'R' for Rugs Basement

Possible Rugs for the Basement

Our cats are jerks. They’ve destroyed the black and white striped rugs in the basement.

Violet pees on them, Mabel poops, and Kili throws up. It’s quite the trio we have! (Jerks.) Mercifully, they’ve left the rest of the house alone. I assume that because their litter boxes are down there, they view the entire basement as free reign. We tried our best to salvage the rugs, cleaning them and dousing them in dubious pet stain removers, but they’re a lost cause at this point. We considered having them professionally cleaned as a last resort, but the rugs were cheap, the cleaning would cost nearly as much as new ones, and it would be a lost cause anyway.

The basement floor is painted concrete, so I’d like to still have rugs down there, but we need something indestructible. Either carpet tiles that can be removed for washing (or replaced), or an outdoor rug that can be scrubbed and hosed down every so often. Here are some that I’m considering.

  1. Parallel Beauty Carpet Tiles
    Probably my favorite of the bunch, especially for the play room side of the basement. They’re graded for contract use, so they should hold up, but I’m not sure. I may need to go check these out in person.

  2. Trimaran Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug
    Neutral, safe. Not bad, but not terribly exiting or inspired.

  3. Chevron Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug
    The lease expensive option, but I wonder if I’m over bringing more chevron into the house. We already have a zigzag rug in the living room.

  4. Kitchen Sink Indoor/Outdoor Rug
    I like this one a lot, up close, but I’m not sure about it from farther back.

  5. Negril Indoor/Outdoor Rug
    I like that the pink is so prominent, but I don’t think the colors would play well with the basement’s olive green floor.

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  • Nadia
    May 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I like 1 the best too and 2 is my second fav. But if the cats are going to crap all over them what about those Flor tiles? You can lift up an individual one and wash it thoroughly in the sink or tub. Otherwise it seems like in a few months you will have the same problem all over again.

    • Nadia
      May 14, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Any big rug will be such a pain to lug outside and clean, and would you really want to in the dead of winter? (I do have reading comprehension, I swear)

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I worry that they’ll go to town on those Flor tiles though, and we’d have to wash 50 of them individually, or replace a whole bunch. The indoor/outdoor options are essentially plastic, and the won’t hold on to lingering yuckiness like the carpet tiles might.

      • Danielle
        May 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

        We have the Flor tiles as rugs in our home in several rooms and I have to say, it was the best option for us! Our cats still have claws so we got the cut pile tiles, so you can see where they have clawed. We have a loop rug and they have destroyed it. The same with Jute. They have been puked on, peed on, etc, and hold up sooo well! They also clean so easily!! I hubby even spilled red pop on them and it washed right out.

      • jessica
        May 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

        I’ve had the Flor tiles for the last 6 years and they have held up amazingly well. I have a few from their outlet section in the basement that were only like $4.99 a tile. (http://www.flor.com/flor-outlet.html) Upstairs we have some nicer ones that were in the $16/tile range and all have come under fire of cats, dogs, babies, and toddlers. I even left a strip I had by the backdoor outside all winter where it lived under snow and ice for 7 months. No harm came to it at all.

        I can’t recommend them enough. I rinse them off and have never had to replace a single one.

    • Jaimie
      May 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

      I have Flor tiles in my living room for my dogs. Or I should say I had. Our foster dog loved peeing all over it when we first brought her home, and it is a huge pain to pull up one, wait a day or two for it to dry, then try to get it back into place without having to move all of the surrounding tiles too.
      Just FYI. They look great, come in lots of color options, and are easy to clean… just not easy to put back in place.

      • Making it Lovely
        May 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

        That’s kind of what I’m afraid of. I’ve never taken my dining room Flor tiles apart, and it kind of seems like a pain.

  • Kate
    May 14, 2012 at 8:51 am

    My vote is for #1 (the FLOR tiles) especially since you are having problems with your animals leaving presents on your rug…I have FLOR tiles in 4 areas of my house and they are great for people with dogs/cats/clumsy people who spill. Whenever I find anything on the carpet, I remove the tile in question and take it outside to hose/scrub it off and let it dry. It is so much easier than trying to spot clean a rug inside!

  • Connie @ Daydream In Color
    May 14, 2012 at 8:59 am

    My vote goes to #1! I love it. So colorful & fun!

