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    The great office flooring debate: vinyl tiles vs carpet tiles

    October, 2018

    Looking to refresh your commercial flooring? We help with the age old consideration vinyl tiles vs carpet tiles.

    Vinyl tiles or carpet tiles can be a remarkably cost-effective upgrade to an office, particularly if you eschew hardwood floors in favour of one of these. But which is most suitable, of course there isn’t one clear winner, but there are some considerations of note when it comes to making the decision vinyl tiles vs carpet tiles.

    Vinyl Pros

    Vinyl is an affordable and flexible commercial flooring option that has proven an enduringly popular choice for businesses around the world. Whether you opt for the more affordable vinyl composite tile (VCT) or more natural-looking luxury vinyl tile (LVT), the are plenty of benefits.

    – It’s easy to install with no need for grouting, as the flooring is generally laid down in strips with an adhesive. For even faster installation, a looselay product such as Axis is worth considering – easy to install and providing a luxury natural wood finish.

    – Most types of vinyl flooring will offer a similar aesthetic to hardwood flooring for a fraction of the price.

    – Easy maintenance and durability are two of the primary reasons why so many businesses opt for vinyl flooring. It can also take a significant amount of foot traffic. Look for elements such as a Topguard PUR coating to increase scratch and scuff resistance.

    – The fact that vinyl is such a hygienic covering is also a key reason for choosing it. It’s quick and easy to wipe clean and won’t collect dirt and germs, as carpeting and natural alternatives sometimes do.

    Vinyl Cons

    – Vinyl doesn’t have the warmth of carpet (a natural insulator) or the same level of comfort underfoot. Due to its popular use in corridors and waiting rooms, it might also be perceived as more of a cold and sterile option.

    – Vinyl will never be able to match the noise absorption levels of carpet but having said that, there is a lot that can be done to address this. One recommendation is using sound-insulating underlayment (consider specialist levelling compound), if the environment dictates are more prudent approach to impact sound.

    Carpet Pros

    Carpet is particularly popular in offices going for a ‘warmer’ aesthetic, and with modern modular commercial carpet tiles, you can achieve the look and feel of carpet, but retain the convenience and flexibility of vinyl.

    – Carpet tiles are incredibly convenient for office spaces, as individual tiles can be easily be swapped, removed and replaced for maximum, modular flexibility.

    – As tiles can comfortably be removed without having to rip the whole carpet up, it allows easy access to raised floor sections.

    – An environmentally friendly option due to their construction, carpet tiles also save on waste during the life of the carpet and due to its modular nature during installation versus a broadloom alternative. This environmental benefits are furthered when a random-lay carpet tile is chosen, especially one with high recycled content, stain resistant properties and high tuft density.

    – Carpeting provides exceptional insulation especially for ground floors, because it retains warm air.

    – Carpet tiles will absorb sound instead of reflecting it, making for a quieter and more productive working environment.

    Carpet Cons

    – Carpet is not as easy to clean as vinyl, and it demands more attention.

    – If the carpet tiles have been laid poorly, you can notice visible seams. It also goes without saying that close attention must be paid the wear rating classification – ensure the carpet tile is for commercial usage, to avoid a poor appearance over time.

    Conclusion – it doesn’t have to be vinyl tiles vs carpet tiles

    Ultimately, either option has its benefits and drawbacks; there is no right or wrong choice here. It will depend not only on the specifications of your business but on your own personal tastes and inclinations. Of course in a modern office, which is open plan and where consideration is given to zoning and or where the designer is mind-full of activity based workplace trends (ABW), there is every chance both types of floor covering will be considered. Carpet tiles or planks and vinyl planks or stone effect tiles can now seamlessly transition, creating effective way-finding, activity zones or just simply a stunning design.


    Feature image: a great example of combining vinyl and carpet by Office Principles.

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