How to Fit Carpet Tiles

Written by emily patterson
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How to Fit Carpet Tiles
A carpet roller presses the carpet tiles securely into the adhesive. (carpet roller image by Greg Pickens from

Carpet tiles are sections of carpet that are glued or taped to the floor. The average homeowner can install carpet tiles without special tools or skills. How you lay them out will depend on the look you want to achieve. The tiles may be positioned all in the same direction to appear as though it is a continuous carpet. You can also alternate the grain so there is a faint pattern created with the tiles, or you can mix colours and textures to create a more dramatic pattern.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Carpet tiles
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Adhesive
  • Trowel
  • Carpet roller

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  1. 1

    Lay a row of carpet tiles across the width and the length of the room at the approximate centre. Adjust the tiles so that the tiles on the ends of each row are the same width, and the intersecting tiles at the centre line up at the seams.

  2. 2

    Place the end of a tape measure against the edge of one of the rows of tiles where the tiles intersect. Measure the distance to the wall. Slide the tape measure to the parallel wall and mark that distance on the floor. Slide the tape measure to the opposite parallel wall and mark that distance on the floor.

  3. 3

    Turn the tape measure 90-degrees and repeat Step 2 for the opposite row intersecting tiles. The result will be four marks on the floor that will be used to create two chalk lines at a right angle that will intersect where the carpet tiles intersect to use as guide lines for placing the carpet tiles.

  4. 4

    Shift the tiles away from their location. Place one end of a chalk line on one of the marks on the floor and the other end at the mark on the opposite side of the room. Snap the line. Repeat for the other direction. The result is two intersecting lines that divide the room into four quadrants.

  5. 5

    Place a tile against the chalk line at each of the four sides of the intersection. Place tiles against the chalk line in each direction. Check that the end tiles are still in the proper position. If not, adjust as needed and repeat steps two, three and four.

  6. 6

    Begin installation at the intersection of the chalk line. Complete one quadrant at a time. If the tiles are glue downs, spread the recommended adhesive on the floor with a trowel and press the tile into the glue, aligning it to the chalk line. If using adhesive circles, place the adhesive circle facing up and align the centre of the circle with the corner of a tile. Four tiles will intersect on each circle. If using self-adhesive carpet tiles, remove the backing from each tile and press firmly into position.

  7. 7

    Position all tiles according to the arrow on the back of the carpet tile that shows which way the grain of the carpet is facing. For a solid appearance when finished, the grain of all tiles should face in the same direction.

  8. 8

    Trim end tiles to fit. Place the tile against the wall overlapping the tile already in place with the grain arrow in the opposite direction as the installed tiles. Make a mark on each side of the top tile. Place the tile on a piece of wood, such as a piece of scrap plywood and use a sharp utility knife to cut the tile along the mark. Rotate the tile so the cut end is against the wall. The grain will now be in the same direction as the tiles in the rest of the room.

  9. 9

    Press the carpet tiles firmly into the adhesive used with a carpet roller. Start from one side of the room and work in sections to the other side of the room. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Tips and warnings

  • When installing carpet tiles with a peel of adhesive cover, place the sheets directly into a bag to reduce clean up time and to prevent falling from the slippery papers.

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