The Five Most Common Carpet Installation Mistakes
#5 – FAILURE TO SEQUENCE ROLLS BEFORE MAKING ANY CUTS
Many jobs are cut at the warehouse without consideration to floor layout or installation sequence. This is a huge oversight, which can lead to bowing, skewing, dye lot variations and pattern match problems.
There is a dye lot number, as well as a sequence number, within the dye lot on each roll ticket. In absence of the ticket, there is a time/data stamp on the backing, in military format that can be used to sequence cuts. Allow no more than five minutes of time to lapse between cuts for a more symmetrical installation.
#4 – FAILURE TO DRY LAY THE CARPET IN THE AREA TO BE INSTALLED PRIOR TO SPREADING GLUE
This is laying all cuts in sequence, trimming seams and checking pattern match, bow/skew/etc. This step is critical to allow the installer to make adjustments in the drops to ensure that pattern carpet runs true along perimeter walls, borders and columns.
Another advantage of dry laying is that any drops that have pattern deviations (bow, skew, elongation) can be removed from large open areas and used in offices or smaller areas where the effort required to correct these pattern deviations is minimal.
#3 -Failure to apply or improper application of seam sealer, which will result in edge ravel.
CRI 104 installation guidelines require that a 1/8″ continuous bead of seam adhesive be applied to the cut edge and sealer must be in the amount adequate to transfer to the opposite edge when seam edges are abutted. Sealer applied to the concrete next to the edge will not prevent edge ravel. In the eyes of most end users, 4′ of raveling in 100′ feet is unacceptable.
#2-FAILURE TO HAVE THE PROPER TOOLS ON THE JOB
This mistake includes wrong trowel notch size (1/8″ x 1/8″ x 1/8″ U-notch). This leads to inadequate adhesive spread rates and/or the absence of a powerstretcher and Deadman – or Roberts 10 – 117 Mini-Stretcher – for pattern match and bow/skew correction.
Insufficient adhesive makes pattern matching very difficult at best and many times impossible. The adhesive is what holds the carpet in place after the pattern has been matched or when bow/skew has been corrected. A kneekicker cannot move or stretch carpet as effectively as a mini stretcher or powerstretcher and Deadman. An installer on a pattern job without these tools is merely announcing his inexperience with patterned carpet.
#! -FAILURE to recognize that installing patterned carpet is much more complex than non-patterned-and therefore is more expensive to install- THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM!
Not recognizing this fact can result in delayed job completion, budget overruns and dissatisfied Customers. Allow ample time for patterned carpet installations.
By following these simple guidelines, you are on your way to a superior installation – problem FREE.
Originally published in the summer 2002 issue of The CFI Professional. A Patcraft Technical bulletin by Jim Burnett, CFI Certified Installer.