Patterned carpet now accounts for over 90% of commercial carpet installations, especially in high profile locations. The broad array of available styles and customized treatments defies description. Designers and facility managers know that patterned carpet has practical and aesthetic benefits. Functionally, patterns conceal seams, hide traffic lanes and wear, disguise stains and faded areas, and are easier to patch if damaged.Visually, patterns have evolved beyond the simple pin dots of yore to include intricate geometrics, free flowing waves, texture on texture, and truly custom design, not just custom color. Because many interior designs use the floor covering as the starting point for coordinating other finishes, patterned carpet creates exciting new design possibilities for commercial spaces.
Imagine being one of the unlucky millions of people caught in the great black out of 2003 in New York City. While many of you watched the evening news with interest, those experiencing the power outage faced emotional panic plus the risk of personal injury in pitch black hallways and elevators. Considering that slip and fall injuries in the workplace alone are responsible for almost $5 billion dollars in wage replacement and medical payments, the additional costs for injuries in mercantile centers, hotels, and entertainment complexes caused by natural and unnatural disasters gives one pause to think.
Wood has been a favored interior finish for generations. In commercial environments, this has been a love/hate relationship. Love the look—hate the maintenance and moisture issues. Those concerns can be put to rest, thanks to innovations in hardwood construction plus the introduction of laminate flooring. These products feature great aesthetics with superior physical performance and easy maintenance.
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.
To varying degrees, most cut-pile carpets exhibit a characteristic known as shading–apparent shade variations caused by relatively slight changes in pile lay from traffic, vacuuming and general use. Since the sides of fibers reflect more light than their tips, pile laying away from the observer appears lighter, while pile laying toward the observer appears darker. Areas that appear dark when viewed from one direction appear light when viewed from the opposite direction, and vice versa. These changes in pile lay are temporary and usually can be removed easily by vacuuming or brushing the pile.