When you look at your carpet do you think: I can’t live with it… and can’t live without it?

Is your budget tight and company only a week away? You might want to consider carpet tiles. The good news is there’s no lugging around unwieldy, 12-foot rolls of carpet, cutting and piecing them together, adding tack strips to the floor and, there’s also no knee-bashing carpet nailers to contend with. Carpet tiles are quick, easy and budget friendly.

So, So Simple

Just as the name implies, carpet tiles are squares of carpet, usually 18 by 18 inches, up to 24 by 24 inches. Carpet tiles can cover entire rooms or be used to create area rugs in whatever size you need. The best part, though, is that if one area needs replacing because of wear or staining, all you need to do is lift up the tile and replace it. And if you move, you simply pick up the whole stack of tiles and take them with you.

Carpet tiles already have the backing attached to them, so there’s no need for extra padding. There’s no interlocking system like with tongue and groove floor planks, but the weight and shape of the tiles keep them in place. Some tiles also use adhesive dots to secure one tile to the other and no sticky material touches the floor. You can even create patterns with different colors, like checkerboard, plaid or stair-step patterns. For complicated patterns, make sure to work it all out on graph paper first, start in the middle of the room and work out to the edges.

In Every Room… Really

Carpet tiles in the bathroom? You bet. They can be used in the kitchen, too. Carpet tiles can be used in almost every room of the house. One area people like to use carpet tiles is in a basement or other room that has a moisture issue because the rubber backing on the carpet tiles is naturally resistant to mold and mildew. If they get too wet, carpet tiles can even be pulled up and left outside to dry out. Just make sure you buy a type of the carpet tile that meant for use in high moisture areas.

Because there’s no special prep work needed to install carpet tiles, they go down fast over concrete, vinyl or wood floors. Some tiles are just laid on the floor, while others may use carpet tape or adhesive dots to hold them in place. Whatever method, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

How-To

Supplies You Need:
Carpet tiles and adhesive (if required)
Tape Measure
Utility knife
Straight edge ruler or T-square

Each manufacturer will have specific instructions for installing their carpet tiles, but they generally follow the same method. And it’s easy. Here are a few tips to get you started:

The beauty of a DIY carpet tile projects is there’s not much in the way of prep or tools required. Make sure to clean the floor. Don’t worry about removing molding. Carpet tiles tuck against the molding for a snug fit.
Measure the exact center of the room and snap a caulk line vertically and horizontally to cross in the middle. Start laying carpet tiles in the center and work out toward the walls. (Some manufacturers may recommend that you to start from a corner.)
Continue adding tiles, making sure to get a snug fit without gapping. If dots or adhesive tapes come with the carpet system, add as each tile is fitted into place.
Cut tiles to fit around the edges of the room, walls and doorways and other obstacles, as needed. Turn the carpet tile over, fit it and mark it. Cut it with a utility knife and metal straight edge or T-square. When you turn it over you will have a precise fit.

Online Resources:

How to Install Carpet Tiles at DIY Network:
http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-install-carpet-tiles/index.html

Installing carpet tiles from Flor.com
http://www.flor.com/install-instructions