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Prevent Costly Flooring Install Delays With This Smart Solution

Posted on Feb 2, 2017, by Michael Eckert

Whether you're working with architects on a new construction project that's halted as the newly-poured concrete subfloor dries, or with general contractors on an expansive renovation that's facing lengthy delays while you wait for moisture testing to take place, it must seem like every flooring install is held up at some point.

Long delays on flooring installs can be expensive and time-consuming. To prevent unnecessary project delays from taking hold of your business, we've identified the biggest causes of delays on flooring projects and how can you avoid them altogether.

The 4 Most Common Causes of Project Delays

1) Concrete Drying Time

On new construction projects, drying concrete is the biggest cause of delays. A newly-poured 4-inch concrete slab requires four to five months to fully dry before it's ready to accept flooring - and that's assuming it's covered and the site is weather-tight so that no re-wetting occurs.

With tightening construction schedules, it's rare for concrete subfloors to have the full five months of drying time. There will certainly be substantial time loss between subfloor pouring and carpet installation that can delay entire projects.

2) Moisture Testing

Moisture testing is relied upon as the first line of defense against moisture problems. Unfortunately, however, the tests are notoriously complex, needing skilled industry professionals to conduct them and interpret the results.

This can be another potential cause of delays: moisture testing occurs just before you install flooring. If the moisture readings come back high, you will need to sort out moisture mitigation solutions at the last minute, putting your installation on hold while you address the problem.

Even worse, you may simply need to wait for the site to dry out, so that moisture readings are in line with flooring manufacturer moisture specifications. Moreover, the additional time required for your site to dry is impossible to predict and can have a devastating impact on project timelines.

3) Moisture Mitigation

Whatever the results of your moisture tests, with moisture-related problems on the rise, many dealers we've spoken to say they include moisture mitigation in their flooring projects as standard. The cost of dealing with moisture problems is so high that it's not worth taking the risk.

This adds another layer of complexity and another source of potential project delays. For example, if you decide to seal the subfloor to prevent moisture problems, you need to allow time for applying the sealant, and then waiting for it to fully dry before you can install flooring on site.

4) Subfloor Preparation

On renovation projects, your project timeline can be completely thrown off when the old flooring is removed and you discover the subfloor needs a lot of preparation before it's ready to accept new flooring.

The state of subfloors under old flooring is unpredictable: will you need to smooth out an uneven subfloor, or encapsulate the subfloor to prevent the traces of old adhesive causing compatibility problems and reacting with your new flooring and adhesive?

These are all hard to predict and account for in your project timelines and can cause big delays at a fairly late stage in your project.

Make the Right Flooring Choices to Speed-Up Installation

It may seem that complications and long delays are an inevitable part of flooring projects. However, these delays have only two main causes:

  • Moisture - Excessive moisture can severely damage your flooring install, so it's logical that significant time and effort go into mitigating the risk of moisture problems.
  • Flooring incompatibility - Floor compatibility problems are another common occurrence that can ruin your newly installed flooring.

Fortunately, it's possible to select carpet that directly addresses both of these risks, allowing you to remove these potential delays from your project timelines.

New Construction

For new construction projects, Milliken's modular carpet can be installed only 90 days after a new pour (three months, rather than the standard five), using our Non-Reactive Standard Adhesive. By switching to our Moisture Extreme adhesive, which is specially designed for high-moisture environments, you can install only 45 days after a new pour.

In both cases, you don't need to carry out expensive and time-consuming moisture testing, and it's fully warranted so you also don't need to factor in labor-intensive moisture mitigation treatments. This is because Milliken's carpet tiles are cushion-backed and allow moisture vapor from the concrete to travel through the carpet and naturally evaporate away at the seams.


Milliken's cushion-backed carpet performs just as well in high-moisture environments on renovation projects, as on new construction projects. Since Milliken's adhesives and the cushion-backing are both chemically inert, they won't react with traces of old adhesive or leftover chemical treatments on the subfloor. This benefit eliminates the need to spend hours and hours on expensive floor preparations, and in many cases, you can install new Milliken modular carpet as the old flooring has been removed.

how to prevent the 11 root causes of flooring failure

Michael Eckert

Written by Michael Eckert