The Benefits of Recycled Carpet Tiles

Invest in durability and indoor air quality with this ‘green’ flooring option.

Recycled carpet tiles are manufactured by grinding up used vinyl and nylon carpeting. In some brands, the carpet surface as well as the backing contains recycled material. The major benefits of recycled carpet tiles are:

  • Better indoor air quality. Recycled carpet tiles are manufactured with recycled materials that don't contain toxic, petroleum-based chemicals that off-gas into the home, as traditional carpeting does.

  • Carpet longevity. Recycled tiles are extremely durable. In addition, their modularity allows homeowners to remove and replace individual tiles that may become worn without having to discard the entire carpet.

  • Design flexibility. Homeowners can mix and match individual tiles to create custom wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs. Recycled carpet tiles are available in a wide range of sizes, colors and textures, and new options are frequently available.

  • Environmental friendliness. Made from recycled materials, the tiles make use of discards that would have otherwise been landfilled and preserve the resources that would have been used to manufacture new carpeting. In addition, tiles' modularity results in less waste during installation. And at the end of their usable life, they can be recycled again and used for new carpeting.

Recycled carpet tiles can be installed directly over almost any smooth-surface floor—concrete, plywood, laminate, vinyl or hardwood. The only surfaces that won't work are unfinished waxed floors, unsealed concrete floors and carpeted floors. The only installation tools required are a sharp carpet knife and a metal straightedge for cutting the tiles to fit against walls and around corners. The individual tiles are adhesive-backed to stick directly to the floor. Alternatively, tiles can be installed by sticking each tile to its neighbor rather than to the floor, using repositionable adhesive dots. In either case, installation is relatively quick and simple.

Care and maintenance requirements for recycled carpet tiles are similar to those for traditional broadloom carpet: Vacuum several times a week to keep a fresh look, and remove stains as soon as possible. An added feature of recycled carpet tiles is that, because they're modular and removable, a stained tile can be removed, rinsed, air-dried and returned to its place on the floor. This allows for more thorough stain removal than if the tile remained on the floor throughout the process.

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