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How to Minimize Risk When Purchasing New Flooring

Posted on Dec 8, 2015, by Michael Eckert

When you buy new flooring, you’re choosing something that executives, employees and visitors will be using day-in and day-out, for ten years or more. It’s a big investment, and with any big investment comes big risk.

Anticipating problems is the best way to minimize risk in any project, so today I’m outlining four common disaster scenarios, and looking at three key strategies to ensure your flooring has a long and cost-effective life-span.

Four Disaster Scenarios

When buying flooring, it’s important to realize that there’s more to the total cost of ownership than purchase price alone.

Many organizations focus all of their energy on the initial purchase, and fail to think to the future. They choose a carpet that’s initially affordable and attractive, only to see their total cost of ownership start to skyrocket, as maintenance costs increase and serious durability problems develop.

Choosing the wrong carpet can have a major impact on your budget and your organization, and lead to any of the four disaster scenarios below:

  • Appearance retention issues – foot traffic, tile backing and maintenance can all cause your carpet’s appearance to deteriorate faster than anticipated.
  • Voided warranty - installation that doesn’t fully comply with the manufacturer’s specifications can void your carpet warranty and lead to expensive replacement and reinstallation costs.
  • Mold and mildew - moisture in the subfloor can ruin carpet, as well as having a negative impact on Indoor Air Quality and your employees’ health.
  • Plasticizer migration - a chemical reaction between two adhesives, or traces of old adhesive and new carpet backing, turns your adhesives into an oozing mess and means your carpet tiles will slip around and require replacement.

Three Steps to Avoid Disaster

The four disaster scenarios detailed above are all caused by a lack of planning, with organizations choosing flooring that doesn’t properly meet their needs. To avoid these disasters, it’s essential to be proactive. You need to identify the unique needs of your organization, and find the right type of flooring solution to meet these needs - both in the short and long-term.

Thankfully, there are three ways you can minimize the risks associated with purchasing new flooring:

1)      Do Your Research

Before you even think about talking to a designer or architect, it’s vital that you read up on carpet and start developing a broad understanding of how your flooring choices will impact your organization day-to-day and in the long term.

The best way to minimize risk is to educate yourself on the wider impact of your flooring choices, including:

This will help you identify and avoid common misconceptions about carpet tiles, so you can make an objective and informed choice about your flooring.

2)      Identify Your Goals

To ensure you and your designer are on the same page when it comes to choosing your new flooring, the next step is to identify your primary goals. Though durability is always a concern, many organizations will also value contemporary design, ease of installation or comfort. In some instances, these goals can be contradictory, so it’s essential to identify a couple of primary priorities.

  • Is appearance retention and longevity a major concern?
  • Is creating a unique looking space your top priority?
  • Do you want something that will keep your maintenance costs as low as possible?

Make sure your designer is aware of all your requirements from the outset. This will minimize the risk of choosing something that doesn’t fit your organization’s long-term needs, and balance the design with practicality.

3)      Installation Preparation

Once you’ve chosen your carpet and set a date for installation, it’s essential to read the installation instructions thoroughly. This will make sure you tick all the boxes to fully comply with the manufacturer’s warranty.

The warranty will outline specific requirements in terms of preparation and installation, such as:

  • Removing adhesives from the floor prior to installation
  • Cleaning the floor before installation
  • Moisture testing the sub-floor
  • Care and maintenance

While a good installer should know everything that’s needed to comply with the manufacturer’s warranty, you can minimize the risks associated with improper installation by building up a good checklist. Cover all the necessary requirements, and making sure they’re followed – just in case.

Education and careful planning are key to minimizing risk when purchasing and installing your new flooring. To start learning about carpet, and how it will impact your organization, download our whitepaper below.

how to choose carpet tiles that last [free whitepaper]

Topics: Total Cost of Ownership

Michael Eckert

Written by Michael Eckert