Have you ever gone to a house to do an estimate for new flooring and detected an odor of insecticide? And maybe the carpet doesn’t look all that worn or old? The combination of the 2 might mean there were bed bugs in the carpet. Some home owners (or hotel/motel/rental managers) may be embarrassed to mention it, but don’t hesitate to bring the subject up. Read More
Heat welding flash cove is among the hardest skills to master in floor heat welding. A solid foundation in flash coving will make you more valuable in your area. Knowing how to heat weld vinyl flash cove is necessary when heat welding on vinyl, under toe kicks and cabinets. Today we’re going to share a step-by-step guide on heat welding vinyl flash coving. Read More
The Layman’s Guide to Testing Moisture In Concrete
by Charles Milledge
Some days I think I spend about half of my work day answering questions about concrete moisture and test procedures.
Anhydrous Calcium Chloride Moisture Vapor Testing – The CaCl Test
ASTM – F1869-11 Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride is the guide that needs to be followed to correctly set a CaCl test. Here are the boiled down basics for doing this correctly. Read More
The Carpet and Rug Institute Unveils Important Changes to Leading Carpet Installation Standards
— Industry-Led Updates to CRI’s 104/105 Carpet Installation Standards Focus on
Proper Planning and Preparation —
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) today announced important updates to its CRI-104 and CRI-105 Installation Standards for Commercial and Residential Carpet. Developed by a team of industry leaders, these changes address industry innovations that require new approaches to carpet installation, particularly planning and subfloor preparation. Read More
The Most Comprehensive Glossary of Ceramic & Stone Tile Terminology Online
Although this may be the most comprehensive list of tile terminology you can find, it is by no means complete. Glossaries and tile articles from around the Internet have been researched to compile this list and it is an ongoing project. If you know a term related to ceramic or stone tile that is not listed here, please use the comment form to add it. In return, we will link to your professional flooring related website. You might also spot a mistake in our glossary, or feel additional information should be provided. Please use the comment form below to inform us so we can continue to make this the finest place for flooring information on the web. Read More
An interesting question from a member came up on The Floor Pro Community forums (it happens all the time) and deserves a detailed answer. First, the question paraphrased:
I got into a discussion with a designer about running matches in patterned carpet on steps. She said the pattern should be in the same spot on each step. The designer suggested that every installer should know this. My belief is, if the carpet is left in a continuous piece, the pattern matches, but if cut to align a pattern on each step, the run of the carpet will not match. Which way is the right way?
While the customer is not always correct, they do deserve to have things done to fit their desire or definition of correct despite whether we believe it to be obtuse or ugly. That being said, in terms of design there are several factors to consider. Read More
Recently, a topic on The Floor Pro Community forums was started, seeking installation information and tips about a specific product sold by a popular flooring franchise. I searched several of the franchise websites and pages looking for actual installation instructions for the product. I found nothing more than marketspeak – no instructions. I called their corporate offices and, after being shuffled around a little, spoke to a woman who didn’t seem to understand the concept of a website that offers support to flooring professionals, consumers and DIYers. She seemed confused about our desire to provide links to installation instructions.
This is discouraging. I feel like I have totally failed in the mission of The Floor Pro Community. I understand that many people and organizations haven’t heard of us. To not even understand that vital information, like installation instructions, should be easily available just baffles me. Read More
Self-Leveling Cement & Radiant Heat Flooring
When installing electric radiant heated flooring, you will find that every manufacturer has slightly differing recommendations in their installation guidelines. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for installing the wires or mats is important. Following their guidelines for installing tile directly over these mats generally leads to frustration and in many cases an installation that has an inferior finish due to trying to set over a surface that is not flat, and sometimes one that has sensors that are thicker than the thinset bed you are trying to set tile into.
As a professional installer, I have found that installing the electric heat and following this with a Pour of Self Leveling Cement to a thickness of ⅜ – ½” provides an excellent flat surface for tile installation and additional mass to retain heat. Once poured it also protects the Heating System from damage while setting tile.
The following method is what I… what my company, Tilewerks, uses: Read More
Positioning Underlayment to Prevent Tile & Grout Cracks by Frank Woeste, P.E. and Peter A. Nielsen
The 2003–2004 Tile Council of America’s (TCA) Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation contains numerous details for a double layer wood floor system supporting ceramic tile. The thicknesses of the subfloor and tile underlayment are given in each case. Specific guidance on where to butt the underlayment end joints is not given for any detail. For example, for F142-03, the TCA Handbook states, “offset end and edge joints of the underlayment panels by at least two inches from the joints of subfloor panels; they should not coincide with framing below.” It further states, “underlayment fasteners should not penetrate joists below.” In the case of F150-03, the offsetting is not mentioned, but it does state, “underlayment fasteners should not penetrate joists below.” The same holds true for F155; however, it also states, “face grain of plywood should run perpendicular to trusses, I-joists, or sawn lumber for maximum stiffness.”
