Getting Creative with Carpet Tile!

At first glance upon purchasing this house we thought the retro style basement was kind of cool, hubby was happy enough to live with the dark and dated wall board. And the thought of all that painting and priming was a daunting idea to say the least. However, as usual, over time I was able to convince him that a little DIY, flooring and paint would make a big difference in how the space felt. Followed up with a promise that I would spend more time down there with him once the space was refreshed to feel lighter and brighter. Dark and cavernous basements have never been my thing.

The existing carpet was original to the house and had definitely seen better days. The previous homeowners had a leak in their air conditioner which had resulted in a huge water stain in the middle of the floor. After researching various options for flooring such as vinyl plank, wall to wall carpet and porcelain tile, I decided to go with carpet tile. We like the softness and warmth that carpet provides along with the sound dampening aspect but we didn't want to go for broadloom again. We wanted something that we could install ourselves and a material with a fun pattern. I had come across various tutorials online using carpet tile and decided on a buffalo check pattern. I was inspired by one of my favourite design bloggers, Emily Henderson, who had used this pattern in her studio. Thanks Emily for the inspo!

Once the wall board was primed and painted using Benjamin Moore's silver satin, one of my go to colours for rooms below grade, it was time to remove the carpet. We were skeptical about the amount of work involved but much to our delight, it came up relatively easy and the floor below was in great shape. A little scraping to clean off the old adhesive and we were ready to go with the install of the carpet tile. The hardest part of the project was figuring out the pattern and where to start so we had equal cuts on all sides and were not left with too many odd cuts or small pieces. We started in the centre of the space and worked our way out with the dry fit before making any cuts and securing any tiles. We used tiles from Interface which is a commercial grade product but they also make FLOR tiles which is their residential line. We purchased our tile from their specials selection which is where they sell off their overstocks at discounted prices. The inventory changes frequently but there is usually a great selection available.

The install process went well and relatively quickly except for a few tricky cuts in the corners and near the doorways. There may or may not have been a couple of sacrificial tile along the way but hey...we are not professionals here. Now that the floor is complete we are happy with the result and would definitely use carpet tile again. We have a few spare tiles left over which is ideal because if any of the tile gets soiled or stained in the future we can simply swap it out for a spare. This is a great solution for households with kids or pets, like ours. We love the funky pattern we created and it adds to the fun factor in the rec room for sure. This is a casual space where we watch movies, play games and listen to music so we didn't want it to feel too precious. We like the retro vibe of our bungalow and wanted to keep some of that feeling. We added our vintage mid century bar, have set up the sectional for the TV area and are now working on a furniture plan for the other side of the space. The basement now feels bright and cheerful so I won't have any problem keeping my promise to spend more time down there with hubby.

Enjoy your happy place! -Laurie

Laurie Sprague Designs, St. Catharines, ON