Are Carpet Tiles Flooring the Right Choice for Your Commercial Or Home Project?
A significant decision in the scheme of any space is the type of flooring you choose. The covering you step onto when you enter an area, whether you think about it or not, is your first opinion of it. Moreover, since flooring often makes up an essential portion of the project resources, it’s a choice that shouldn’t be considered lightly.
The good news is, with commercial and residential carpet tiles, you certainly can’t go wrong. The advantages of carpet tiles are numerous. Carpets offer many functional benefits: better comfort, attractive acoustic and thermal characteristics, and more desirable safety than hard surface alternatives.
Good quality carpet tiles provide so much more than practical benefits, though. The way you use it in your design can alter the look, feel and sound of a location. The colours and patterns of your flooring can carry your unique ambience.
Just have a look into the real-world examples of types of carpet tiles below and see for yourself the impact carpets can have on a room or space:
- Carpet tiles can reinforce a brand image:
- Carpet tiles can give your business or home character and presentation
- Carpet tiles may express the personality of a space:
- Carpet tiles can enhance the functionality for offices and spaces
You may be under the idea that landing on your unique, personalised carpet tile pattern will cost you time and money or that picking carpet means taking on installation setbacks, keeping you from the rest of your design task. With luxury carpet tiles, you don’t need to bother about any of this. Modular, charming, high-quality and less costly, carpet tiles are a great flooring solution that makes fitting easier.
This article will tell you everything you want to know about carpet tiles and how to utilise them in your next project. Enjoy!
What Are Carpet Tiles?
Carpet tiles are small sections of carpet made from broadloom carpet installed and combined in several imaginative ways. Also identified as “modular carpets” & “carpet squares”, carpet tiles are most often square and possible in a range of square dimensions – 48 x 48, 50 x 50, 60 x 60 and 96 x 96cm – as well as ‘planks,’ that are elongated rectangular shapes. Some manufacturers, though, also offer carpet tiles in a variety of creative designs.
You can pick among a variety of carpet tiles lining. The most popular is hardback backing, closed-cell cushion backing, and open-cell cushion backing. Carpet tiles are usually equipped with pre-attached carpet backing, which indicates they can often be fitted directly onto the subfloor, making for a fast and easy installation.
For most projects, carpet tiles are an excellent choice both functionally and in expressions of design. That’s why we advise you – at the very least – to consider carpet tiles for your next plan. Here are a few of the numerous benefits of carpet tiles:
Ease of installation
One of the primary purposes architects and designers – not to mention floor fitters – want to work with carpet tiles is the simplicity with which they can be placed. Let’s investigate the ways carpet can make your installation more straightforward:
- Carpet tiles are straightforward to lift and transport, making it simpler to get them on the work site undamaged in the first place.
- Carpet tiles, because they’re pre-backed, can be fitted directly onto the subfloor, eradicating the need for underlays. This bypasses a lot of time and effort, not to mention cash.
- Carpet tiles don’t regularly need to acclimatise or reside in a place for 24 hours before they are placed.
- While not exactly advised, in situations where time is important, carpet tiles can even be installed with furniture in place.
- Less waste
- Carpet tiles produce minimal waste in the installation step. This is because minimal cutting, or adjustment, is required for tiles to fit a provided space. This is especially true of rooms with many crannies and irregular edges.
- You can anticipate a waste of around 1-3 %. Less waste means reduced money costs but is also charming for clients concerned regarding sustainability.
Style diversity that’s catching up to broadloom
In the past, design versatility was fundamentally impossible with carpet tiles. Carpet tiles were simply thin squares, ready in a narrow range of colours and qualities. This antiquated conception of them may be keeping you back from picking them despite some of their apparent advantages. Rest assured, today, you can achieve almost the same degree of design versatility with the many various types of carpet tiles.
New dye technologies have made it feasible to produce a wide range of colours and patterns. It’s even conceivable to apply a custom design to your carpet tiles.
Past this, you can use the arrangement of the tiles themselves for impact. For instance, different colour variants can be used to produce a checkered pattern.
