What Are the Disadvantages of a Carpet Tile?

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Carpet tiles have many benefits, one of which is the ease with which you can design a custom flooring pattern. Plus, if only one tile is damaged or stained, it can be replaced without ripping up the entire floor. Carpet tile also had disadvantages; consider these carefully before you choose the tiles and install them. Understand both carpet tiles's negatives and positives so you won't spend time and money installing new flooring that you don't like.

Inconsistent Appearance

Even if you are very careful about the tile placement, they will never have the same, uniform appearance that wall-to-wall carpeting creates. One reason for this is that the nap may be slightly different from one tile to the next, and another reason is the seams. Carpet tiles create seams every 12, 18 or 24 inches, depending on the size of the tiles. These seams will always be visible, no matter how carefully the carpet is installed.

Lifting and Fraying

More than just unsightly, carpet tile seams can cause a tripping hazard. The seams of carpet tile wear quickly, especially in high-traffic areas, creating frayed material and strings that can entangle the feet or paws of family members, friends and pets who walk over them. The corners of the carpet tiles can also lift, creating another potential tripping hazard. Carpet tile simply doesn't last as long as other carpeting.

Spills and Accidents

You can purchase wall-to-wall carpet with a backing material that can be made waterproof to provide protection against spills and pet accidents. Because of their many seams, carpet tiles can't provide this waterproof protection, and it may allow spills and pet stain to be absorbed into the sub-floor beneath them. This makes the stains very difficult to remove and may trap odors. Replacing the carpet tile itself will remove visible stains but won't eliminate odors that have soaked into the floor beneath.

Cost

Because less skill is involved in installation, carpet tiles are almost always less expensive to install than wall-to-wall carpeting. The carpet itself, however, is more expensive, costing up to 50 percent more per square yard than other carpet types. The cost of the carpet itself will quickly counteract any installation savings and likely result in a more expensive finished project than wall-to-wall carpeting.

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