It’s What you Don’t See That Makes the Difference: The Importance of Floor Patches and Levelers

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:

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The Growing Popularity of Specialty Floor Coverings

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.

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Carpeting Without a Professional: A Review of the Costs and Complications

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.

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Coming Unglued

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.

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Shading, Pile Reversal, and Pooling

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.

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