Archive for May, 2014

Laminate Flooring Inspection: Glueless “Hardwood” Flooring

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

box of glueless hardwood flooring | Glenn Revere

As a Certified Flooring Inspector, I am asked by manufacturers, retailers, installers, and homeowners to inspect all types of flooring. These inspections cover all sorts of complaints: manufacturing related, installation related, site related — even buyer’s remorse. The inspection I’ll share today is “something else.”

A major manufacturer asked me to inspect one of their engineered wood floors. The complaint was “floor falling apart.” That potentially covers a wide range of problems, from bad manufacturing to homeowner abuse.

I scheduled the inspection with the end-user, a retired building contractor. The well maintained home was in (more…)

Carpet Problems: Carpet Delamination Causes

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Carpet delamination means the secondary backing separates from the primary backing and air gets between the two layers. This condition can be manufacturing, installation, maintenance or consumer related. The minimum standard for lamination strength is 2.5 pounds. Sometimes the latex compound formula has the wrong proportions. Then the glue will not cure properly. If it is too moist, the glue is weak. If it is too dry, normal traffic in your home turns the compound to powder; then the carpet will wrinkle and delaminate.

Thin latex makes the carpet feel soft before it delaminates. Getting a carpet too wet by improper cleaning or flooding also breaks down the latex. Spilling nail polish remover, oil, or other contaminants will cause delamination in small areas. Unsealed seams can cause a carpet to separate and delaminate along these cut edges. (more…)

Inspection Safari: Engineered Wood Flooring Complaint

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

wood flooring

When a person uses a store sample to buy wood flooring, one expects the delivered product to closely resemble the sample. What happens when the sample and the installed product are “substantially” different? I inspected an engineered wood floor for this exact complaint.

Engineered wood floors are made by gluing a thin veneer of real wood over a plywood base. The thickness of the veneer and the plywood base depend on the quality of the flooring. More expensive flooring has a thicker veneer and a thicker plywood base. But whether the flooring costs less or costs more has nothing to do with how the store sample looks compared to the delivered, installed flooring. What you see is what you should get. (more…)

Common Carpet Defects: Carpet Pattern Bowing

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

All kinds of lines appear in carpets. You can see some as soon as the carpet is rolled out; some don’t show up for several days or weeks. Some run lengthwise, others widthwise. Some can be removed, others can’t. Below is information on pattern bowing. I also suggest you read my previous posts on high lines and low lines in carpet, shear streaks, stop marks, shift marks and oil streaks.

Pattern bowing is only noticeable with printed or woven patterned carpet and loop patterned carpet. There are several causes for a crooked pattern, but the end result is that the pattern does not run straight when you look across or down the room. (more…)

How to Buy Carpet: Selecting “Your” Carpet Retailer

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Ok, it’s time to replace your carpet (or any type of flooring). How do you decide where to buy it? You basically have four choices: online, through a “big box” home improvement store, through a specialty flooring retailer, or with an interior designer.

In my opinion, flooring is not something to purchase over the Internet unless you are an expert. Even then, many pitfalls can arise.

I would suggest that you “buy local.” When you look a person in the eye, you can often get a good idea of the sales person’s personality and trustworthiness. Oftentimes, the carpet (or other flooring) is stocked locally for quick delivery and installation. If there is a problem, it is much easier to work with a real person, face to face, than it is anonymously over the Internet. (more…)

Common Carpet Defects: Carpet Oil Streaks

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

All kinds of lines appear in carpets. You can see some as soon as the carpet is rolled out; some don’t show up for several days or weeks. Some run lengthwise, others widthwise. Some can be removed, others can’t. Below is information on carpet oil streaks. I also suggest you read my previous posts on high lines and low lines in carpet, shear streaks, stop marks and shift marks.

Any mechanical equipment needs lubrication. Carpet tufters are complicated machines, with hundreds of moving parts that must be oiled. Machine oils from various places in the production line can get on the carpet pile. Part of the finishing process for broadloom carpets involves scouring and washing to remove contaminants. Still, because the oil is clear, (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Latent Defects in Carpet

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

fuzzy carpet loops | Glenn Revere

Any manufactured product can have defects. Carpeting is no different. When carpeting comes off the final product line, it goes through an inspection process. The most glaring, obvious defects are caught during this mill inspection.

Once the carpet is delivered to your home for installation, your installer is the next line of defense against defects. It is the installer’s responsibility to examine the carpet for defects after it is unrolled. If he/she sees a problem, the installation is stopped until the nature of the defect is determined. Some defects can be corrected. Sometimes the carpet must be replaced. (more…)

Common Carpet Defects: Carpet Shift Marks

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

All kinds of lines appear in carpets. You can see some as soon as the carpet is rolled out; some don’t show up for several days or weeks. Some run lengthwise, others widthwise. Some can be removed, others can’t. Below is information on carpet shift marks. Future blogs will cover other common line flaw types, such as oil streaks and pattern bowing. I also suggest you read my previous posts on high lines and low lines in carpet, shear streaks and stop marks.

Carpets are tufted with either straight rows or zig-zag rows. Zig-zag rows are made using a step-over stitch. When the tension of the tufting equipment is set too tightly, the carpet is made with too (more…)

Common Carpet Complaints: Side Match (Uneven Carpet Color)

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

side match | Glenn Revere

One of the more common complaints that carpet inspectors see is something called “side match”. This is a condition where the carpet color along a seam is darker on one side of the seam and lighter along the other side of the seam. There are several reasons why the color doesn’t “match” at a seam. The reasons are installation, manufacturing, or site related.

Today’s Inspection Safari involves a carpet installation in a Great room — a large, isolated room with a single seam near the center of the room. There is an obvious difference in color between the two pieces of carpet, one 13 feet wide and the other 8 feet wide, that are joined by the seam. The question is: what is causing this color difference?! (more…)