Do it Yourself: How to Install Carpet Tiles

For years, carpet has been the standard floor covering. Since they come in very bulky, it is not an easy do-it-yourself project. Most of the time, this job is left with the professionals. Carpet tiles, however, are easier to install than the regular bulky roll of carpets. If you have installed ceramic or vinyl tiles, you can easily install carpet tiles. It is even easier than installing regular floor tiles for they do not need glue and grout. Carpet tiles also solve the issue of maintaining your floor. With traditional carpet flooring, if you were to spill wine and it stained, at times you would have to replace the entire floor. With carpet tile, you simply replace the stained tile. In the place where I work, they used carpet tiles; they are really good in high traffic areas. I have seen some carpet tiles used in kitchens (these are the non-fuzzy types of course). Use it in your home office or workout areas in your basement or garage.

Here are steps on how to install carpet tiles:

1) Measure: Determine the number of tiles that you will need by measuring the length (L) and width (W) of the room to be carpeted. Multiply the width times the length to get the square footage of the room.

For rooms that are not rectangular, break the room up into smaller rectangles. Multiply the widths times the height for each of the smaller rectangles separately then add them up to get the total square footage of the room.

There are different tile sizes per box that you can choose from. Below are some samples:

17″ x 17″ = 54 sq/ft per box of 27

18″ x 18″ = 54 sq/ft per box of 24

24″ x 24″ = 48 sq/ft per bag of 12

24″ x 24″ = 56 sq/ft per box of 14

36″ x 36″ = 54 sq/ft per box of 6

You may also need to get tape rolls to stick the tiles on the sub floors…you can get rolls of tapes in 1.5in x 45ft or 2in x 75ft.

2) Preparation: Remove any old floor coverings.

Clean the floor; remove dust, debris, or any kind of adhesives.

Allow to dry completely.

Put the boxes of carpet tiles in the room. Let the carpet tile boxes sit there for a couple of days (depending on instructions) so that they can get acclimated.

3) Layout: Find the center of the room; this can be done by snapping chalk lines between the midpoints of the room’s opposing walls. Measure from the middle by which the two lines meet up 3 feet then make a mark. Then measure from the center point to the left 4 feet and make another mark. The distance between the two marks should be 5 feet to have perfectly square reference lines to start laying down the tiles.

4) Installation: Now you are ready to install the carpet tiles. First get the materials and tools you may need.

Materials needed: (You can get most of these at your local hardware stores)

Carpet Cutter or Utility Knife

Double Sided Tape

Straight Metal or Wood Edge


Beginning with one quadrant, install a row of full tiles along both reference lines. Then lay a grid pattern using the double sided tape. You do not need to put double sided tape under each carpet tile. Once the grid is formed the tiles will stay in place. Next, place the tiles along the reference lines applying firm pressure with the palm of your hand to ensure good contact with the adhesive. The tiles should be placed snug against adjacent tiles with edges accurately aligned with one another.

Then proceed with placing tiles row by row always starting from the center and moving towards the wall.

Fitting and Cutting:

After you have placed all the full tiles, the perimeter tiles must be placed snug against the wall. You may need to cut them to fit. Start by placing the tile to be cut directly on top of the last tile in a row. Next, position another tile against the wall and on top of the tile to be cut. Make a mark on each side where the outer corners of the top tile overlap the tile to be cut. Remove the tiles and using a sharp utility knife and a straight edge, cut through the back of the perimeter tile between the two marks. Use this same procedure to cut and fit the rest of the perimeter tiles.

You can do a lot of things to achieve a different look using carpet tiles. One example is by mixing different colors. You can also put down tiles following different directions every other tile. You can also use one color in the middle and different shade of same color family along the perimeter. Whatever you do, you are only limited with your own imagination and creativity. With proper care, you can enjoy these carpet tiles for years to come.

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