Posts Tagged ‘flooring inspector’

How to Find and Hire a Certified Flooring Inspector

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

I belong to an association of flooring inspection professionals called N.I.C.F.I. or the National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors. I wanted to pass along some thoughts to you regarding this extraordinary group and its role in the flooring industry.

Like any industry, the people in the overall flooring business range from mediocre to excellent. Within this industry, there are several hundred flooring inspectors. I am here to tell you that the approximately 135 NICFI members are the best in their field.

In order to be a Certified Flooring Inspector, we must first have some type of flooring experience. Then, at our own expense, we are required to take multi-day, out-of-town classes sanctioned by one of several certification bodies and pass tests in whichever area of expertise interests us: carpet, laminate, wood, ceramic tile, resilient, or any combinations. After passing these in-depth tests, (more…)

Causes of Squeaky Laminate Flooring

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Several months ago, I blogged about a squeaky laminate installation. Numerous in-home and installation errors had caused the floating floor to squeak and snap when walked upon.

I recently inspected a squeaking floating laminate floor. The installers had returned after the initial installation because the homeowner complained about all the noise. They pulled up the new floor and floated (leveled) the concrete slab underneath. When they reinstalled the laminate, they made sure the expansion gaps between the walls and the laminate were to specifications. But the floor still squeaked, so I was called out to see what was wrong. (more…)

Inspection Safari: A Bamboo Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

As an independent, certified flooring inspector, I am commissioned by various parties to look at flooring complaints. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers all call me in regards to flooring problems. Many of the “industry” calls are for “routine” inspections. When a consumer calls me, I know the inspection will be anything but routine.

On today’s Flooring Inspection Safari, I take you to a family’s newly remodeled second floor condominium. The family had updated it in advance of the birth of their first child. They wanted to complete all the work, including new engineered bamboo flooring throughout their home, before the baby came home. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan!

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Laminate Wood Flooring: Weirdest Flooring Inspection Ever!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

hardwoord flooring box | carpet expert Glenn Revere

I’ve been inspecting flooring for a long time — 40 years! — and I thought I’d seen it all. Or at least, most everything. But this particular inspection really took the cake.

I’d been contacted by a major manufacturer to look at some of their wood flooring. The complaint was “floor falling apart”. There was a note attached that said they couldn’t find any warranty information for this product, sold and installed in 2005. They sent me their inspection form for wood/engineered wood flooring.

I made an appointment with the homeowner to inspect this complaint. When I arrived, I asked to see the “defective” wood floor. Mr. X said, “You are standing on it!” When I looked down, I saw a laminate floor.

Now, a lot of people think a laminate floor is the same thing as a wood floor. But they are made from completely different materials and (more…)

Carpet Installation Tip: Always Hire Certified Flooring Installers

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Like any other craft, carpet installers’ skills vary widely. Installers learn their craft by starting as apprentices with a crew. An apprentice might only take up the old carpet and carry tools at first, but slowly learns by watching the others perform their jobs. In this way, the apprentice learns to become an installer.

But hold on! What if the apprentice learns bad installation techniques?

The apprentice doesn’t know any difference between bad and good installations. I have seen apprentices learn from installers who have been doing things the wrong way for thirty years. How do you know that the crew who shows up to install your carpet (after you worked so hard to haul out the furniture!) knows what they’re doing? How do you know that the head of your installation crew wasn’t yesterday’s apprentice? (Note: A lot of retailers hire the lowest bidder and don’t even bother to check the finished job — until there’s a complaint!)

The answer is: always hire a (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Causes of Dirty Carpet

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

soapy carpet spot | carpet expert Glenn Revere

In a previous post, I discussed why a three-year-old carpet stayed clean after its first cleaning, but quickly soiled after its second cleaning. Sometimes, even a brand new carpet starts to “soil up” after just a few weeks. Here’s why.

Carpet mills have to add a detergent-based lubricant to any synthetic fiber (nylon, polyester, or olefin) when they spin it into carpet yarn. Otherwise, the heat from the spinning process could damage the fiber. This is called a spin finish. This lubricant is normally removed during the production process. But mistakes happen. Sometimes the spin finish stays in the carpet instead of getting removed. You can’t see it. When the new carpet is installed in your home, dirt starts to (more…)

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…)

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…)

Inspection Safari: A Laminate Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

laminate flooring installation | carpet expert Glenn Revere

When you have a new floor installed in your home, whether carpet, wood, or laminate, you expect that floor to lay flat for as long as you keep the floor. But, sometimes floors will buckle or lift in spite of your expectations. Buckling, also called tenting or bridging, is always installation related.

I recently inspected a buckled laminate floor at the homeowners request that could be the poster child for improper installation.

There are general guidelines for installing laminate flooring. Each manufacturer varies the guidelines according to what will create the best installation for their product. The important thing is to read the installation requirements. They are always included in the box with the flooring. In fact, the instructions are the first thing you’ll see when you open the box.

In this case, the homeowner hired an installer from a newspaper ad. He did not ask the installer for references, either. Here’s what happened.

First, some background regarding laminate installations. (more…)

Caring for Wood Floors: How Your Home’s Indoor Environment Affects Wood Flooring

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

wood flooring

When you feel cold inside your home, you turn up the heat. If you have air conditioning, you turn it on when you feel hot. Did you ever think about how the living conditions inside your home affect your wood flooring? Most people don’t, but it is important. Here’s why.

While wood floors are made from”dead” trees, the flooring reacts to temperature and humidity changes inside your home as if it were alive. Your skin reacts to low humidity. So does wood flooring. High humidity and high temperatures affect your skin. These conditions also affect your wood floors. What is comfortable for you is also ideal (more…)