Carpet Tile FAQ's

We’ll try and help explain all the terminology used in the carpet tile industry, to help you make an informed decision why buying your carpet tile.

Cradle to Cradle is a vision which guides companies through a constant improvement process whilst at the same time helping the planet. The Cradle to Cradle approach is to create a cyclical process. The main goal is to try and eliminate waste altogether. Waste from one process is used in other processes so that nothing is wasted.

There are five standards which Cradle to Cradle firms must adhere to. Material Health – ensuring all of the chemical elements in products are defined as positive. Material Reutilisation – find materials that can be reused when a product is taken back after use. Water Stewardship – manage clean water as a precious resource and a basic human right. Social Fairness  – show that they live up to the highest ideals of responsibility in regard to their staff. Also, try and ensure companies they use also respect these values. And renewable energy use. A product is then given a level in each area — basic, bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. The lowest level being the product’s overall mark.

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DESSO EcoBase has been designed with the environment in mind. Made from 100% positively defined materials, it includes upcycled calcium carbonate (chalk) from local drinking water firms. And while other backings such as bitumen are hard to recycle, EcoBase can be fully and safely recycled in Desso’s own production process. This backing has a Cradle to Cradle Gold rating. While all ranges that have this backing are Cradle to Cradle Silver certified.

A fairly new product, Econyl launched in 2011. It is made by Aquafil Global, a leading maker of Nylon 6, also known as polyamide 6. Econyl is made from 100% regenerated nylon. It is a form of nylon that is made from waste products which include discarded fishing nets, carpets and rigid textiles. It aims to be an eco-friendly option compared to the original product which is made from a by-product of oil.
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TacTiles are an innovative way of fitting Interface modular flooring. These simple little (75mm x 75mm) clear squares are adaptable, strong and have great environmental qualities. It means no glue is needed, which makes installation quicker as there is no drying or waiting time, meaning little disruption to the workplace. They also emit almost no VOC’s.
They have great horizontal grip and create a “floating floor” effect. TacTiles stick the tiles to each other meaning there is no damage to the subfloor.  It also means soiled or damaged tiles can easily be removed or replaced. They are also ideal for helping to easily transform flooring designs.
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Function Plus is Milliken’s opening price point backing option. It is a great choice where budgets are tight, and acoustics and comfort are not so vital. Function Plus has basic underfoot comfort and acoustic performance as provided by a soft textile surface versus a hard floor covering, yet still comes with a 10-year wear guarantee. While its unique makeup offers enhanced dimensional stability, even though its 10% lighter than other hardback carpet tiles. It also means carpet tiles with this backing are more flexible and easier to install.

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Comfort Plus Backing is Milliken’s premium backing option. It offers luxury underfoot comfort yet contains 90% recycled content. Comfort Plus also reduces noise impact and areas fitted with this backing will be quieter than with any hardback product. Cushion back carpets also last longer than hardback carpets. This is because the cushion backing absorbs the effects of wear and protects the face of the carpet. This means Milliken can offer a 15-year wear guarantee for those carpets that have the Comfort Plus backing.

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Global warming has an impact on everyone. So, Interface decided to try and do something about it. They were the first global producer to announce that all of their products, including LVT and carpet tiles, are carbon neutral across the entire product lifecycle. They have looked at the whole process when it comes to carbon neutrality. This starts with the raw materials. They then looked at other stages – manufacturing, transport, customer use and also product take-back and recycling options. And then balancing what they can’t avoid with carbon offsets, like reforestation.

Interface Carbon Neutral Floors help you lower your carbon footprint. This allows you to reduce the emissions impact of your project while helping to meet your own sustainability targets.

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Skinny Planks are a modern alternative to the traditional square tile. These 25x 100cm tiles or “planks” offer new design options, with more flexibility and creative freedom.  Use these together with square tiles for even more design possibilities. This format in the right colour also gives you the chance to achieve the continuous look of broadloom, creating a classic look, but with the benefits of modular flooring. As well as carpet, skinny planks are also available in some LVT ranges.  This creates the look of a real wood floor while also giving you a flooring that is soft and adaptable.

The right backing is a key part of any flooring. Graphlex is a high-performance backing which Interface use for most of their modular carpet tiles. Whilst this is their standard backing there is nothing standard about its quality or performance. A great all-rounder, it is suitable for most commercial settings. It can also be used with TacTiles. Forming a sturdy base for wall-to-wall installations it provides great stability and flatness and is designed to ensure tiles stay in place even with heavy use. It also passes the test for anti-static. This means it can be used in areas with electrical equipment. And with a high recycled content, it can help contribute to leading green building certification schemes.

