Author: Annie Deakin
For many years office floor tiles have consisted of linoleum or vinyl squares that are produced only to cover a concrete slab and do not add to the office asetic. As the use of carpet has become more popular in office environments there has been a need to address the unique issues found there. Offices often have more foot traffic than homes and require carpeting that is both durable and resistant to stains.
Residential homes often have specific locations throughout the house that are considered 'high traffic' areas. Tiles that are installed in most homes do not have the level of durability that is required for offices. Office carpet tiles must be able to withstand unique spills such as residue from copy machines which can severely damage a carpet. Using carpet tiles an individual can replace only those tiles which have been damaged and are not required to replace the entire carpet regularly.
Scientists and researchers for the carpet industry developed techniques to infuse carpet tiles with a combination of chemicals which protect the carpet and meet building code regulations. Designers then had to find a way to create carpeting that would meet the demands of office foot traffic but not be of an institutional quality that was not appropriate. The methods for incorporating both function and design then have been a challenge for the carpet tile industry.
Prior to weaving carpeting on a broadloom, the threads must be sealed with chemicals that will meet the specifications of each industry's safety standards. It is important that each thread of the carpet be fully resistant to fire, wear, and staining. This extra step requires that carpet makers treat the thread prior to beginning the fabric making process.
Prior to weaving a design or logo can be programmed into the loom so that any specific request of a company for their office carpet can be met. This may be incorporating a unique color, design, or style that will make the office and the company clearly identifiable to anyone who enters the doors.
Padding on the carpet fabric varies depending on the type of flooring that it will be affixed to. The padding of carpet floor tiles is especially designed to be water resistant and provide a cusion for the individual who walk on it. This padding is also resistant to mold and mildew which can occur when carpet tiles are installed on concrete flooring in areas that have high humidity or uncontolled temperature changes.
When deciding on the padding for carpet tiles many individual select a heavy froth backing which allows more cushion. This padding is not as protective as the newely developed rubber padding that is currently available. Froth foam backing has a tendency to wear in areas of high foot traffic much more quickly than rubber. In addition, it is not as resistant to spillage in areas such as breakrooms or copy rooms where people often drop cups of coffee or toner waste.
The press machine used to cut an assembled carpet into uniform squares provides pressure which removes any air bubbles that may have formed during the padding process. This machine also cuts the carpet into squares and is designed to seal the edges that are cut during the process. The result is a series of carpet floor tiles that, when reassembled, will look as though it is one large piece of carpet. The carpet will have a seamless flow of design with a smooth and even texture. When the carpet begins to show wear or is damaged it is much easier for an individual to remove one carpet floor tile and replace it than to replace the entire carpet in an office.