Broadloom vs. carpet tile: a buyer’s guide
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If you’re trying to decide between broadloom vs. carpet tile, read below!
The two primary types of carpets you can choose for your facility are broadloom (roll) carpets and carpet tiles. Broadloom carpets come in large rolls, usually at least 12 feet wide, and are laid onto a carpet pad that sits on your floor substrate. Crews install them by aligning large pieces together and cutting some of them, including the carpet pad underneath, to the correct size for a room.
Carpet tiles, also called carpet squares or modular carpet, come in pre-sized squares with their own integrated backing and base. They sit directly on your substrate. Your installer will lay individual tiles one at a time, with minimal cutting, only resizing certain pieces where necessary.
Broadloom carpet on the left, used in a unique, wall-to-wall design; carpet tile on the right, installed to create a staggered, textured pattern.
Broadloom carpet advantages and disadvantages
Broadloom is the traditional and still most popular choice of carpeting, and it comes with many design options, including patterns, colors, even mosaics — nearly limitless aesthetic possibilities. Since broadloom is installed over a carpet pad, it can look great even if your substrate has minor imperfections. Quality broadloom that comes with a moisture backing offers superior stain resistance, and seams can be hidden well using chemical welding. Certain broadloom with the right underlay material can be used to create a softer and more plush feel than carpet tile allows. Broadly speaking, you’ll find broadloom carpets are less expensive than carpet tiles.
While broadloom has many advantages, it also comes with some disadvantages. First, it creates waste during installation due to the necessary process of cutting down large pieces, particularly the carpet pad. The cost of unnecessary or unused materials can offset savings in unit price. Second, it’s difficult, time consuming and costly to repair. If an area of it becomes irreversibly damaged by moisture or mildew, the whole carpet in a section must be taken up and re-installed to fully fix it.
Carpet tile advantages and disadvantages
With no carpet pad required, carpet tile provides an easy and expeditious installation as compared with broadloom, reducing cost and streamlining schedule. Over time, maintenance is easy, since you can quickly remove each individual tile to clean or replace it if it becomes damaged. Due to the size of the tiles and the ease of replacing small sections of your carpet, you can cost-effectively store replacement tiles that require minimal space. Carpet tile offers a variety of design options and makes designs possible that broadloom can’t cost-effectively replicate, such as a checkerboard effect or certain textured layouts.
The drawbacks of carpet tile include design limitations and cost. While carpet tile opens up certain possibilities, it’s not best suited for some designs that broadloom best handles, such as larger patterns or mosaic styles. Seams are more visible with carpet tile, which can be a drawback for certain designs. The cost of certain carpet tiles is higher than broadloom. While carpet tile accounts for about 30 percent of carpets installed today, wall-to-wall broadloom carpeting remains the most popular option for commercial applications.
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Find the best carpet for your facility
Selecting flooring materials that match your aesthetic vision and align with your budget and schedule is no small task. We’ve published a buyer’s guide that walks you through the basics of purchasing carpet.
In this buyer’s guide, we cover:
- Benefits and tradeoffs of using carpets vs. other types of flooring
- Common measures used to assess a carpet’s quality and durability
- Key elements of selecting carpets for various environments
- Different types of carpet materials and their advantages and disadvantages
- A high-level look at costs in carpeting and why Life Cycle Costing helps you achieve the greatest value for your flooring investment
Fill out the form below to download the guide.
Selecting carpet for your budget, interior design and facility environment
Selecting a carpet that matches your design vision, stands up to your facility environment and aligns with your budget is no small task. We’ve created this guide as a resource to help you make an informed carpet purchasing decision.