Claims file: Sometimes you scare me

Home Columns Claims file: Sometimes you scare me

by Lew Migliore

I recently responded to two emails from flooring dealers who asked questions that scared me. The first was in regard to installing Axminster or woven goods. He wasn’t sure if they were the same and asked about trimming both the sides and the ends as his customer wanted, or whether he should use seaming tape to secure the edges.

When working with woven Axminster carpet, an installer should have a very high degree of skill and should be familiar with how the edges are finished, whether they have to be trimmed, and how this should be done. If the edges have to be trimmed it most likely would require just trimming the “bead” off the edges without cutting into the pattern. The edge must then be latexed including about an inch on the backing of the carpet. This must be done carefully and correctly otherwise the edge will fray when the yarn slips off the shot.

All carpet must be sealed on the edges but it is particularly critical on woven goods since the edge can be easily compromised. Heat taping the seams is not done in lieu of sealing the edges. If the edges aren’t sealed the carpet is going to fray and come apart, especially on woven goods.

The second part of the question was the use of seaming tape and sticking to the cushion when installed with the Double Stick installation. If seaming tape is used with Double Stick installation it should be the type with no silicone on the backing. If there is silicone it must be sanded off.

These questions scared me because I was concerned the dealer didn’t really understand how to work with woven carpet. If he did he wouldn’t have been asking the types of questions he was and he shouldn’t—nor should any of you—be told by the end user how to install the carpet. The installer should be knowledgeable on installing whatever flooring material with which he is working, otherwise he shouldn’t be installing it.

The second scary situation had to do with installing VCT over Luan and having the floor lift with no one knowing why. Luan is not the best underlayment to use and its quality, coming from various sources, cannot be counted on. Moisture from the adhesive used to install flooring on top of Luan is enough to cause it to react, as in the case where it lifted. The underlayment should have been high quality 1⁄4 inch plywood or a specialty underlayment material made specifically for the purpose. The Luan was also

screwed to the existing plywood flooring and the spacing was said to be 6- to 8-inches apart. This is a little far and we don’t know which types of screws were used. The dealer conveying this scenario only sold the flooring material. He did not do the installation— that was done by the end user. He’s just trying to find an answer for them.

The only way to fix this failure is to replace the floor. The VCT is adhered to the Luan so the whole system will have to be trashed and redone. No savings were realized here, only expense and a lot of waste. This is why I’ve been adopting the new saying of “Get it in the door and keep it on the floor.” How much more money and flooring material have been wasted over the last week that mirrors situations like this?

If you don’t know what you’re doing you can count on being frustrated from these scary situations. And, that said, call here first. We have the answers that will prevent the pain.

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