Mother Nature holds nothing back when it comes to storms. It can sometimes take years for people to recover from hurricanes and tropical storms and the resulting flooding. Some of the most difficult installation challenges arise in the wake of natural disasters. And when water is present, these projects must be approached carefully and systematically. If not, subsequent failure is highly likely.
Access floors have come of age. In the 1960’s, raised access floors were a necessary evil for main frame computer rooms. These spaces needed a flexible flooring system for wire and cable management, and the natural plenum created under the floor was also used to distribute air to cool computers and other equipment. The floors were more functional than attractive, unless you loved the industrial look. Today, the “information generation” demands connectivity everywhere in the workspace and the flooring industry has responded with access floors that have more benefits, versatility, options and better aesthetics. The new generation of access floors contributes to high performance building designs because the floors integrate features ranging from efficient HVAC distribution at occupant level to modular plug-and-play systems located at individual work stations. This Starlog showcases access flooring — the innovative choice for office, medical, education, high-tech and historical buildings.
“Be prepared” is not just a Boy Scout motto. Being prepared for a floor installation project is the best way to ensure your project will flow smoothly and with the least amount of disruption to the overall construction schedule. It seems simple enough, but it’s easy to overlook a critical task if you’re not aware of what it is, why it’s important, when to do it and who is is responsible for getting it done. This Starlog provides an overview of some important pre-installation checklist items you can use to “be prepared” for your next flooring project.
In a strong economy, it’s easy to justify using quality products and networking with top-notch vendors on every aspect of the job. This is even more important in a down or recovering market. High performance products manufactured by leading brands and installed by established professionals ALWAYS pays off in the long run. On the other hand, partnering with underperformers, be they products or service providers, can turn your project into a disaster and haunt your career for life. Why risk it? Starnet members don’t. This Starlog provides insight into our vendor partner relationships and how that translates into helping us help you.
Without a doubt, it is simpler, faster and more cost effective to install new flooring under office systems using a professional lift system than to do the same job by dismantling and reassembling furniture, using jerry rigged tools not designed for the job and employing extra labor. And yet, a surprising number of facility managers either don’t know about, or don’t take advantage of flooring companies that use today’s professional lift systems.
The Grand Ballroom at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, was aglow under thousands of twinkling starlights as StarNet members, vendors and guests gathered for their annual celebratory banquet this past April. The dinner marked an occasion the attendees look forward to every year—the Design Competition Awards. The evening capped days of business sessions, a trade fair and socializing that were as relaxed and friendly as Cancun’s beaches.
No matter what floorcovering you select, the key to a great installation lies beneath the surface. Proper substrate preparation creates the foundation for floors that look great and perform well. Taking short cuts with patches that repair substrate damage and imperfections, and with levelers that create smooth, flat surfaces, invites costly and unsightly installation issues and failures. If your underlayment is not flat, hard, durable and compatible with the floorcovering adhesive, two problems may plague your installation:
The majority of commercial floor coverings are designed to meet the general needs of the floored space. They are styled and manufactured to be aesthetically pleasing, durable and easy to maintain. But the very nature of commercial interiors, and the activities that happen in these spaces, has given rise to a new category of floor coverings—specialty floors. These products have enhanced physical characteristics and unique properties to fulfill the needs of special spaces and niche areas. Specialty floors offer value-added features and benefits for spaces where general floor coverings fall short on required or desired performance.
It may seem logical that purchasing carpet by itself, as opposed to through a qualified flooring professional, would result in a lower cost. However, carpet is not a stand-alone product. There are many additional services and expenses required to complete an installation project properly. A lower price does not necessarily mean a lower cost.
A recent national survey confirmed the increased expense of carpet as an exclusive purchase and explored the origins of these costs. The survey examined several components of carpet installation ranging from material price to management time to simple cost per square yard. The following table details these elements based on an average installation of 1,000 square yards. The resulting cost increase was between $3.55 and $7.21 per square yard.
Bond Failure Symptoms and Solutions
Despite the carpet industry’s efforts to improve the quality of installation workmanship, bond failure in commercial carpet installations remains a leading cause of complaints, lawsuits and premature replacement. Annual losses from such failures run into the millions of dollars, and ripples and open seams caused by bond failure create a high-liability safety hazard. This bulletin discusses the most common types of failure, their causes and methods of prevention. The highlighted boxes are selected quotes from applicable sections of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s CRI 104 Standard for Installation of Commercial Textile Floorcovering Materials.