How to Install Carpet Tiles

Lavish Shaggy Carpet TileWhile the installation of carpet tile is fairly straightforward, there are some useful tips for the do-it-yourself customer. Before deciding on the type of carpet tile to go with, a customer should first consider various wear patterns in terms of where the tiles will be installed. For example, low traffic areas can typically accept lighter materials, whereas high traffic areas would require tougher fabrics.

Examples of this consideration includes, stairways and halls that tend to experience higher traffic loads, versus quiet bedrooms where lighter materials would be more acceptable. In either case, should the customer pick the wrong carpet density, wear and tear can occur much quickly than expected, thereby creating customer frustration and reduced overall value.

Another area to consider regards the density of the carpet tiles pile, and the blend or physical structure of the fibrous piles themselves. All carpet is essentially manufactured utilizing common construction processes. In this event pile is affixed to either a cloth, or synthetic backing.

Tape & AdhesivesHowever, the way that pile is integrated with the backing makes a considerable difference from one method to the other. For example a group of individually integrated single-loop piles also referred to as "cut pile," provides for lighter overall pile density, while "loop pile", where groups of individual pile-strands are looped in and out of the carpet's backing, produces a denser, fuller final product.

Consequently, lighter cut-pile densities tend to offer more movement across the surface of a tile surface, while the denser loop-pile structure packs more pile-strands into a smaller space, thereby limiting pile movement. In effect, then, the ultimate differences between the two approaches apply directly to the expected service cycles of each pile type based on their individual construction methods

Carpet Tiles - Assorted ColorsTo make this point a bit simpler, think about it this way, lighter pile allows more movement across an overall pile surface, thereby creating faster wear. However, on the other hand, denser pile limits movement, thereby leading to slower wear over time.

Once the customer has considered wear factors, and decided on pile density, the next step is to estimate the quantity of tiles needed. In this case, the customer can work the math out manually by working from the dimensions of each tile, or he can utilize one of the automated systems that are typically offered by particular manufacturers. For example, here is a floor calculator from Huega to help you tackle your floor measurements.

Dean Flooring Company offers a wide-range of carpet tile products, in addition to offering professional installation advice driven by the requirements of each customer. As a general rule, however, carpet tile installation is fairly straightforward as articulated below:


Suggested tools:

Floor Level
75 lb. floor roller
Snap chalk line
Razor cutter
3-4-5 triangle ruler

  1. Mark the center of the room. When laying tile, work is applied from the center of the room out. Consequently, the first step is to snap chalk the room using the mid-point of opposing walls as references. Once the room is chalked properly the lines should cross at the center-point of the room.

  2. Test the tile line width. Lay available tiles side-to-side without applying adhesive. Begin at one wall and extend the tile line until it meets the opposing wall, leaving at least a half-tile wide as a buffer. Square the line up; then remove the last tile. The customer should then experience an open space that is at least a complete tile wide.

  3. Pile direction check. Rub the pile until the material's nap direction is exposed by showcasing an either darker or lighter shade. The goal is to insure that the pile's lighter shade, representing its "true" pile direction, matches adjacent tiles.

  4. Lay center tiles. Place the first tile at the apex of the previously center chalk lines, follow that by placing the second tile side-by-side with the first tile, and so on until a larger square is created. Again, be careful to insure that the nap direction for each tile is common with each adjacent tile.

  5. Extend adjacent squares until a complete section meets a first corner. Using the same process used to apply the center tiles, move outward until a larger square of tiles meet the wall. If the space between the last tile and the wall itself is narrower than a tile width, trim the last tile's width accordingly. Repeat this process until all tiles are placed wall-to-wall, trimmed and glued.

  6. Roller finish the carpet surface. Using the 75 lb. roller tool, cover the entire carpet surface to eliminate any wrinkles or irregularities, while insuring that the adhesive has been applied evenly throughout.