Carpet tiles are increasingly popular for commercial spaces, thanks to new manufacturing technologies and the benefits they offer when compared to broadloom carpets.
October 27th, 2021
Though they have been around for many years, carpet tiles are currently experiencing something of a golden period, particularly in commercial applications. The use of new materials and manufacturing techniques means that many see commercial carpet tiles as the equal of, or even superior to, traditional broadloom carpets.
For example, new printing and dye technologies have greatly expanded what is possible in terms of design. Combined with customisation, these have meant that the aesthetic possibilities are virtually limitless.
The major difference between commercial carpet tiles and residential carpet tiles is that, because of the higher amount of foot traffic they are subjected to, the former need to be more durable.
Types of carpet tiles commercial grade
Generally square in shape and sometimes also referred to as ‘modular carpet’ or ‘carpet squares’, carpet tiles are available in a range of sizes (50cm x 50cm, 100cm x 100cm, etc). Some suppliers also offer rectangular carpet tiles. Known as ‘planks’, these deliver an alternative range of aesthetic possibilities. Mixed and matched using different colours, patterns or even materials, designers can create their own custom-designed geometric patterns.
Commercial carpet tiles come in three broad types: Tufted Carpet Tiles (the most common), which are popular for their fast production time and the large variety of designs available; Woven Carpet Tiles, which are produced on a loom in the traditional style; and Needle Punched Carpet Tiles, which are often used as entry mats and are known for their resistance to sunlight as well as their colourfast and quick dry properties.
Within these three broad types there are several variants including ‘Loop Pile’, which involves looping of yarns; and ‘Cut and Loop Pile’ which combines Cut and Loop yarns.
Methods of dyeing
There are two primary methods of dyeing used in carpet tile production. These can be divided into the following types: solution dyeing and all other traditional methods.
While traditional methods involve adding the colour post-production, solution dyeing involves introducing colour earlier in the manufacturing process, when the fibre is still in a liquid state.
Digital dye injection, which involves injecting dye onto the carpet with a series of small jets, has innovated the design and production of carpet tiles. Where this technique is used, the dye penetrates directly into the carpet fibre and is chemically bonded to it. This allows carpet tiles to be produced in limitless ranges of colours and with never-before-seen levels of precision and colour gradation.
When these advances are combined with customisation options, the aesthetic possibilities also become virtually endless. Designers (and their clients) are free to mix and match colours, patterns, and even shapes and textures of carpet tiles, to produce unique products that suit the particular requirements of their projects.
The best suppliers offer customised products and can deliver samples or a quote before you buy. So, whether you are looking to purchase a rug, broadloom carpet, or carpet tiles, there are always several choices online to check before you buy.
The benefits of carpet tiles
Ease of carpet tile installation: Carpet tiles require no underlay, are easy to transport and carry, and simple to position on the floor. Unlike broadloom carpets, which come in large, cumbersome rolls, they don’t require specialist tools or high-level training to know how to lay them. All of this cuts carpet tile installation time, and of course, expense.
Shorter lead times: Clients in the architectural and design fields know the value of being able to get products quickly and efficiently. The faster installation times of carpet tiles, combined with the added benefits of choosing locally designed and manufactured products, ensure lead times are minimised.
Durability: Durability: Carpet tiles are built to last and often available with enhanced stain protection coatings. And, because they are modular, if one or two tiles need replacing (for example, in high traffic areas because of staining, etc.) it is simply a question of changing that one tile. This provides a quick and easy solution, as well as a cost effective alternative than changing the entire floorscape, without compromising on form and function.
Reduced waste and increased sustainability: The quality and environmentally friendliness of office carpet tiles varies according to their manufacture. For example, at the low end of the scale and at various locations around the world, some manufacturers use bitumen and PVC as carpet backing.