Carpet tiles with a simplistic pattern can be laid in different ways for both textural and optical impression.
More and more these days, we see unique approaches to carpet tiles growing in popularity. Creative designers and architects use colour and design to help way-finding and delineate distinct zones for different uses, subtly shifting the behaviour of guests, patrons, customers, employees, family and friends.
Ease of maintenance
An oft-cited advantage of carpet tiles is the ease with which you can sustain them. Carpet tiles can easily be detached for cleaning or replaced if a single tile is soiled or damaged. Since tiles are smaller and modular, they don’t take up much area and can readily be stored. It’s a good idea to have extras on hand so you can sub out tiles as required. Moreover, because tiles can be simply lifted, you can quickly access underfloor cabling as required.
While wall-to-wall carpet is assumed to be the go-to choice for luxury and plushness, excellent quality carpet tiles can come pretty close. Cut from broadloom carpet, carpet tiles can regularly achieve a similar status to wall-to-wall carpeting. In fact, carpet tiles, with their absorbent layered construction, assimilate even more structure-borne sound.
Carpet Tiles vs Wall-to-Wall Carpet
When choosing a carpet, many designers get hung up on options, such as colours or patterns. These are undoubtedly significant decisions, but you should contemplate what type of carpet best accommodates your project before you get there.
Carpet tiles: the affordable choice
Carpet tiles are a cost-effective option suitable for most projects. While wall-to-wall carpets still continue to be the most popular option for commercial projects, carpet tiles are winning traction with designers and architects who recognise choosing carpet tiles means preserving time and money and decreasing waste without negotiating quality and aesthetics.
While in the past, it used to be that carpet tiles were the cheap squares of low-quality carpet that you could just get in a few regular colours, this is just not the situation anymore. Technological advancements have made it feasible to produce many design freedom with an extended range of varying types of carpet tiles.
You should keep in mind, though, the more you stray from the standard options, the less you profit from the upsides to modularity. For instance, while it’s conceivable to choose from diverse shapes and apply custom designs to your carpet tiles, doing so might raise the price and make for a more complicated and time-consuming installation method.
There are a few other limitations to carpet tiles you should keep in mind. For one, even when fitted flawlessly, you will always be able to see the seams among them. While new technologies have reduced the presence of seams, if your purpose is the look and feel of a single set of flooring, carpet tiles may not be the best option.
Moreover, while you can almost match the quality of wall-to-wall carpeting with carpet tiles, you usually can’t get the extra-plush underfoot feel that you can with particular wall-to-wall carpets. For most projects, though, designers and architects think the pros exceed the cons.
So when should you use carpet tiles? Tiles are a good option for projects where a stunning end finish is needed but where budget or time may be limited. They’re also an excellent choice for projects where routine maintenance is a concern.
This type of flooring is ideal as commercial carpet tiles in retail and commercial settings such as offices, shops, shopping centres and other locations. But they are also great for residential flooring projects such as homes, units, townhouses, retirement villages and more.
Wall-to-wall carpets are carpets that cover an assigned area in few pieces – or even a single piece – instead of several pieces laid out to create your flooring. Unlike carpet tiles, which can be laid immediately on subflooring, wall-to-wall carpets are usually applied on underfelt, over the substrate flooring and fastened utilising small tacks.
Because of the various carpet backing options with wall-to-wall carpets, you can produce certain underfoot support that might not be available with carpet tiles. Moreover, with its seamless surface, wall-to-wall carpeting gives you a high degree of inventive freedom if you choose to go with a custom design, as you won’t have to deal with splits in fabric.
The downside of wall-to-wall carpets, though, arrives in the installation phase. Installation of wall-to-wall carpeting is more complex and time-consuming than the installation of carpet tiles. Moreover, the waste produced in the process is really greater – 5-25%.
While it’s usually the more costly option, wall-to-wall carpeting might be the choice for you if your project needs large-scale patterning or complex customisations. Usually speaking, wall-to-wall carpeting works best for schemes with big design goals or for large floor covers.
