Evaluation of Carpet Tile for Commercial Space:
Why is it important to have a detailed evaluation of carpet/floor covering for a commercial space?
- Carpet has the highest visual impact
- Carpet is the most abused product among the office interiors
- Carpet is the only product in an office on which more money is spent maintaining than the original cost.
- Carpet is the only text product walked on.
A detailed specification helps eliminate those products that do not meet the selection criteria.
What are key factors to be considered?
Look Good, Feel Good and Do Good.
- Does it look good? Aesthetics
- Does it feel good? Underfoot comfort
- Does it do good ? Performance
- Is it safe? Flammability, Anti-static, smoke density
- Environmentally safe? VOC Emissions, Indoor Air Quality
What are the factors that impact the above attributes of carpet tiles?
- The manufacturer – process, technology and experience
- The product – how the product is made and what is its makeup?
In other words, we need to do a detailed evaluation of both the product and the manufacturer.
But, does the best engineered product from the most reputed manufacturer deliver the solution?
Who will bring the best product to you?
Who will handle the installation?
Therefore, it is imperative to do a detailed evaluation of:
The local service provider/installer
Does the manufacturer have a minimum of 10 years experience in carpet manufacturing?
Product offering – consistency, selection to meet specific needs of the project
Customer service – reliability, efficiency
On-time shipping – on-time delivery
Quality certification – periodic internal quality audit
While evaluating commercial carpet, the following need to be considered.
- Tile Backing – floor compatibility, dimensional stability, VOC emission certification
- The yarn – soil hiding, anti-static, colour retention, cleanability
- Dye Technology – dye method, colour and pattern choice, customization capability
- Enhancement Technology – soil retardant, and anti-bacterial properties
Does it look good? Does it do good?
Nylon carpet does not wear out, it only ugly out.
Aesthetics or look has the single most impact in product selection. Being a textile product, the colours and styles are significantly influenced by the fashion industry.
So, what are the attributes that impact the look and performance?
Does the product meet the safety standards?
What is the flammability rating?
Anti-static rating? Smoke generation rating?
Indoor Air Quality certification
Answers to the above questions will help evaluate the various products available for selection.
Very often, carpet selection is influenced by physical characters, like, yarn weight, thickness, etc. rather than performance criteria.
Several years ago, the General Service Administration – GSA of US Federal Government moved away from the conventional methods and developed a new method for evaluation of commercial carpets. It is primarily based on performance than construction and thus established ARR – Appearance Retention Rating.
Under ARR guidelines, carpet is evaluated for Design, Colour and Backing.
ARR allows the end user to choose the right product subject to budget considerations without compromising for performance.
CRI – Carpet and Rug Institute, USA is major source of information on carpet and they promote ‘Informed Buying’ when it comes to carpet.