Office flooring is probably the first thing you will think of when it comes to carpet tiles due to their high durability and resistance to the castor wheel office chair. Hotel carpeting is often another way in which carpet tiles are used to their full potential, insulating footsteps so as to keep guests from disturbing each other and hiding stains well. However, the carpet tile is a much overlooked flooring option when it comes to flooring for the home. This is certainly a missed opportunity if you have a high traffic area and you don’t want to have to go through a lot of trouble to maintain it.
There are many options when it comes to carpet tiles. Not only can you get carpet squares but you can also buy carpet planks which are carpet strips in various dimensions. So with hundreds of different styles and textures to choose from, how can you be sure to make the right choice? While trends in interior design might help you pick the best look for your home, what should you do when it comes to installing the carpet tiles? We have put together a small guide to help you determine the best alternative depending on your preferences and needs.
4 Different Types Of Carpet Tiles: Squares Or Planks, Commercial Or For The Home
First things first. Generally speaking, there are two main types of carpet tiles from a visual point of view. On the one hand, you have the carpet tiles which come in a square format. These are great for creating geometric shapes by cutting the corners or halving the tiles diagonally creating isosceles triangles. On the other hand, there are carpet planks, these can look very elegant and can be made interesting by adding accents in different colours. Both types of carpet tile can be used to section a room into areas without the need for physical barriers that can make a space such as an office or children’s play room look smaller.
When choosing your carpet tiles it is important to consider the yarn, which should reflect how you intend to use them. The most common products today have a pile layer made of hard-wearing synthetic fibres, such as polypropylene or polyamide. They generally withstand many external circumstances, making them perfect for use as commercial carpet tiles. Polyamide feels particularly soft and will retain its appearance thanks to its high light fastness. Some manufacturers such as Tretford also specialise in manufacturing with natural fibre materials such as goat hair or pure wool. While goat hair carpet tiles naturally promise a high quality in your living space, this is rather a niche product which you will not tend to find in commercial settings.
When it comes to buying carpet tiles, you should also consult the usage class. The higher the rating of the floor covering, the more durable it is. For home areas, the classifications range from 21 to 23. You should only use 21 for rooms that are used infrequently, such as a guest room, while class 23 carpet tiles may be used in corridors or entrance areas. Classifications 31 – 33, on the other hand, indicate commercial use. Here, too, the lower classifications should be used less while class 33 indicates suitability for open-plan offices, restaurants and shops.
Carpet Tiles For Home Or Commercial Use
The pile layer of your product is undoubtedly an important aspect when deciding on your carpet squares or planks. The majority of surfaces today are created by the so-called tufting process, in which the yarn material is threaded in such a way that a loop is created. The loop makes your floor both comfortable and robust. If these loops are then cut open, this produces a cosy velour look that works well as living room flooring. A needle punch carpet construction, meanwhile, results in a flat, fabric-like carpet that is mainly used for indoor-outdoor carpet and some carpet tiles. Different textual effects, such as corduroy, can be achieved by mixing fibre deniers. These surfaces are particularly robust, easier to clean and dirt is generally not so easy to spot. Many people find this type of surface uncomfortable and therefore prefer a loop look or different types of velour for the living area. Cut pile is further broken down into several different surface styles, which we detail here.
Saxony And Velour
You can get all the plush and luxurious look and feel from your carpet tile as you would from a standard carpet. In the Saxony style, each yarn has a uniform twist and finish, making it perfect for a bedroom or formal living room. A velour surface style gives a slightly more formal look. Be aware, however, that these styles tend to show up footprints and vacuum marks due to their light-reflecting fibres. This style is not a good choice for high traffic areas or rooms with lively children.
Frieze, Shag And Cable
In contrast to the soft plush Saxony and velour styles, here the individual strands stand out, making them ideal for hiding dirt and marks.
- Frieze carpet is characterised by highly twisted rough and curly fibres twisted together to create a curled appearance. The short dense fibres make this style an ideal choice for homeowners with high-traffic areas and in offices as they hide footprints.
- Shag carpet piles are much longer and thicker than those of the frieze style. Shag is better suited for low traffic areas.
- Cable carpet is constructed of thicker and typically longer yarn, and is characterised by chunky knobbly fibres. As with shag, it is better suited for low traffic areas of your home and would make a perfect bedroom or living room carpet.
