Carpet Tiles: Yes or No?

What are carpet tiles?

Carpet tiles are exactly what they sound like. Pieces of carpet, cut into tile shapes. Some carpet tiles comes with a self-stick backing while others need mastic or other adhesive to be installed.

Pros of Carpet Tiles:

  • Cost – While the square foot price is almost the same as wall-to-wall carpet, the savings come from installation. It is easier and quicker for a carpet installer to install carpet tile thus reducing the cost.
  • Ease of installation – Carpet tiles are easier to install, making the installation quicker, so there is less disruption to your living space.
  • DIY friendly – Since carpet tiles are considered rather easy to install, they can be a great DIY project.
  • Versatility – Colors and styles and shapes can be mixed and matched for unique designs.
  • Reusable – Carpet tiles, if installed and uninstalled properly, can be used for another project.
  • Maintenance – They should be vacuumed regularly like other types of carpets or rugs. When it comes to regular professional cleaning, just let your service technician know beforehand that you have carpet tile. If you have one area that is heavily stained, you can just replace those areas with new tiles.

Cons of Carpet Tiles:

  • Seams – Carpet tiles are installed as individual pieces, so there are multiple seams that will show.
  • Fraying – Since there are more seams, there are more edges to fray or produce loose fiber bits.
  • Acclimation – Carpet tiles (like hardwood) need to acclimate to their environment. Most manufacturers advise 24-48 hours. This is the most commonly skipped step in carpet tile installation. Failure to acclimate to their environment may affect the integrity of the installed project.
  • Color uniformity – As with anything sold in lots, shades can vary between lots of the same color, as well as varying shades within the same lot. When shopping for carpet tile, try to choose tiles all from the same lot for the best color uniformity.
  • Perception – Even though carpet tiles come with a cushion backing that enhances their anti-fatigue benefits and increases comfort levels, they are still thought by some to be less comfortable and less luxurious feeling underfoot.

Carpet tiles are a great alternative to wall-to-wall applications. However, just because they are installed differently does not mean that you can forgo regular carpet maintenance. Carpet tiles are still carpet material and need to be treated as any other carpet project in your home. Regular vacuuming and periodic deep cleaning will extend the life of your carpet tiles and keep them looking good for years to come.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.