As you know, these are very expensive, so I have been trying inexpensive alternatives. I tried a large remnant which started to fray within a couple of weeks. Then I bought a bound rug from Walmart and painted a grid on it which looked great for about a month. I blogged about it here: http://luvtoeduc8.blogspot.com/2011/04/carpet-time.html .
But then it started to wrinkle and get bunchy so at the end of the year I rolled it up and gave it to another teacher who is going to try and put the edges under bookcases to see if it will stay flat. I, on the other hand, bit the bullet and bought an authentic classroom rug. I was lucky to find a factory second, which is the same high quality as the perfect rugs with a minor flaw. I'm still not sure what the flaw is in my rug. I blogged about it here: http://luvtoeduc8.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-ive-learned.html.
I have received the rug; it's beautiful and half the price. I will keep you updated on how well it works in my classroom.
The other big item on my wish list is for my classroom to be painted. A couple of years ago our principal had a two male teachers come in over the summer and paint our entire building gray and white. The bottom half of every wall, every post, everything is gray and the top is white. Nothing lines up and it is the messiest paint job I have ever seen. They actually painted around things so if you move a cabinet its a different color behind it. AWFUL! When I came in after summer, I literally wanted to throw up. They took our elementary school and turned it into a prison. I spent weeks painting all the trim red to cheer things up, but painting the entire classroom is just too daunting for me. I have spoken to our new principal about my wish, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. (You can kind of see what I'm talking about in this picture.)