The good news is that others steer clear of such materials and prioritise sustainability (in terms of both materials and the manufacturing process). Those seeking sustainable products are advised to look out for certifications, such as Level A recognition for Green Star in Australia and New Zealand, Cradle to Cradle certification, Declare Red List Free certification and ECS, the Carpet Institute of Australia Environmental Certification Scheme.
From an environmental perspective, another benefit of carpet tiles is that, because of their small size, they can be laid in difficult to access or awkward spaces without much wastage. Installing wall to wall carpet involves waste levels of up to 25 per cent, while for carpet tiles the figure is just 1-3 per cent.
Acoustic performance: This is an important consideration, particularly in office settings where unnecessary noise negatively affects performance. The layered structure of commercial carpet tiles, which includes pre-attached backings, is engineered to optimise acoustic performance, and can therefore be relied upon to help create a suitable working environment. On top of that, many suppliers offer a range of backings, so customers can choose according to requirements. This is a key requirement of products that are to be used in commercial applications from Brisbane to Melbourne, from Adelaide to Perth and all points in between.
Commercial carpet tiles for sale – a selection of some of the best carpet tiles for commercial use
1. Amplifier Collection
Inspired by four unique elements of sound, namely Beats, Echo, Octave, and Treble, the Amplifier collection offers subtle accents with a defined rhythmic quality, reverberation of unique ripples between different notes and the creative impulse of high-frequency sound. Available in 50cm x 50 cm carpet tiles, these products have a 15-year product warranty.
2. Colour Compositions
Harmonious and balanced or challenging and unexpected, these carpet tiles represent an exploration of colour and form. Balancing a relationship of scale, shape, rhythm and pattern, each individual composition expresses a natural intuition. Featuring a tufted, textured loop construction, products in the Colour Compositions range have a pile thickness of 3.5mm.
3. Topography 2.0
Available in four unique designs (Explorer, Relief, Navigator, and Regions), the Topography 2.0 collection features geometric abstractions and density of line to create new planes and textures for floors. Recommended for all market segments, these carpet tiles can add a burst of colour to any space and can be used to facilitate way finding or delineate space. They feature Milliken-Ontera’s Comfort cushion backing for acoustic performance and underfoot comfort.
4. Ripple Collection
Inspired by the brackish estuary where freshwater and ocean tidal forces meet, the Ripple Collection embodies a natural inspired colour palette, composed of tonal shades of charcoals, earthy resonance, and water blues, with a faint scattering of white light, bringing depth and calmness. Delivering acoustic and ergonomic benefits, these tiles are suitable for all market segments and are available in customised options.
5. Patina Vibes
Patina Vibes is an intricate and textured collection, inspired by naturally occurring oxidization of surfaces in nature. Available across 48 colours with extended groups of coordinating families of colour including, highlights, full coloured options, and multi-colour carpet tile options, they can be relied upon to create beautiful, vibrant commercial spaces.
6. Modular Landscapes
Milliken Modular Landscapes is a new generation of modular carpeting that cuts costs by up to 25 per cent and raises the bar in terms of design, installation, maintenance, and sustainability. According to its maker, Milliken-Ontera, this carpeting represents a changing of the guard for applications in the hospitality sector with a luxurious texture.
7. Whale Song
The Whale Song collection brings four standard patterns – namely Beluga, Humpback, Narwhal, and Orca – to the Milliken-Ontera solution-dyed offering. These highly textured, loop and tip-sheared patterns were inspired by the sound patterns created by whale communications as well as the environments in which these songs are heard.
8. Water Yuludara
Water Yuludarla is a contemporary interpretation, based on the artwork of Gumbaynggirr artist, Brentyn Lugnan. Supplied from Milliken-Ontera’s manufacturing plant in Sydney, the collection is inspired by the many elements of Lugnan’s original artwork, each of the collection’s six designs (Guunu, Yildaan, Bindarray, Guluuna, Mayala, and Jagun) and signifies a connection to both the land and people of the Urunga region – past, current and future.
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