  • Kayla
    May 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

    This post is so appropriate for me this morning…but not because I’m in the market for a new rug…but because our three cats are being jerks lately! We’ve never really had a *bathroom* issue with them before, but over the past 2 – 3 months, someone has been urinating in the house…mostly in my fiance’s shoes, but also some other weird corners of the house (stacks of important papers, a friends overnight bag, etc).

    I know you are chalking up your issue mostly to the proximity of the rugs to the litter box, but I’m curious if you are going to try anything more drastic to alter your kitties’ behaviors? We just had another *issue* when we woke up this morning and so I’m fully scouring the internet to find some advice on how to deal with this…my fiance is getting close to his last straw…

    And to keep it light – I love #1 rug too :-)

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

      We’ve tried everything. The cats have all been to the vet to rule out medical issues, and it’s almost certainly in response to the kids.

  • Ariane
    May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Ahh it’s nice to know that my furry minions are not the only jerks out there. There is nothing quite like cat sick or a dismembered mouse to start the day :P

  • Jessie
    May 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I love the first one. The colors are great!!!

  • Giulia
    May 14, 2012 at 9:17 am

    We had the same issue with our cat that now passed away. We found that any carpet that had wool in it would attract him and the worst was seagrass or sisal as it felt too much like outdoors.
    We also found that he was really not keen on sharing his litter box (large one) with our other cat. Once we added another litter box and changed to this litter: http://www.worldsbestcatlitter.com/ he stopped.
    Also, I agree with reader above – have they always been doing this or has a change occurred that they don’t like, ie. do they do this since August was born, or your husband is home, or have you changed their diet?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Tried that. Tried a cat litter designed specifically for “problem” cats. Tried adding a litter box to the corner that was getting the worst of it. We have four litter boxes for three cats. Nothing we’ve done has worked.

      The cats’ behavior is in response to Eleanor and August. The worst offender is Violet. She’d probably be happier in a home without small children.

  • Erika
    May 14, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I clicked on the link to see the pic of your cats, and they are beautiful – sorry they have been misbehaving!

    It seems carpet tiles would be the best for cleaning, replacing, etc., but I love the colors in those outdoor rugs!

  • Carolyn
    May 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’ve found that washing our vintage wool rugs as well as modern rugs in the bathtub with Woolite to work wonders. Then I spread the rug out in the driveway to dry in the sun. Also, have you checked the Swedish plastic rugs at Scandinavian Design Center online http://www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com/Products/usd0/Scandinavian_Carpets/Brita+Sweden+carpets? You can take them outside and spray them off as well. Good luck!

  • julie.
    May 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I have indoor/outdoor rugs for area rugs in my basement and they are great. I can haul them up to the backyard once a year for a hosedown and don’t have to worry about humidity or anything. I have flor tiles in my family room and my cat is a puker and they are a real pain to pry up and wash. The flor “dots” lose their stickiness after one use so you need to put new ones down each time you clean a tile, or use carpet tape or something…

  • Kate
    May 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Love all selected and also have to agree that the cats will probably have their way with the new replacement carpet. Personally, I could never have any pattern rug in the basement since I am always finding those creepy jumping camelback crickets! Easier to spot (throw shoe at) on my oatmeal colored berber. I would be a basket case looking for them on a patterned carpet!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Eek, we’re lucky to not get bugs. Or maybe our cats eat them? It would be nice to think they’re good for something.

  • Victoria
    May 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I love love love the Flor rug – we have been on the hunt for a rug that would stand up to one barfy cat and one destroyer cat (no matter how short I keep her claws- she will dig and pull at anything,).. I ordered samples of all 6 color ways of the Paralell Reality and have had them down on my living room floor for a couple of weeks now!. So far they have collected a lot of hair (but that is easy to vacuume) and neither cat has been able to stain or otherwise hurt them. The husband has decided he likes all the colors, except rainbow, so we are going to do a similar multi version!

  • my honest answer
    May 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I vote number 5! I think it will look great with the basement floor.

  • Anna
    May 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Have you seen Pappelina’s rugs? They’re woven from strips of recycled plastic (don’t knock it untill you’ve seen them – they are really gorgeous!) and are great for any area around the house that may need to be ‘whipe-able’. They come in a large range of colours, patterns and sizes too. I’m sure you can find stockists on their website (www.pappelina.se – they’re Swedish) but I know Just Scandinavian in NYC stock them!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

      No, I hadn’t seen them before. Thanks.

  • Lynn
    May 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

    All cute options. I have #4 (kitchen sink) in my kitchen and I LOVE it. Very cute and durable. I have the runner in front of my sink and the 2×3 at the side door. Very happy with them.

