Page 1 - 2018-04-CFR Volume 115 - Recycled Content in Flooring Material - April 2018
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“Ultimately, the responsibility of quality control is with the flooring
manufacturer.” This is a verbatim statement made by a flooring man-
ufacturer about the quality of their products. It’s a statement that is
true in fact as the manufacturer of a product is responsible for it per-
forming up to reasonable standards of flooring material. This is also
a legal standard relative to merchantability for service which is an im-
plied warranty of merchantability as an unwritten and unspoken guar-
antee to the buyer that goods purchased conform to ordinary stand-
ards of care and fitness for intended purpose of use means that the
product is fit for the ordinary use for which they are intended. That is
flooring material or floor covering that will perform as flooring material
should, simply that it will not be compromised in manufacture in any
way that would make it not serviceable. May sound a bit confusing
but the law would be even more specific in interpretation relative to
each case. So, bottom lines is the flooring has to act as normal floor-
ing of its type would and should act so it can’t jeopardize people us-
ing it to walk on, clean, install and so forth.
So what does recycled content have to do with any of this? Putting recycled content in a hard surface
or hard backed flooring material is a crap shoot because it is impossible to control the feed stock, that is
the content of and percentage of recycled materials going into a finished product. Most in the commer-
cial flooring industry will remember the debacle the industry faced when recycled content was used in
carpet tile backings. At first we had nylon face yarn in the backing of some carpet tiles wicking moisture
out of the concrete creating issues with the stability of the carpet tile. Then we had carpet tiles with re-
cycled content in the backing curling out of the box and on the floor which was being blamed on the in-
stallation, adhesive, or floor prep. This
fiasco cost the industry close to a billion
dollars in losses and replacements.
We’re still getting calls on a product that
was recently dropped from the market
that was curling. The common thread is
that all of these products had recycled
content and all of them were unstable.
The industry can argue all it wants but
the problem was with the product and
nothing else.

1  Commercial Flooring Report  April
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