By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A distinct advantage of carpet tiles over wall-to-wall carpeting is that tiles can be easily replaced when damaged or worn. This feature makes the tiles a good choice for heavy traffic areas, a kid's room and wherever pets spend a lot of time. And these tiles require no adhesive, so they're a quick cover-up for any room that needs a new floor covering, and there's no messy installation.
They range in sizes from 12 to 22-inch squares with edging systems that lock together. They're sold as a carpet system with 19 1/2-inch square tiles (a carton covers 35 square feet), and they come in a variety of trendy colors and patterns. You'll find them in home centers and online. The interlocking tiles can be installed on a floor that's level, sound, dry and dust-free. It's easiest to work on the floor if the furniture is removed from the room. If that's not possible, move furniture to one side of the room, install the carpet tiles and then move the furniture back to finish the floor on the other side of the room.
A carpet installer will charge $1,098 to lay moderately priced carpet tiles in a 12-by-15 room, or 180 square feet. This includes labor and material. You can buy them and do it yourself for $620, saving 43 percent. Before you begin installing the tiles, you'll need a vacuum with a crevice tool, a damp mop and a prybar to remove molding or tack strips. To install the tiles you'll need a utility or carpet knife with extra blades, a straightedge, measuring tape, chalk line and knee pads.
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The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install carpet tiles with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.