The purpose of this article is to propose specific guidelines Read More
Using Cement Boards Over Concrete Slab Construction
It seems that ceramic tile installation has an abundance of myths that pop up all too frequently regarding Do-It-Yourselfers on “help forums” and DIY websites. So-called tile experts offer advice and opinions based on, well… I’m not sure what some of the comments are based on or where some people get their (mis)information to tell you the truth. I want to address the subject of installing cement board products over a concrete substrate.
It is imagined by some that products like Durock, Hardibacker and others can be used to fix imperfections in the surface of concrete or to override a previously painted or sealed concrete surface. Installing tile over painted or sealed surfaces is usually not good practice. Read More
The Behavior of Concrete Slabs With Control Joints and Cracks
by A. Kester
A lot of architects, contractors, and even engineers, do not have a good understanding on the behavior of concrete slabs-on-ground (SOG). I am just one structural engineer and these are my thoughts based on my research and experience. I have worked with concrete slab construction my entire career, and have done a lot of investigations of cracks and settlement damage to SOG, and have a pretty good general understanding of them. This is a review of the subject and I hope it helps people in the flooring industry in dealing with different types of slabs with control joints and cracks. Read More
Computer Security for Flooring Pros
by Nick Arrera
There’s More To Flooring Than Just Floors
Part of being a floorcovering professional is the office work. Every one of you reading this obviously has a computer and odds are 99% of you use it for work: invoicing and bookkeeping, compiling price lists, writing business correspondence and research on the Internet. Some of you feel you are adequately protected from the dangers of hackers and viruses. A few of you do not concern yourselves with such matters. Only when there’s trouble do you wonder what happened. Here is a short course on computer security that can help protect you, your computer and your business data from theft or damage. Read More
Ceramic & Stone Tile Over Vinyl Flooring
A Raging and On-going Controversy in the Flooring Community
In The Old Days…
ack in the early days of the first home improvement Advice Forums for Do-It-Yourselfers on the Internet, less than a decade ago, it didn’t take long to find out that if you were to choose a subject such as this (ceramic or stone tile over vinyl) and rub two tile installers together you could in no-time create fire. If not a raging flaming beast of a fire then at least plenty of smoke. This type of fire and smoke is hard to extinguish because in the minds of some long-time installers, for them to follow this advice would mean changing everything they had been taught by their mentors and fathers and grandfathers and godfathers. For some, these methods mean change and we all know how humans resist change. So, for this reason, this is not directed at any of the long-time professional installers in the flooring community. No sir, instead it is directed toward the Do-It-Yourselfer that is seeking sound advice from an experienced installer that has (trust me) “been there, done that”. You will find this ongoing argument everywhere on the help forums that you go to seek advice. Read More
Custom Made, Hand-Scraped Hickory Steps
A customer I previously made a fireplace mantle for ask me if there were stair treads to match his hand scraped Hickory hardwood flooring. I knew I could make hickory steps but wasn’t sure if I could get the hand scraped look. Festool and Makita have planer blades for hand planers to give the “look,” but for one set of stairs I can figure something else out. I will also be opening up a portion of one wall of the stairwell so the steps run past the wall and have a capped end.
If you do hardwood flooring, you may see this as a great way to add custom business and more profit. I’ve done many sets of steps in my career, so this is not new to me, but the “hand scraping” part of it is a first. Read More
A small repair for the professional or do-it-yourselfer
View larger images in the “Patching Vinyl Floors – a Photo Essay” in a new window or tab.
I have not seen an older vinyl floor, in my more than 3 decades in this business, that hasn’t sustained some kind of minor damage. Many of the dings, nicks, burns and tears go unrepaired and then they multiply. Repairing small damage to a vinyl floor is relatively easy and I have always felt that a moderately capable do-it-yourselfer could accomplish it. But it’s surprising how many DIYers will tackle larger, more complicated tasks and not attempt patching their vinyl floor. What is even more surprising is to see the repairs done by professionals. The seams split, corners curl or the patch looks like it was outlined with a Magic Marker.
This how-to will guide the home handyman (or woman) or the pro in the successful repair of today’s sheet vinyl products sold for residential use. It’s a method I have employed for many years — long enough for me to see how it looks 5, 10 and even 15 years afterward. I believe a patched vinyl floor should not be seen. Of course, if you use a brand new scrap to patch a well worn area, you will see a difference in the luster, texture and clarity of the design. But the patterns and/or grout lines should blend so that when the area has received some traffic, you will not be able to notice the patch. Read More