Think wall-to-wall carpet might be the right option for your design?
Our range of wall to wall carpets for Melbourne is supplied to us by some of the best and most established flooring manufacturers in Australia.
Let’s take a second to recap: carpet tiles vs wall-to-wall carpet.
- Carpet tiles offer ease of installation, conserving time and money.
- Carpet tiles are a great option where routine maintenance is of great concern.
- Wall-to-wall carpets are most suitable for large-scale patterning or custom configurations.
- Wall-to-wall carpets usually have that extra touch of class that you can feel when walking on them and see when glancing at the seamless surface.
Types of Carpet Tiles and The Designing Stage
Now that you’re clear on the various carpet types, let’s take a peek at the other carpet characteristics that will likely impact your decision: carpet construction and the types of carpet tiles, including styles and textures.
Carpet tile construction
When contemplating carpet construction, you’re generally picking between three kinds of carpet tiles: tufted, woven, or needle punched carpets. While the overwhelming bulk of carpets tiles are tufted, it’s helpful to get a feeling for all the choices possible to make a more informed judgment. Below, we’ll explain what carpet tiles are constructed of.
Commercial carpet tiles are primarily tufted. Around 95%, in fact, this makes them easy to produce. They are priced lower and have different designs possible with them. While tufted carpets may work for most projects, when high calibre and endurance are your main interests, they might not be the perfect option.
Woven carpets, or carpets created on a loom, were the only right up until the 1950s. Even though improvements in production machinery and synthetic materials have provided for other possibilities, woven carpets are still on the market and generally selected today because of their exemplary character and durability, mainly natural materials. Woven carpets are an excellent choice for higher-end schemes.
Needle punched carpets
Needle punched carpets are colourfast, dry fast and are repellent to sunlight and fading. While useful, they lack versatility in look and feel. Needle punched carpets are excellent for things like entry mats but not endorsed for general use.
Carpet tile styles
Another factor to take into deliberation when planning your carpet tile solution is carpet style. Here, we’ll refine some main styles and types of carpet tiles: cut pile, loop pile, and loop pile. There are several various alternatives in these styles, but this summary should get you started.
For a more in-depth look at the different types of carpets, see here.
Loop pile carpeting is produced through looping yarns to bring about a soft, smooth look and feel. In loop pile products, higher and lower loops can be mixed to play with texture and pattern.
Cut pile carpets are produced by cutting yarn loops to produce an upright pile. Cut pile carpets create a more formal or extravagant look and often look darker than loop pile carpets composed of the same yarn type.
Cut and loop pile
Cut and loop pile carpets are composed of a combination of cut and looped yarns. The blend allows for sculptured effects – such as squares or swirls – and a wide variety of patterns and styles.
What are carpet tiles made of?
When choosing how to compose your carpet tile solution, you should also consider the sort of fibres your carpet tile is made of. Very often, carpet tiles are composed of a blend of different fibres. It is beneficial, though, to understand the characteristics of the individual fibres to get a feel for what your plan will require.
Carpets are typically constructed from nylon, polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wool, acrylic, and/or recycled matter. Let’s take a minute to consider a few of the most popular options for carpet tile elements.
Wool, commonly a more pricey option, is a natural fibre recognised for being strong, luxurious, and stain-resistant. Wool, soft and dense, gives an extraordinarily comfortable feel yet also keeps impeccable structural integrity. Due to its naturally occurring cream colour, wool has a more subdued appearance than alternatives like nylon.
Polypropylene is a synthetic fibre with a look similar to that of wool. Like wool, it’s quite a stain-resistant thread. Still, it lacks the same strength as wool or other synthetic fibres, for that matter. It is, nevertheless, highly repellent to fading.
Nylon, a less costly option, is a polyimide, meaning it’s known for durability, flexibility and comfort. It is static-free, keeps fibre height, and does a great job of combating staining, all of which makes it a favourite choice. Nylon tends to have a more lustrous, sharper appearance.
