What You Need to Know About Carpet Tiles for Basements

Having a basement as part of your property can mean one of two things. Either it’s a storage area for the junk you’ve accumulated over the years, or it’s an opportunity to take advantage of a potential extra room. Whether you’re building a man cave or making a serviceable utility area, it’s important to make sure you choose the right flooring.   

Carpet tiles for basement flooring are increasingly popular. They’re versatile, cost effective, and have insulating properties. In the current market, there is also a growing range of styles and materials available.

So what do you need to consider when deciding whether carpet tiles are the right choice for your basement project? We’re going to give you an overview of the key areas for focus, along with some practical guidance on their effective use. 

What Are the Different Types of Carpet Tile?

When it comes to aesthetics, your design options can stretch beyond monochromatic or checkerboard patterns that were popular in the past. These modular panels come in triangular, diamond, rhomboid, and even herringbone shapes, among others — allowing you to be more creative in the patterns you can arrange them in.  

One of the key choices you’ll also need to make is about the backing. While this is not the visible part of the carpet tiles that you’ll see every day, it certainly makes a difference to their feel and performance. In most instances, you’ll need to decide between three options:

Hard Backed Tile

In this instance, the carpet fibers are attached directly to a thin base of PVC. One one hand, this can make for a sensation of stability and security underfoot, and tends to be the lower-priced option. However, these are not always the most suitable choice for basements as there is no insulating layer to protect against the cold, or against rising moisture.

Closed Cell Cushion Tile

This option has a similar PVC backing to the hard backed variety, but is separated from the carpet fibers by a layer of compressed foam. This adds some insulating properties to the carpet tile, and the potential for shock-absorption extends the lifespan of the carpet. 

Open Cell Cushion Tile

Like the closed version, this type also has a foam layer sandwiched between the carpet fibers and the PVC backing. The key difference in this case is that the cells in the foam cushioning are not as densely packed. The core’s ability to inflate after being compressed underfoot means that it is a more comfortable, durable, and insulating carpet tile for basement floors. 

How Much do Carpet Tiles Cost? 

The cost of carpet tiles for basement floors generally comes down to these factors:


The more comfortable and insulated the tiles are, the higher the price tends to be. Hardback tiles can cost as low as $0.94 per square foot, while the open cell variety averages at around $3.20 per square foot.    


For additional stability, there is also the option for tiles that interlock. Some of these have a visible “jigsaw” appearance, others lock beneath the surface. These come in at around $2.80 per square foot


When installing carpet tiles for basement refurbishment projects, it’s important to bear in mind that these rooms can be subject to greater degrees of cold and damp than other areas of your home. As such, it’s advisable to seal the floor with an epoxy concrete sealant before laying the tiles. A gallon of this can add around $26 to your budget. 


Many carpet tiles come with peel-and-stick adhesives already applied to the back, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, if your basement is particularly susceptible to damp climate or moisture, it’s important to apply your tiles using a moisture resistant adhesive. A gallon comes in at around $17.

Assuming that you have various accessories such as carpet knives, tape measures, trowels, and paint rollers already to hand, the average cost of carpet tiles for basement projects measuring 100 square feet is around $300. 

How to Install Carpet Tiles 

Basements can be notoriously tricky to remodel, but the good news is that carpet tiles are one of the more simple options when it comes to installation. Depending on the condition and shape of your basement, there can be some preparation involved, and if you have ambitious pattern plans it is essential to plan ahead.

For the most part, though, you’ll find installing carpet tiles for basement floors runs as follows: 

  • Remove Old Flooring — if you previously had full carpets, ceramic tiles, or vinyl you’ll need to remove this first. Use a scraper or pry bar to pull up all pieces of glued down materials. 
  • Make Repairs — assess the state of your basement floor; are there any cracks, holes, or dips? If so this could affect both the finish and safety of your carpet tiles. Use concrete filler or floor leveller to create a smooth, stable surface. 
  • Sweep and Clean — make sure that the area is free of dirt and dust that could interfere with the solid bonding or curing of your sealants and adhesives. Make sure the cleaning surfaces are entirely dry before beginning your installation. 
  • Apply Sealant — follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but this is usually applied by using a paint roller to spread evenly about the surface. Avoid walking on the wet sealant, and make certain the room is well ventilated while you’re occupying the space. 
  • Test Your Placement — if you’re using a complex pattern, it’s helpful to place the tiles as intended before committing to gluing them down. This way you can assess where adjustments need to be made. 
  • Install the Tiles — it’s advisable to start from the center point of the room and work your way out toward the edges. Work patiently, applying adhesive to one tile at a time, and press the tile firmly in place on the floor. Remember that until the adhesive has cured, the tile can still be subject to shifting, so be careful as you place the other tiles that you’re not inadvertently nudging others out of position.

Conclusion – Why Carpet Tiles?

