GreenYour Carpet and Rugs
Choose carpet tiles
Carpet tiles, also called modular carpet, are squares of carpet (measuring 18- to 36-inches square) that install with adhesives or sticky tabs to form an area rug or wall-to-wall carpet. Choosing carpet tiles over broadloom carpet allows you to extend the life of your carpet, prevent waste and conserve natural resources by only replacing worn tiles, instead of the entire carpet.
Find it! Carpet tile manufacturers
Carpet tiles are eligible for certification by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). SCS certified carpet tiles are made with recycled or renewable materials by companies that have taken steps to reduce water and air pollution, and energy consumption, while reducing waste. SCS maintains a list of certified carpet tiles. The manufacturers below produce carpet tiles in various sizes, face fibers and colors:
Before you buy
Carpet tiles were originally produced for the commercial market, however many companies now also have products for the homeowner. You’ll find face fibers mostly made from synthetic materials, such as nylon, but a few products are available in natural fibers like hemp and wool. In general, carpet tiles cost more than broadloom carpets—between $2.60 and $6 per square foot. However, keep in mind that if your room is wider than the width of the broadloom carpet, you'll likely need to purchase additional square feet to cut a piece to fit. In this case, carpet tiles may be more economical and create less carpet waste.
Choosing carpet tiles helps you go green because…
- Many are made from recycled materials and are also recyclable.
- Installing carpet pieces generates less waste compared to cutting larger rolls to size.
- Worn areas are easily replaced without installing an entirely new carpet, thereby conserving raw materials and minimizing the impact on landfills.
- Carpet tiles are easier to transport, which makes them easier to send to recycling facilities.
The manufacture of carpet tiles initially uses more raw materials than broadloom carpet because tiles have a thicker backing. However, carpet tiles do not require the addition of a separate carpet pad traditionally used under broadloom carpets. Plus, over time, tiles save materials because worn or soiled tiles can be replaced individually rather than replacing the entire carpet.
For example, when tiles in a high traffic area become worn, they can be swapped with tiles from under furniture that look almost new. Additional tiles can also be purchased for future replacement of worn tiles.
Carpet tiles can be purchased either as self-sticking or dry-backed, which needs either a standard adhesive or a releasable one. Eco-friendly, low-VOC adhesives are available. Carpet tiles installed with self-sticking or releasable adhesives can easily be removed for cleaning or replacement. They can even be removed and installed at a new residence.