Are Carpet Squares For Basement Floors a Good Idea?
So you are looking to finish off a family room, play room or spare room in the basement but don’t really know what kind of flooring to use. You’ve thought about tile but don’t really want a hard floor that’s also going to be cold on your bare feet especially during the winter months. You like the thought of having wall-to-wall carpet for all its benefits like having a soft and inviting room that’s also warm to your feet, but don’t want to deal with the problems associated with carpeting in the basement. Well, with technology today, some possibilities have just opened up where you could use some rubber backed carpet squares to cover your basement floor.
When you start talking about putting carpet below-grade, you are going to run into some obstacles as well as varying opinions and personal tastes from people that both do and do not like this type of flooring in a basement. Some of the arguments you’ll hear is that there is too much risk for damage and that carpets will sometimes harbor a musty smell after a period of time. But, using quality rubber backed carpet squares for basement floors is a good step in the right direction when you are looking for better options for better carpet at a better price.
What Are Tile Carpet Squares?
Carpet squares can give you all the comfort that you are seeking from a traditional carpet but in a new and effective way. Simply put, they are flexible pieces of carpet that come in a more practical tile format versus a huge roll. Some manufacturers are also implementing a touch of green-ness to them as well as they are building them with both renewable and recyclable materials. Plus, they come in a very wide range of designs, textures and colors making them a perfect combination of responsibility and style for your basement floor.
Carpet tiles are constructed uniformly in various sizes but the most common are 24×24 and 36×36 inches square. They really come in two different types, those that have a self adhesive backing and those with no adhesive backing. The ones with adhesive backing work basically just like vinyl tile in that you just peel and stick it to the concrete basement floor. For the other ones, they are typically stuck in place using a double sided carpet tape that is sometimes furnished with the product.
Basement Carpet Tile Squares Versus Rolled Carpeting
So what’s the difference between carpet tiles for the basement versus standard carpeting? Carpet squares come in multiple different types from fibers to piles, manufacturers to adhesion. So basically what this means to you is that if you are looking for a certain type of carpet, you are likely to find it (or something eerily similar) in a tile version.
The big difference, other than the obvious, is the backing material used on tiles versus standard carpet rolls. There’s another item that you need to look out for as well and that’s the warranty as they will and should be different. You will have different issues with tiles versus rolled carpet like buckling and curling.
Advantages of Carpet Tile Squares on Basement Floors:
If you are looking at putting carpet tiles on your concrete basement floor, you’ll be surprised to know that there are quite a few advantages to doing so:
- Installation – Carpet squares are so much easier to install than standard carpeting. You don’t have to mess with the tack boards and all the securing and carpet stretching involved. They make for the perfect weekend warrior as a simple DIY project. And if you get the kits, most come with very precise and clear instructions so it’s really hard to mess up.
- No Carpet Padding – Carpet tiles come with a backing already installed so there’s no need to mess with rolled carpet padding here. Plus you don’t have to with any messy glue to get them to stick.
- Easier Care and Cleaning – This is probably one of the biggest pluses of using carpet tiles in your basement. With tiles, you can actually remove it from the floor, do the deep cleaning you need to do to it versus the entire carpet, and then simply reinstall it. Plus, if it’s un-cleanable or without repair, you can simply just replace it with a new tile.
- Design Freedom – You can easily mix and match or layout a design to your liking with carpet tiles to get the proper combination and color for your basement floor.
Disadvantages of Using Carpet Tile Squares:
It’s not all peaches and cream with carpet tiles though; there are some things that you should be aware of:
- Cost – Dependant on the style and brand, carpet squares can be a little more expensive than rolled carpet. Where you save is the self-installation.
- Subfloor – Just like carpet, you will still need a fairly clean and stable concrete basement floor that’s relatively flat without any moisture issues. You don’t want to run the risk of entering into a mold or mildew problem.
- Wear and Tear – Now I really don’t have a lot to back this one up because everything I’ve both read and seen look to be fine, but you will find some out there that say in higher traffic areas they won’t hold up as well as rolled carpet. I’m not really sure where that’s coming from because depending on the type of carpet, some just hold up better than others.
- Installation Issues – You do have to be careful while installing them as you can’t simply just throw them down. If you do you are likely to have places and patches where the seams may show a little too much or just seem uneven. You can combat this by taking your time and setting the seams to where you are satisfied with the job by removing any trapped yarns with a credit card by simply running it through the seams. Just ensure that the panels still remain snug after doing so.
Different Types Of Carpet Squares?
Most all major manufacturers make carpet squares including some of the top industry giants like Milliken, Mannington, Shaw, and Mohawk. On of our sister companies, CSG Renovation – basement services uses only Mannington and they can’t say enough great things about the manufacturer. Here’s a sampling of some of the more interesting ones that I’ve seen.
Legato Milliken Carpet Squares
Cadence Shaw Carpet Squares
Commercial Carpet Squares
If your basement is going to be a more interactive high-traffic area, you may opt for commercial carpet squares instead. They offer all the same benefits of regular squares like the ease of installation, flexibility and modularity to create fun and interesting floor designs in your basement, but they are made to withstand years of high-traffic wear and tear. These may be just what you are looking for in an entertainment room, kids play room or home office. If you don’t really know what commercial grade carpet squares are, take a look the next time you happen to be out and about. You’ll run into these most likely when you are at an office building, daycare or school, hotels and some restaurants, and maybe even your local church.
If you are planning on installing carpet squares in your basement you might want to pick up a few extra as well, just like you would do with laminate basement flooring. It’s always nice to not have to go back later and try to match it up in case you run into a problem with one or two of them later in their life cycle as with most any product the actual colors and designs can change from time to time. Having them on hand will allow you to make quick and easy replacements and repairs to your floor if it does get damaged later unintentionally.
Carpet squares are becoming more and more predominant as basement flooring applications due in part to their simplicity in installation as well as the variety of designs and styles that can be purchased. It’s a simple, effective and easy way to change the look of your basement today.