New CRI Standard for Carpet Installation

Posted: under Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , Comments (1)

I have been away and have some catching up to do. When you do go on vacation you don’t miss work, seems like you just defer it.

I saw several small commercial carpet inspections in the past week. It became very obvious to me that most installers have no clue there is a new standard for carpet installation. The Standard came into effect on Oct 1, 2010.

The biggest change in the standard is on the subject of seam sealing. In the old standard CRI 104  you were allowed to seam seal or edge seal one cut edge of carpet and then butt  the other cut edge of the other carpet panel into the first panel. The new standard states that both cut edges must be sealed and then a third bead of seam sealer attaches the two cut edges.

I spoke to Rosemary Schooley at the Floorcovering Institute of Ontario and have asked her to do a blast to all their members letting them know of the new standard. I did this because nobody is making any effort in informing the carpet installers. I find it very surprising that the carpet mills have not made a concerted effort in informing the installers.

This new standard is going to be around for a while. I really don’t forsee any changes in the new upcoming IICRC S600 Standard for Carpet Installation.

Seam sealing is an extremely important part of carpet installation yet may installers don’t bother at all or just hastily put a bit of sealer on an edge. To make a seam correctly you are supposed to apply an approved edge sealer or seam sealer. First and foremost you must cut the edge of the carpet. You do this by using a row finder and the correct row cutter. You should cut one side of the panel flush left and the other side flush right. Apply sealer to both cut edges. The seam sealer  is to be applied in an ample amount with an appropriate applicator. You are then supposed to run your fingers over the edge to close the cut seam. After this is complete you apply a third bead of seam sealer between the two panels and join them.

Top cutting seams or cutting through the secondary is not an acceptable means of cutting carpet edges.

Anyways, I saw five commercial jobs this week and most of the installers said that the carpet was stiff and hard to work with. All I can say to that is–yes it can be that way. But the carpet mill is not going to replace the carpet for that reason. Even on the residential side I had about ten inspections and at least three were about zippering seams. I spoke to one installer (he ended up being the store owner) who told me that he didn’t bother sealing the seams because he knew he was going to replace the carpet anyways??

No wonder the carpet industry continues to lose market share.

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “New CRI Standard for Carpet Installation”

  1. Kal says on :

    Hi there,

    I read your article on seam sealing and there seams to be changes on the procedures to proper installation methods on a regular basis. I have been a repair specialist for 30 plus years and trained by an old european fella doing custom work my first year in the industry.

    When performing repairs you have to think outside the box in order to save people money on the cost of replacement and my instincts tell me the carpet industry does not care about the installer and that there is really no support system in place for these guys.

    It’s easy to say that the seam needs to be sealed, but it is also important to support the systems with tutorials on video to update an installer and make him aware, otherwise the standards are useless if not shared.

    Bye the way having both edges trimmed nicely is nothing new (older than me) and seam sealing both edges prior to applying seam sealer (I am assuming you are talking about glue down installations) is going to be very interesting to see the finished product.

    Certification does not give the experience or the skill, it’s showing the installers how to do something and apprenticeships are very important. I guess I was lucky. I am kept very busy because installers lack the know how, skill, and of course, patience in order to do something well.

    There are a few good installers out there, but very few.
    There should be some carpet installer schools available to get installers to learn good habits and the proper techniques for a quality installation.
    But my feeling is the flooring industry on the whole is not going support this endeaviour for a long time to come.
    That takes work!