It is lamented that the biggest problem in the floor covering industry is poor installation and installation failures. While installation is a challenge in the industry for a variety of reasons with all floor covering, it is not the biggest cause of flooring failures. That distinction goes to not knowing what to use where, how and why. Simply put, ignorance, not in a derogatory sense but the true meaning, fosters most dissatisfaction with floor covering and causes the majority of floor covering failures. The product not living up to expectations of performance and appearance retention and having to be prematurely replaced, won’t make the end user or consumer happy. Ignorance in this sense is just not knowing or being aware of or being informed of what a flooring material being considered for use should do.
Architects are a perfect example of those being tasked with knowing about every material used on a construction job. Any architect you talk to will tell you they can’t possibly keep up with all the information on every finish, fixture or furnishing being used on their projects. They often rely on the manufacturers reps for their information, right or wrong that is often what they have to go by. Manufacturers’ reps are not technical people or installation experts. They only have so much information to share and most of that is the knowledge of their own products. They too can’t be expected to know all the technical data necessary for a successful installation.
What anyone using flooring materials needs is a floor covering expert who can help guide them in the selection process, test the product, evaluate its capabilities relative to the application, traffic, use, abuse and maintenance it will be exposed to and help make a determination as to what will perform best and maintain its appearance longest. For every application the correct carpet exists, it only need be specified and implemented correctly by a floor covering expert. Following this scenario will prevent you from ever having to prematurely replace the carpet or any floor covering material.
There is so much mis-information floating around in the market place and on line that one has to determine on their own how to separate the wheat from the chaff. We see this all the time with people calling and asking what they should do about a particular flooring situation. Whether it be how to handle an installation over a concrete slab that has a moisture issue or huge cracks or if a particular yarn system or construction is actually what they should be using. Flooring products and their installation are not a common everyday purchase or experience and there are so many different products, changing all the time that it’s impossible to keep up with them. You’d have to be exposed to them on a daily basis, like a floor covering expert is, to understand them.
For this reason engaging the services of a floor covering expert to consult with on what will work in a particular application, what has to be done to achieve a successful installation and how the product should be maintained, is a very wise decision.
So often when we’re called out to look at a floor covering complaint we find the product should not have been used for a variety of reasons. A recent installation of a very high end woven product in a new performing arts theatre resulted in a complaint for shading, matting and poor appearance. On first sight the carpet revealed two glowing specification errors. The carpet, which was custom made, had far too much solid color and very little pattern. Since this type of carpet is prone to shade inherently it was exhibiting a condition the architect and designer should have been aware of. The carpet was also glued directly to the concrete substrate. Since the substrate had crowning, despite the flooring contractors best efforts to level it, the crowning was mirrored in the face of the carpet. Had a low profile, high density cushion been used and glued to the substrate with the carpet glued to it (Double Stick Installation), this condition and dissatisfaction could have been avoided. There was nothing wrong with the carpet. The problem was the design and installation method selected and specified. Had an expert been consulted the problems could have been avoided and the cost to do so would have been miniscule in comparison to what they had to spend to correct the mistakes.
The Floor Covering Institute is made up of the premier experts in their respective field. Any issue with any flooring question or concern can be answered by one of us. Like the commercial that used to run on TV for the oil company with respect to getting regular oil changes or the consequences of not doing so; the mechanic in the ad said: “You can pay me now or pay me later” Now you only have to pay for an oil change. Later you’ll have to pay to replace the engine.