Carpet Tile

Photo Credit: Mohawk


Carpet tile has increased in popularity due to its versatility and design flexibility. The tiles also allow for easy replacement as repairs can be made by section instead of the entire floor. The downside of modular carpet is that it absorbs moisture and dirt, promoting the growth of mold and dust mites. 3


In an attempt to negate these issues and prevent degradation, traditional manufacturers treat carpets with chemicals and antimicrobials. These include triclosan (which is toxic), formaldehyde (which is carcinogenic), as well as short chain PFAs—an alternative to long-chain PFAs which were phased out in 2008 because of their severe environmental and health implications.4


Carpet backings and sealants are typically made from petrochemicals containing VOCs, fly ash, and carcinogens.4 Even after disposal, the carpet poses harm to human and environmental health. The toxins in backings pose challenges for recycling efforts, resulting in more carpets in landfills and increased contamination of soil and water. 4


When considering carpet options, focus on closed loop manufacturing, chemical disclosure, and lifecycle performance.2


✓ Look for certifications for:


  • CRI Green Label Plus 
  • Cradle to Cradle v3.1 Silver or higher
  • NSF 140 Platinum
  • Living Product Challenge

✓ Watch out for:


  • Products coated with PFAS
  • PVC or polyurethane backing
  • Antimicrobials above 100 ppm
  • Any backing containing fly ash

✓ Choose manufactures with take back programs.

✓ Select products with LOW or NO volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

✓ Make sure products need no added stain or dirt repellents.