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How Smart Carpet Choices Can Accelerate Office Building Projects

Posted on Feb 12, 2016, by Michael Eckert

When construction schedules are tight (and let’s face it, they always are), every wasted minute is a major problem. Today I’m looking at three ways your choice of flooring can speed up your office building project and reduce the risks of install - without compromising on build quality.

1) Choose the Right Adhesive for the Job

While the recommended curing time for newly-laid concrete floors is 28 days we all know that recommendations aren’t always followed. But as concrete cures it continues to release moisture.

Unsurprisingly, this can wreak havoc with the flooring being installed. Many carpet adhesives are water-based, but they can be broken down by moisture from curing concrete.

Dry Adhesives

A common solution is to replace water-based adhesives with ‘dry’ adhesives, which use a system much like double-sided sticky tape - involving the peeling and sticking of hundreds of pieces of tape. This mitigates the problem of adhesive breakdown, but is a seriously time consuming process which will slow down your flooring install, bump up the labor costs, and hold up your whole office building project.

High-Friction Solutions

A simpler alternative is to opt for flooring products with a high-friction coating like TractionBack, which keeps tiles in place without the need for wet or dry adhesives. Adhesive-less installation methods reduce the time and cost of your flooring installation as you don’t need to pay for adhesives, or cover labor costs associated with a lengthy installation process.

This type of flooring has an added benefit: it can resist a relative humidity (RH) rating of up to 85%, out-of-the-box, allowing you to install your flooring safely and securely, even if you can’t be 100% sure your concrete has finished curing.

Specialized Adhesives

In seriously high moisture areas, you can find peace of mind with specialized moisture-resistant adhesives that allow for installation in environments of up to 98% RH. If this applies to your next construction project, talk to a dealer or sales rep for expert advice.

2) Minimize Mold and Mildew Risks

Nothing’s going to delay your office building project like needing to re-install flooring! In addition to breaking down water-based adhesives, moisture released by curing concrete also increases the risk of mold and mildew. Once mold and mildew have taken hold, it’s extremely difficult, costly and time-consuming to remediate – often necessitating the re-installation of your flooring.

Fortunately, choosing the right carpet tile backing will minimize the risk of mold and mildew. In particular, open cell cushion backing is the best option for moisture management. The structure of the cushion backing allows for ‘moisture wicking’, making it possible for sub-floor moisture to travel through the carpet backing and evaporate away at the seams of each carpet tile. In contrast, hard-backed carpet tiles trap moisture underneath, which can cause mold and mildew as the moisture is unable to evaporate.

3) Choose a Non-Reactive Carpet Backing

Many organizations prime and seal the sub-floor before installing flooring – this practice is so common that many people assume it’s an unavoidable part of the installation process.

Priming and sealing is done to prevent floor compatibility problems such as plasticizer migration, which is caused by PVC in your carpet tile backing reacting with leftover adhesive from previous installs. However, certain types of cushion backing (like open cell cushion backing) are chemically non-reactive, mitigating the risk of floor compatibility problems.

By choosing a non-reactive carpet backing you don’t need to prime and seal the sub-floor before installing: saving the cost of purchasing primers and sealants; the associated labor costs; and the time it takes to apply them. This can speed up your flooring installation process and save time on your office building project.

To learn how to choose flooring most suited to your organization’s needs, download our whitepaper.

how Milliken can make your next flooring project a success

Topics: Installation

Michael Eckert

Written by Michael Eckert