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4 Unique Design Considerations when Selecting Commercial Carpet Tiles

Posted on Apr 24, 2017, by Mike Brown

Commercial carpet tiles offer greater design flexibility than broadloom carpet or hard surface flooring. With an ever-increasing range of colors, patterns and textures available, decision-making can be overwhelming - and that's before you consider the practicalities of different types of carpet tile.

To help you select the best modular carpet and create the look you envisioned for your client, we're sharing four important design considerations that are unique to carpet tiles.

Featured image: H20, San Francisco, California, USA. Design firm: HGA

1) Pattern Continuity

One of the most common objections to installing modular rather than broadloom carpet is that you can tell it’s carpet tile rather than wall-to-wall carpet.

However, the choice of pattern and design technology can significantly improve design continuity across your floor. Different carpet dye technologies offer varying capabilities when it comes to pattern matching across tiles.

For example, Milliken’s proprietary print technology allows you to achieve precise design registration from tile to tile, meaning there’s little to no visible difference between one tile and the next. Dye is applied to each individual carpet tile, allowing for perfect design registration across all four edges, so designs flow beautifully from tile to tile.

As well as offering incredible design flexibility, this makes it easy to spot-replace damaged tiles: Milliken's print technology enables individual tiles to be printed years after the original installation, if a replacement with an exact pattern match is needed.

2) Seam Visibility

Patterns can either disguise or celebrate seam divisions between tiles. Organic designs tend to be more forgiving than linear or geometric ones, which tend to accentuate the seams. For example, compare Milliken's Lapidus collection with the Lineation collection; the more geometric design turns tile divisions into a design feature.

Milliken carpet Lapidus and Lineation collections

Featured products: Lapidus (left) and Lineation (right)

Additionally, recommended installation methods are a good indicator of how visible tile seams will be after installation. If you’re hoping to camouflage seams with modular carpet, consider products with a Monolithic installation method. However, if a product is recommended to be installed as quarter-turned, herringbone or Ashlar, seams will likely be more visible and become a significant design feature in your installation.

3) Accent Tiles

Accent tiles are a great tool to add pops of color to a commercial space without compromising the professional aesthetic.

Modular carpet collections will offer a range of colors, so you'll need to decide whether you want to select accent tiles from the same collection, or a complementary series.

Commercial carpet design considerations - accent tiles.jpgFeatured image: SABMiller, Bogotá, CUNDINAMARCA, Colombia. Design firm: Grupo Dossarq Architects

4) Durability

Durability may not be an immediate design priority when selecting modular carpet, but it should be one of the top considerations. Durable carpet tiles are crucial to being confident that the commercial space designed for your clients will continue looking like new for many years to come.

To select long-lasting, durable modular carpet, you need to shift your focus away from the face of the carpet tile and dive into its construction - in particular, the type of carpet tile backing.

The type of backing is the number one factor that impacts carpet tile durability. Selecting modular carpet with open cell cushion backing can prolong the life of the tiles by 30-40% over hard-backed carpet tiles. The open cell cushion is compressed and then re-inflates after compression (such as by foot traffic or moving furniture). In contrast, hard-back tiles have no cushioning. As the carpet fibers are compressed, they become worn, and their appearance deteriorates much more quickly.

how to choose carpet tiles that last [free whitepaper]

Mike Brown

Written by Mike Brown