Re-Using Carpet Tiles in a Garden Shed: A Case Study

The virtues of carpet tiles, from a sustainability point of view, have been examined in a number of articles on this site. Here we look at a real life example where a committed recycler used surplus carpet tiles from an office to make a garden shed and summerhouse more comfortable.

Split Personality Garden Shed

Derek Wardley* was looking for something to carpet the floor of his shed. “There was going to be a ‘dirty’ end where I would store my tools and gardening bits and pieces, and a ‘clean’ end which would be more a sort of summer house for us to relax in and watch the sun go down,” he explained.

“I decided to divide the shed in two and make the division a real one, using a stud partition,” he continued, “unfortunately when the shed went up I lost the argument about where the wall should go and I only ended up with a third of it for my dirty end.

“Anyway, I wanted to insulate the summerhouse end at least, because the idea was to use it to extend the amount of time we can spend in the garden. If we could insulate the shed and perhaps put some heating in it then we would be able to enjoy the garden earlier and later in the year, and in the early evening.”

The Office Turns Up Trumps

Derek initially didn’t think that carpet would be a good idea, but then his wife mentioned that there were quite a few boxes of carpet tiles in a cupboard at her work. A quick check showed that they were spares to be used as replacement tiles, but the tiles that they matched were no longer in the office, having been completely replaced some years ago.

As Derek’s wife was the manager of the company she made the decision that they were no longer required and brought the home. They were of two different patterns, one a blue/grey mottled pattern and the other two shades of blue, so they worked well together when laid down in a chessboard pattern.

Carpet Tiles Turn Out to be a Good Choice

“I was sceptical at first, but they do work well,” Derek said, “and they would have been thrown away if we hadn’t found a use for them. There’s enough for the dirty end too and although I wasn’t convinced about carpet in that section, it does feel warmer in the winter.

“As the tiles are commercial grade, they are robust and are easy to clean. The tiles can be picked up, taken outside and cleaned with a hose and a brush if they get dirty,” he added.

Sustainability is the Key

Of course, the main point about carpet tiles is that the ones that take the heaviest wear can be swapped with those which haven’t had such heavy usage. With an ordinary carpet the whole lot would have to be thrown away as soon as one part became threadbare or old.

But using any carpet in a summerhouse isn’t likely to give a lot of wear anyway. “We only walk in, sit down, then walk out again,” Derek said, “so I’m expecting these to last a long time. And I’ve got about half a dozen of each left over in case there’s an emergency!”

* names have been changed