Carpet tile adhesive is an unsung hero in interior decorating circles. Unlike the carpet tiles themselves, most people don't rush out and compare carpet tile adhesive samples. They don't weigh the pros and cons, nor do they try test strips like you would carpet, paint or any other surface product. But maybe they should, especially if they knew just how important using the best carpet tile adhesive is for any home or office project.

What's the point in finding the best carpet tiles if you're not going to secure them properly? All of that time and energy spent shopping and installing is lost to the sad reality of upturned corners, ragged seams and shifting positions, the tile itself may even fall out all together.

Clearly, just because carpet tile adhesives aren't "sexy" doesn't mean they don't play a very important role in your carpeting project. I've included several things to keep in mind as you shop, so you'll be fully confident that when you buy carpet tile adhesive, you're getting the best for your project, needs and budget.

Types Of Carpet Tile Adhesive

You'll find this stuff in a variety of application types. Some are painted on, some are sprayed on. And then there are the various other hybrid types of carpet tile adhesive, like tapes, strips, pads and the like.

Applying it is a matter of following the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation (the fumes are often toxic) and the temperature is in ideal range. If you're using carpet tile spray adhesive, be sure to mask off any surrounding areas you don't want covered in spray. Spraying is an effective application method, but it's pretty messy, and very hard to control, so take the proper precautions. Likewise, make sure to use the right applicator if you're handling the liquid form. Using the right brush or roller is necessary to create a good, strong bond.

Speaking of safety, if the instructions recommend using a ventilator or even a simple dusts mask, use it. Fumes from glues and adhesives are particularly nasty on the lungs, and unnecessary exposure to them could result in long term health consequences. Carpet tile adhesive strips, tapes and pads probably won't require extensive safety precautions, because the installation is so much easier.

What Is The Best Carpet Tile Adhesive

There really isn't one "best" carpet tile glue, simply because they all seem to have their strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to read the instructions on all the packages before you make your final choice (or read the online specifications if you're buying online, which I'll discuss later in this article). Also, it's a good idea to ask a seasoned professional or even the customer serviceman at your local hardware store (or read the online reviews) about the specifics of your job. Depending on the types of carpet tile you're using, the surface you're installing them on, the climate where you live, the humidity levels and even if these carpet tiles will ever get wet could change the recommendation.

Some of the most popular brands of carpet tile adhesives are as follows:

  • 3M
  • Milliken
  • Dap
  • Tire Tex

I'm including these so you'll have a starting point to start your shopping, I'm by no means endorsing any of those brands as the absolute best product on the market. Shop around, ask questions or read reviews, and decide for yourself.

Many people ask if carpet tile spray adhesive is better than the spreadable type, or if the sticky carpet tapes or strips are better than them all. It all depends. As a general rule, the easier it is to apply, the weaker the overall bond. That's not always the case, but it does hold true most of the time. So if ease of installation is a factor in your decision, then you might want to consider one of these options. But if you need maximum bond, I'd go with the spray or spreadable varieties.

There is one other caveat, though: Perhaps you don't want a strong bond. Depending on how you're using your carpet tiles, you might want to gain easy access underneath them. Or you're expecting to rip out the tiles and refloor in the near future. The heavy "stick" of the stronger adhesives will make this very difficult, if not impossible. And tearing it out in the future... well, you'll have your work cut out for you. These are more instances where the weaker adhesive types might be better suited for your needs.

Where To Buy Carpet Tile Adhesive

You shouldn't have any problem finding a wide assortments of this stuff at any home improvement store. Just look in the "Flooring" or "Carpet" departments. Sometimes it's tucked in with flooring tiles and grout. You'll find everything you'll probably need at stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware or any local hardware or home improvement store. The advantage of stores like these is that you can get expert advice from the helpful people who work there. Most stores will only hire department workers who have real experience in the industry (in our case, flooring), so their advice is invaluable, especially for first time DIY folks.

Another options is to buy carpet tile adhesive online. You can usually find lower prices online than you will at a local retailer (even if it's a national chain), but you won't get the same level of service. Maybe that's okay for you, especially if you're experienced and know what you're doing and simply want the best price, or if you've already spoken with a carpet expert and now it's just a matter of buying in bulk. Amazon is a great place to start, since it has a huge selection and prices that are almost always cheaper than anywhere else.

Hopefully you've got a better idea of what to look for regarding your flooring project. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, read lots of online product reviews and follow the directions on the label and you should end up with a finished project that will make you happy for years to come. Granted picking this stuff out isn't as much fun as the carpet tiles themselves (or nearly anything else, for that matter), but a good carpet tile adhesive will help you get your job done right the first time.