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.

Carpet tiles, also called carpet squares or modular carpet, come in pre-sized squares with their own integrated backing and base. They sit directly on your substrate. Your installer will lay individual tiles one at a time, with minimal cutting, only resizing certain pieces where necessary.

With no carpet pad required, carpet tile provides an easy and expeditious installation as compared with broadloom, reducing cost and streamlining schedule. Over time, maintenance is easy, since you can quickly remove each individual tile to clean or replace it if it becomes damaged. Due to the size of the tiles and the ease of replacing small sections of your carpet, you can cost-effectively store replacement tiles that require minimal space. Carpet tile offers a variety of design options and makes designs possible that broadloom can’t cost-effectively replicate, such as a checkerboard effect or certain textured layouts.

The drawbacks of carpet tile include design limitations and cost. While carpet tile opens up certain possibilities, it’s not best suited for some designs that broadloom best handles, such as larger patterns or mosaic styles. Seams are more visible with carpet tile, which can be a drawback for certain designs. The cost of certain carpet tiles is higher than broadloom. While carpet tile accounts for about 30 percent of carpets installed today, wall-to-wall broadloom carpeting remains the most popular option for commercial applications.