More info about Interface backing types here.

The laminate material (PVB) in car windscreens, which prevents them from shattering, until now had not been re-used. Interface now works with the supply chain to process the laminate and use it in some of their carpet tiles as a replacement for latex in the precoat.  This has a two-fold benefit. It helps reduce the carbon footprint of their carpet tiles while at the same time extending the useful life of PVB.

Interface is a company that embraces change. Part of that change has seen them working towards becoming an environmentally sustainable company. In 1994 they put all these aims in their Mission Zero Project. Their promise to eliminate any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020. This has meant huge changes. From how they design and produce products to the way they do business. This has meant tackling things on 7 fronts including eliminating waste and renewable energy use.

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With so much used carpet ending up in landfill,  Interface decided to try and do something about it. Their idea –  the Re-entry scheme. Its aim is to give people choices when it comes to getting rid of their used carpet. Rather than just going to landfill, they offer several options. These include helping local communities as well as the environment, thereby helping to boost your company’s sustainability credentials.

The list of choices is as follows. The first choice is for the flooring to be Reused again. Interface work with social enterprises, who specialise in rehoming the used carpet. This makes sure this used flooring benefits those who really need it. The second choice is to Re-purpose the used carpet, so it is made into other products or services. The third choice is to Recycle. Interface has created recycling processes to ensure the biggest amount of material ends up in new carpet or other recycling streams. The last option is to Recover. Only when necessary, energy is recovered in a waste to energy facility.

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StainSmart is a treatment applied to Milliken modular carpets. It is used to provide Stain Repel, Stain Resist and Soil Release features. It offers protection against penetrating stains and soil making it a great feature for a busy workspace.

The Stain Repel feature allows many liquid spills to be blotted and easily removed before they can get beyond the carpet surface. The Stain Resist feature means it reduces the ability of a stain to bond with the fibre.  While the Soil Release feature helps stop soil from sticking to or imbedding in the surface fibres. It also helps the efficiency of soil removal when the right cleaning methods are used. Milliken warrants that carpets treated with StainSmart will resist soiling and staining during the lifetime* of the carpet.

*Lifetime is defined as the period of time that the initial buyer of the carpet chooses to keep the carpet on the floor at the initial installation site.

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Is the highest possible accreditation awarded by Gesellschaft für Umwelt- und Innenraumanalytik (GUI), Germany’s leading independent air quality testing organisation.

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CRI stands for the Carpet and Rug Institute and they have created the CRI Green Label Plus testing program. Green Label Plus is the 4th time the carpet industry has improved the IAQ standard for its products. This helps ensure customers are buying the lowest emitting products on the market. The tests aim to find carpets and adhesives with very low VOC’s to help improve indoor air quality (IAQ). These tests are done in an independent and certified lab and meet strict standards for low chemical emissions.

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Comfort Lite Backing is Milliken’s standard backing option. It offers great underfoot comfort yet is made with 90% recycled content.  A more comfortable surface to stand or walk on helps to reduce tiredness. And this cushion backing with its enhanced acoustic properties helps to reduce noise levels. Cushion back carpets also last longer than hardback carpets. This is because the cushion backing absorbs the effects of wear and protects the face of the carpet. This means Milliken can offer a 12-year wear guarantee for those carpets that have the Comfort Lite backing

Obex is a three-zone entrance flooring system. It has been designed to provide a protective barrier against the outside elements while still being a stylish option. Obex traps moisture and dirt at the entrance, stopping it from getting into the building. This means a cleaner environment and helps to save on cleaning costs. The right mix of Obex products, located correctly, can lengthen the appearance retention and therefore the life of the carpet.

Obex comes in many colours and patterns which are made to coordinate with Milliken carpet collections. For example, the Quadras ranges, which are part of the Zone 3 options. These come in three designs and have almost the same colour scheme. This system offers entrance matting options that can be recessed, or surface mounted as well as exterior and interior uses.

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Programme (Milliken)
Keeping needless waste out of landfill is a key part of Milliken’s environmental pledge. Their answer – the Carpet Take Back programme which offers a non-landfill disposal option. It ensures that used carpet is recovered and handled in the most environmentally, socially and financially responsible way. Choosing the best way to dispose of used carpet can be a complex task. There are often many factors to think about before choosing the best option. Milliken helps to make this process simple and guide you through it.

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