In most cases, the question of whether you should purchase wall-to-wall carpet or opt for carpet tiles doesn't come up during the carpet buying process. At least, it doesn't for those looking for a carpet in their own homes. But we would encourage you to take a moment just to compare the two and see if wall-to-wall carpeting really is the best choice for your home.
Wall-to-wall, otherwise known as broadloom carpeting, uses one large roll of the carpeting to fill as much of a room as you'd like. It is installed over a substrate and carpet padding that makes the already luxurious feel of the carpet that much better. Broadloom carpeting cannot be matched in quality or feel in the carpet world, and is a great option if you love stepping onto a plush surface when you walk in the room or if you have little ones who like to play on the floor.
Wall-to-wall carpeting also comes with the option for stain-resistant fibers, making it ideal for most homes. That being said, if a stubborn stain sticks around or if other damage is done to a broadloom carpet, you will find it difficult and expensive to fix. Damaged broadloom usually requires an entire section if not the complete removal of the full carpet to be fixed. It's an unfortunate inconvenience, but that's the risk you take when purchasing a beautiful, seamless wall-to-wall carpet for your home.
The other downside to broadloom carpeting is the installation. Installing a broadloom carpet is time consuming and difficult. Unless you are seasoned in carpet installation you're going to need to hire a professional for this kind of floor. You'll have to spend money on a contractor, their expertise, as well as for extra materials. Contractor or no, you will need to add 5-25% extra carpeting to your budget in order to get the job done. This necessary evil does mean that you'll end up wasting some of the carpeting, so if that's something that will bother you it would be best to consider carpet tiles or another flooring material altogether.
While carpet tiles are typically more expensive per square foot than broadloom carpeting, they are far easier, not to mention faster, to install and don't require carpet padding below them. That means the cost kind of evens itself out between the two options in many cases. Carpet tiles, as you might imagine, are also significantly less difficult to fix when damaged as you can simply remove and replace the affected tiles.
As convenient as these tiles are, they don't always win in the style department. Even expertly installed tiles show the seams between the tiles and unless you really enjoy a mosaic style with differing colors and patterns, there isn't a lot of personalization available with tiles. This is one reason why they aren't as popular in homes and tend to be used for businesses.
Carpet tiles also lose points in the what we will call the walk-over experience. They are almost always made with shorter fibers, which when combined with the lack of carpet padding makes for a pretty hard if not rough feeling for bare feet. If you're choosing carpet for your new floor because of how plush it is in your mind, it's probably not a good idea to go with carpet tiles.
So, which would you choose? Let us know!