Choosing the Right Carpet for Your Office Building

As a facility manager you make a lot of decisions. But perhaps none are more important than the carpet you choose for your building.

Think about it: Your floor gets used every day. People see it every day; people walk on it every day. In that sense, both the form and function you choose for your carpet are crucial.

The appearance of your floors can have a major impact on how people perceive your facility. For example, an “ugly” carpet in the lobby can instantly make people think less of a building or business.

Carpet is also a big investment. If you choose the wrong carpet, replacing it can be a significant expense. Not to mention the fact that replacing your floors can throw your entire facility out of whack for days or even weeks.

So when you choose your building’s carpet it’s important to choose wisely. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

5 Key Considerations When Choosing Commercial Carpet

Make sure you keep these things in mind as you seek out the right carpet for your facility:

1. Life Expectancy

Determine what the desired carpet life is for the space. Do you need it to last 15 years or do you need it to last five years because you have a five-year lease? 

The DPM Carpet Guide is a great tool to get started. Your interior design professional, mill representative or flooring professional will need direction to ensure you are getting the right type of product.   

2. Appearance 

Select styles and colors that are desirable for your space and company image. Interior design professionals are a great resource here. 

If you are considering carpet tile, make sure you design replacement tiles into the flooring design and the budget. Carpet tiles are great for ease of repair, but a new tile installed next to old tile will stand out unless you design the floor to minimize this effect. This can be done by using multiple styles or the same style randomly turned or quarter-turned.        

3. Lighting 

Look at several options and always order large samples that can be viewed in your space or under the same type of lighting being used in your building. Lighting types can change the look and feel of your carpet—drastically in some cases.

4. Performance Attributes 

Make sure each style of carpet being considered is appropriate for the space. You do not want to put a carpet designed for offices (where there’s low foot traffic) in a high-traffic corridor. 

The carpet TARR Rating System Info, which is located on the specifications for each carpet style, is a great resource that will help you find the right product for your space. 

5. Test Drive

Lastly, test drive your carpet selection(s) by applying the type of stains typically found in your facility to the samples. 

How well does the carpet hide the stains? You may be surprised. Some styles do a much better job at hiding certain stains than others. How easy is it to remove the stains? Some carpets release stains easier requiring less expertise for daily spot removal.  

How to Determine the Best Carpet Choice for Your Facility

Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all best carpet option out there. The best choice for you varies based on your space, the level of traffic your flooring will see, and the budget you have to work with.

Also, always make sure to choose commercial grade carpet as opposed to residential grade. Residential carpet does not have the same density and durability as commercial grade carpet and will degrade quickly in heavy traffic areas.  

Many buildings also have a specific look they want to achieve. For example, hotels want ornate, large scale patterns—which typically lends to roll carpeting. Meanwhile, corporate offices may need carpet tile for replacement under cubicle furniture and access to under-flooring data cabling. 

There’s a lot of carpet variation available based on individual needs. The key is understanding what your needs are ahead of time.

When you know the desire life expectancy, appearance, performance, and TARR rating before you go into the searching/buying process, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your options. From there, “test driving” your top contenders in your environment should point to a clear winner.