Buffalo Plaid Floor Using Carpet Tiles

More nursery design talk today! I shared the entire design plan earlier this week, so let’s move on to these floors. They’re installed! Wahooo! I was able to do it by myself (hint: super easy) and it only took me four episodes of some of my current go-to’s (Nashville, This is Us, The Middle, Gilmore Girls).

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

So, the original wood floors in here are not great. They’re scratched (my fault), have lots of holes and gouges and are just generally a pain in the butt to keep clean. Sometimes, running a vacuum is just so much easier. I was eager to cover the floors, and while I was open to doing a traditional rug, this room has an added closet in the corner which bumps out quite a bit into the room. This limited how big my rug could be: realistically I could fit a 5′ x 8′ without interrupting the bumpout, but that left a considerable amount of floor uncovered. Not the best option.

And then, like clouds parting overhead, I ran across Emily Henderson’s post on her design library. Those floors!

It had the graphic appeal of a rug, but the tile design would allow me to install it wall-to-wall, which means I could have the best of both worlds—full coverage and pattern. I was sold. I found some other examples I really loved too. Like the gray plaid from Wit & Delight and the checkered floor from this nursery, designed by Victoria Elizabeth Design.

There’s really only one ready-made carpet tile manufacturer that I know of and that’s FLOR, who was also responsible for the inspiration images I shared above. And no, not sponsored—they don’t know me and this was 100% paid for by me! I just really liked the product and thought I would share my experience.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

So first, I used FLOR’s design studio to figure out tile placement, colors and pattern. It did the math for me on how much I’d need of which color tile, which was very helpful, as I should never be trusted with math of any kind. Their design studio didn’t allow me to show it wall-to-wall (it shows a dark floor underneath) but the rug measurements were the same measurements of the entire floor space (9’10” x 11’6″). I ignored the closet bumpout in those measurements—knowing omitting that negative space would help give me a bit of wiggle room on overage.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

As far as colors go, I ordered several samples. I knew I wanted grey, blue and cream… but guys, they have so many options. I also had questions on texture, comfort, pile… you know, carpet stuff. I ordered 12 samples, mostly to test for color, and ended up with these three—Ocean, Pigeon, Pearl—all in their “Made You Look” tile style. The carpet itself has a very thin profile, with a tightly woven texture. This is not a “sink your toes in” type carpet. It’s also installed without an underlayment of any kind. So, you won’t be sleeping on it any time soon, but that’s what beds are for. 🙂 Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

Let’s talk cost. For my almost 10′ x 12′ room, the entire thing shipped to my door cost me $623.00, which included a 25% discount they were having to kick off the new year. The shipping was murderous—$84—otherwise, the cost would be very similar to what I’d pay for a 9′ x 12′ rug. So not cheap, but also not prohibitively expensive. I also opted to skip their cutting service to save some dough (the cutting fee is $3.50/tile), knowing that was something I wanted to experiment with myself. I also wasn’t exactly sure what cuts I would need and where.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

Installation was simple. They included wall-to-wall instructions in the shipment (along with the sticky yellow dots used to “install” them), but I sort of winged it. I first found the dead center of the room and placed my first tile there. That first tile also represented the center of my pattern. My main concern was having the row of blue tiles be centered in the room as much as possible, which I was able to accomplish with a little finagling.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

I also wanted my tile joints to be as centered as possible at the door entry (Alison just talked about getting tile joints centered in her bathroom floor post—crazy people unite!), which makes everything look a little more polished. My entry joint isn’t exactly centered (about 1.5″ off), but close enough! You can see that below.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

After I had my placement all set, it was time to get the sticky dots out. That’s right… the only thing needed to make these carpet tiles stay in place are these clear adhesive dots.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

The sticky side faces up and is only installed at the corners and sides—any spot where two or more carpet tiles touch. I would just turn up any corners and sides and slide the sticky dot underneath.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

I was so skeptical of this at first. Really? These plastic stickers are going to hold this thing together? But you guys—the adhesive must be made from the nectar of Hercules because these tiles aren’t going anywhere. It’s STRONG. The adhesive is flexible when you install, and then becomes more permanent as the hours pass. I did need to move a few tiles about 72 hours past installation and while it was hard to get them up, it’s not impossible. Plus, I’m going to want to do that anytime I need to replace a tile due to a stain or whatever. Because toddlers…

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

Let’s talk cutting the tile. All I needed was a pencil, metal ruler and box cutter. The tiles were incredibly easy to cut and I was glad I opted to cut them myself. The walls in this old house are not at all straight, so the flexibility to cut tiles at an angle or slightly crooked to match the walls was easy (and helpful).

I did go through at the end and add little filler pieces where there were gaps (if you look at the photo above, see behind the entry door, next to the door stop?) to make everything look seamless.

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

Buffalo Plaid Carpet Tile Floor

I couldn’t be more happy with how this turned out. Also… I had very little waste. I had a few scraps leftover, which I kept just in case. But I used every single tile, so if you go this route, I’d absolutely recommend the Design Studio for help telling you exactly the correct quantity. If you’d like a bit more breathing room for errors, I’d order a 1-2 more tiles than they recommend, just in case. You can return unused/uncut tiles, but the shipping is on you, so something to be aware of.

Wallpaper is the next big project in this space, but shipping is going to put us somewhere in mid-February for that to happen. But never fear—I’ve got lots of little things to do before then: hanging lights, installing new door hardware and tracking down furniture. More soon!



Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Adriana says:

    I’ve used Flor quite a bit and always been incredibly happy with the results. If you have no extra tiles, however, I really recommend ordering a few more for replacement. I learned this lesson the hard way when I did my daughter’s room (years and years ago) in a lavender and white random checkerboard. They stopped making both colors (toy poodle) and after swapping out stained tiles for every one that was under the bed or less visible i finally had to get rid of them. In my other daughter’s room i did more of a crazy quilt style, like the nursery in your inspiration pics, in blues, greens and whites so that if i ever had to replace tiles it didn’t really matter if they were the same as the original colors. After she outgrew the look we passed them on to a friend to use in her son’s room. Enjoy!

    • Emily May says:

      This is excellent advice. I’m going to order some more this week! I would be so sad if they discontinued—otherwise the pattern just doesn’t work! And we don’t have any “under bed” space either. Trust me… I’ve thought about that haha! Thanks again for your comment. I love hearing that you were able to pass it on to another lucky person too.

  • So smart, and so perfect for a nursery. Looking forward to seeing the rest come together 🙂

  • KIM says:

    This is probably my favorite flor installation – the check is too cool. Especially for a kids’ space.

    • Emily May says:

      It was a ton of fun to do. One thing that surprised me—it was a little bit of a brain buster to figure out what color tile to put where to make it look like a buffalo check pattern. I thought I was losing my mind LOL. Finally, Pinterest helped me out.

  • Zach says:

    Wow! You are always so Inspiring. Awesome job with your new project

  • Dan says:

    Way to go! I’m redoing an older house myself. Love reading about others doing the same, keep up the great work!

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