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Why Cushion-Backed Office Carpet is More Than a Luxury

Posted on Jan 6, 2016, by Michael Eckert

When you’re researching options for your office’s new flooring, you might start to think that cushion-backed carpet is just a luxury, and to keep costs down, you could make do with hardback carpet tiles.

But cushion-backed carpet tiles have lots of inherent benefits that make it a smarter choice for your organization – and a flooring essential.

Free Tip Sheet: 25 Questions to Ask Your Carpet Tile Manufacturer

1) Easy to Install

The first time you’ll notice the benefits of cushion-backed carpet is during the installation process. Certain types of cushion backing, like open-cell cushion backing, are non-reactive. This means they won’t react with any traces of adhesives left on the sub-floor and cause a floor compatibility problem called plasticizer migration.

A non-reactive, cushion-backed carpet tile reduces or eliminates the need to clean up old adhesives from the sub-floor, meaning no time-consuming floor preparation. And you won’t need to prime or seal the floor, which means no hidden installation costs. You’ll save on labor costs and have a shorter installation time, enabling your organization to get back to normal, sooner.

2) Increased Durability

Carpet tile backing is the number one factor that impacts impacts durability in office environments. In cushion-backed tiles it’s the cushion backing that absorbs the impact of foot traffic, not the fibers. This reduces fiber wear and keeps your carpet looking better for longer.

In fact, cushion-backed carpet lasts 40-50% longer than hardback tiles, so while the purchase price for cushion-backed carpet may be higher than hardback, the total cost of ownership over its (longer) lifetime will be lower.

3) Best for Moisture Management

Open cell cushion-backing does moisture management better than any other type of carpet backing.

Open cell cushioning prevents mold and mildew by wicking away moisture. It allows the carpet to “breathe” and enables the moisture to escape through the seams of the carpet tiles, rather than trapping the moisture under the carpet or in the sub-floor where mold and mildew can develop. Other types of carpet will mask the moisture problem rather than solving it – for example by sealing the sub-floor to prevent moisture getting into the carpet.

If you’re installing carpet in an office area with high relative humidity levels, or if you’ve previously had problems with mold and mildew, this is essential. Some cushion-backed carpets can be installed in relative humidities of 85% and higher – though make sure you check the manufacturer’s warranty and choose a carpet that’s suitable for your relative humidity levels.

4) Improved Acoustics

Workplace noise has been repeatedly tied to reduced productivity, and high noise levels can directly lead to increased levels of stress-related hormones. In an open office environment especially, where there’s no walls to block airborne sound (like conversations) or absorb structure-borne sound (like wheelchairs, foot traffic or furniture moving), flooring has a surprising impact on noise levels.

Open-cell cushion-backed carpet has been shown to absorb over 50% more noise than hard-backed products. A quieter space will boost productivity, but in addition it simply makes for a more pleasant, less stressful working environment.

5) Health and Wellness Benefits

When you choose new flooring for your offices, you’re choosing a product that your employees will use every day for years to come. Your choice of flooring will have a huge impact on their comfort and health.

With a growing trend towards using height adjustable workstations for sit-to-stand working, it’s important to choose the right type of flooring to look after your employees’ health – just like you’d choose an ergonomic chair for seated workers.

A cushion-backed carpet tile can improve the comfort and wellbeing of standing workers, reducing muscle fatigue by as much as 24%, and heel impact loads by up to 30%. This translates into fewer aches and pains and real benefits for those employees that either have to, or choose to, stand for large portions of their working day.

Discover how to choose long-lasting, comfortable carpet tiles for your organization's office(s), and download our whitepaper below.

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Topics: Performance

Michael Eckert

Written by Michael Eckert