  • Joy
    May 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I love #4.

  • Naomi
    May 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I have found FLOR tiles are huge pet fur magnets. I won’t buy them again as much as I like many of the patterns. We would have to vacuum at least twice a day ideally to keep ours fur-free

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

      That’s true. I suppose it must depend on which type you get, but we have them in the dining room and they attract fur like crazy.

      • Kathryn Humphreys
        May 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        We had one previously that did, our current styles (velvet twist I think and botanical) do not at all.

  • Megan
    May 14, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Honestly, I wouldn’t get carpet because the cats will do the exact same thing – replacing it with basically the same thing would be throwing your money away. What about trying some foam-like tiles or a cork rug? I also like other people’s suggestions of plastic material rugs. It may not be as soft as carpet, but at least it would give some protection from the concrete and would be easier to clean. Good luck!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

      That’s why I thought getting a plastic (indoor/outdoor) rug would be good, or removable, washable carpet tiles.

  • Brook
    May 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I can’t say anything positive about putting a carpet where cats have already decided they’re going to pee, but option 1 is so pretty. If you’re determined to have a rug, you might try dousing it in cat pheromones, (Feliway is one brand.) I’ve kept my cat (a vengeful pisser if there ever was one) from ruining small doormats by keeping them attractive to her with pheromones and catnip.

    If you can’t give up on having a soft surface in the play area, switching over to industrial anti-fatigue mats is something that you should look into. My cat won’t even walk on the ones with the large holes in them, and she loves the squishy ones just to sit on. She’d never pee on either. (Seriously, she has shown anger by digging socks out of the laundry and then peeing on them, rather than just anger-pee on those mats.)

  • Kathryn Humphreys
    May 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I wanted rugs for our basement as well and was surprised when my kids vetoed the idea. They liked having a space they could slide in socks in, shoot cars around and ride on the plasma car. We compromised and I have a rug in the TV area and a big open space with out one.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

      I didn’t think of that. Maybe just on my studio side then? I assumed it would be nicer to have something at least somewhat soft underfoot, but the smooth surface might be more fun for the kiddos. And I may or may not have practiced some skating maneuvers down there a few times.

  • Christina W.
    May 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

    #1 is gorgeous! #2 is also really pretty but I can see what you mean about not very exciting. Two out of my three cats are peeers, but only one does it vindictively. The other one is just very, very stupid (much as I love him). He has twice ruined entire baskets of laundry because vague box shape + soft filling = new litterbox friend! Yay!

  • Wendy
    May 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

    No matter which carpet option you end up choosing, get a SpotBot (http://www.bissell.com/spotbot-pet/)! I bought one a couple of months ago because my cat has hyperthyroidism and vomits a couple of times a month. This thing will seriously change your life. And if you use one of those 20% off coupons at Bed, Bath & Beyond, the $150 price drops down to $120. When I bought mine, Bissell also was running a $20 rebate offer, so mine ended up being $100. Seriously, this gadget is the best purchase I’ve made in years. And no, I’m no affiliated with Bissell in any way. Just mom to Little Miss Pukey Paws. ; )

  • Amelia @ House Pretty
    May 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I completely sympathize! Our adopted dog was trained to pee in the house (thanks original owners!) and still views the living room rug as a bathroom. We lost one, expensive rug to the problem and recently removed a second, inexpensive outdoor rug just because we got tired of cleaning it (though at least it could withstand the wear and tear). I hate not having a living room rug, but am still debating when and what to bring into the room, so thanks for sharing and good luck with your search!

  • Michelle
    May 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

    How often to you clean the litter box? I bet once one cat uses it the others don’t want to : )

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      We have four of them, and they do it even after they’ve all been completely cleaned with the litter switched out.

  • misa
    May 14, 2012 at 11:08 am

    we’ve had FLOR tiles as rugs in our living and dining room for the past year (we have three cats and two dogs), and they are the BEST! throw-up stains wipe up with just a wet paper towel, and you can buy a couple of extra tiles in case one get ruined (and not lose the whole rug). strongly recommended!

  • Jaimie
    May 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I’m wondering how many litterboxes you have, and maybe that’s part of the issue? I only have one cat and she’s content with one litter box, but I hear some cats need their own box when living in multiples, and my neighbor’s cat actually needs two – one for pee and one for poo (she’s also super old, and this is a new thing she’s picked up in her golden years). Maybe that’s part of the issue, at least for the two. Sorry I can’t suggest anything for the vomiting….

