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Carpet Tile Buyer's Guide


What to Look for When Buying Carpet Tiles

Those of you who’ve grown up seeing or using carpet rolls in your home or business should take time to check out a popular alternative: carpet tile. Often known as carpet squares or modular carpet, carpet tile is now a modern favorite as a variation to carpet rolls of the past.

While carpet rolls are still used, they generally cost more than tile. Plus, rolls are often more challenging to install.

What should you know about buying carpet tile if you’re thinking about using it in your business or home?

Before you begin, keep this fact in mind: Buying carpet tile in a store like Home Depot is 20% more expensive than buying from Floor City.

Let us show you fifteen things to know about buying this type of flooring from top brands like Kraus and NextFloor.

  1. Residential vs. Commercial

One thing you’ll discover first about Kraus and NextFloor’s carpet tile is you can use it in either a home or a business.

However, when you think of home and business, this expands into considerable territory. For instance, we serve many churches throughout the U.S. with modular carpet. They like to use it because it’s easy to install, doesn’t cost a fortune, and lasts for up to 20 years.

The variety in appearance of carpet tile also makes a big difference in why churches like it so much. Plus, it holds up well to foot traffic. If just one tile gets more wear and tear over time, they’re easily replaceable without having to replace the entire floor.

Outside of churches being an ongoing customer, office spaces use carpet tile frequently. Places like law firms, realtors, and dentist offices often find numerous benefits in using this flooring. Corporations are also finding it useful to prevent their high-traffic floors from wearing out so fast. No business wants to replace their floor after only a few years and potentially disrupt customers.

For homes, the same benefits exist. Did you know more people are starting to create living spaces in basements? HGTV shows some great examples of how this works in a home. You could use carpet tile there for either a living space or a place to entertain guests if you have visitors often.

A true benefit to using carpet tile in a basement is it’s easy to remove if you have any flooding. Since basements are known to have leaks and floods, it’s really the best choice of flooring, no matter what you do there.

For senior living environments, you have a cross between a home and business. Use of carpet tile has increased there as well to give senior residents a long-lasting, comfortable floor without disturbing them with floor replacements.

  1. Finding the Right Carpet Tile Size

All carpet tiles come in various sizes to accommodate most living spaces. Kraus and NextFloor offer considerable size variations to give you variety.

Generally, the smaller the tile, the more variation patterns you’ll be able to enjoy. Larger tiles make this a little more challenging, though it obviously depends on the space involved.

Under the Kraus brand, the most common residential size available is 19.7”x19.7”. A good example is Kraus’s Steel Rhone collection where your coverage level goes up to 54 sq. ft.

As you can see with the Steel Rhone collection, churches appreciate using this, especially in being able to find it online (with testing samples).

For Kraus’s commercial carpet tile, it’s much the same in sizing. You’ll also be able to find some products with a size of 24”x24” in the commercial category. This is a perfect size when needing to provide flooring for a large basement or bigger churches.

NextFloor provides nearly identical sizes for commercial and residential customers. The company’s installation instructions note ten tiles can’t be less than 197 inches or more than 197 ¼ inches when using the 19.7”x19.7” size.

Always make sure the tiles fit snugly for a correct installation.

  1. Thickness

You’ll want to study the thickness level of your carpet tile since it all depends on how durable it’s going to stay over time. It also determines other things like sound control and how comfortable it is to walk on for you, your employees, or customers.

NextFloor calls this Gauge, and it’s typically 1/12th of an inch. Kraus is much the same with 1/12” coming out to 0.0833”. Wear layer is also an important factor in thickness. For Kraus, it’s often 1/12”, or 2.12 mm.

In businesses listed above (and for homes), this durable thickness level is going to hold up for years before needing to use your warranty.

Sound control is also very important in your carpet tile thickness level, especially if your work environments emanate considerable noise. Even a church can create annoying sounds if the acoustics aren’t quite right.

At Floor City, we’re available to help you learn more about thickness level and what it means for comfort level, plus floor longevity.

  1. Kraus and NextFloor Warranties

As you weigh the options on Kraus and NextFloor carpet tiles, you’ll want to take a look at their warranties.

These often differ depending on whether you’re buying carpet tile for your home or a business.

Most commercial warranties under the Kraus brand last for 10 years. Considering carpet tile often lasts a couple of decades, this is a fair warranty if your commercial business has tremendous floor traffic seven days a week.

Many of Kraus’s carpet tile products expand their warranties to include a 10-year stain proof warranty with no exceptions. They also include a 10-year backing performance warranty.

NextFloor takes things even further and offers a lifetime commercial wear warranty on some of their products. You’ll find this for their Chestnut Development 811 carpet tile. 

