commercial carpet tiles

What Everyone Should Know About Carpet Tiles

Carpet squares or carpet tiles have become the new trend for commercial carpets in business or office
facilities.  I’ve been curious myself for the last few years to see many companies go for carpet squares to replace older carpets.  In this blog I’m going to share my observation of placing using carpets squares and what you may want to know.

Carpet tiles have taken commercial carpet by storm.  When all the carpet tiles started I was calling a few manufacturers to see if I needed to know something about cleaning commercial carpet tile.  Really I don’t recall anyone having anything to say about the subject, except one manufacturer who stated some of the printed types (kinda like painting the designs on the carpet) don’t hold up as well as designs that were woven in.  At least that’s how I remember it.

I’ve seen all kinds of  carpet tile, or carpet squares they are sometimes called.  Some as large as 3×3 foot, and many other sizes as small as 1×1 foot.   Most all of them come with a thick plastic like backing or sometimes a dense fiber like backing.  Otherwise there are all types of designs and different styles.   Styles can be ugly or really nice to look at.  Sometimes you can easily see the carpet tiles, and sometimes you have to look very hard to see the seams.   In a manner of speaking I don’t like to see the carpet tile seams, just a small distraction.

Why Carpet Tiles?

One of the first questions I asked a client that had converted to carpet squares was why did you want carpet squares?  His reply was, it’s easy to replace a tile that is ruined for any reason.  Well that got me thinking about all the commercial carpet we clean, and really how many areas are ‘ruined’?  Usually a seam here or there gets a little loose, perhaps an occasional burn or chemical stain that can’t be removed, but considering all the carpet I’d have to say it’s a very minor issue for most offices and business that has commercial carpets.   So it seems like overkill to convert to carpet tiles over that reason.

Here’s an excerpt from another source on why carpet tiles?

Maintenance is also an issue – with carpet tiles if an area gets stained and cannot be cleaned, the tile can simply be removed and replaced very easily with another tile. With broadloom, whole areas might need replacement or the stained area would be “cookie cut” and fitted with a new piece. Replacing a tile can be done by a store employee. Repairing broadloom requires hiring a carpet professional. The longer the carpet tile looks good the less time between costly replacement.

So far I can’t say anyone has mentioned that carpet tiles are lest expensive, though sometimes they may be, just depending on what you are buying.   The cost of install is certainly no less expensive, very often more expensive.  So I cannot say cost is a big advantage.

As for wear and tear?  Carpet tiles seem as good as the quality you buy, just like any other carpet.  I’d suspect they could last as long or as short as any other carpet of similar quality.

Now in all fairness, as a professional carpet cleaner I have indeed seen the benefit of being able to replace a carpet tile or two.   Example 28,000 sqft of carpet tiles in an office building, 10 years old, the place full of cubicles with chairs rolling directly on the carpet, no carpet mats.  Of the entire 28,000 sqft, I found 3 carpet tiles that needed to be replaced.   And I have run into stains that simply had their way with some carpet tiles (battery acid and something else), and it’s pleasing to know it’s easy enough to peel one up, and replace it with a new one.

Water Intrusion (Flood)

But here is a not so good result with carpet tiles.   A busy office building common area had some water intrusion on the carpets which required about 150sq ft of carpet tiles be discarded.  In fact from a water intrusion standpoint – the water loves to get behind the plastic type backing and just sit there trapped without anyway to dry or prevent molding without removing the carpet tiles.  I can’t say about other type carpet tile backings.

So, if you have water intrusion on carpet tiles, do plan on pulling them up to get the floor dry and prevent more problems if they have the solid plastic type backing.  Oh, and you may find the carpet tiles are glued down solid on the concrete floor, or they have a thin layer of tacky adhesive that is ruined when it gets wet, or just lay on the floor with no adhesive at all.

Replacing the old tiles (some normal wear) with new tiles simply did not match, and so it was very noticable where the old, and new carpet tiles were.  It of course would not be any different with any other carpet though, so who can really say it’s better or worse.

Cleaning Carpet Tiles

So you may want to know about cleaning carpet tiles.   I personally like cleaning commercial carpet tiles.  They really have given me no troubles in any way of carpet cleaning.   The only problems I’ve had were with carpet tiles that may want to stick to a carpet cleaning wand.  Some businesses have them glued down permanently, some don’t.  So it’s quite possible if you get your carpet tiles cleaned with a hot water extraction method, that your carpet cleaning service could find it very troublesome.  And I suspect, but it’s not proven, using too much water on these carpet squares could easily cause the water to get trapped under the backing.

My Conclusion

In conclusion I’d say carpet tiles are the latest thing for now, but I believe many people really believe it’s cheaper or smarter to replace a carpet tile, than hire a professional carpet cleaner to remove the spot or stain.    I have not complaints about carpet tiles and believe it’s good stuff no better or worse than the old roll goods.  It’s a great innovation for carpet that provides more options, and it’s just as cleanable as any other broadloom carpet.

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What’s you thoughts on carpet tiles?  Make your comment below.

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