When durability is the name of the game, a loop pile would be a good choice. Unlike in a cut pile style, a loop pile carpet construction has yarns that are looped and left intact on the surface of the carpet. Loop carpets are extremely durable, making them ideal for casual, active family rooms and come in solid colours and patterns with varying levels of loops. This carpet hides traffic marks well but be aware that this style may make seams more visible. Still, this makes a great all-purpose carpet tile, a long lasting performer and very popular in homes and commercial spaces across the country.
Laying Carpet Tiles
Most carpet tiles and planks have a similar laying process. Firstly, let the carpet tiles rest within the room in which you wish to lay it for 48 hours. This allows the material to acclimatise to the room which is important for the carpet to retain its dimensional stability. Prepare the subfloor by removing any previous flooring, you should not lay carpet on top of any other types of flooring. This can cause many problems such as instability and the new flooring taking the form of the one beneath. Ensure the surface is completely clean and free of any dirt. A sealant should be used on concrete, wood or other porous subfloor materials. Carpet tiles should be laid from the centre outwards. It is helpful to do a practise layout to see how the pattern works.
Self-Adhesive Carpet Tiles
The installation method for these carpet tiles varies depending on the type of carpet tile or plank you buy. There are self-adhesive carpet tiles – as the name suggests, there is a self-adhering backing that fixes to your floor. Because these tiles can be rather thin in comparison to other types of carpet, they would make an ideal flooring for a basement, as a short term solution in areas with low traffic or before installing something more durable. These tiles are simple to lay by simply peeling back the plastic sheet to expose the sticky covering, positioning and pressing into place to ensure it has adhered properly. No extra equipment is needed with self-adhesive tiles – the ultimate in easy DIY flooring.
Loose Lay Carpet Tiles
A similarly easy flooring to install is the loose-lay carpet tiles. Even a beginner DIY enthusiast can lay these with ease. All you will need is a Stanley knife and ruler. This method is popular for its easy maintenance, since individual damaged tiles can be replaced or removed temporarily for cleaning. You could therefore install these tiles in frequently used areas of your home such as a kitchen or hallway. They also make an ideal flooring for commercial spaces such as offices. For added strength, you can use small adhesive TacTile strips to fix the tiles down securely, preventing any shrinkage or expansion. This produces a seamless wall-to-wall look and makes it easy to replace individual tiles.
Four Designs With Carpet Tiles
In addition to the various surface structures, the beauty of carpet tiles is that you have many design options using the arrow on the reverse of the tiles which indicates the pile direction. Carpet squares come in all colours of the rainbow and can be arranged simply in a monolithic pattern for a broadloom effect. The loose laying lets you change your floor with ease, so you can also create stripes, chequerboard patterns or totally random colours. The choices are even wider-ranging with rectangular carpet planks, which work well in a trendy herringbone look or a distinctive parquet pattern. You can even explore different textures and isolated rugs for kids’ areas. Here are some design ideas to get you inspired:
Herringbone Pattern Carpet
Rectangular carpet planks lend themselves particularly well to a classic herringbone design, where pairs of carpet planks are installed at right-angles. When executed well, the look can be striking.
Chequerboard Carpet Design
A bold chequerboard design can be created by simply using square carpet tiles in two colours and laying the tiles alternately. This is one of the easiest patterns to create. As a variation, you can use three colours laid out in a diagonal pattern, or yet more to yield a pixelated look. For a subtler effect, choose three variants of one colour.
Modern Office Carpet Design
Creating a modern office floor could not be easier with the varied shapes, sizes and colours of carpet tiles. Today’s modern office environments with their open plan arrangements are designed with flexibility in mind. A modular floor using tiles is an ideal office carpet solution for frequently changing layouts.
Geometric Carpet Designs
Why not inject some energy into your room or office with an on-trend geometric look? The perfect square shape of the carpet tile is ideal for creating repeated geometrical patterns or optical illusions. The geometric look can also be used in isolation in an otherwise solid-colour flooring to create direction markers. The options are truly endless!
Choose The Best Carpet Tiles From Our Store
We hope this has given you some information and inspiration to decide which type of carpet tile is the best one for you and your requirements. Feel free to search through the items in our online store to find your perfect carpet tiles. You can even take advantage of our free sample service on our wide range of square and plank carpet tiles for an even better and more informed decision. Happy browsing, and don’t hesitate to contact us for further queries!