Like Kraus, NextFloor offers a similar stain resistance warranty and one for backing performance. Their warranty is designed specifically for commercial spaces, making it a good brand to consider for any type of industry.

Keep in mind it’s rare to find lifetime commercial warranties for any type of floor. For those of you who plan to use your carpet tile for long hours seven days a week, a lifetime warranty will benefit you exponentially.

  1. Underlayment

You may need an underlayment to keep your carpet tile even, depending on how it’s set up for different rooms.

An underlayment works as a carpet pad that’s placed under the tile to avoid deterioration of the pad you buy with the floor. Carpet pads made with foam or rubber can wear out a little faster if you have heavy floor traffic over certain parts of your tile. 

Overall, though, carpet tile doesn’t really require underlayment and only a clean and level subfloor.  Kraus and NextFloor allow you to place their tiles directly over concrete, plywood, and even hardwood finished floors. In cases where you worry about moisture (like in a basement), it’s always advisable to seal the concrete before you install your carpet tiles.

Kraus, in particular, offers a special modular tile underlayment. Their underlay is also used frequently with LVT flooring. This offers noise reduction and helps smooth out any imperfections you may have on your subfloor. It’s going to help extend the life of your carpet tiles by 50% while also being eco-friendly (low VOC’s).

NextFloor doesn’t necessarily require underlayment, yet they remind you need to properly prepare your subfloor before installation takes place. An inspection should occur before your carpet pile installs to scope out things like cracks or trowel ridges.

You’ll additionally want to do a test on moisture emissions on your subfloor. NextFloor points out all of this is the responsibility of the installer and that the company isn’t responsible for any needed corrections.

If you’re not up to doing a subfloor inspection on your own, hire a professional to do it before you install your carpet tile product. We can help guide you in the right direction here at Floor City.

  1. Adhesives

Most carpet tile from Kraus and NextFloor use a gluedown method when you install the tiles on your subfloor. It’s an example of how simple it is to install tile using the right adhesive.

Kraus has their specific brand of adhesive products to make this process easier. You can get these in one gallon or four gallon containers. The KPA 501 and 301 products are the ones you want to acquire in either gallon size. These do cost a little more, but it’s going to ensure your carpet tiles have the best possible adhesion.

You won’t regret paying a little more for the Kraus adhesives since it helps create a water-resistant bond lasting for years. It’s possible to acquire these adhesives through us at a reduced price.

NextFloor offers a gluedown method as well for a simple installation method. However, they also offer a click system (otherwise known as a floating floor) so you don’t have to bother with adhesives.

Many of NextFloor’s carpet tile products are capable of being installed on subfloors like wood, concrete, ceramic, terrazzo, marble, or metal.

We’ll help you make the best decision on which brand is best for your situation. Whether you choose an adhesive or a click install method, either one eliminates any need to hire an installation expert.

  1. Pricing

One reason you probably don’t want to use real hardwood or regular carpet for your floor is because of the massive expense. With the extra money you’d put into larger carpet rolls, the more maintenance you’d ultimately have to put in.

Modern technology has created the ability to create imitation flooring even experts can’t discern from the real thing. Carpet tile is one example of this where you can get the look of real carpet without anybody really knowing it’s in tile form.

Thanks to using more affordable materials, it makes carpet tile less expensive than buying full carpet.

Kraus and NextFloor help provide as much affordability as possible with their products. Even so, when you shop for these products through the right online source, you’ll find even better deals.

At Floor City, you’ll be able to buy these brands at the best prices found on the net. As we mentioned at the beginning, going through big box stores will ultimately cost you more, not including the time and gas you spend visiting.

To see for yourself, go look at our Kraus and NextFloor carpet tile inventory to give you an idea of how you’ll save.

According to most carpet tile pricing statistics, you may have to pay up to $4 per square foot in some stores. Places like Home Depot don’t hesitate to charge maximum retail prices for sake of profit.

Most Kraus carpet tile on our site goes for well under $3 per sq. ft. Average prices you’ll find include $1.43, $1.48, and $1.70. Some higher end carpet tile from Kraus is available at $2.46 per sq. ft., but nothing going over $3.

NextFloor prices are much the same through our store if not even more affordable. Many of their products go as low as $1.36 per sq. ft. Few to any go over $2.

It pays to do price comparisons to show you how unbeatable our prices are. Buying tiles through us will help you beat the typical full installation price of $900 for carpeting an entire room. You can enjoy a total cost of installation that’s several hundred dollars less than general estimates.

  1. Cleaning Your Carpet Tiles

With some proper cleaning and other maintenance, your carpet tiles should last for many years. You’ll want to look at what Kraus and NextFloor recommend to keep your tiles looking as pristine as possible.

