A Guide To Carpet Tile Maintenance

Establishing a Planned Maintenance Programme from the outset will appreciably reduce cleaning costs and greatly extendthe useful life and attractive appearance of your new tiles. Regular maintenance also helps to maintain indoor air quality. Because many energy-efficient buildings now recirculate a lower percentage of outside air, whatever is brought into the building- including dust, dirt and allergens- remains, unless it is mechanically removed. Most of it is heavier than air and falls to the tile, where it is trapped and easily removed by regular vacuuming and routine maintenance. Good air quality is sustained as well as clean carpet.

A good maintenance programme keeps both tracked-in and airborne soil buildup to a minimum through prevention, daily cleaning and spot removal, and periodic deep cleaning. This Guide outlines these key components to help you develop an effective plan.


Identify Key Traffic Areas.

Since 85% of soil is tracked in on dirty shoes, use a floor plan to anticipate where it will be concentrated. First identify light-, medium- and heavy-traffic carpet areas, then match them to an appropriate maintenance schedule. You should expect the highest traffic in:

  • Track-off areas where tile and hard surfaces meet, including outside entrances, WC’s, etc.

  • Funnel areas where traffic is channeled or confined, such as doorways, elevators and vending machines. Choose Your Colour Wisely . Plan for the colour, pattern and texture to accommodate traffic levels and local soil colour. In general, light shades are best in small areas where there is less soil. Darker earth tones mask dirt and are excellent in high-traffic zones. Extremely dark shades, however, tend to show dusty marks and should be avoided near entrances or adjacent to hard floors. Middle-toned patterns hide stains well, while textures of varying pile heights help camouflage uneven soiling for a more uniform look.


Install Walk-Off Mats.

Locate soil-absorbing barriers at all building entrances, lobbies and lifts. Mats should be cleaned frequently so they don’t become sources of tracked-in soil themselves, especially in inclement weather.

Carpet The Lift Cars.

Lifts take the brunt of foot traffic and soiling. Adding a removable carpet,fastened with Velcro or double-sided tape for easy cleaning or indeed choosing a tile with an absorbent pile, will help to capture accumulated dirt before it reaches the tiled floors.


More than any other factor, daily vacuuming of all high-traffic areas determines the useful life of the carpet. A heavy-duty upright vacuum is the best choice for effective daily carpet tile care – including one for each floor in larger installations. It should be sturdy, easy to handle and provide good brush action for high air flow.

Results of laboratory testing show that vacuum cleaners with a rotating brush and beater action are the most effective in loosening and removing deeply embedded soil. The action of the brush disturbs and agitates the pile surface and brushes soil particles from the fibres. Then the strong suction of the vacuum pulls the particles from the tile. A suitable machine would be the SEBO ‘Felix’ or ‘Dart’. Expect to pay around £250 retail. (NB. Tub-vac machines provide only suction and barely any fibre agitation).


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