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My new studio space is carpeted


I just moved into a new rental property and my studio space is
carpeted. Ugh! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how best to
deal with this issue? Should I lay boards down over the carpet?
Something else that would make it easier for me to roll my chair
around and pick up little bits of metal that fall? Suggestions,

Amy Bishop

When I built my shop I had poured concrete floors that I covered

It’s that really short, commercial carpet and no pad. And it’s glued
to the floor.

It’s very easy to keep clean and nice to crawl around on when I drop

I was sizing up a white gold ring the other night and I had a bit
too much tension holding in the little piece that I was soldering.
When I added heat it shot far away, but I was able to find it easily
by the little wisp of smoke and the smell.

When I’m ready to retire I’ll have the carpet refined.

Hi Amy,

I’m in the same boat. I put down a couple of sheets of 1/4" tempered
masonite right over the carpet. Works great, but you have to get the
tempered stuff. The softer version comes apart in about a year.
(found that out the hard way once.) Seal the joints with duct-tape.


When I had a similar situation I put a 4’x8’ sheet of 1/4" masonite
down on the carpet to protect it.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

Get a couple of sheets of 1/2" MDF and lay them down. If you want to
get fancy, put a couple of coats of polyurethane on them to make them
smoother and non-absorbent. If you are an aggressive chair scooter
(like me) you will eventually crack them and have to replace them,
but as such they are pretty cheap. If you really want to get deluxe,
get a couple of metal joiner plates to screw the sheets together at
the edges…

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL

I have big thick under-the-desk plastic mats for carpet, in my area.
Though, stuff with often bounce off the mat and roll into the nearby
carpet. The mats have grips/spikes and prevent me tripping on them.


harbor freight sells 4 packs of faom panels that lock together for
between 8 and 10 dollars a pack. each 4 pc. set covers, i think 15
sq. ft. I use them near my bench and grinding areas and metal saw
connecting each area by the blocks too. I taped the seams to prevent
metal bits and dust from getting in the openings and they have lasted
over 2 years each pack with little cushioning under them. The chair
at the bench leaves impressions but its not a big deal… I looked at
kitchen (restaurant) mats, and though i had them in restaurants I
owned, they are expensive but comfortable for standing long periods-
they can’t be sent to a refinery easily though and in cleaning them
you would loose a lot of scrap. that’s why i went with the HF mats-
they can be vacuumed and the contents sent to a refiner (the silicone
or rubber mats tend to hold metal dust and bits strongly), and swept
daily between vacuuming… even if you don’t tape the seams (say you
want to move them around) dust tends to settle where the parts meet
and cleaning up is easy. It’s the lowest cost solution I’ve found.
You may check craig’s list for an executive desk mat that fits under
a desk or check out office depot- they tend to be clear but thin but
allow chairs to roll over the one piece mat, however they are easily
scratched by metal bits, and hot metal goes through them easily (the
cheap HF foam as well will melt down with stray molten metal
beads)… I chose the HF mats because the replacement cost is easy to
afford and the grey colour hides alot !..rer

Amy- Go to Office Depot or Staples and get those plastic rug guards
that go under office furniture. I used them when I had a carpeted
studio. They work pretty well. I used a few and duct taped them
together. Do save all your vacuum bags from the rest of the area
that you don’t cover for refining.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Sheets of 1/8" Masonite, tape the edges together.


Roll up a small corner and see what is underneath If the surface
below is suitable maybe contact your landlord and ask can you lift it
on the premise that it is kept safe for when/if you move and it can
be put down again

I have big thick under-the-desk plastic mats for carpet, in my
area. Though, stuff with often bounce off the mat and roll into the
nearby carpet. 

I wanted to add that, having been a bench jeweler for 30 something
years, I’ve dropped quite a few little pieces of metal and melee,
and having a concrete or tile floor under me for most of those years,
decided that I was tired of losing stuff to the trolls who live in
dark places in my shop. The carpet prevents bouncing and I’ve also
tapered the floors up to the walls (like in an ER) and ran the
carpet abit above that, and sealed the top with silicon. Here’s a

The red lines show where the floor line and the wall line is. I also
installed a florescent light under my desk.

amy bishop -

my workshop is also carpeted and under my rolling drafting stool at
my work table is one of those office desk floor protectors - you
know, the big clear plastic ones. when i drop something i can
generally hear which direction it went for retrieval from the bounce
sound. plus the stool wheels roll easily.


Re your carpeted work space, you can buy mats sold in places like
Staples or Office Depot which are used in offices under rolling
chairs. Or look for remnants of vinyl flooring in bargain stores or
ask at flooring outlets. But remember, things bounce! Especially on a
firm surface. They can go quite far, and can roll. Good luck.

N Katsu

Had the same problem, carpeted studio space. Bought 5 large plastic
desk mats at office supply store. They have little knobs on one side
that dig into the carpet. Just layered them end to end. Some I had
to cut a little with a large shear. But once down it works like a
charm and is easy keep clean.

Good luck.
Sigi Eurich


I’m so happy to read your solution. That’s what I thought of for my
own living room morphing into a silversmithing studio. Now I’d better
be careful when soldering that I don’t drop anything. Hot metal on
plastic sounds messy.


Hi - have you seen those chair mats/rugs made of bamboo? They’re
slatted, but easier to retrieve pieces/parts than random boards would
be, and they have a slimmer profile, so you wouldn’t fall over if
your chair rolled off. I’d get a couple! Check out

or just google ‘bamboo rug’ - check out your local Craigslist as well
(you can enter your search term on and it will notify you
so you don’t have to keep checking).

Hope this helps!
Susan “Sam” Kaffine

True not a good idea to drop hot metal on plastic. The plastic is
very sturdy so and I got only like two slightly messy spots. So don’t
worry, it’s sort of like linoleum flooring.


I know I’m late in replying to this but I had the same problem with
the added difficulty of a lack of funds. What I did was buy one of
those large rolls of vinyl flooring from my local home center, laid
it out over the carpet, cut it to size, taped the edges slightly up
the wall and voila, carpet problem gone. I’ve dropped hot metal on it
and while it does leave a burn mark, I’ve yet to have it burn
through. It’s a bit bouncy but the chair still moves along rather
more smoothly than the carpet alone.

I’ve also dropped crystals, gems, etc. and they bounce, but just a
little. It’s rather easy to find them. I chose a vinyl with as little
pattern as possible so it’s easier to find things. Best thing is wire
doesn’t get caught in the carpet anymore and it’s easy to vacuum the
area that isn’t covered. Yes, I save the vacuum bags but will wonder
how many cats the refiners will get out of it when I’m ready to send
it to them in a year or two. LOL My cats own my studio.