There are two primary types of commercial carpet: Broadloom (roll) and carpet tiles. And if you’re looking for soft surface flooring for your facility, deciding between these two types is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each option — and the type you choose will depend on your budget and the demands of your application. Here, we’ll compare tiles to broadloom, giving you all the information you need to make the best flooring purchase for your facility.

Broadloom carpets come in large rolls, usually at least 12 feet wide, and are laid onto a carpet pad that sits on your floor substrate. Crews install them by aligning large pieces together and cutting some of them, including the carpet pad underneath, to the correct size for a room.

Broadloom is the traditional and still most popular choice of carpeting in corporate flooring, and it comes with many design options, including patterns, colors, even mosaics — nearly limitless aesthetic possibilities. Since broadloom is installed over a carpet pad, it can look great even if your substrate has minor imperfections. Quality broadloom that comes with a moisture backing offers superior stain resistance, and seams can be hidden well using chemical welding. Certain broadloom with the right underlay material can be used to create a softer and plusher feel than carpet tile allows. Broadly speaking, you’ll find broadloom carpets are less expensive than carpet tiles.

While broadloom has many advantages, it also comes with some disadvantages. First, it creates waste during installation due to the necessary process of cutting down large pieces, particularly the carpet pad. The cost of unnecessary or unused materials can offset savings in unit price. Second, it’s difficult, time-consuming and costly to repair. If an area of it becomes irreversibly damaged by moisture or mildew, the whole carpet in a section must be taken up and re-installed to fully fix it.

Selecting flooring materials that match your aesthetic vision and align with your budget and schedule is no small task. We’ve published a buyer’s guide that walks you through the basics of purchasing carpet.