carpet-tiles-vs-broadloom

Carpet Tiles v. Broadloom: Which Is Best for Your Office?

When building or renovating a commercial office space, the flooring you choose will impact how potential customers or tenants view the facility. There are tons of commercial flooring ideas out there that you can explore, but once you start narrowing your search, you’ll want to dig in to the pros and cons of each option you’re considering before choosing the perfect fit for your particular space.

Already leaning towards carpet? Unlike hard floors, carpeting helps absorb noise and prevent slipping. You can choose from a wide variety of colors, textures and designs to customize your commercial space. But first, you need to decide between the two most popular types of commercial carpeting options: broadloom and carpet tiles. Here’s what you need to know about each before making your choice.

Broadloom Carpet

The more traditional and widely used option, broadloom carpet comes in large, rolled-up pieces that are unfurled and cut to size for installation. Broadloom carpet rolls can quickly and easily cover a huge expanse of floor with big, elaborate designs or tasteful colors, which is ideal for large areas like conference rooms. Wall-to-wall broadloom carpeting requires a separate pad, also known as an underlay, between the floor slab and the carpet.

Pros:

  • Colorful patterns and elegant design options. Broadloom designs can add statement-making sophistication or style to large commercial spaces.
  • Softer and plusher than carpet tiles. The padding installed underneath broadloom carpet provides more cushion under foot.
  • Less expensive. Cost-per-square foot depends on the design and a handful of additional factors, but generally, broadloom carpet costs less than carpet tiles.
  • Hidden seams. Although broadloom carpet comes in large rolls, some spaces require multiple pieces of to fill the entire room. Any seams where broadloom rolls meet are sealed with a chemical weld to appear like a single piece of flooring.

Cons:

  • Can be wasteful. Because rolls of broadloom carpet will need to be cut to fit the exact shape of the room, any excess material and padding will be essentially useless.
  • Longer installation process. The carpet pad must be installed first, followed by the carpet. Then, the carpet is cut, and the seams are sealed. The whole process can take a full day or more, depending on a room’s size and shape.
  • Difficult to repair and replace. Unlike carpet tiles, stained or damaged areas of broadloom carpet can’t simply be removed and replaced. Stain treatments should be attempted before replacement, but if the damage is beyond repair, the entire piece (and possibly its pad) must be ripped out and replaced.

Carpet Tiles or Modular Carpet

As the name implies, carpet tiles are pre-sized, square pieces of carpet designed to fit next to each other on the floor – just like ceramic tiles. Modular carpet has a built-in underlay, eliminating the need for a separate pad. Carpet tiles also come in many color and pattern options, so if you prefer this option for its convenience and flexibility, you’ll be able to find a look you like.

Pros:

  • Quick, easy installation. Since carpet tiles come in smaller, pre-cut pieces and require no separate pad, they can be faster and less difficult to install than broadloom carpet.
  • Customizable arrangements. Carpet tiles lets you design your own pattern. Lay the tiles in a standard, checkered formation or play around to find a pleasing design that suits your commercial image.
  • Easy to maintain. If you keep a few spare carpet tiles on hand, it’s easy to remove and replace any permanently stained or damaged pieces without disrupting the rest of your flooring.

Cons:

  • More expensive. In most cases, the convenience of pre-cut tiles with a built-in underlay comes at a higher cost than broadloom carpeting.
  • Less cushion. The underlay included with carpet tiles doesn’t provide as much cushion as the separate pads used with broadloom carpets.
  • Visible seams. Modular carpet seams aren’t chemically welded together, so their square divisions remain clear. While some owners will prefer the unified appearance of a seamless floor, tile seams can help create a bold, color-blocked look.

Ultimately, neither office flooring option is definitively better or worse than the other. The decision comes down to your budget and design needs. Once your carpets are installed, keep them looking fresh and spotless with regular vacuuming and careful stain treatment.

For hard-to-treat spots or to schedule regular cleaning you can count on, call your local ServiceMaster Clean® experts for quality janitorial services and superior results on a schedule that works for you.