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Why Do Office Carpet Tiles Come in Different Sizes?

Posted on Oct 29, 2015, by Prem Patel

Carpet tile specifications can be a jumble of different sizes, shapes and measurements. From big 1m2 tiles to narrow carpet ‘planks’, it can be difficult to determine the right shape and size for your organization to use. With that in mind, we’re taking a look at the most common office carpet tile sizes – and exploring the pros and cons of each.

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Carpet Tile Sizes

Carpet tiles have been through countless iterations since their initial development in the 1960s. Originally, carpet tile sizes were largely a byproduct of the manufacturing processes used, but today’s carpet tiles have evolved into a range of relatively standard sizes, with different characteristics useful in a variety of different applications.

Most manufacturers offer two distinct sizes of carpet tile. For those using imperial measurements, these are typically 36in2 and 24in2; and for manufacturers using metric measurements, it’s relatively commonplace to find 1m2 and 50cm2 tiles. Many manufacturers have also started offering a third, narrower size of tile. Often referred to as ‘planks’, these tiles are commonly 25cm x 1m, or 12in x 36in, in size.

Though these sizes may seem confusing at first, each size is best suited to a particular application. To find the right size of carpet tile for your organization, it’s important to understand the different characteristics of each carpet tile size.

1) Installation

As a general rule, the larger the tile, the lower the installation cost. Though the costs of sealing and priming your sub-floor won’t vary with carpet tile size, 1m carpet tiles will be cheaper to install than 50cm tiles – requiring fewer tiles to cover the installation site, and less time to apply adhesives, remove backing tape and physically lay each tile.

However, there’s a caveat to consider: larger tiles can be heavier, bulkier and more difficult to maneuver. While a box of 24in2 or 50cm2 can be handled relatively easily, a crate of 36in2 or 1m2 will require more effort to move, and require more storage space. However, if your organization is large enough to warrant the use of 1m2 tiles, it’s likely that storage space won’t be a problem – making 1m2   tiles perfect for covering a lot of ground in large public spaces.

2) Waste

There’s a degree of carpet waste to be expected with any installation, especially when laying broadloom carpet.

Though modular carpeting offers significant waste reductions over broadloom, the size of your chosen carpet tile will also impact the amount of waste generated. Smaller carpet tiles are more likely to fit into a space without the need for excessive trimming; generating less waste from trim loss when compared to larger carpet tiles.

This is especially true in smaller spaces, like corridors or small conference rooms, where large 1m2 tiles may generate a large amount of waste. In these instances, smaller tiles (especially the narrow ‘plank’ style designs) are likely to be a more suitable choice.

3) Design Flexibility

Different sizes of carpet tile enable different types of design aesthetic to be created. With modern print technology, it’s possible to print large-scale designs, perfect for creating attractive patterns in a large interior space.  Smaller carpet tiles make it possible to create a different aesthetic, breaking up the floor’s design by laying tiles in a range of different patterns. Planks are also growing in popularity, with their thinner shape offering opportunities to create a range of unique and innovative design layouts that traditional carpet tile sizes can’t provide.

With certain styles of carpet tile, seam visibility can sometimes be a concern. Thankfully, installations using 1m2 tiles will have fewer visible seams when compared to smaller 50cm2 tiles; and as carpet tile design continues to improve over time, seams are becoming less and less visible.

When choosing carpet tiles, it’s important to remember that there’s no right or wrong size. Both large and small carpet tiles can create an engaging, attractive aesthetic for your office – and by weighing the pros and cons of each size, in terms of installation, waste and design flexibility, you’ll be able to choose the perfect carpet tile size for your organization.

For help choosing the right carpet tiles for your organization, download our free whitepaper below.

how to choose carpet tiles that last [free whitepaper]

Topics: Installation

Prem Patel

Written by Prem Patel