Article Number: 2442

Often, we hear of problems with carpet coming off the floor on which it has been glued. When the carpet comes loose it creates bubbles, buckles and wrinkles.


The primary cause of this problem is the lack of adequate adhesive application, going into the adhesive after it has set up and in some cases overzealous wet cleaning which can break the bond of the adhesive.


What you don’t hear about as much is the marvelous adhesives which stick the carpet, vinyl, tile or other flooring products to the substrate tighter than two coats of paint. In some cases, it is nearly impossible to get the material off the floor.


A multitude of new adhesive products are on the market from companies such as Advanced Adhesive Technologies, Mapei, Para-Chem, and others which manufacture premium grade adhesives. When the correct adhesive is chosen applied under the right conditions, there shouldn’t be any failure. Even in cases of marginal adhesive application, with an aggressive glue, the flooring material should stay in place.

Not too many years ago, the issues of VOC’s and odors were of great concern. Many of the “new” adhesive formulations compounded to minimize or eliminate VOC’s and odors actually caused failures of adhesion on the floor. Some formulations had large amounts of water which reacted with the carpet and the substrate. This can still be a problem if you use cheap adhesives with high filler loads and high water content. Some of the reformulated adhesives actually reacted with the carpet backings and caused failures, a story few people heard . A lot of people ate a whole lot of carpet yardage over this problem “which didn’t exist.”

We’ve come along way with glues. Many adhesive manufacturers have become expert in formulating new compounding which works better than older solvent laden adhesives.

This is not to say that there still aren’t some marginal products out there, especially relative to some seam sealers made to be used with direct glue down carpet installations. The responsible dealer and installer should test and evaluate the adhesives they plan on using prior to committing to them.

The dealer should be aware of the adhesives his installer is using, especially with commercial carpet direct glued down applications. This will prevent any surprises. The installer should experiment with different types of adhesives and seam sealers to determine which one works best.

A category of adhesives, those which are sprayed on, is taking the commercial installation market by storm. This is not a new system, but one which has found new favor in the contract installation market.

These adhesives products themselves, though are new and different. They have different properties than troweled on adhesives and must be understood to be used properly. They are easier and faster to apply when the system is learned and much less physically taxing on the installer. They may seem “flimsy” when first applied, but once they set up, it may take a bulldozer to pry the carpet off the floor.

You also have to be concerned with the seaming tape being used on stretch in installations. Seaming tape can minimize or prevent seam peaking, telegraphing of the tape through the seam and ensure high integrity of the seam. Since there are so many seaming tapes, each with a different purpose, it should be understood that one tape will not work in all situations or with all carpet products.

The installer must be aware of what tape will work with any particular carpet to achieve the strongest seam without compromising the carpet appearance at the seam. The dealer should also be aware of what tapes will work with any particular carpet.

If there’s a problem with a installation, the end user is going to come back to the salesperson or the dealer. These people must have answers; if they don’t, they have to know where to get them. The flooring business is a team effort. Each member of the team has to know something about how each individuals position affects them. If one guy slacks off, the whole team is affected.

Work as a team and watch how much more successful you’ll be. Most likely, your competition won’t be doing this, so you’ll have an advantage and you’ll be more profitable.
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9/17/2007 11:20:12 AM
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