Carpet tile is available in an increasing number of different shapes and sizes. Within these offerings, vastly different looks can be achieved within the confines of a single pattern of square carpet tile simply by varying the installation method used. Because I find myself frequently discussing these options with clients, I thought it might be helpful to illustrate this visually.
Let’s start with the basics. Each carpet tile has an arrow on the back which indicates the default direction of the tile. The graphic images to the left of the photos that follow represent the orientation of these directional arrows for a particular installation method.
Historically, Quarter Turn is the most common installation method. When carpet tile first came onto the commercial flooring scene in the 1960’s, this was the only installation method recommended.
Monolithic has become an increasingly popular installation method. This technique orients the pattern in one direction, resulting in a style that mimics the look of a broadloom carpet.
Brick installation is exactly what it sounds like. The tile is installed just as a mason would install bricks on the exterior of a building. All tiles face the same direction but are offset horizontally by half the width of the tile on the following row.
Ashlar maintains a single direction of a linear tile, but staggers the tiles between rows. Arrows should all point in the same direction with the tile bond displaced by half a tile in the length direction.
The Random installation method is similar in appearance to quarter turn, but the direction of the tiles are rotated at random.
Many factors can contribute to the overall look that can be achieved within a single pattern of square carpet tile. In addition to the installation method, the degree of contrast found within the colorway of a carpet tile can also affect the visual. We encourage clients to look at a minimum of 4 to 6 tiles together when determining the best installation method for their individual space.
There are several websites that you can use to explore different patterns and their installation options. These online viewers are a great way to take a quick look and find which styles you like best. I’ve included a few of my favorites below.
Header image via