Once the customer carefully chooses her new floor, the anticipation for the installation process begins. The quicker the new flooring can be installed, the better it is for both the customer and the retailer. However, different job sites can bring various challenges. Using installation tools that are tough to maneuver, create unnecessary messes and are not very user-friendly only prolongs the installation process.
Following is a round-up of the latest installation tools that can save floor layers both time and money.
New from Lignomat comes the Ligno Scanner SD, a tool that allows installers to accurately and dependably measure the moisture content of virtually any species of wood. In addition, the Ligno Scanner SD reads down to 1⁄4 or 3⁄4 of an inch, possesses a hold function designed for recording via photo and has a moisture range of 5%-60%. But perhaps the best part about the device is it’s pinless, providing a non-destructive way to measure moisture prior to installation.
“The pinless meter allows for quick measurements without leaving pin holes in the wood so each plank can quickly be tested,” said Martina Goin, marketing manager, Lignomat USA. “The meter is also internally calibrated and adjusted before each reading making the meter fast and easy to use.”
The 25-inch Pro Flooring Cutter from Roberts Consolidated is a guillotine-style cutter designed to cut precise, clean edges on flooring materials such as laminate, engineered wood, carpet tile, vinyl flooring, vinyl siding, VCT tiles, rubber foam and more. Its eccentric cam design allows for smooth, constant cutting pressure that results in clean, precise cuts, and its blade can be resharpened over time thereby extending the life of the blade.
Plus, its built-in, heavy-duty wheels make it easy to move around job sites, saving installers time. “It just works really great to be able to have that accessibility,” said Renee Tester, vice president of marketing, e-commerce and
digital, QEP. “It’s a more compact unit that’s easy to get in and out [of the job site].”
For professional, seamless tile installations, Shagtools offers installation tools like the iQ228 Cyclone 7-inch dry cut tabletop tile saw. The Cyclone features a powerful vacuum and saw motor and collects 99.5% of the dust, which allows for minimal, easy clean-up. The 7-foot Q-Drive blade cuts 18-foot rip cuts with a rolling table or over 24 feet with a locked table and is only 36 lbs.—making it easy to carry to various job sites.
What’s more, this time-saving saw gives installers the ability to cut tile in an indoor environment while reducing trips back and forth to the cutting area. “Typically, with cutting tile, you’re forced to set up outside and make multiple trips,” said Joel Morehouse, digital and e-commerce marketing manager. “[A wet saw] makes a mess because you either use a lot of water that has to be cleaned up or you end up with dust everywhere. You’re saving time by reducing trips, and with the dustless dry saw you don’t have that issue of messes overflowing where you set it up.”
To help installers rapidly and efficiently mix subfloor material on the job site, Schönox USA offers the Graco SL340E Piston Pump and the Collomix LevMix 65 Heavy-Duty Portable Mixer. The Collomix LevMix 65 works both on its own and with the Graco SL340E Piston Pump. According to Ryan Bassett, product support specialist, Schönox USA, the pump is mobile, easy to set up and easy to clean up and is the ideal solution for jobs with varying elevations. It pumps 140 55-pound bags of Schönox self-leveling compounds per-hour at 1⁄4-inch thickness and can also pump vertically 40- 50 feet.
Despite only needing one person to operate it, the portable mixer has a large mixing capacity, vacuum connection for dust-free mixing and allows for pouring without repotting. “The Graco SL340E Piston Pump offers faster installations while saving labor costs and increasing margins,” Bassett stated.
Wood flooring professionals in search of a tool that can accurately and quickly measure moisture in wood flooring planks on the job site without damaging the planks can use the Orion 950 pinless wood moisture meter from Wagner Meters. “Combining this with the pinless characteristic of the meter allows the installer to quickly make adjustments and take accurate readings so they can confidently get information to make that installation decision,” said Jason Spangler, sales manager, Wagner Meters.
Due to its advanced technology, ease of use and accuracy, the Orion 950 meter allows for streamlined reporting functionality for any job, according to the company. What’s more, tool has specific settings for various species of wood that the installer can easily adjust within the meter. The Orion 930 also boasts Bluetooth capabilities and pairs with the company’s mobile app, FloorSmart. By utilizing this app, installers can easily document the moisture readings and various parameters for each job they work on.
“Documentation is critical in this day and age and compiling it quickly and accurately saves money,” Spangler stated.