In high traffic areas, basements and converted garages, carpet tiles are a great way to add a professional look to any room. Carpet tiles are available in textures, weaves, your favorite team colors and logos. Your imagination is your guide. Carpet tiles, also called carpet squares, are available on-line, in home improvement centers, warehouse stores and at stores like Target and Walmart; you will easily find a style that works for your home.
1. Plan your carpet tile layout carefully: will you be using all one color or will you be using a pattern of some kind? Do you want a textured carpet or geometric weave?
2. Remove all furniture from the area where you will be placing the carpet. Make sure you have the correct tools on hand: steel measuring tape, steel ruler, cutting board, carpet knife, and double-sided carpet tape.
3. Measure your room or project area that is to be covered: measure the width and length (or square footage) of the area to be covered, and divide by the size of the tiles. (Carpet squares are available in 18″x18″ or 24″x24″ inch squares.) Take the divided number of the length and the width and multiply together for the minimum number of tiles you will need. Most boxes of carpet tiles will state the square footage measurement on the back of the box.
4. Purchase the correct number of carpet tiles, using your measurements, the information on the box and a sales persons help as your guide. Then add 10 percent for mistakes, replacement tiles and odd cuts of the room. You can always return extra boxes of tiles if they are unopened. Always read the back of the carpet tile box for tips and installation instructions.
5. Prepare the sub floor. It must be clean and in good condition: remove all old carpet, old adhesive, fill in cracks with wood putty, sand rough spots, repair holes, fill concrete cracks or repair wood soft spots. Whether you are installing on top of concrete or wood, the surface must be clean, dry and level.
6. Select your adhesive method and any adhesive compound depending on the location and usage of your carpeted area. Most carpet tile squares come with an adhesive backing, but they are available without adhesive backing. If your carpet tiles do not have adhesive backing, you will need to buy carpet adhesive and carpet double-stick tape.
7. Once you have purchased your carpet squares, take them home and open only the boxes you know you will be using. Remove the carpet squares from the box and let them adjust to the room temperature and humidity level for at least 24 hours before you begin to place the carpet tiles. Letting them adjust to the climate of the room will help the carpet place better. Keep your extra tiles in their boxes, just incase you want to return them later.
8. Take two pieces of string and lay them diagonally across the room so that they form an X in the center of the room. Secure each end of the string tightly in each corner; where the strings cross, that is the center of your design and that is where the first tile should go. Without removing the adhesive backing paper, place two rows of carpet tiles, one along the length, and one across the width of the room. Check for gaps and tile edge placement. Once you are happy with the way the two rows fit, you can remove the string and begin placing the tiles one by one from the center of the area.
9. At doorways and other areas where the tile is adjoining other types of floor covering such as wood or ceramic, put 3 spots of adhesive on the back of the carpet tile square (like 2 eyes and a nose, and one long line of adhesive (like a mouth) at the bottom edge of the tile. The “mouth” or long line of adhesive will go against the other flooring joints. Use adhesive glue for a more secure install, even if your carpet tiles have a self-adhesive backing.
10. For tiles placed in all other areas of the room, place 5 daubs of adhesive about the size of a quarter on the back of the tile, as if you are following the 5 pattern on a number 5 dice. If the carpet tile you are using has a very strong adhesive on the tile, use a small daub of adhesive, about the size of a nickel. Let the carpet tiles sit at least 48 hours before vacuuming the new carpet.
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