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Carpet was made for bare feet. Especially in colder climates, solid floors can be an unwelcome wake up call on the way to that shower or first cup of coffee. People choose to cover their floors in carpet not just for how it looks, but also for how it feels and reacts to pressure.
Enjoying that same feeling of comfort outside can be a real benefit for some people. If you have a porch, patio, or balcony where you spend a lot of time, outdoor carpet could be for you!
The Mean Green
In the past, outdoor carpet was easily described in two words: uncomfortable and green. Everyone remembers a porch or patio covered in tough, fibrous, dark green turf. Walking on this "carpet" was like taking a stroll on a sea of toothbrush bristles. Today's outdoor carpet is much more diverse. It comes in many grades, textures, and, yes, even colors.
Indoor Outdoor Carpet
Indoor outdoor carpet is, as you might imagine, suitable for both situations. This is best used for areas that, though exposed to the elements, are still somewhat covered. It goes well with a screened in porch or patio. Indoor outdoor carpet is designed to be tough and durable, yet retain the comfort and cushy feeling of its indoor counterpart.
It is certainly does a fine job of softening wood or concrete. This makes it not only good for enclosed outside spaces, but a smart choice for basements as well. It is inexpensive and low maintenance. If it is to be put in an especially damp area, make sure to purchase a variety with a waterproof marine backing.
The Great Outdoor
For covering a fully exposed porch or deck, look for outdoor carpet made of polypropylene or olefin. This fiber is resistant to moisture and mildew and can handle the toughest of traffic. While it is not as plushy as indoor outdoor carpet, it still provides a greater degree of comfort than wood or concrete. It protects bare feet from splinters and protects glass from shattering. It also is very low maintenance.
Outdoor carpet that is meant for full exposure is made from the same type of material as its green, prickly predecessor. Fortunately, the way the fiber is woven into the carpet's backing has evolved, greatly improving the barefoot experience. It is also available in a variety of colors.
Outdoor Carpet Installation
Installing outdoor carpet is a much simpler process than installing the wall to wall carpet you find inside. It is stuck to the desired surface using either a commercial adhesive or double-sided tape. Both methods require very few tools. The double-sided tape method requires little more than a utility knife and a measuring tape. Ask for instructions when you purchase the carpet or look them up on line. Either way, the job is literally cut and paste!
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.