Interior Design: Choosing carpet for your office

Hiring professional carpet suppliers and installers is one good way to ensure increased profit and functionality for commercial units; understanding the basics of carpet selection is another. Here at GDI, we take care of the complete design and fit-out of your space. But if you just require a carpet refresh > follow this tips to help get it right !!


Becoming familiar with the essentials of carpeting and how it effects you and your office environment can help you make good decisions when choosing and purchasing carpet and make sure that your purchase is the right one and will last as long as you want it to.

Start building your carpeting knowledge through these 8 tips:

Choosing the right carpet for commercial applications is unique. The primary concerns (and the first four tips!) when selecting which type of carpet to use are balancing the pros and cons of the following features of carpet:

  1. Foot Traffic
  2. Budget
  3. Cost to Replace
  4. Style

Identify which item or items above are most important to you.

Consider Foot Traffic Versus Budget Versus Cost to Replace Versus Style

You are looking for the best balance of carpet and value you can find. Our tips to help you find this:

1. Calculate Foot Traffic

Determine how much foot traffic you will get.  In higher traffic areas you will need a more durable and more stain resistant carpet.  The money that you spend to increase the quality of carpet for your more trafficked areas will serve you well through the life of the carpet.

2. Budget Estimation

Decide how much you have to spend on the carpet.  Carpet will get used and abused more than almost anything else in your office.  Decide how long you want the carpet to look good for and ultimately how long you want it to last for, then decide on your budget accordingly.

3. Cost to Replace (Upgrade Now or Replace Later?)

Consider the costs of replacing an unseemly looking carpet (or not replacing it in a timely fashion).

  • How will it effect your business (employee moral and customers)?
  • What is the cost of replacement carpet as opposed to just purchasing good carpet up front?
  • What you will have to do in order to replace carpet in the future (move sensitive documents, pack up desks in order to get carpet underneath, etc.)?

4. Style!

Up to a certain point more money spent on carpet decides how long it will look good for.  After that threshold more money equals more style. Choose color palettes that work with your decor and choose the styles and colors of carpet that will work best with your furniture, walls, and overall feeling in the office or building.

Keep in mind that the initial extra costs for a better-quality carpet, when spread out over the life of that carpet, is not as costly as replacing low-quality carpet. The better-quality carpet will look better for longer and give you less hassle and expense over the long run.

5. Get Acquainted With Carpet Types and Construction

The most common commercial carpet fibers are Nylon, Polypropylene, and Olefin.  The most common types of Carpet Construction are Loop, Carpet Tile, or Cut Pile.

Commercial Carpet Fibers

Olefin/Polypropelene Carpet – “The budget choice”. When constructed well it can stand up to moderate commercial foot traffic. It has a lower up front cost but is not as durable as a nylon carpet.  However, most olefin commercial carpets are solution dyed which gives them very good stain-resistant properties.  Olefin or polypropylene is a very good choice for lower traffic areas or offices that you are not going to stay in for long.

Nylon Carpet – The best commercial carpet fiber for foot traffic and durability in a commercial setting. It is more expensive then olefin, however it is money well spent as over the years it will look better longer. Nylon carpet comes in many different styles and colors and when constructed with solution dyed yarn it has good stain resistant qualities as well.


Commercial Carpet Construction

Loop Carpet – Loop pile carpet is carpet that is looped through the backing and, when looked at, you are looking at the side of the fiber.  This is the most common of commercial carpet types, but does not have the luxurious feel of a cut pile.  However, it will hold its resiliency longer than cut pile and will not traffic out as quickly – a good solid choice for any commercial application.

Cut Pile Carpet – Usually used for borders, solid colors, more luxurious commercial carpets, or prints, this is a nice carpet if you are looking for extra style and class. Cut pile commercial carpet is a tight plush, softer than the loop construction, and does not run the risk of zippering.

Carpet Tile – Loop or cut pile carpet that is set into a rubber backing. The benefits of this type of carpet are that sections are replaceable if they get damaged or ruined and the loops cannot pull because they are individually set into the rubber backing. It is the most expensive of the three but well worth the cost for the extra functionality that it offers.

6. Choose Underlayment…or Not?

Underlayments or carpet pads lay between the subfloor and carpet.  Most commercial applications do not require and should not use a pad. However, there are certain applications where commercial carpet pads are suggested and very beneficial.  Some of those scenarios are:

  • Steps
  • Areas where people will be standing for long periods of time.
  • Hallways where noise reduction is important
  • Sections of your building where tempature control is important.

Check with your professional commercial carpet consultant to see if a commercial carpet pad is right for your application.

NOTE  There are big differences in construction (and durability) between a commercial carpet pad and residential carpet pad. Make sure that whoever is supplying and installing your carpet knows the difference and is providing you with the appropriate pad.

Another alternative to typical commercial carpet pad is carpet tile with the pad attached.  This is a more expensive alternative but a good one. The carpet will never buckle and sections are replaceable if they get damaged or ruined.

7. Consider Carpet Maintenance Requirements

Like anything else, carpet – in order for it to give you all of the life it has – must be maintained properly.  Discuss maintenance requirements for each carpet type with your supplier or set up a maintenance plan so that you don’t have to worry about it.

8. You Get What You Pay For

Carpet that is cheap up front is probably exactly that.  If you just need something to cover the floor or only plan on being in your space for a short period of time then a low cost carpet might be perfect for you.

However, if you own your space or you plan on being there for a long period of time, you will want to consider what you expect out of the carpet and how that should reflect on your budget.

Smart Tip: Purchase which carpet makes sense from all angles.

There are really no set or fast rules when choosing carpet. Each need and each scenario is different. Understanding the fundamentals of carpet selection coupled with a company who can further educate you and spend time with you to really understand your needs and wants will help you make the right choice when choosing and purchasing carpet.



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