Cheap carpet squares are often used because they give a lot of bang for the buck. If you look hard enough you can find them under $1.00 a foot. If you look even harder and are willing to use multiple colors you can find them even cheaper than that! It’s also a well know fact that they are super easy to install. You can do a room in an afternoon with a sharp knife and some double sided tape. However, where most consumers miss the boat is you can save a bunch of money and use your creativity at the same time! By using several colors of small lots and mix and match sets of squares, dealers will cut a better deal and you get a one of a kind, unique floor that your friends will rave about.
Step 1. To stretch your dollar to the maximum, first you need to know your total square footage. For easy rooms that are square or symmetrically rectangular, just multiply your length and width. As an example, a room 12 feet long by 20 feet wide has 240 square feet (12×24=240). Add a little extra, say around 10% to that total to give yourself some cushion.
Step 2. Survey the area you want to cover and think about the colors that would look well in the room. Look at the furniture, pillows, curtains etc. You need to be armed with at least 2 colors, the more you have the more flexible you can be. Also, think about what the room is used for. Is it a casual, fun room? Or do you want it to be a formal or contemporary look?
Step 3. Go shopping! Some local dealers may have the deal you are looking for, but chances are you need the internet. What you want to find is dealers with cheap carpet squares in small lots. The trick here is to keep in mind your square footage. If you need 264 square feet (our example of 240 feet plus 10%) and want to try and use 3 colors of tile or squares equally in a pattern, divide 264 by 3 (for the number of colors you want to use) and you now know you need around 88 feet in each color or style. If you don’t want an equal pattern, but want to go heavy in one color and just use a smaller amount of another just adjust your footages accordingly. It’s all up to you on how creative and unique you want to be. Look for dealers that have small lots in the ranges you need to maximize your dollar! Also let the dealer know what colors you are looking to use and see if they have suggestions of their current stock. Let them know you’re willing to use multiple colors to clean out some of the smaller amounts they might have in stock. Carpet tile and square dealers will work with you on the price on a situation like this.
Step 4. Once you’ve found a deal and have the carpet tiles at home, totally clean the room out of furniture if you can. What you want to be able to do is to start laying out the tiles, without tape or glue at this point. Just loosely lay them around and step back and look at the pattern. Then re-adjust where needed. Possible options to get you started are a solid interior with a different color border of tiles, a kaleidoscope layout using solid color groups working from the center outward, contemporary designs with clusters of colors around the room, designs that emulate a spider web or a checkerboard etc. The sky is the limit! Once you have the correct pattern of squares figured out, then start laying them with double sided tape or glue.
Most importantly, have fun! You will be very proud of your work when you are done. When you have friends over, they will be amazed at the floor. These floors when designed with carpet tiles in a unique pattern are often a conversation piece. Don’t forget to work the dealers for small lots! You should be able to be under $1.00 per foot and maybe even better if you take really small lots under 40-50 feet.
One thing to remember when you are shopping is that tiles come in different sizes anywhere from 12″x12″ all the way up to 3′ by 3′. The more common ones seem to fall between 18″x18″ and 24″x24″. The dealer can help you figure out how many tiles you need as long as you have an idea of your square footage requirements.