Whether for a business or a busy home, proper cleaning will do much to create positive first impressions. Visitors notice how floors look more than you think and may set certain perceptions about who you are.

Learning about cleaning is very specific when you see what Kraus and NextFloor say about maintaining their products.

In the case of Kraus, they provide a detailed page on helping to establish a maintenance program. They recommend daily vacuuming as a way to fight off soiling from high foot traffic. To determine a cleaning schedule, it helps to identify key traffic areas in areas of your business or home. Entrances and restrooms are just two examples where you’ll likely need to clean the most often.

NextFloor offers a cleaning tip page as well. They, like Kraus, recommend daily vacuuming, including using a damp mop to clean up basic dirt and stains.

Using a heavy-duty upright vacuum is the best way to accomplish cleaning on your tiles. Try to find one with high airflow and effective brush action. If you’d rather not have to do the vacuuming on your own, consider using a Roomba. These are gentle but still thorough, plus capable of being programmed to do daily cleaning if you’re not available.

Keep in mind spots on your tiles need immediate treatment. They’ll set in permanently if you don’t take swift action to help clean them up. Blotting any liquids is the way to approach this using a clean white cloth.

Deep cleaning is going to need doing once in a while to keep your carpet tiles in perfect shape. You can use a dry foam method, dry extraction, or hot water extraction.

Consult the company guides on proper care. Kraus’s guide above offers further detailed tips on how to remove tough stains like beer, grease, excrement, urine, or wine.

  1. Using Commercial Carpet Tile in Your Home

Just because you find carpet tile in specific categories for commercial and residential, doesn’t mean you can’t cross over.

A lot of people consider commercial carpet tile in their homes if they have a busier home than normal. Your home might fit this bill if you happen to entertain often. The first case in this category is having children running around every day in your house.

Kids can easily create extra wear and tear on any type of floor. Facing the wrath of kids walking, running, and playing over your tile is going to mean needing a more robust product.

Other home scenarios might involve having parties with business associates on a consistent basis. Or, just entertaining friends and family is something you may do more often than the average person.

You’ll want to put in more maintenance time to keep your carpet tile intact after these situations. Regardless, don’t be afraid to invest in a commercial edition of Kraus or NextFloor carpet tile to give you more robust materials.

Even if residential warranties are longer, you’ll still get a lot of use out of the 10-year commercial warranties offered by both companies. This is still going to give you plenty of use for a long time before possibly needing repairs. It could take you through the entire developmental years of your children as they grow up enjoying and fully using your carpet tile.

  1. Color Choices

No doubt color is one of the most important aspects for you next to price in shopping for carpet tile. Most of today’s best flooring brands offer a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures to consider.

Kraus and NextFloor also offer an extensive color palette for your tiles. With Kraus, you’ll be able to find just about every primary color to suit your home or business’s interior design.

They offer beiges, blue, browns, golds, grays, greens, oranges, reds, purples, and blacks with different variations.  Browns are usually the most popular and one color that’s the most widely available by the company. Grays and blacks are the other two most popular colors compared to brighter shades.

NextFloor offers slightly more muted colors, which you may prefer for a classier look in places like office suites and law firms. The colors gray, brown, blue, beige, and black are their standards. Gray is the most widely available color, and it’s a perfect shade to use in any kind of setting using more conservative designs.

Take a look at NextFloor’s detailed carpet gallery showcasing their specific colors. They give numerous branded names to their colors like Commodore Blue, Silver Coin, Concrete, and Carbon.

Before making a decision, be sure to read our color disclaimer about how colors seen on your computer screen may not always be accurate. This is why we offer free color samples so you can make sure you’re getting the carpet tile color you truly want.

Sending free samples is a customer service option you won’t find many other places. We’ll ship out your free samples immediately so you can receive them by the next day. As a result, you’ll be able to make a final buying decision quickly without having to wait extra days or weeks.

  1. Learning About the Uniqueness of Kraus and NextFloor’s Floors

Before you buy any carpet tile from Kraus or NextFloor, you’ll want to know more about their backgrounds and what their corporate missions are.

With Kraus, their origins go back to the late 1950s in Kitchener, Ontario. Their flooring company didn’t expand into the U.S. until 1980, though they soon became a leader in carpeting. By the 1990s, they’d grown their distribution throughout the entire country and back into Canada.

Over the years, they’ve offered everything from carpet tiles, hardwood, laminate, and luxury vinyl.

Their mission is to create stylish and classic flooring that meets all your needs, has fair pricing, and brings exceptional customer service.

NextFloor also didn’t have initial origins in the U.S. They had a European base for years before becoming a true leader globally in various types of flooring.

