Traditionally, wall-to-wall carpets are the most popular flooring choice for home fitting. Coming in big heavy rolls, wall-to-wall carpets can be extremely impractical, particularly if you’re taking it on as a DIY job. Not only can the price of wall-to-wall carpets be a problem, but also the difficulties of installing can make this an unviable option for many people. Enter carpet tiles. A much easier and more efficient flooring solution. While carpet tiles have become an extremely popular flooring choice in commercial premises, it is fast becoming a popular choice in residential homes too. We take a look at the case for and against carpet tiles in your home.
What are carpet tiles?
Unlike wall-to-wall carpets, carpet tiles provide a practical flooring solution. Instead of coming in big heavy rolls that are near impossible to manage, carpet tiles come in pre-cut shapes. Most typically, carpet tiles come in pre-cut squares, but they can be cut to any required shape. Sometimes referred to as modular carpets, carpet tiles come as individual tile pieces that are slotted together when fitted.
With the fun and vibrant designs that you can get, you may be thinking that carpet tiles would be more suited for playrooms. That is true, but carpet tiles can come in a variety of designs and colours making them an ideal substitute, or even replacement, for wall-to-wall carpets. Blending colours and patterns allow for a more versatile option. While some carpet tiles can be stuck down using glue, most carpet tiles will only need to slot into place or use double-sided tape thanks to the non-slip bottom.
What you should know first
Before we start looking at the pros and cons of carpet tiles, there are a few things you should consider first:
A misconception of carpet tiles is that they require an underlay to be fitted. In most situations this is not the case. Many carpet tiles already come with an underlay backing. The only instances where this rule may not apply is if you want to reduce noise levels in a room, or if you have underfloor heating. To reduce noise levels you may want to install acoustic underlay. If you have underfloor heating, you might need to look into an insulating subfloor. Most carpet tiles come with a bitumen backing. When that bitumen backing becomes exposed to high temperatures it can cause it to melt. Otherwise, an underlay is not required for fitting carpet tiles. If you already have an underlay present, you should remove it first.
Sticking the tiles
Some carpet tiles need to be stuck down using glue. However, in most cases, this is not necessary. Many carpet tiles come with slip-resistant backing. All that’s required is for you to slot them into place. The slip-resistant backing will take care of the rest. In the event a slip-resistant backing does not come with your chosen carpet tile, you will either need to use PVA glue or double-sided tape. Using PVA glue will allow you to lift the tiles should you require.
Installing carpet tiles over other floorings
The ease of fitting carpet tiles means that they can be fitted over other types of floorings. Carpet tiles can be fitted over tile floorings, including vinyl tiles and laminate floors. However, the tiles need to be clean, smooth, and level. Otherwise, imperfections may start to show in the carpet tile. Other floorings, such as carpet, should be removed before installing carpet tiles. Installing carpet tiles over carpet can create a height problem, making it difficult to open and close doors.
Treating carpet tiles
Many people choose carpet tiles due to the different designs and quality available. While carpet tiles are extremely durable, looking after and treating your carpet tiles is essential to help maintain the look. While you can easily swap any damaged tiles, looking after them will minimise the need for drastic action. Regularly vacuuming and cleaning any spillages or marks will help to ensure your carpet tiles continue to look fresh for much longer. See tips for cleaning carpet tiles.
That’s enough of the housekeeping side of things. Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of choosing carpet tiles in your home.
Carpet tiles are renowned for their great advantages. Many of the benefits that stand well in commercial environments will apply to your home too. Let’s look at some pros for choosing carpet tiles in your home.
One of the biggest advantages of choosing carpet tiles is the design versatility. Carpet tiles come in a variety of different shapes, colours, and patterns. With so much on offer, you are sure to be able to pick a style that suits your interior design needs. Even compared to wall-to-wall carpets, carpet tiles come with much greater design flexibility.
You can even mix and match different colours and patterns to create a unique look. How the patterns are laid can also help contribute to the endless design choices you can create using carpet tiles. If you are looking for something a bit different, carpet tiles are a clear-cut choice.
Ease of handling and installation
The burdens of wall-to-wall carpet, from handling to fitting, are not a problem with carpet tiles. Wall-to-wall carpets can result in a lot of wastage as they can only be purchased in big heavy rolls. With carpet tiles, you can work out how many tiles you’ll need based on the size of the room, and then only order the amount you require. The tiles come packaged in manageable sets making them much easier to handle.
