The advantage of carpet tiles is that they are not fixed to the floor and one can take them up and change the flooring at any time. They can be rearranged to equalize wear, or removed while the skirting boards are repainted, and even lifted for effective cleaning. The laying method varies slightly from make to make, so care must be taken to ensure that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed closely. Do not lay carpet tiles in moist areas or areas of high traffic, as they may lift and get damaged.
Because carpet tiles are not rigid like other floor coverings, it is not easy to fit them tightly together and if the fitter is not careful, gaps can develop between the tiles as they start to bed down. A classic knee kicker can be used to straighten them out, however it is recommended that a hand rather than the full force of a knee is used.
When cutting the carpet tile to fit flush against the skirting boards, there is a danger that a gap will be created the carpet tile and the wall. For maximum accuracy, hold the knife at an angle with the point of the blade against the skirting and the handle leaning away from the wall and cut carefully. Another good tip to remember is that when a whole room is tiled at the same time, position the centre tile first and bed it down with adhesive. This will ensure that the tiling pattern remains intact and that the subsequent tiles being laid does not move out of place as it is anchored by the centre tile.
Sometimes carpet tiles may shift or dislodge during use – this can happen underneath a chair which is frequently moved or in high traffic areas. Lift the tile here and apply extra adhesive where required, and stick the tile down again.
If carpet tiling is laid on flooring or floorboards which have not been overlaid with hardboard, it is advisable to fit a paper underlay to stop dust and grit from blowing up between the boards and harming the carpet tiles.