The company has a mission toward creating innovative product designs, top-tier support, and a low-cost supply chain that’s always reliable.

It’s not hyperbole to say NextFloor works hard to create stylish carpet tile designed for classy living or business spaces. They also prove it’s possible to create a durable flooring product while still being affordable.

  1. Green/Eco-Friendliness of Your Carpet Tiles

Those of you who expect green materials in your flooring will want to know what Kraus and NextFloor do to create eco-friendly products.

Environmental awareness and use of recycled content is very important to Kraus. All of their carpet tile products are eligible for any recycling program you have in place.

They also use their trademarked EuroBac modular backing made out of 20% pre-consumer materials.  Their air quality test also received a Green Label Plus certification, giving you a high LEED score when using their tiles.

Sustainability is clearly a top priority with Kraus, though NextFloor does much the same.

Through NextFloor, you’ll find many eco-friendly qualities in their various carpet tile items. In the Continuum 840 collection, you’ll find a floor with a CRI green label plus certification, 100% PVC-free, plus tuft lock advanced polymer pre-coat. It’s truly an environmentally friendly tile that maintains any green practices you uphold.

Because green practices are fairly uniform in businesses and homes today, you’ll want to take these environmental practices seriously with any floor. In past decades, carpet wasn’t always so eco-friendly. Now Kraus and NextFloor are some of the leaders (with Armstrong) in making truly sustainable flooring.

  1. Avoid Buying in Big Box Stores

As we mentioned earlier, places like Home Depot (plus Lowe’s and Walmart) are really the worst places to buy carpet tile, or any floor.

The reason is they inflate prices to make corporate profits all the greater. All this does is force the consumer to pay more than what’s really necessary.

You’re better off turning to online stores where you’ll frequently find better discounts.

You really won’t find any better online resource for discount flooring than through us at Floor City. Our focus on customer service is far more important and almost always means a repeat customer when helping our buyers.

We’re immediately available to answer any questions you have about Kraus and NextFloor carpet tile. In a big box store, you can’t always find true flooring experts available in the store to ask questions. Many times, these stores hire non-experts who work at minimum wage and only exist to sell products.

When you ask us a question, we’ll answer it immediately so you don’t have to wait. We know that when you need flooring, you don’t want lengthy delays. This is especially the case when you’re doing a redesign of your home or business and need new flooring now.

Plus, with our free samples, you won’t waste money on something you’re not quite sure about until looking it over. Investing in carpet tile is truly an investment for a lifetime, so you don’t want to waste time with something you may have to return.

Simply put, don’t be enticed by all the marketing hype through Home Depot and the like. The customer service you’ll experience through us is rare enough.

  1. Carpet Tile is Projected for Huge Growth in the Coming Decade

Statistics released recently show that carpet tile is becoming one of the fastest growing types of flooring in the world. Flexibility in maintenance and installation are two of the strongest contributors.

As a result, you can expect carpet tile products to grow exponentially by 2023. Other factors behind this include increased construction spending, more offices being constructed, and growing disposable income in some households.

Kraus and NextFloor are sure to be at the forefront of this increase in sales. They continue being the two strongest brands in the world when it comes to carpet tiles.

Renovation construction continuing as a key demand creator will also continue to drive carpet tile forward. No doubt we’ll see better technologies emerge as well to make the tile more durable than what’s possible now.

It pays to study these upcoming statistics when making a final buying decision. Despite dozens of flooring options for homes and businesses, choosing carpet tile may become the best investment you’ll make.

Even if you’ve never thought much about your floor, it’s often the first thing customers or visitors see when stepping inside. Any worn floor could set a lasting impression about who you are and the quality of your business.

We’re here to help you make the best possible flooring decision now and into the future.

  1. Making Your Order Convenient

Buying your carpet tile should be as convenient as possible, especially when going online. Making a purchase in the big box stores frequently means having to put out an order and waiting until it becomes available. Maybe the product is still in stock, but then the added expense doesn’t make the trip worth it.

At Floor City, we’ll make your shopping experience top-tier by shipping out your order the same day. Simply call our order number at (800) 898-9540 and we’ll get your carpet tiles sent out immediately.

We have pickup centers throughout the U.S., so no matter where you live, it’s easy to pick up your order. Take a look at our customer comments and you’ll see we have customers from as far as the eastern seaboard.

With our base in Vancouver, WA, we’re also available to accommodate anyone who lives in the great Pacific Northwest.

Our site has a lot of educational information about carpet tile, even though we’re available to help you learn more than what you’ve read here. It’s time to discover the true benefits of carpet tile to help bring you a carpet designed for 21st century standards of living.

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