary flooring is an umbrella term for flooring solutions that temporarily lay over existing floor coverings, such as carpet. Temporary flooring solutions don’t need professional installation. They can also be easily removed, as they don’t use adhesives, staples, or nails, often with little to no damage to the floor underneath.

Reasons To Choose Temporary Flooring Over Carpet

You might lay temporary flooring over the carpet in your rental for several reasons, depending on your preferences and lifestyle. Perhaps you don’t want to worry about the impact you and the others in your household will have on the carpet. If you’re accident-prone or you have pets or young children, laying down temporary flooring can be a great way to preserve the carpet in your rental. Adopting temporary carpet solutions to minimize wear and tear can help you collect your deposit in full when you move on from the rental.

Many allergy sufferers cover carpets with a temporary flooring solution that doesn’t attract or harbor allergens. Smooth temporary flooring surfaces are also easy to maintain, so you can keep dust and other allergens at bay.

Maybe you simply want to make your rental property feel more like your home. Adding temporary flooring is an easy way to cover apartment carpet to make the rooms in your rental property look more modern.

Different Types of Temporary Flooring Over Carpet for Renters

There are three main types of temporary flooring solutions: peel-and-stick flooring, floating floorboards, and vinyl sheets. Your taste and budget will impact your choice.

Peel-and-Stick Flooring

You’ll find peel-and-stick carpet and vinyl tiles with adhesive backings. Simply remove the tiles from the backing and stick them firmly onto the carpet. Peel-and-stick carpet tiles have a soft texture, while peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are smooth and a little easier to maintain. These affordable options don’t leave residue behind, so you can use peel-and-stick flooring to cover the carpet throughout your rental.

Floating Floorboards

Laminate planks and vinyl planks are the two most common types of floating floorboards. These floating floorboard choices are a more luxurious temporary hard floor over carpet option.

  • Laminate planks have a tongue-and-groove design that locks together without the need for glues or staples. They have a core made from wooden byproducts and resin covered by a laminate layer. This layer features a design that usually makes the planks look like natural flooring surfaces, such as hardwood or stone tiles.
  • Vinyl planks are entirely man-made, with a fiberglass core coated with a scratch-resistant vinyl layer. As with the laminate planks, the vinyl layer usually has a wood-inspired design. There are some vinyl planks that lock together as laminate planks do, but many styles need gluing. The click-and-lock temporary wood flooring over carpet planks made from vinyl are perfect for rentals.

While both types of floating floorboards have realistic designs, the prints on laminate planks are clearer and more convincing. Patterns on vinyl planks can look blurry, especially on cheaper planks.

Since laminate planks have a wooden core, they may swell and become soft if they’re exposed to water. There are some water-resistant laminate planks available that can handle splashes, but they still won’t survive a good soaking. Humidity and high temperatures can also impact laminate planks, so they’re not the best choice for locations with hot, sticky summers. Vinyl planks can tolerate water, humidity, and hot days better.

Laminate planks feel warmer underfoot, while vinyl planks feel a little cooler to the touch. It’s a matter of personal preference what you like better, although your climate may also influence your choice.
Vinyl planks are also more durable than laminate planks, but both temporary flooring options are durable if you clean them regularly. You also get what you pay for, with cheaper planks not lasting as long as more expensive options.

Foam tiles are another modern floating floorboard option. Made from closed-cell foam, these tiles lock together as laminate planks do. They’re resistant to water and odor and look as stylish as a temporary wood floor over carpet.

Vinyl Sheets

Vinyl sheets are some of the easiest options as they cover a large area without any assembly. These affordable sheets come in large rolls. Simply cut off a piece to fit your room. Some people affix vinyl sheets to floors with adhesive tape, but you can also weigh it down with your furniture.

What to Consider Before Laying Temporary Flooring Over Carpet

Before you lay down temporary flooring, make sure to consider the impact of your actions. Even though temporary flooring solutions aren’t permanent, some options such as many vinyl planks can damage the carpet underneath. Research a range of flooring over carpet ideas and make sure you choose one that won’t impact the rental property.

Consider the carpet’s pile. Low-pile carpet provides a stable surface for your temporary floor planks. Laying your planks down directly on a high-pile carpet could unlock the planks when you step. Putting a thin sheet of plywood between your carpet and temporary floorboards can solve this problem. Peel-and-stick flooring adheres more easily to low-pile carpets. If you have high-pile carpet, you may need a more expensive peel-and-stick option with stronger adhesive or floorboards instead. Vinyl sheets will work on any carpet, although low-pile carpet provides a more stable surface.

While temporary flooring is temporary, you should still keep your landlord informed of any changes you make to the property. Write a letter or email explaining why you want to cover the carpet with temporary flooring and the flooring solution you’ll use. Wait for their approval before making any changes.

Ready for a new place altogether? Browse thousands of apartments for rent on Zumper and find one with the floors you want.

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