Carpet and carpet tiles pretty much serve the same purpose. Choosing is six of one, half a dozen the other. Both have many good points, and few bad points. It comes down to longevity, style choice and price.
Both carpet and carpet tiles are warm, offer great sound and temperature insulation, and a cost effective choice of floor covering. Carpet generally has a sturdier backing than carpet tiles, and comes in hard wearing materials and weaves. It also comes in a huge variety of styles, such as plush and shag. However, carpet tiles are much easier to lay, can more easily be replaced as sections wear out, can be stored as spares, and can be used to make interesting patterns of different colours and textures. They are perfect for making large rugs and hallway runners with your choice of colours and designs.
Carpet tiles tend to have a flatter, more even appearance than carpet, and may be a good choice for a kitchen or an office space.
Carpet tiles also tend to be much cheaper than standard carpet - depending on the style and material chosen, roughly an entire house can be fitted with carpet tiles for the same cost of putting carpet in one large room.
Because they are easily lifted and replaced, carpet tiles are a good floor covering for play areas, laundries, kitchens, entrances and all areas where food spillages and dirt can be a major concern.
Both carpet and carpet tiles vary in price, according to the materials used and the method of manufacture. The density is an important factor when choosing either option - but especially so when choosing carpet tiles.
The thicker the tile, the more durable it will be and consequently the more expensive. The better quality carpet tiles are more resistant to moisture than traditional carpet, and in normal use will not allow moisture through to the surface below.
Spilled liquid will remain on the face of the tile until it is blotted with a cloth or evaporates.
Carpet requires a good - and sometimes costly - underlay. But it can be laid on most surfaces.
However, carpet tiles must be laid on a solid floor surface, such as cement or concrete.
Some varieties of carpet tiles have padding and can be laid on a plywood sub-floor, make sure that there is hard floor underneath such as cement or concrete flooring. The concrete must be dry also be properly sealed with a non-solvent sealer (available at hardware stores).
There are carpet tiles that can be installed on a plywood subfloor as some carpet tiles have installed padding. However, make sure that your floor surface is suitable before purchasing the carpet tiles. If you are stuck for choice between carpet or carpet tiles, compare the options at retailers that sell both and can show you all the pros and cons without favouritism. When comparing prices, consider that carpet requires a proper underlay and usually a significant labour cost to lay.
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