How do you provide wall-to-wall flooring from forest to palace? If you’re looking for a low-cost solution for castle playroom floors, try carpet squares.
At this point in the castle playroom series on Kenarry, we’ve painted the castle’s stone walls and added an enchanted woodland mural. My next step was to determine what to use for the castle playroom floors. While the paint on the walls gives a visual difference between the castle space and the woodland area, I also wanted the flooring we chose to help define the different spaces in the playroom. Here were our requirements:
- We needed to either use two different colors or materials to differentiate the floor of the castle from the floor of the woodlands.
- Together, the woodland and castle playroom floors are only 68 square feet, so we didn’t need a huge quantity.
- We wanted the flooring to be fairly inexpensive since children would be playing on it.
- To help keep the project costs down, we wanted to install the flooring ourselves.
Options for Castle Playroom Floors
Based on our requirements, we explored several different options for the castle playroom floors:
- First, we considered using inexpensive hardwood flooring, but thought it would be too hard for a playroom.
- We also thought about using interlocking garage floor tiles or the kind of interlocking tiles designed for playrooms. They even have interlocking floor tiles that look like wood grain. Interlocking floor tiles could have worked, but we couldn’t figure out how we’d cut them to make them fit appropriately in the playroom space. We were also concerned the kids could easily pull the interlocking floor tiles up and create a big mess during their castle playroom adventures.
- We looked at carpet remnants, but most of those were too large and unwieldy for a small project like ours.
- We finally settled on carpet squares for the castle playroom floors. Carpet squares come in a variety of colors and sizes. They’re easy to install and easy to replace if one gets damaged. Carpet squares can also be purchased in small quantities.
There are many great sources for carpet squares online. Many of them want you to order an entire case, though. We found better pricing in the clearance section of a local carpet dealer. We secured the best deal, though, by contacting a local interior design company. We emailed them explaining the details of our project and asked if they have anything in small quantities leftover from other jobs. To our delight, they responded quickly and said they had leftover materials and single tiles they had ordered in as samples. The best part — they would only charge us $2.00 for each 24″ square tile. I hurried over there as quickly as I could.
The interior design company had a few dozen black tiles and a dozen or so brown tiles. They also had an assortment of tiles in grey colors, but only one or two of each pattern. I thought the assorted tiles could coordinate to make a creative and whimsical checkerboard. I bought enough for our project plus a few extras just in case. When I got home, I laid out all the carpet squares in our family room to get a glimpse of how the castle playroom floors may look.
Installing the Castle Playroom Floors
What you need:
- Carpet squares
- Utility knife
- A metal T-square
- Carpet tape – We used 3M Heavy-Duty Outdoor Carpet Tape, based on the advice of a guy at our local hardware store. Though the castle playroom floors are inside, he said the outdoor tape would be better for affixing it to our concrete basement floor.
- Saw (optional)
1. Cut the tiles to the size you need. The tiles we bought were 24″ square. To create a checkerboard effect in the castle, I wanted them to be much smaller. We tried cutting them in half with a utility knife and a metal T-square. That method was time consuming, tedious and uneven. Kent had the brilliant idea of cutting them in half using his table saw. What a time saver! He measured and marked the back of each tile, then cut them along his lines. It created some rough edges and made the squares a little smaller than 12 inches. The smaller size didn’t bother me and the rough edges were easy enough to fix with a pair of scissors.
2. Determine a strategy for laying your tiles. We knew most people would only view the carpet from the doorway, so to keep the tiles visually straight we worked from the back to the front of the castle. We laid them out on the floor to approximate where they’d go and defined the pattern for the checkerboard. We then determined where the first whole tile should go. We cut the carpet tape into 1.5-2 inch strips. We used 8 pieces of tape to affix each tile to the floor, one in the middle of each side and one on each corner. We centered each piece of tape over the edge of the tile so the next tile we laid could share some of the tape from the first tile. When we placed the next tile, we pushed it as close to the first tile as we could.
We repeated the process along the back of the castle playroom. When we reached the edge, we measured and cut tiles as necessary to fill the remaining space.
We worked our way to the far back corner of the castle playroom under the stairs until we’d filled every square inch with checkerboard.
Laying carpet tile on concrete in a short space was hard on our backs. By the end both Kent and I were dog tired, as was our four-legged supervisor:
I must admit, the checkerboard floor is one of my favorite parts of the entire playroom. I love how it turned out and am thankful Kent went along with my vision.
Once we finished the checkerboard, we installed the brown woodland floor. The carpet squares for the woodland floor were all the same color, so we were able to use the 24″ square carpet tiles as is. We only had to cut when we got to the edges to make the final tiles fit. We affixed the woodland floor to the concrete using the same carpet tape technique we did with the checkerboard castle floor. We just used more of it since the tiles were bigger.
For the woodlands, we started laying the tiles closest to the door first and worked our way back toward the castle. We knew there would be about a 3-inch gap once all the brown woodland floors were laid. We filled the gap using two long 3-inch wide pieces of the black carpet leftover from the castle’s carpet squares. It worked out perfectly as this long piece of carpet acts as a threshold to the castle entrance and helps further differentiate between the two spaces.
All-in-all, we’re thrilled with our choice for the castle playroom floors. The carpet squares are durable, provide color and give the distinction we wanted between the castle and the woodland floors. At only 50 cents a square foot, the price was perfect too!
Next in this series, we’ll share how we created a curtain to be the entrance to the castle. If you’d like, you can subscribe to Kenarry to follow along with our castle playroom series over the next few weeks. You’ll get an e-mail in your in-box every time we publish a new castle playroom post, so you don’t miss a thing.
Previous in the Castle Playroom Series on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home
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