    • lea
      May 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

      She mentioned in the comments that she has four litter boxes for three cats.

      I don’t know how you handle all that, Nicole!

  • Alisa from California
    May 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

    What is so funny… About a week ago I was going to ping you and ask you to do a post about how you handle your animals and still keep a tidy house. I have three dogs and two cats, and the cat and dog are having a peeing contest in one corner of the house. It doesn’t happen often, but the vet said most likely it is in response to an animal that lived in the house before that even we can’t smell… Regardless, I’m ready to ship them both off to the pet-sanitarium!

  • Jerith
    May 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

    We adopted a dog last year who decided our living room rug was her potty. It was a polypropelene indoor/outdoor rug and although you can wash them off, the polypropelene really soaked up the smell and it never quite came out. We tried everything you can imagine.

    I would suggest painting a rug on the floor, but I imagine you are going for the texture and softness over the look and division of space?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Uh oh. Maybe they’re out then. I assumed that we could just spot clean as needed and hose the whole thing down every so often, but if they absorb the smell, that’s out.

      And yes, we wanted rugs more for a softer texture, not just the look. I painted a rug on our front porch for the look though, and I still love it.

  • Shelley Torgerson
    May 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    We have three cats and they sometimes pee outside of the litter boxes in our basement too. We have found that the best way to stop them is to wipe it up and then use nothing but Nature’s Miracle on the spot. I also bought one of those pump garden sprayers and sprayed the entire basement floor with the Natures Miracle just to make sure there was no “left over” smell from our cats or previous owners animals. It has worked really well for us.

    Also, we have a Dash and Albert runner in our kitchen and we love it. It’s so easy to clean. Also fur doesn’t stick to it at all. (and we have two dogs and three cats) My opinion would be to go with an outdoor rug or no rug at all. The carpet tiles would be too hard to really get clean enough to make sure the cats can’t still smell the urine.

    Good luck!

    • Christina W.
      May 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

      I can attest to the power of a small scrub brush and Nature’s Miracle.

  • Cara Crowley
    May 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve purchase 3 indoor/outdoor rugs from Ballard Designs and have loved them! I use them all over my house since I live in a small space and each space tends to get lots of traffic from kids and pets. They are easy to spot clean or even take out into the backyard to hose off and they dry very quickly.

  • Chloe's Mom
    May 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I think the outdoor rug would be the best too. I’ve had cats in the past, and once they find a spot, it’s always going to be their spot. No amount of clear, product, training, etc will make them stop going there :(

  • Chloe's Mom
    May 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    **of cleaning, sorry, cant type today

  • Eugenia
    May 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I enjoyed the comments from all you cat owners. Why do we put up with puking, incontinent creatures that destroy our furniture? My kitten punched several of our plants to death and destroyed an arm of our new sofa, and my older one barfs on my shoes. But I love them anyway. Sigh.

  • casacaudill
    May 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    We have a similar story. Dakota has always been a challenge in the litter box department. As she gets older it just gets worse. It’s so embarrassing to have people over to our house because she uses THE LIVING ROOM & DINING ROOM as her drop zones. We started with a heavy duty rug cleaner but that didn’t work. We had to get rid of our nice, expensive rugs. We went with FLOR tiles. Yeah, those buggers trapped the scent like crazy. We were so hopeful. Alas …

    Now we’re on to cheap Home Depot rugs that I don’t really care about + the industrial cleaner. We do our rugs every couple of weeks. It’s not perfect, but it is what it is. She’s 13 and won’t be around much longer so we’ve decided to just stick with this option; however, I’d never considered an indoor/outdoor rug. That could be an option.

  • tracy
    May 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I love that you started “our cats are jerks” SO ARE MINE. Good luck in the rug search. I’ll be looking fwd to seeing what you figure out…one day I’ll be able to move my fur shag rug back into the house…if my cats wouldn’t be such dicks.

  • Kate
    May 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    My dog peed everywhere, he was a real jerk too! I highly recommend you get a Bissell Spot Bot. Best.contraption.ever. It has completely removed old set in dog pee stains! Its also much much cheaper than paying someone to come clean your carpets…. And it did a better job!

