There are two basic types of carpet: broadloom and carpet tile. Broadloom
is carpet brought to the office on a roll, either 12 feet wide or 6 feet
wide. Carpet tile is brought to the office as precut squares, 18 inches
wide by 18 inches long. Carpet tile has the advantage that indiviual tiles
can be replaced if a tile is soiled or excessively worn. Offices using "raised
floor" always require carpet tile (individual carpet tiles can be pulled
up so that raised floor tile can be removed to access the wiring underneath.)
Broadloom carpet is still the most commonly used.
These two types of carpet can be purchased in a variety of grades. Basically,
carpet with a denser pile (yarn) and stronger backing will last longer.
Furthermore, yarns may be vat dyed (the color is made intregral to the
yarn itself) or skein dyed (the color is added after the yarn is made).
Vat dyed is more color fast, stain resistant and can withstand harsher cleaning.
Denser pile, stronger backing, and stain resistance costs more than basic
goods. However, the cost and inconvience of early replacement may far outweigh
the initial cost of upgraded material.