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Are there any plastic covers (or protectors or films) available that are more for long term (like about a year) as opposed to the short-term ones that last only 30-60 days.

We're about to rent a place, and the landlord has "no stains on carpet" demand. Since most of us are always at home and there are people who would certainly take food/drinks to their rooms, we are left with no choice but to cover up the carpet.

Yes, there are cleaning solutions available, but they are usually effective if you use them right away. Some of these people would completely forget about it for weeks.

Please understand that it can not be too costly. We'll there for a year or two, and we can not justify spending $500 for this cause.

Feel free to get creative. It does not have to be plastic, as long as food/spills don't reach the carpet.

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You could use a tarp? Or maybe just make a rule "No food in the living room"? –  DA01 Jul 23 '13 at 13:50
    
@DA01 I'm seriously considering using a tarp now, so if you were being sarcastic or if using a tarp poses any health hazard, let me know! –  user1831003 Jul 29 '13 at 1:34
    
Nah, perplexed, perhaps. But not sarcastic. Tarps are awesome. –  DA01 Jul 29 '13 at 2:04
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2 Answers

If your soon-to-be-landlord is already making unreasonable demands, I would reconsider your choice to rent with them. Minor carpet staining from traffic is considered to be "wear and tear" in most states, as well as scuffing of the walls and other things that result from simply living in a space.

Unless you're a group of college kids (to which, I could understand creating some fear so that people don't go party-crazy), a "no stains period" policy is unlikely to be legally binding, however, that is a question for a lawyer. Personally, if those are the types of demands the landlord is making, I would go into your lease expecting a bill for every single thing that should be considered "wear and tear". I've often rejected apartments simply because the landlord has alluded to charging for repairs before I have even moved in.

As for a permanent wall-to-wall covering, I can't think of anything permanent that would would suffer the wear, be water tight, and especially fit a tight budget. If you are set on this rental, I would consider putting your money toward regular professional carpet cleanings and before moving out, and the purchase of some spot-treatment carpet cleaners for when the inevitable spill does occur.

Finally, if you can't trust your roommates or their guests to share/respect your concerns for the carpet, you're going to be disappointed.

-My 2 cents

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If you really want to do this then I would call around to a few flooring places and ask about laminate rolls. They will often have some left over from jobs and probably would sell for less than 25 cents a square foot - you could also look on craigslist for the same thing. Maybe someone will give these to you - they have little scrap value.

This seems like a LOT of work though and I probably gave you the least labor intensive option. Also you would have to worry about where the plastic or laminate meets the carpets. If you laid things down then people get careless. They spill something. It hits a seam. Then you have a spilled substance sitting there for a long time. Have you thought about the entire house drinking only white wine, light beer, water, and sprite?

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+1 for white wine vs. red! –  DA01 Jul 23 '13 at 19:02
    
I could see doing the living room but every room would be a huge job. And I only drink red wine. –  DMoore Jul 23 '13 at 19:06
    
Can you post a picture of the laminae floor that you speak of? The ones I'm looking at seem really thin. –  user1831003 Jul 29 '13 at 22:56
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