  • Brenda
    May 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Ohhh I am a cat lover as well and so agree with the Natures Miracle to neutralize the soiled area rugs…..I have a multicat household with one extra litter box above the # of cats, instead of official covered boxes I use Rubbermaid under the bed bins. They are larger as well as cheaper, cats are funny little things, some hate to be in a covered pan and some just need the extra space. I own 6 cats ranging from 1 to 17 years old [Insane I know] and never have a problem with litter box avoidance.
    Sometimes it is beneficial to seal the hard surface of the floor with a shellac based BIN or equivalent before putting on a top coat, the urine will leave a scent for cats no matter how well you clean it.
    Oh and all your choices are nice, i can’t pick a favorite. Best of luck, so frustrating.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Nature’s Miracle did work the best, but there’s only so much you can do after a while.

  • kelly
    May 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    With two very old cats, 2 dogs, and 1 kid + 1 more coming in a few months, we always have issues with these things. I’ve been looking for indoor/outdoor rugs for high traffic areas like the dining room and playroom. I think it is essential to have something easy to maintain. Especially when rugs can be SO expensive.

    Cat pee is the WORST to get out of anything so if that gets in a carpet tile, you are just going to want to chuck it. No amount of cleaning will really get that out. Plus you will drive yourself crazy pulling those things up all the time.

    I would go for the indoor/outdoor rug version that is a bit easier to just hose off. If you are worried about lugging a huge rug up, what if you got 2 smaller matching ones then using carpet tape to seam them together? They you only have to haul one outside to wash.

    While I love the chevron one, I actually really like that last one, the pink. And I think it would look great with the floors. There are just those few thin stripes of the pea green in the rug that I think will bring in the floor color. Plus, don’t basements need a bit of punch now and then? :)

    You may have looked already, but I’ve seen some good indoor/outdoor rugs at overstock.com as well.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      I think I’m now leaning towards keeping the play room side clear and just getting two small rugs for the studio side that I’ll line up, end to end. That way they wouldn’t be too big to lug out for cleaning.

  • Lisa
    May 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    #1 would look great in there (Rug #1, not the OTHER #1, lol). I think it would make it easier for clean-up as well.

  • Sarah
    May 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    The only soft thing we keep on the floor in our apartment is the bath mat. We try to remember to hang it up as soon as we’re done with it but if we ever forget… our cats are just like yours.

  • Katie
    May 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Gross. No offense, but I’d get rid of the cats. With little kids playing on the floor especially, I could not handle that. I’m not a pet person to start with though.

  • Jean Molesworth Kee
    May 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    We have the ole painted concrete as well. Dogs, cats, kids, utility area (leaking water, etc). LOVING FLOR..I did a low brushed charcoal/black…. just fab.

  • Joy
    May 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I’d definitely go for an attractive “outdoor” rug. My parents have had excellent luck with washing out any pet-derived transgressions, including blood when their sweet yellow lab had a nasty skin infection. Also, if you don’t have the little Bissell spot cleaner, get it. Magical. Though I’ve not tried it on the outdoor rug material – might want to check if it will work for that.

    Regarding the kitties – I see that you’ve made many attempts to curb their behavior, but I might suggest trying a different litter if you haven’r already. Made a huge difference with my cat’s desire to explore other alternative pee spots. With the kids… have you tried acclimating the pets to their smell? It sounds stupid, but maybe making good associations – say, by leaving a blanket the kids slept with a few nights in a favorite kitty sleeping spot – the cats will be less likely to be territorial.

  • Amber @ Pooch & Puddy
    May 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I like #3, actually. I’m mostly here to see if I can’t suggest anything for the kitties!

    I’ve read that they’ve been ruled out for medical issues (How long ago? UTIs and bladder infections? Are any of the cats male?) so that could be a non-issue. But even with four boxes for three cats, if they’re all in the same area or near each other, they’re “the same box” to the cats. They need to be in different rooms from one another, totally separated, to be considered different potty spaces by the cats.

    Most potty issues are stress or health. If their health is fine and their diet is good (Not even necessarily a premium diet, but wet food is immensely better than dry) then it’s probably the stress. Kids, not having much cat furniture (I couldn’t tell that you had ANY pets from your home pictures!) the boxes all in the same place, it’s all stress to the cats. Feliway diffusers and collars, some high things and low things they can hide in just for them, and their boxes moved around should help them out a bit.

