I have a high-traffic game-room that needs to be re carpeted. I've decided that carpet tile is the way to go because I want to be able to wash or replace individual carpet tiles when they are damaged and/or stained.

The game-room is upstairs and the room is currently stripped down to the bare plywood subfloor. The plywood subfloor probably needs to be caulked and primed... it's got fairly wide gaps at the seams (1/4" gaps) and it's got overspray for the paint and wall-texture when the house was constructed.

I'm debating whether to go with peel and stick or glue-down... if glue-down, what kind of glue can be easly removed/replace if I need to pull and up and replace a tile. I've heard this is "releasable" glue for glue-down carpet tiles.

One concern is how to protect against water damage if a drink is dropped on the floor... is there a good way to seal the floor be water resistant?

2 Answers 2


You can make the floor water resistant by varnishing it. Two or three coats should protect it from most damage, especially if you lift the affected tiles straight away. Most damage is done by the prolonged contact of the water with the floor. Are you expecting a lot of spillage?

This does mean that you might want to consider not sticking the tiles down or only using a very light adhesive. If the tiles are well fitted and cover all of the floor area there shouldn't be any lateral movement in the tiles themselves.

  • I was planning on caulking all the seams and priming the floor with a water resistant/mildew resistant primer. Would that be enough? Oct 16, 2010 at 2:34
  • @Simon - it sounds like it should do the job.
    – ChrisF
    Oct 16, 2010 at 15:42
  • the carpet tiles i've used have a rubber or latex backing, so moisture damage shouldn't be an issue.
    – longneck
    Nov 23, 2010 at 15:41

I installed Legato carpet tiles in my basement. They have an always-tacky back almost like an industrial-strength post-it note. They stick really well without any additional adhesive at all, and I've never felt them slide around.

If I do need to pull one, I just grab the corner gently with a pair of pliers, and they come right up.

As for the water resistant seal, it might be overkill, in my opinion. Most subfloors that I've seen aren't coated with anything, even in bathrooms and kitchens. There should be enough natural air circulation in most rooms to allow any spills to evaporate before they'd do any damage. But, if you really want to protect that subfloor, a water-resistant primer would probably be more than enough.

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