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What Are Carpet Tiles & How Much Do They Cost?

Carpet tiles are a unique type of flooring material that straddles the line between tile floors and carpet. Also known as modular carpet, it comes in multiple shapes, sizes, colors and designs. While traditional carpet flooring requires professional installation, DIY enthusiasts can install carpet tiles on their own. In addition to looking at the cost, homeowners should also think about the installation, benefits and disadvantages associated with these tiles. After weighing the pros and cons, some might opt for traditional carpeting over carpet tiles.

The Costs

  • Average minimum cost of carpet tiles: $1.10 per square foot
  • Average maximum cost of carpet tiles: $4 per square foot

Peel & Stick Carpet Tiles

Peel and stick carpet tiles are one of the hottest trends in the home improvement world. Introduced by manufacturers as a way to help homeowners install tiles without expert help, these tiles are now available online and from home improvement stores. The tiles come in a variety of colors and styles, and some manufacturers release tiles with patterns and decorative designs.

The back of each tile features a thin layer of adhesive with a paper backing on top of the adhesive. This lets homeowners arrange the tiles on the floor and decide on the design that they want prior to installation. After peeling off the paper backing, the homeowner will carefully place the tile on the floor and press it down. Homeowners can also use a paint roller or a heavier object to smooth out any air bubbles and ensure that each tile sits level on the floor. If they decide on a different design later, they can simply peel the tile away from the floor and reposition it in another spot.

Installation of Regular Carpet Tiles

Some homeowners find that they can save money using traditional or regular carpet tiles. These tiles are similar to the samples that flooring companies show customers in a showroom. The tiles lack any type of adhesive or backing, which means that homeowners will need to install the tiles with carpet glue or another type of adhesive. After deciding on a design, they arrange the tiles on the floor. They need to sweep the floor and remove any dirt or debris that might interfere with the tiles. After applying a thick coat of adhesive to the back of the tile, they press each one onto the floor and remove any air bubbles. Some homeowners prefer a more temporary solution and leave the carpet tiles on the floor without any adhesive or simply tack down the tiles with carpet tacks.

Types of Carpeting

As with regular types of carpeting, carpet tiles come in different materials. Berber, which is one of the oldest types of carpet, is suitable for use in high traffic areas; though, the material doesn't do well in pet-friendly homes. The thick pile and dense loops found in Berber carpets make it a good option for bedrooms and living rooms as well. Homeowners can also look at carpet tiles made from nylon or olefin, which are strong enough for use in any room of the house.

Another option is indoor/outdoor carpet. Some people think that indoor/outdoor carpet is too rough and scratchy for use indoors, but manufacturers now make varieties that feel just as plush as traditional indoor carpeting. Indoor/outdoor carpet tiles are resistant to water and moisture, which make the tiles a good choice for use in a kitchen or bathroom. These tiles are also stain-resistant and come in a multitude of colors and designs.


Many people love that they can eliminate waste with carpet tiles. If they want to carpet an odd shaped room or a small area of a room, they typically need to buy a larger piece, cut it into the right shape and throw away the excess. With carpet tiles, they can purchase the exact amount needed for the job.

One of the other advantages of carpet tiles is that these tiles create a barrier that blocks moisture from reaching the floor beneath. Homeowners can use the tiles in a bathroom, child's bedroom or living room and change out the look whenever they want. They can also rearrange the tiles to create a funky look or a unique design in a room.


The main disadvantage of peel and stick tiles is that they aren't meant for long-term use. The adhesive backing might only last a few months in a frequently used room, and most tiles require replacing within the first year. Homeowners looking for an alternative to traditional carpeting will also find that the size of the tiles is distracting. Most tiles range in size from 12-inches to 24-inches, and the seams between those tiles can interfere with a pulled-together and seamless look. Peel and stick carpet tiles can also slide across the room and scrape against the floor beneath, causing expensive damage to tiled or hardwood floors. Others will find that some types of carpet tiles have an industrial or commercial look that doesn't work well in a residential home.

Carpet Tile Costs

Home improvement stores sell carpet tiles for as little as $1.10 per square foot, but the thicker and more expensive tiles can cost $4 per square foot. Some stores sell bundles of carpet tiles, which lets homeowners buy 16 or more tiles for around $50. Bundle packages are a good option for those who want to cover a larger area or space.

It typically takes between five and six hours to install carpet tiles, and homeowners can often carpet an entire room for less than $900. Professional installation of those same tiles can cost $1,000 or more. Experts will ensure that the tiles don't move or slip, take care of any uneven areas and remove frayed edges. After looking at the benefits of professional installation, some homeowners might decide that it's worth the small additional cost.

Last updated on May 16, 2016

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