  • querencia
    May 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I have a small zoo and have had best luck with anything that’s rapid dry and taking it to a car wash with the higher pressure spray and letting them dry in the sun. Can’t speak to the options you’ve chosen but that’s been the easiest, least expensive, and most effective way to clean most things. The most important quality I’ve found is that it can dry rapidly. Partly it doesn’t keep any lingering dampness for mustiness or to encourage repeat offenses and partly to not prevent me from cleaning it by it being a dragged out task to clean.
    Sorry you’re having problems with environmental stresses causing the problem. I’ve had the best luck addressing that kind of behavior by making a no stress zone for any animal that’s feeling stressed out. food/water & bed in an area no one is allowed to touch, bother, or interfere with them. When younger family members come through there’s No Touch zones. If the animals go there it means they don’t want to be bothered, having it higher/out of the way. There aren’t many thorough studies for the whole problem but the few I’ve found point to least environmental stress when each animal has their own litterbox, which you’ve obviously tried, but also their own food, water, bed… Doesn’t really address the issue of their frustration being directly with small people though. Good luck with your next rug, your efforts with all of it are admirable.

  • AnnW
    May 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I would remove the rugs for the summer. I think cats go back to the same smell, so they are attracted to the same spot. You could shampoo the rugs yourself on someone’s driveway. When we have the cleaners come for area rugs, they often do it outside. Then, I would consider all the cat psychology other readers have mentioned. They are probably upset with humans taking over their basement. Plus the new baby, plus the change in employment. You could try the new behavior modifications while the rugs are not there. Then, in the fall get some indoor outdoor rugs. Orvis has some good ones. It’s amazing, it is always something. Ann

  • Lilly
    May 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Try white peppercorns under the rug. Our gardener sprinkled these in our garden and the building cats ( we love them btw) stopped using the garden as a toilet. The still hang out they just don’t use it as a toilet anymore.

  • jbhat
    May 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Damn cats! And I’m a cat person too. But I know first hand frustrating that can be.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose!


  • chris
    May 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I also wondered how you keep your house so neat with cats! we have mostly given up on rugs for now, but we recently lost a cat, so perhaps we will revisit the issue. as much as I miss him, I don’t miss the scratching at the door, the kitchen table legs, etc., nor his messy tracking-kitty-litter everywhere. The second mostly just leaves fur everywhere and once in a while a fur ball (usually right where I step). I agree with the idea of leaving the rugs out for the summer and then testing a few flor tiles to see how they clean up. Or try a small outdoor rug first – I am thinking the outdoor rug might not clean up nicely OR they might shred it with their claws?
    In any case, I will enjoy seeing what you decide!

  • Faith
    May 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Over the past year, which my husband has comically dubbed “Rug-gate 2011”, I have become quite the expert in area rug vs. pets. We also have three cats, and while they don’t have bathroom issues, they do vomit hair balls which usually contain the dyes in their cat food. It all started when we switched from a decorative, nylon bound carpet that was dark in color and easy to clean, to a beautiful cream colored Martha Stewart rug by Savafieh. The problem with the Martha Stewart rug was that it was cotton. Cotton is extremely difficult to clean and when you wet it with either water or over saturate it with cleaning solution, a brown staining will appear. This is from the break-down of the cellulose fibers present in cotton. You can try to avoid the brown staining by limiting the amount of moisture and rapid drying, but this is very difficult, and the stain will definitely still be noticeable in lighter colored rugs.

    Then we moved on to a slightly darker, but still beige, 100% wool, hand tufted rug. While wool is exceptionally resilient, it is also very absorbent and accepts stains and dyes very easily. Not good for kids with juice boxes, or pet stains. So far, our rug has held up well in cleaning and I have been able to remove the stains completely. I can tell where there is a disturbance in the fibers from blotting (and agitating) the spot, but I don’t think anyone else can. My favorite cleaners for wool are Folex (non-toxic) and Spot Shot Foam for tougher stains. I have also used Woolite Carpet Cleaner for Wool Carpets, but it has an Oxygen component that can lighten the color of the rug, so only use it on light colored rugs.

    After my research and speaking to the owner of the local Capel Rugs store, I’ve learned that Olefin/polypropylene is the best bet for people with kids/pets! At first, I was thinking Olefin was only for outdoor carpets and looked and felt cheap. However, I have learned that there are some fantastic companies that make beautiful looking and feeling Olefin rugs that you might mistake for wool if you didn’t know better. To get a good quality Olefin/polypropylene rug you might expect to pay anywhere from 10-30% less than a wool rug in similar quality/size/style. Olefin is highly moisture resistant, has low absorbency and doesn’t stain easily. It is also resistant to chemicals (even bleach)! The best area rug maker of this synthetic, in my opinion, is Stanton (Royal Dutch).