Installing is much easier too. Unlike wall-to-wall carpets that may require hiring a carpet fitter or using the right tools for the job, carpet tiles can be installed without much fuss. A nice weekend DIY job. If you still feel uncomfortable fitting carpet tiles, a flooring contractor, such as E&M Services, can take care of supplying and fitting your desired flooring choice.
Wall-to-wall carpets require you to fit and lay a carpet from large heavy rolls. A difficult job for even two people. With carpet tiles being modular and purchasable in small units, it makes it much easier to transport and fit.
The main reason many commercial spaces, such as schools and offices, are choosing to fit carpet tiles is because of the extreme durability they provide. Carpet tiles are designed to withstand heavy foot traffic. Often lasting much longer than wall-to-wall carpets, carpet tiles are designed to stand up well over time. Just because carpet tiles may prove to be a cheaper flooring option, doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer.
Ease of maintenance
Carpet tiles are extremely easy to maintain. In most cases, all that’s required is regular vacuuming to remove any debris or dirt present. Only once in a while will washing or shampooing the carpet tiles be required to remove any tough or lingering dirt.
Also, the modular nature of carpet tiles, and how they are fitted, allows you to easily lift and replace tiles that start to look worn or become damaged. Whether it be a nasty stain or mark that won’t budge, or if the colour has faded from exposure to constant direct exposure to sunlight, the tiles can be easily swapped. No need to worry if you drop that glass of wine anymore. A much more cost-effective flooring solution that can help save you money in the long run.
As with any type of flooring, there are also negative aspects. Here are some cons you should consider when looking at choosing carpet tiles.
Not as stylish
One of the biggest downsides to choosing carpet tiles is that they don’t look as stylish compared to wall-to-wall carpet. Some have argued that fitting carpet tiles into a home environment can make a room seem either corporate or cold. If you want to create a nice warm home environment, carpet tiles may not be the solution you are looking for. Although with the many different colours and designs carpet tiles come in, there’s bound to be a design that takes your fancy.
Wear and tear
Carpet tiles in no way try to mimic the consistency and feel of wall-to-wall carpet. As carpet tiles come in squares, the tiles will be both lighter. In some cases, the tiles may even show at joins or seems. The showing of the seams with carpet tiles is one of the biggest factors that put people off. While laying tiles in the same direction can minimise how noticeable they seams are, they may still crop up later.
The tiles can wear at the edges and seams, making them much more noticeable as an eye sore. As with any flooring, carpet tiles will show signs of wear. While carpet tiles are an extremely durable flooring solution that is suited for high footfall environments, the edges do fray with wear over time. Fraying shouldn’t be a concern straight away, as this can take years to occur. If you invest in good quality tiles, you shouldn’t have much trouble.
The broken-up look
Compared to wall-to-wall carpets that are fitted in one piece, carpet tiles come in individual squares that are then fitted together on the floor. While that does provide a benefit of being able to replace tiles should the conditions arise, it also creates a drawback. The broken-up look. While some will argue this is the signature look of carpet tiles, others may feel that it’s a drawback.
If you want a floor that looks continuous and smooth, carpet tiles may not be the ideal solution. If you don’t mind this look, there shouldn’t be a problem finding a design that suits your flooring needs.
Many people believe that carpet tiles are waterproof. They are not. Carpet tiles are water-resistant but not waterproof. Carpet tiles should be cleaned using a damp cloth and not soaked in water. When the tiles are submerged in water, it can lead to stains and warping of the tiles. The tiles should never be left soaking wet.
You should pay attention to the fibre and tile construction too. Open grain finish tiles are much better and quicker at drying. Close grain finish tiles will not dry quickly. The water is retained inside close grain finish tiles meaning it takes even longer for them to dry out. Choosing an open grain finish tile may be a much better choice if the tiles are likely to get wet from time to time.
If you are looking to install carpet tiles in your home, make sure you carefully consider the pros and cons of your space. Whether it is a design preference or practicality, there is something for everyone to like about carpet tiles. If you feel the pros outweigh the cons, consider carpet tiles for your home. If you would like to find out more about carpet tiles or looking for a flooring contractor to install them for you, we’ve got you covered. Let us help you with your new floor. We now offer domestic flooring here at E&M Services.