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A Size To Suit Every Purpose
Building owners and facility managers can select between tufted or woven products in various widths and sizes based on styling preference, budget considerations, backing performance needs (moisture impermeability) and facility requirements (installation, floor access). In the commercial market, the size options include broadloom, modular carpet tile and 6-foot carpet.
For the majority of commercial installations, broadloom carpet is specified to produce fewer seams, ease installation and obtain certain moisture benefits. Broadloom carpet can be 12 foot, 13’6 feet or 15 feet in width. Broadloom carpet can offer large pattern repeats and the ability to pattern match. For many years, commercial installations used broadloom carpet almost exclusively.
Six-foot-wide carpet has a continuing history of popularity and is available in many designs, with a variety of backing systems. This narrow carpet roll is often a benefit in high-rise buildings, where transporting a 12-foot roll is difficult or expensive. The narrow width may also provide cost savings where corridors or other narrow spaces exist. However, careful planning is needed to avoid additional seams.
Carpet Tile Construction and Installation
The frequently changing configurations of open plan systems in offices and institutional settings have spurred advanced technologies in carpet tile. When a facility demands the accommodation of flat electronic wiring, ease of removal and installation and/or flexibility in design, modular tile may be the best choice. Where traffic paths or soiling occur, rotating tiles is sometimes a better alternative than a complete replacement.
There are also advances in installation techniques. Modular tiles are being installed with standard adhesives, releasable adhesives, mill-applied peel-and-stick adhesives and innovative after-market adhesive strips. In many facilities, modular tile installation is easier and faster than traditional carpet installation. A facility’s divider panels and office furniture do not have to be removed from the area, but simply lifted with a "jack" system and the tiles are installed underneath. An entire office area can often be re-carpeted in one overnight shift, rather than disrupting an office for days. The reduced disruption of business may make up the difference in the extra cost of the product and installation.
Modular tile backings include those made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, polyester, non-wovens and polyurethane cushion. The "hard backs" (PVC, polyester and polyethylene) offer dimensional stability, seam and edge integrity for easy pattern matching.
Tile backing systems can also offer moisture barriers from the base of the pile yarn to the floor, preventing spills from penetrating and seeping down to the subfloor. In modular tiles, as well as with broadloom, a moisture barrier may be valuable in humid areas or healthcare environments where spills are inevitable and cleaning is frequent. The moisture barrier of the carpet itself and of the sealing technique for the seams may lessen the potential for bacterial growth and provide lower long-term maintenance costs.
Accommodating Electronic Cables
Manufacturers offer low-profile systems which use as little as 2 ½ inches of the vertical space - a value when the ceiling height is only eight feet. Modular carpet with a cushion backing is often chosen for noise reduction and increased underfoot comfort. Companies offer differing size configurations of raised flooring and depths to accommodate extensive wiring, and even duct work for heat and air systems.