    Good luck in your search. You might check out RugsUSA or other discount rug websites as you can find modern, stylish rugs at deep discounts. The lesson I learned was to not buy anything too precious, because I was 100% positive my cats and/or future kids were going to have an accident sooner or later!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks! “Rug-Gate 2011” has certainly led you to do your research. ;)

  • bran
    May 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I have #2, i waited months for the largest size to become available. We have two jerky cats that are pissed (can’t resist a bad pun) about our newest baby, a 6 mo old boy, and any stray cat they see walk by a window.

    We too have tried everything, but some cats are just pissy (sorry). But we had to get at least one big rug for tummy time etc. So far we love the rug, my boy just barfed up at least 3 ounces on it the other day and it wiped right up, I didn’t even have to get out my Bissell Little Green (which is great for hairballs on furniture and the gallons of coffee my husband manages to spill all over the car seats).

    You’re right, the grey and white one is not inspiring, but I think I’m so overwhelmed with all the bright primary color toys that have invaded our home i needed a neutral, but your other Dash and Ablert options seem more your style.

    One more thing, I ordered my rug from http://rugs.rugstudio.com/nav/br/Dash%20and%20Albert/0 and had a good experience, it’s free shipping vs Dash and Albert’s home site. Can’t wait to see what you pick!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Thanks, the free shipping is a good deal. And yeah, I tend to go for the more colorful, patterned options, but the neutral stripes are so nice.

  • Amanda
    May 15, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Sorry to hear about the kitty rug retaliation, seems to be the case all too often for cat parents, eh? I love the options you’ve put together, especially #1.

    In my own quest for a cat-proof floor covering, I ended up with a massive Chilewich rug which has been great for the last few years. I have hardwood floors and the rubber non-slip back is great especially for late night acrobatic kitty crazies. In the unusual event of cat sickness or more frequently, clumsy house guests who spill their wine of coffee, the rug is super easy to clean up!

    Really looking forward to seeing what you guys pick out as a new floor covering for the basement!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

      I love Chilewich — it’s just a little more than we can spend on the basement right now. Good to know that it has held up well for you though!

  • Keep it Beautiful
    May 15, 2012 at 8:25 am

    OOOH love these choices! Hmmm, they’re all so lovely. I also love the chevron but wonder how much is too much you know? Oh fun. Can’t wait to see what you choose.

  • Mackenzi
    May 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Oh, those Flor tiles are divine! I’ve had Flor down at my shop and it’s sadly seen puppy accidents, candle wax spills, walked on gum and much more. I’ve been able to get all of that out simply and easily and I’d buy their products again in a heartbeat. Can’t wait to see what you pick.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 11:17 am

      We have Flor in the dining room and like it. I just wonder if it’s the best choice for a rug that we don’t really check up on everyday, since we’re not down there everyday.

  • Cam@Wedo-Headboards
    May 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I really like your selection! Especially on #1, the association of colours looks great.

  • Jessica @shimmerkai
    May 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Love the first one! The colors are so fun and carpet tiles are easy to clean. Great choice!

  • Kristen Larson
    May 15, 2012 at 10:27 am

    While I love rug #3, I want to share with you a cat tip.

    We had the same problem with our cat, Molly. Her litter box was tucked away in the basement corner but anywhere in that same room she liked to “claim her territory” it seemed. One day we tried something new. We cleaned the rug, but then we got spray cat nip, and it became her favorite spot to just lounge instead of pee on. And she on went potty in her liter box.

    Maybe something for you to try with your new rug, so then you won’t have to clean it as much.

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

      It’s worth a shot. I think that may be the only thing we haven’t tried yet.

  • MomHomeGuide.com
    May 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I think a chevron stripe rug in grey or blue would look great! Good luck!

  • Bethany
    May 15, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Why does it “kill” me that you call $200 cheap??? Please do NOT insult your readers!!

    • Making it Lovely
      May 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Not that $200 is nothing, but for a 100% wool rug, that is cheap.

