The choice of tiles was once limited either to the ceramic kind that is still used on the walls of bathrooms and kitchens or to decorate swimming pools today. Alternatively, people could opt for the stone and unglazed earthenware or terracotta varieties that were commonly used to pave outdoor areas, such as patios and garden paths. Since then, manufacturers have addressed the need for modular flooring solutions with a much softer texture and that are suited primarily for indoor use. The first breakthrough came with the introduction of carpet squares as an alternative to the traditional wall-to-wall broadloom installation.
The simple but highly innovative idea of producing carpet in the form of tiles offered consumers in the Western Cape and elsewhere several valuable benefits. The first and foremost of these was probably the greater ease with which this new product could be installed. This encouraged more purchasers to undertake the task of installing them in person and thus to save the additional expense of paying a professional carpet fitter.
Another advantage arises from the variety of colours in which these squares are available, combined with the fact that their fibres are oriented in a fixed direction, thus creating a nap. Simply by varying the orientation of the nap in adjacent carpet squares, a monochrome installation gains an attractive, textured appearance. Alternatively, laying carpet tiles of contrasting colours, while aligning their nap uniformly, provides a means to create some decorative and uniquely personal patterns or perhaps to designate certain areas within a room for a particular use. For example, a primarily light colour used in a dining room, might be contrasted with a darker colour in the region where the dining table and chairs are to be positioned.
While carpeting, even in this convenient form, is generally unsuitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms, vinyl provides a warm and yielding surface underfoot that is actually tougher than laminated boards. Available both as sheeting and luxury vinyl tiles (or LVT), its development has provided a more resilient alternative to wood that also displays the softness and warmth of a carpet, but is both more durable and easier to care for. In its modular form, like the carpet squares, it is also far easier to install than when it is supplied in the form of a continuous sheet.
Just as both of these products are easy to install, they are also simple to replace in the event that they should become damaged, although, in the case of vinyl, this is quite unlikely. Top Carpets and Floors retailers are the nation’s choice for tiles and quality flooring from Athlone in the Western Cape to our international borders.