Last Updated: February 14, 2023, by: Jamie Sandford
Weather resistant carpets for use outdoors, or durable indoor outdoor carpets and rugs are a great low cost choice for those looking to spruce up their patio, deck, pool or other outside space. And while exterior carpet is cheap that doesn’t mean it lacks style, gone are the days of the scratchy, unattractive green mat that used to define this type of carpet. Outdoor rugs in particular come in some very trendy and funky designs these days and can be a great accent for an outdoor space.
You will find a large range of styles, textures and colors designed to mimic the kind of carpets and rugs you love inside your home, but with the benefit of being tough enough to deal with outside conditions. Easy to maintain, easy to install and above all easily affordable, these are the clear advantages of indoor outdoor carpets and rugs.
INDOOR OUTDOOR CARPET BUYING GUIDE
It’s worth pointing out the difference between indoor/outdoor carpet and straight forward marine outdoor carpet. Marine carpet, as the name suggests, is really suited to wet conditions and is primarily used on boats and around docks etc. It doesn’t offer much aesthetically, but does hold up well in unprotected outdoor situations, so might be an option around an open air swimming pool.
Indoor outdoor carpet, again as the name suggests, works as flooring that you can easily transition from an interior space to an exterior one. So, say, from a conservatory to a patio or porch. Most high quality indoor outdoor carpet is made from 100% polypropylene which has been UV stabilized a synthetic fiber which is both mold and fade resistant. Note the word resistant, if left completely exposed to the elements this carpet will degrade after time. Furthermore the better quality indoor/outdoor carpets have a higher/thicker pile and can hold water more easily; therefore they really work best in an exterior but covered environment. This type of carpet should still have a marine waterproof backing.
When buying indoor outdoor carpet consider the following options:
Carpet or artificial grass? – Artificial grass has come a long way since the days of the dreaded bristly green mats typically found at a driving range! Manufacturing advancements have led to a wealth of choice with artificial grass carpets that mimic all kinds of real grass.
Outdoor carpet roll or caret tile or rug – This is self-explanatory – just as you would for interior carpet you will need to decide between buying your outdoor carpet in rolls, as tiles or buying a rug to add a dash of style to your floor.
Styles – The most common styles of indoor outdoor carpet are loop and needle punch. Needle punch carpet has a firmer more mat like appearance while outdoor loop carpets are styled to look more like traditional indoor carpet like Berber.
INDOOR OUTDOOR CARPET INSTALLATION GUIDE
Most indoor outdoor carpet tiles come with self-adhesive strips on the back and can be quickly and easily laid wherever you need them. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the surface you are putting them on.
Similarly outdoor rugs can just be laid where you want them, but you might want to consider placing an outdoor rug pad underneath them to help keep them in place, provide extra cushioning and for protection.
Rolls of indoor outdoor carpet are also fairly easy to install. If DIY is not your thing, or if you would like to know what you could save by doing the work yourself, then click here for a free installation quote from a local professional installer. A light weight carpet roll would need just double sided adhesive tape while higher grade more dense carpet requires gluing down with an outdoor floor adhesive.
INDOOR OUTDOOR CARPET PRICE GUIDE
The more stylish and durable the carpet or rug the more it will cost, but even top of the range indoor outdoor carpet will be considerably cheaper to buy and install than all other outdoor and patio flooring options.
Installation Price – The cost of installing outdoor indoor carpet professionally will range between $1 and $2 per square foot depending on where you live.
Outdoor Rug Prices – There’s a really great range of outdoor rugs from simple and subtle colors and patterns to eye catching and bold designer rugs. Prices start as low as $20 and run as high as $1000 for a really high end rug.
Outdoor Carpet Prices – Whether you are buying by the roll or installing carpet tiles you will be able to find an outdoor indoor carpets option that suits your needs and budget from between 50 cents and $2.50 per square foot.
INDOOR OUTDOOR CARPTE CLEANING GUIDE
The whole point of indoor outdoor carpets and rugs is that they are tough and durable. They are great for high traffic areas and can handle most outdoor weather conditions. Of course that does not mean that they will clean themselves and they will need intermittent care and maintenance.
For dust and debris a robust hoover will work just as well on exterior carpets and rugs as they do indoors. For stronger stains like food or oil, spot cleaning with warm water and washing liquid or detergent, works well. Should you discover any mold or mildew then water and bleach should do the trick, start with a mild solution in an inconspicuous area if possible. Often simply hosing down your carpet or rug will do the job.
Please note that these cleaning tips work for most outdoor carpets and rugs but you MUST read the cleaning label that comes with the product as some surfaces may need more gentle care.
If you’re searching for more information on interior carpet and rug flooring take a look at our Carpet & Rug Buying Guide.
MORE INDOOR OUTDOOR RUG AND CARPET IDEAS
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About the Author: Jamie Sandford
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 12 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction, followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business, he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-over complicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”