Can Carpet Tiles Go Over Carpet? 5 Things You Should Know

Carpet tiles are individual squares you can put together to form a full carpet. They’re great-looking and affordable, among other benefits. But can you install them over an existing carpet? Today’s post covers everything you need to know about this subject.

Can Carpet Tiles Go Over a Carpet?

Carpet tiles come in many forms, but their essential duty is to provide your home with fuzzy and warm carpeting. These tiles are adaptive and modular and come in different types to accommodate varying consumer needs. The most common types in the market are:

When people look into investing in a carpet tile set, they often want to know whether their carpet tiles can go over existing carpeting. This is a common question for people who want double the insulation on their flooring and homeowners in areas that tend to be colder throughout the year. 

Carpet tiles are usually used as the main carpeting, so they’re often put directly on the tiling or flooring. However, it’s not uncommon for individuals to install carpet tiles over an existing carpet, especially when the existing carpet is nearly impossible to remove.

Still, installing carpet tiling on existing carpeting isn’t recommended because it creates several issues over time. These include:

  • Molding.
  • Dust accumulation.
  • Bacteria growth.

Laying carpet tiles over another carpet requires gluing the two carpets together. This cancels out the breathability of the underlying carpet, which promotes bacteria and mold growth. That’s not to mention the dust that may accumulate underneath your brand-new carpet tiles. 

For these reasons, I recommend installing your carpet tiles over wooden flooring, tiles, or marble. In short, if you have an existing layer of carpeting in your home, consider removing it before investing in carpet tiles. 

What Can Be Placed Underneath Carpet Tiles?

The flooring underneath carpet tiles needs to be flat, hard, and level. As long as your flooring has these three qualities, it doesn’t matter whether you lay your carpet tiles over concrete or tile. 

Once you determine that your flooring has all three qualities carpet tiles need for a smooth application process, you can begin preparing your floor. Preparing your floor for the installation process is the most critical step in installing smooth, durable carpeting, so make sure you start on the right foot. 

The first thing you need to do is clean and level the floor. Once that’s out of the way, apply a floor primer and let the product sit on the surface for 24 hours. In the meantime, unpack the carpeting tiles and leave them in the room you want to tile so they can acclimate.

When the 24-hour waiting period is done, vacuum or mop your subfloor to clean off any excess primer and begin setting up your carpeting.

Do You Have to Glue Carpet Tiles?

Gluing down carpet tiles helps the carpeting material stick more firmly to the subfloor. It’s one of the best and easiest ways of ensuring that your carpeting holds, but it’s not the only option. 

You can also try dry-laid tiles, which can be installed without glue. Not only will they hold firmly, but they’ll also be easier to remove for replacement. 

Quick Tip: When laying down interlocking carpet tiles, start from the corner and work your way out in a triangular pattern to avoid mishaps.

What Type of Adhesive Should You Use When Gluing Carpet Tiles?

Different types of carpeting require varying fixation methods to keep them in place. For wall-to-wall carpeting, this can be tack strips and tension. Tension is pretty self-explanatory, so let’s talk a bit more about tack strips.

Tack strips are narrowly cut long pieces of wood with a bunch of nails (also known as tacks) on them. If you use these, you’ll have to nail or screw them onto the existing floor along the perimeter of the room you’re carpeting. Make sure the tack side faces up, as the tacks are what will keep your carpet in place.

The process of laying down tack strips is relatively complicated. If you need a step-by-step walkthrough, check out the Youtube video below by Floors By Southern Boys:

On the other hand, modular carpeting requires adhesives such as glue. Keep in mind that glue isn’t the only kind of adhesive you can use to make sure your carpet tiles stay in place. There are different options, such as tile tackifier adhesives.

You’ll want to choose the type of glue you use based on your purpose and the type of flooring you have. Some types of adhesive worth considering can include:

  • Solvent-based carpet glue.
  • Water-based carpet glue.
  • Adhesive taping.

The base material of the adhesive determines how well it bonds the carpet tiles to the subfloor. This is one of the main reasons you need to understand the difference between water-based and solvent-based carpet glues.

Let’s briefly go over the distinction between the two base materials. 

Water-based glues will form relatively weak bonds. As such, they’re better suited for short-term use. On the other hand, solvent-based glue will give you a longer service period since it’s known to be an extremely strong adhesive.

● How To Make Your Carpet Tiles Stay Put?

Making carpet tiles stay put is the final step to having pristine carpeting in your home. Carpet tiles don’t require adhesives all the time, but this makes them more prone to popping off. 

If your non-adhesive carpet tiles lay loose, you can use double-sided carpet tape to keep them in place. But if your previously glued tiles somehow come off, applying adhesive spray will likely be the better and quicker fix.

Closing Thoughts

To sum up, you’re better off laying carpet tiles over non-carpeted floors. Laying these tiles over an existing carpet can aid bacteria and mold growth.

You can have any type of hard, flat, and level flooring under your carpet tiles. As long as you use a suitable adhesive, your carpet tiles should stay put and add a smooth, insulative finish to your floor.

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