Flooring is a big investment for any organization to make. Once a decision is made, it’s important for you to be happy with your decision for years into the future.
To maximize your investment, your chosen carpet tiles need to maintain their appearance for as long as possible. With that in mind, we’re looking at the expectations and reality of carpet tile longevity – and outlining the three biggest factors that will improve the appearance retention of your carpet tiles.
Expectation Versus Reality
It’s fair to say that most organizations look for their carpet tiles to last somewhere between 10-12 years. Understandably, there’s a degree of variance in these expectations. While a hospital or school might look for their carpet to retain its appearance for 20 years, a company in a leased office space might be happy with 5-10 years.
In some instances, these expectations need to be tempered by reality. While carpeting provides a warmer, more comfortable environment than hard-flooring, it won’t be as hard-wearing over time. Similarly, areas with high foot traffic will lose their appearance at a faster rate than tiles exposed to less foot traffic.
However, depending on their maintenance schedule, and where they’re located, it’s possible for carpet tiles to last 15 – 20 years. It’s within your organization’s power to minimize the degradation of your carpet’s appearance – and by following these best practices of carpet tile maintenance, you can maximize the life span of your carpet tiles.
1) Regular Vacuuming
Over time, regular use will cause dirt to buildup in your carpet. If left, your carpet’s appearance will quickly deteriorate.
Thankfully, vacuuming has a huge impact on appearance retention. Regular vacuuming is capable of removing 80% of the dirt and debris your carpet tiles accumulate, making it the single biggest factor for improving appearance retention.
In a perfect world, the life of your carpet would be maximized by daily vacuuming – but given the costs associated with doing so, this isn’t feasible in most organizations. At the least, it’s important to develop a regular maintenance schedule. As a general rule, the more frequently your carpet is vacuumed, the longer it’ll maintain an as-new appearance.
2) Detergent-Free Deep Cleaning
In addition to regular vacuuming, the life of your carpet tiles can be extended through periodic deep cleaning.
Most commonly, detergent solution is pumped into the carpet before cleaning with a steam cleaner. Though a popular choice within many organizations, this approach has its own problems. Over time, detergents will gradually build-up in the carpet tiles, causing small amounts of dirt and debris to concentrate in parts of the carpet. Though appearing clean in the short-term, this can cause localized soiling to worsen over time.
In order to prolong the life of your carpet tiles, it can be more effective to use a detergent-free cleaning method (such as MilliCare). Dry powders use small porous beads to absorb dirt and debris from the carpet tile, allowing it to be removed through regular vacuuming. As well as offering a waterless alternative to steam cleaning, this method stops dirt and debris from being forced further into the carpet.
3) Tiered Entryway Products
Most of the dirt and debris that damages your carpet is brought in from outside of the building. By reducing the amount that makes it onto the premises, you can help carpets throughout the building maintain their appearance for longer.
Tiered entryway systems use different types of flooring to prevent dirt and debris from entering the building. When implemented properly, these systems can reduce dirt, debris and moisture by up to 80%.
Recessed Floors and Metal Grates
Grates and recessed flooring act as your first line for defense, creating a physical barrier to prevent large rocks and pieces of dirt from entering the building.
Walk-off tiles are abrasive sections of carpet that use stiff fibers to brush dirt and moisture off people’s feet.
Entry mats are designed to absorb moisture from rain, snow and mud. While the vast majority of organizations use an entry mat, a much smaller percentage use them in conjunction with metal grates and walk-off tiles. Even if your lobby is too small for a full tiered entry system, it’s important to use entryway products wherever possible.
Together, these three approaches can help your carpet tiles maintain their appearance for as long as possible.