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How to Choose the Best Carpet Tiles

Posted on Dec 20, 2016, by Mike Brown

When you’re buying new carpet tiles, it can be difficult to compare one product with another and objectively determine the best option for your specific needs. Unfortunately, there’s a big difference in quality between carpet tiles, in terms of their performance, aesthetics and durability. How do you know what’s important, and what’s not?

Fortunately, there are a handful of universal criteria that elevate the best carpet tiles above the rest. Today I’m sharing six must-have traits of the best carpet tiles, and what to look for when you’re considering various options.

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1) Long-Lasting and Durable

New flooring needs to be long-lasting and durable. It should stand up to regular use and high-levels of foot traffic, and you need to be sure it will look nice for many years, rather than quickly wearing out.

What to Look For

Tile backing is the most important factor that affects the durability of modular carpet. In hard-backed tiles, the carpet fibers directly absorb the impact of foot traffic, which speeds up appearance degradation.

In comparison, cushion backing helps to absorb the impact of foot traffic, reducing fiber wear. But not all cushion backing is equal. There are two types of cushion backing: open cell and closed cell.

The best carpet tiles will have open cell cushion backing: these ‘re-inflate’ after being compressed, protecting your floor covering more effectively and for longer than closed cell cushion backing.

2) Easy to Install

The best carpet tiles will be easy to install, without requiring complex prep work. This will make installing your new flooring less costly by reducing both the installation time and labor.

What to Look For

Many installation complications stem from the need to prevent flooring compatibility problems, such as plasticizer migration. These issues often occur when compounds in new carpet tiles react with traces of old adhesives left from previous flooring.

The most effective way to simplify your installation process is to choose flooring with a non-reactive backing. Certain types of cushion backing, such as open cell cushion backing, don’t contain PVC or plasticizers, meaning they don’t react with anything on the subfloor.

Eliminating reactive factors can greatly speed up and simplify the installation process: you don’t need to remove all traces of old adhesives, or prime and seal the floor.

3) Aesthetics

It goes without saying that your new carpet tiles are the grounding component to create an attractive, welcoming interior environment. You should have a wide choice of designs and colors to choose from, so you can select designs that align with your desired aesthetic.

What to Look For

When choosing your carpet tiles, look for a floor covering manufacturer that provides design flexibility, with a wide range of patterns and colors. Different carpet dye technologies affect everything from patterning and available colors, to lead times and design continuity.

Durability is equally important when considering various modular carpet designs, as it directly impacts how long they will look like new.  

4) Cost-Effective Maintenance

The best carpet tiles will resist dirt, wear and tear. This will make them easier to maintain with regular cleaning, rather than requiring extensive, frequent stain removal to keep them looking as-new.

What to Look For

Choose modular carpet with built-in stain resist technology, to help prevent staining and soiling over the lifetime of the carpet. This will help to reduce time and costs associated with the labor required for regularly cleaning.

5) Creates a Positive Environment

The best carpet tiles will make a noticeable improvement to both the look and feel of your space, impacting noise levels, temperature, and even comfort.

What to Look For

Carpet tiles with cushion backing absorb 50% more noise than hard-back tiles, which can make a noticeable difference to background noise levels.

Furthermore, cushion backed carpet tiles offer greater underfoot support, creating a more comfortable space to stand and walk around in. In fact, they can reduce muscle strain by 24%, enhancing the experience for those who use your space every day.

6) Minimizes Risk

Purchasing new flooring is expensive, and potentially a big financial risk. If you opt for flooring that’s not suited to the specific environment, you’ll end up replacing it sooner, which will be another expensive, disruptive project. When it comes to purchasing new flooring, you want to be confident that you’ve chosen a solution that’s guaranteed to meet your requirements for many years to come.

What to Look For

One of the most important items to consider is the manufacturer’s warranty. The best carpet tiles will come with a comprehensive warranty program, covering all the important aspects of carpet tile performance, for the lifetime of your carpet.

It’s also critical to minimize risk during installation. A good installer should know everything they need to do to comply with the manufacturer’s warranty. However, it’s essential that you also have a clear understanding of what’s required, so you can make sure the warranties requirements are followed, to help installation run smoothly.

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Mike Brown

Written by Mike Brown