    • Luka
      May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

      I don’t think that is an insulting comment, just reality

  • kimberly
    May 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    i soooooo feel your pain. we spent $1000 to FLOR tile our basement only to have the floor become a giant litterbox. i really truly think it’s something about the rubber backing on the FLOR tiles that is enticing for cats to pee on … we had the same problem with the FLOR tiles we used by our front/back doors and the kitchen. booo. they DID clean up really well the first 10 or so times, but eventually all the vinegar baths and enzyme solutions ended up breaking down the rubber backing and then the scent really clung on. they just weren’t the same. we finally threw all the affected ones out and are trying to plan our next rug move, too … i’ll wait to see what you do! ;)

  • RebeccaNYC
    May 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    My niece also had this problem with her cat. The vet suggested prozac. My niece said “putting a cat on prozac is ridiculous”, then she and her husband bought a new house, and the cat was peeing everywhere…so they put him on prozac. Ta DA! problem solved. Cat no longer pees anywhere except the litter box.

    In my house, our two jerks totally ruined a hooked carpet within 2 hours of its arrival in our living room. I kid you not. Sigh. We do love our boys…but really?

    • laura
      May 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

      I second the prozac. I think for some cats, its a great solution! It stopped my cat from peeing immediately.

      Also? try “Cat Attract” kitty litter. It’s a litter that is scented with something enticing so that your cats won’t want to go anywhere else.

  • jo
    May 16, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I happened to see this online and thought it was kind of good looking….i like the black one. Walmart is not the most acceptable store but for another possible throw away rug……


  • Kathleen
    May 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I love the parallel carpet, and misread: instead of “I may need to go check these out in person,” I saw, “I may need to go check these out in PRISON.” Which is an interesting thought, actually. Whatever works in prison would certainly survive kitty abuse, right?

  • Kathleen
    May 16, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    After reading all the cat troubles people have I had to give my 17 year old Starbuck a hug. She is a litter box using champ! I do wake up occasionally to her hacking up a fur ball though. But bonus! The dog thinks the fur balls are a special delicacy just for him and he cleans them up before any staining occurs.

    I just bought a polypropylene black and white chevron rug for the living room with the thought that it will be easy to keep clean. I was surprised that it looked OK (obviously not wool but like one of the nylon ones you’d get at a big box store). The dog got into something and has diarrhea this week (a situation I would not wish on my worst enemy) and I rolled up the rug and put it away instead of chancing it.

    Good luck in your rug/pet balancing quest!

  • under magazine
    May 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    beautiful design

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I love #1. Seems very you :-)

  • Lisa
    May 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I love #1 the colors would look great with your floor. I’ve had a black and white striped rug before and both of
    my kids said it hurt their eyes and made them feel sick. I wish my cat would use the floor or rug, instead she always goes in my bed when she’s in a “mood”. If you haven’t tried Pureayre yet give it a try, it is the ONLY product I have found that actually gets the smell of cat urine out. In your case sometimes multiple cats do better with multiple litter boxes. You may like the design of the new Modkat litter box, it’s pricey but attractive and so far my cat hasn’t used the bed since I bought it. Can’t wait to see your new floor.

  • Melissa
    May 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

    We have carpet tiles in our living room and a dog who thought pottying on it once the baby came was a good idea.

    Here is why I wouldn’t go the carpet tile route. If they pee on the corner, you’re forced to pull up 4 titles instead of just one. And if the pee gets between where the two tiles meet, you risk it getting to the concrete and staining the paint (I’m sure you know pee will take away color of your basement paint). We also made the mistake of getting a dark color and finding the pee randomly because we couldn’t see it. Ew.

    We have dash and albert in front of our kitchen sink and spray it off every so often. Love that idea for the basement.

    Just my 2 cents!

    • Melissa
      May 20, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Oh yeah, we used Flor.

  • The Basement Studio and Playroom Plan | Making it Lovely
    May 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    […] in the space, and this pink and white one looked best. I found it thanks to some of the comments on my post about the basement rug situation, so thanks for the recommendations! I also put a post together with a bunch of my favorite […]

  • Missy
    May 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

    My dog has done the same thing to the rug in my living room (annoying!). Thank god it was a cheap one from Ikea – even though I really did love it. It’s so embarrassing though! But you totally gave me the great idea of replacing it with an outdoor rug. Brilliant!

  • Margaret
    July 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I was just wondering what it would actually cost to have the rugs cleaned? I just had our giant 9×12 PB rug cleaned for $60. He hauled it away and got it back to me a week later. Now, we do live in the sticks (temporarily, I hope), and it would be more in Chicago, but those rugs are $299 at Ikea right now, and it can’t be equal to that.
    But if you really need to replace them, No. 1 is awesome!