(This is Part 1 of a 2-part series. To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)
Carpet tile flooring can provide you with a beautiful floor for any room that is also easy to install. Carpet tile is typically very durable and if a tile is damaged or stained, you can simply replace it. This makes carpet tile a very attractive option for many homeowners that are tired of their traditional wall-to-wall carpet. Installing your carpet tile should be a project that you can handle. Typically, carpet tile is laid dry (without adhesive). Here are the basics of how to get started with a carpet tile floor installation.
Step 1--Calculate Footage Needed
Before you can install the carpet tile, you need to determine how much you will need for the job. In order to do this, you will need to measure the rooms that you plan on covering. Take your tape measure and determine the length and the width of each room. Once you have the length and width of a room, you need to multiply the two values together to get the square footage. Add the square footage of each room together. At that point, you should add approximately 10 percent to that number. This will provide you with the amount of carpet tile that you need to order.
Step 2--Ordering the Tile
Once you have your square footage, you are free to order your carpet tile. You should allow at least a week so that you can make sure to get a carpet tile that you like. Many flooring stores do not carry a lot of carpet tile in stock and you will most likely have to order it.
Step 3--Acclimating the Tile
When your tile is available, you need to make sure that you take it home and allow it to acclimate. Carpet tile can expand and contract depending on the temperature in the room. Let it sit in the room for approximately 24 hours before installing it.
Step 4--Subfloor Preparation
Before installing the carpet tile, you will need to prepare the subfloor. If you have any type of hard surface flooring currently installed in the room, you can leave it down. Carpet tile can be install over hardwood, laminate, tile, or vinyl. However, if you have carpet in the room, you will need to make sure that you take it up before installing your carpet tiles. Carpet is not solid enough to put carpet tile on top of.
If you have a concrete subfloor, you may need to use self-leveling compound to even out the floor. If you have a wood subfloor, you may need to use some wood filler to fill any cracks. Make sure that you sweep out the room and have a level surface to work with.
Step 5--Planning the Layout
You should use your tape measure and determine where the center of each wall is. Then snap a chalk line in both directions to create four quadrants in the room. You will want to complete one area at a time when installing. Lay out some of the tiles in one of the squares and play around with the patterns until you find something that you like. A simple quarter turn pattern works well and is easy to use.