At almost every design meeting with a new client the question gets asked about how I feel about carpet tile vs. broadloom carpet with a moisture barrier backing.
The question used to be about regular backing vs. moisture barrier. Now it’s a given that moisture barrier is the backing of choice in the common areas of long-term care homes. Resident rooms are still in question as to whether to invest in the higher priced moisture barrier carpet or use throwaway residential carpet and seal the concrete.
This is an interesting discussion topic in that with all design decisions, it’s important to find out the “question behind the question.”
When digging for the answer, we first need to understand the background of the client, who or what has influenced them and/or educated them to ask the question about carpet tile, and what the core benefits are as they see them.
Typically, this can be from a carpet representative that has made a pitch, information picked up at a trade show that was recently attended, or the client himself/herself came from the corporate world or in an education setting where carpet tile is often used.
So, what does the client usually know about carpet tile? That it’s very durable and easy to replace. But how much do they know about the pros and cons?
● only replace what is damaged
● moisture barrier
● easily create fun patterns by 1/4 turning and multiple types of tile.
● less waste
● damaged tile makes older tiles look really used
● seams every 12", 18" or 24"
● not residential in look or feel
Then there are the pros and cons of broadloom carpet with a moisture barrier backing.
● residential look and feel
● seams ever 12' that can be chemically welded
● moisture Barrier
● more waste
● must remove furniture to reinstall
As long-term care designers, we see great applications for carpet tile in adding unique looks by mixing tiles and patterns in purpose-built senior living spaces such as coffee shops, gyms, spas, game rooms, etc.