The reason to choose carpet tiles for basement flooring is more than a simple budget-friendly consideration. Today, cushioned cores can help create a cosy underfoot feel, as well as insulate from cold and damp conditions. They’re easy to install, which makes them not only ideal for DIY enthusiasts, but also cuts down on labor costs. The variety of designs available means that you don’t just have to settle for drab squares, you can make your floor a key feature in your creative remodeling plans.   

How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor

Coupling hardwood flooring with an area rug can be both aesthetically pleasing and convenient. After all, wood floors, once installed, are relatively low-maintenance, and area rugs provide you with that extra pop of style to compliment the room. However, the fact of the matter is accidents are occasionally going to happen, and it’s not always going to be practical for you to take a large area rug outside, or to a dry cleaner. 

This means that you’re left with the necessity of taking care of it in situ. But knowing how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor is not always immediately obvious. You don’t want to use the wrong product for the job, risking ruining an expensive piece of carpeting. Not to mention the potential for wood flooring underneath to take collateral damage. 

The good news is, with a little care and preparation, you can take care of most area rug mishaps simply. We’ll guide you through a few areas of focus, along with some tips to help you get the best possible result. 


When spillages occur, it can be easy to fall victim to panic, which can in turn lead to further mistakes being made. One of the most important steps in how to clean an area rug on a hardwood floor is taking a moment to step back, assess the situation, and make appropriate preparations. 


  • Mitigation — In the event of a liquid spillage, this involves gently soaking up any excess fluid. Use a paper towel or rag to carefully blot the area. If the spill is something more substantial such as food, or the fluid has dried, scrape at the area using a windshield scraper or bread knife, pulling up and disposing of excess dirt. Don’t scrub or rub the spillage at this stage, as this can exacerbate the issue. 
  • Remove Debris — Whether it’s an unexpected spillage, or long-term grime, you don’t want to make the situation more difficult by mixing loose dirt up in your cleaning solution. Take a vacuum, and run it along the full upper surface of the area rug. You can use a broom or lightly beat the rug to ensure that no clouds of dirt or dust are rising before proceeding.
  • Protect the Hardwood — A significant spillage can result in fluids leaking through to the hardwood underneath. Lift the rug, mop up any excess liquid, and lay a ground sheet. This also helps to protect your hardwood floor from any damage that could be caused by stain removers or cleaning products you’ll be using. 
  • Spot Testing — There are various methods for stain and grime removal, which we’ll go into shortly. However, if you haven’t used a cleaner or solution on your rug before, it’s important to perform a spot test. Apply a small amount of the solution to a corner of the rug, along with a little water, and leave it for a few hours. This will reveal whether it is likely to affect the color of the rug.  

Carpet Shampoo   

Particularly if your rug is made from synthetic materials, an off-the-shelf carpet shampoo can be an effective option. As you’ll be applying this while it’s still on the hardwood floor, be mindful of how much warm water you’re applying to the area.

  • Use a moist brush to gently work the shampoo into the stained area. 
  • Work from the outside of the stain and move toward its center, to mitigate the potential for the stain to spread. 
  • Prepare a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar, and lightly brush it into the cleaned area to help remove excess detergent. 
  • Dry the area by first using rags to soak up excess moisture. Then use a fluffy towel, making sure to carefully push any plush rug fibers back into an upright position.

Baking Soda and Hot Water

When considering how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor, one of the simple and versatile options is a sodium bicarbonate paste. It’s effective on a wide variety of stains and spillages, including wine, juice, coffee, grime, and even sticky substances. 

  • Sprinkle the dry baking soda over the affected area. If you’re cleaning the entire rug, be sure to spread this evenly throughout, in order to keep the effect consistent. If you are applying it to a fresh spillage, you should be able to see the chemical reaction fizzing. 
  • Using a damp brush or cloth, gently work the baking soda into the fibres of the fabric. You’re not looking to use enough water to dilute the sodium bicarbonate, just enough that it turns the powder into a thick, pale paste. 
  • Leave it to dry for a couple of hours. 
  • Vacuum the rug when dry to remove the remains of the baking soda and stain. 

Steam Cleaning

A rug can be a great addition to your home, but it’s essential that you keep it looking fresh. While there are creative and cost effective options for how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor, sometimes it’s worth the time and investment to rent a steam cleaner. 

While this can inject life back into your rug, and take care of most persistent stains, it’s important to be wary of how this could affect your hardwood flooring. By their nature, steam cleaners emit a significant amount of water vapor, and as such you must make sure that your floors are adequately water sealed, you keep windows open where possible to aid natural drying, and that you place a sufficient barrier layer between your rug and the floor.  

Conclusion — Keep it Fresh

The reality of life is that you’re unlikely to be able to keep your soft furnishings in pristine condition. However, by taking the time to understand how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor, you have a toolkit that can help you keep it fresh for years to come. 

Remember to: 

  • Prepare for cleaning by both vacuuming the rug and protecting the flooring beneath
  • Use a baking soda and warm water paste to remove stubborn stains
  • If using carpet shampoo, brush the stain from the outside to the inside to prevent spreading
  • Invest in occasional all-over steam cleaning to keep your rug in peak condition for longer