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How to Improve Ugly Carpet You Can’t Remove

A wide open room with dingy gray carpet

Whether you live in a rental or can’t afford to replace the flooring in your home, sometimes you find yourself wondering how to cover ugly carpet you can’t remove. If tearing it out isn’t possible, the next best option is to use temporary solutions to improve its appearance. Fortunately, there are many creative ways to improve carpet you hate without removing it completely.

Get a Large Area Rug

Two clean area rugs in living rooms

If you have unsightly carpet that you can’t remove, a large area rug can be the perfect solution to improve its appearance. Investing in a large rug can completely transform the room and help hide the carpet beneath.

One benefit of using a large area rug to cover ugly carpet is that it’s versatile and can be easily replaced or swapped out if you want to change the look of the room later on. Rugs also come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, which allows you to select one that suits your style and complements the existing decor in your home.

Jinchan Area Rug

This abstract design will upgrade your ugly carpet.

Do a Deep Clean

Someone cleaning their carpet

If you’re wondering how to hide ugly carpet, take a moment to decide if you have to really hide it at all. There’s a chance that your carpet looks so bad because it needs a deep clean. Regular wear and tear, as well as accumulated dust and dirt, can make the carpet look dingy and darker. By giving it a thorough clean, you can rejuvenate its appearance.

To professionally clean the carpet, you may want to hire a professional cleaner who has the equipment and knowledge to tackle the job effectively. They can use methods such as hot water extraction or steam cleaning to remove deep-set grime and stains.

However, if your rug isn’t too dirty or too big, you can also take some steps yourself to improve its condition. Use a carpet cleaner specifically designed to lift dirt and stains from the carpet fibers, and make sure that you follow the instructions on the cleaner to get the best results.

Hoover PowerDash Carpet Cleaner

A great cleaner for moderately soiled carpets.

Change Your Room’s Color Scheme

A woman paints her living room

Figuring out how to cover ugly carpet may require thought outside of the flooring itself. Another effective way to draw attention away from the floors is to change your room’s color scheme. By incorporating vibrant hues and bold accents, you can create a visually appealing space that distracts from the carpet.

Start by painting the walls a lively color that complements or contrasts well with the carpet. A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform the room and make it feel more inviting.

Rust-Oleum 267334 Painter's Touch Latex Paint

A popular and well-rated paint on Amazon.

You can also focus on choosing colorful furniture or accessories that will divert attention away from the carpet. This could include vibrant throw pillows, accent chairs, or a colorful area rug to partially cover the floor.

Adabana Decorative Boho Throw Pillow

A colorful throw pillow to brighten up any room.

Think About Temporary Flooring

Gray tile flooring in a kitchen or dining room

If you have a higher budget but still don’t know how to cover carpet in a rental, consider putting temporary flooring on top of what you currently have. This is the most effective way to cover up unsightly carpet and give your space an updated look.

One popular option is peel-and-stick floor tiles. These tiles are easy to install and can be quickly removed without causing any damage to the carpet underneath. Vinyl tiles are another great choice as they are durable and easy to clean, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.

Foam mats are another temporary flooring option that can be placed directly over the carpet. These mats come in a variety of colors and patterns so you can create a custom look for your space. This is an easy way to solve the problem of how to cover carpet in a rental or space where you can’t remove it altogether.

Lareko Peel and Stick Flooring Tile

An easy way to completely cover ugly carpet.

Add Flashy Decor

Various eclectic paintings on a wall and a blue and white lamp
97 Decor/Elegant Designs

Another way to improve the appearance of your carpet and make your space more visually appealing is to incorporate eye-catching decor that will divert attention away from the floors. This is an easy way to solve the problem of how to cover carpet in a rental or space where you can’t remove it altogether.

Start by adding bold artwork to the walls. Choose pieces that make a statement and draw attention, such as vibrant paintings or oversized prints. This will provide a focal point that directs the focus away from the carpet and onto the stunning artwork.

97 DECOR Colorful Eclectic Decor

A variety of fun prints to choose from.

You can also choose other statement pieces to put around your home, like vases, sculptures, or lamps that will draw your eye.

Elegant Designs LT1025-AQU Table Lamp

A trendy and cool lamp for any room.

It can be challenging to figure out how to hide ugly carpet in your home, but it’s not impossible. These tips and tricks will help you cover or distract from carpet you can’t remove so you can be happy with your space.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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