Polyester, a different synthetic material, is also recognised as a less expensive option. A somewhat versatile fibre with a long past of being used in carpet manufacturing, polyester is frequently regarded as a lower-quality option than nylon. Technological improvements, nevertheless, have raised the fibre’s durability to an extent.
Becoming more popular are fibres made from recycled materials, such as angling nets and other manufacturing nylon waste. This solution, a mid-range cost option, is sustainable as well as tough and attractive.
Sustainability and Your Carpet Tiles
Sustainability is a more important consideration for architects and designers and the customers they design for. Because of the minimum waste that carpet tiles present in installation, choosing them for your design means you’re already on the way to sustainability. Above this, though, you’ll want to make sure that you select a carpet manufacturer that respects and actively addresses their environmental impact.
Many carpet manufacturer globally, for instance, use bitumen and PVC in their carpet lining and backing. They do so predominantly to decrease costs. There are no specific outlines in place to assure manufacturers don’t do this. However, this method is harmful to the environment. If this is an essential consideration for you, make sure to investigate with your supplier about these additives and pick a manufacturer that avoids them.
Carpet Tiles Reduce Noise
Nothing’s worse than a situation where no matter what you do, you can’t hear the person you’re attempting to talk to. This is why acoustics are an essential factor in most projects. Whatever space you’re designing for, with its layered construction, perfect for absorbing structure-borne sound, carpet tiles are an excellent choice when it comes to lessening noise.
However, the acoustic performance of a carpet hinges more on the padding or carpet backing used under it. Since carpet tiles are pre-backed, you might be worried that they can’t achieve the same acoustic characteristics as, say, a wall-to-wall carpet matched with an acoustic-optimised backing.
You shouldn’t worry, though. As carpet tiles are often used in commercial settings, such as offices, where noise is of top interest, carpet manufacturers have followed suit and offer graded backing solutions with attractive acoustic features. Moreover, many manufacturers allow you to define your carpet tiles with a separate backing to find one that best suits your project’s requirements.
How to Select Carpet Tiles for Your Next Design
The project you’re outlining is the ultimate determinant of the characteristics you’ll need to analyse in your carpet selection. For instance, in office spaces, acoustic properties might be your top concern. If you’re planning for a hotel, your top concern might be luxury or richness.
Commercial carpet tiles for the hospitality industry
Carpeting and flooring for the hospitality industry include five-star hotels and fine dining, jam-packed restaurants, pubs, and clubs. The carpet you choose depends on what sort of hospitality project you’re operating on.
For a hotel or restaurant, carpet tiles may not fit in with your requirements. In these environments, a high quality, custom wall-to-wall carpet is your best bet.
Wall-to-wall carpeting will let you realise the degree of customisation and the plush underfoot feel that such high-ambition plans would need. For everything else, though, you may need to think of carpet tiles.
For projects such as restaurants, clubs or pubs, carpet tiles are growing increasingly prevalent. They offer an excellent value for money, but notably, the durability, easy maintenance, and acoustic characteristics necessary for these projects.
Beyond this, they can produce the comfort, texture, and warmth carpet is known for and the individual and fun designs carpet tiles do best. So play with varied colours, designs and shapes of your tiles to generate stunning effects and depth with your designs.
For a great choice of hospitality carpet tiles, you should consider CarpetAce’s modular options within our range or even contemplate a custom design.
Need some inspiration? We also offer design and style advice for free and can work with your interior stylist with our mobile showroom. We come to you with our range of flooring products to see first-hand how much quality and style we can bring to your home and business.
Commercial Carpet tiles for office renovations and new builds
When planning for offices, the main concern is acoustics. This is considerably more true in open office plans, where unnecessary noise can hamper productivity. With their layered construction, ideal for noise mitigation, carpet tiles are an excellent answer for office projects.
For many offices, though, architects are going past the practical benefits with their carpet tiles. Creative architects and designers use carpet tiles to tell a brand story, improve wayfinding, delineate break-out areas, or stimulate innovation.