Caring for carpet squares—also known as carpet tiles—can be tricky. While there are some benefits to installing carpet squares, such as having the ability to swap out an area sporting a large stain, there are also some challenges that may result from it.
At the end of the day, deciding whether to install carpet squares or another type of carpeting system will depend on a facility’s needs. Carpet care experts Larry Cooper, founder of Textile Consultants, Inc., and Cleanfax Executive Editor Jeff Cross, offer three points to consider when deciding the best course of action for your facility.
Use the same cleaning systems for carpet squares that you would for any other type of carpet. Remember to incorporate a complete carpet maintenance program that includes the following: soil prevention strategies, such as regular vacuuming and the installation of walk-off mats in entryways; other routine maintenance, such as spot removal; interim cleaning, which may use counter-rotating brushes or bonnet cleaning methods; and restorative cleaning processes, such as encapsulation.
Cleaning carpet tiles is far easier than cleaning a tufted product, because carpet tiles have an impervious backing, which helps to prevent liquid from seeping through them. This helps spills to stay on the surface, making them easier to remove from the fibers. However, spills on carpet tiles also spread out more easily; this means when a spill occurs, you may have to treat a larger surface area than you would with full-size carpet.
When carpet squares were first introduced, the original intention was to make it easy to treat stains or worn areas by swapping out individual tiles instead of treating an entire carpet. However, sometimes it’s best to swap out a dirty square with one that has some wear. This will help to ensure the replacement tile blends in with the others around it, especially if you are dealing with a high-traffic or highly-visible area where a crisp tile square will stick out like a sore thumb. In this instance, try to find a tile from a medium-traffic area that will blend in nicely, and replace the square from the medium-traffic area with a new one.