TrafficMASTER 0560D-39-12, 0531D-21-12, 0323D-21-12, 0528D-41-12, 0321D-28-12, 0549D-31-12, 0340D-24-12, 0547D-24-12, 0532D-37-12, 0532D-22-12 Installation guide

TrafficMASTER 0560D-39-12, 0531D-21-12, 0323D-21-12, 0528D-41-12, 0321D-28-12, 0549D-31-12, 0340D-24-12, 0547D-24-12, 0532D-37-12, 0532D-22-12 Installation guide
First Edition
The Carpet and Rug Institute
100 S. Hamilton
P.O. Box 2048
Dalton, Georgia 30722-2048
706/ 278-3176
The Carpet and Rug Institute assumes no responsibility and accepts no liability for the application of the principles or
techniques contained in this standard. Specifying authorities are responsible for reviewing applicable federal, state, and
local statutes, ordinances, and regulations, including mandatory requirements contained in the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Regulation.
Foreword ............................................................................................................. 1
Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ 2
Section Number
1. Scope ......................................................................................................... 3
2. Applicable Documents and References...................................................... 3
3. Terminology ................................................................................................ 3
4. Tools and Materials .................................................................................... 3
5. Storage and Handling ................................................................................. 3
6. Planning ...................................................................................................... 4
7. Site Conditions – All Installations................................................................ 6
8. Substrates .................................................................................................. 8
9. Testing Concrete Substrates ...................................................................... 8
10. Relaxing/Conditioning Carpet ..................................................................... 9
11. Ventilation ................................................................................................... 9
12. Carpet Seam Edge Preparation ................................................................. 10
13. Direct Glue-Down Installation ..................................................................... 10
14. Double Glue-Down Installation ................................................................... 13
15. Attached Cushion Installation ..................................................................... 14
16. Stretch-In Installation .................................................................................. 15
Illustration - FIGURE 2 - Stretch Diagram for Tufted Carpet ...................... 17
17. Carpet on Stairs.......................................................................................... 19
18. Modular Carpet ........................................................................................... 19
19. Patterned Carpet Installation ...................................................................... 20
20. Protecting Indoor Installations .................................................................... 21
21. Outdoor Carpet and Synthetic Turf Installation .......................................... 22
Adhesives – Common Types (Table I) ........................................................... 25
Trowel Size – Minimum Guidelines (Table II) ................................................. 26
Guidelines for Maintaining Indoor Air Quality during Carpet Installation ......... 27
Pattern Repeat Illustration ............................................................................... 28
Pattern Bow Illustration .................................................................................... 29
Pattern Bias Illustration .................................................................................... 30
Definitions of Terms ......................................................................................... 31
This minimum standard requirement for installation of carpet is based upon reliable
principles and procedures developed through practical experience, research, and
information obtained from manufacturers, retailers, installers, end users, testing
laboratories, and others who have specialized expertise.
This minimum standard requirement does not include carpet performance characteristics.
For guidance in selecting and specifying carpet, review appropriate publications
developed by The Carpet and Rug Institute.
Failure to follow this minimum standard requirement for installation cannot be the basis for
rejecting a claim relating to a manufacturing defect, unless the failure to do so contributed to
or caused the defect.
Every carpet has unique characteristics and each carpet installation project should be
carefully evaluated to determine proper application of this standard. In unusual
circumstances, contact the product manufacturer for specific guidance. Carelessness is
never acceptable and common sense should prevail in all cases. The Standard requires the
services of professionally trained and qualified floor covering contractors be obtained for all
commercial carpet installations.
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is the national trade association of carpet and rug manufacturers
and suppliers to the industry. The expertise of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s membership comes
together to provide unbiased technical, educational and scientific information about carpet and rugs.
This minimum standard requirement was prepared under the direction of the Installation Issues
Management Team of the Carpet and Rug Institute and in cooperation with experts in the carpet
installation and related fields.
Carpet Installation Standard
This document establishes minimum industry standards for commercial carpet
Applicable Documents and References
Carpet and Rug Institute References:
• The Carpet Primer *
• Characteristics of Patterned Carpet Technical Bulletin*
* Downloadable from The Carpet and Rug Institute web site
ASTM Standards:
• ASTM F-1869-04 – Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate
of Concrete Subfloor Using Calcium Chloride,
• ASTM F-710-08 – Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete to Receive
Resilient Flooring - American Society of Testing & Materials, 100 Barr Harbor
Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.
• ASTM F-2170 – In-situ Relative Humidity Testing
For definitions used in this standard, refer to the Definitions of Terms section in the
appendix of this document.
Tools and Materials
Install carpet using tools and materials referenced in this standard. Proper tools and
quality materials are essential for skilled and proficient carpet installation.
Storage and Handling
Storage – Store carpet and related materials in a climate-controlled, dry space.
Protect carpet from soil, dust, moisture and other contaminants and store on a flat
surface. Stacking heavy objects on top of carpet rolls or stacking more than three
rolls is prohibited.
Handling – Transport carpet in a manner that prevents damage and distortion.
Bending or folding individual carpet rolls or cuts from rolls is not recommended.
When bending or folding is unavoidable for delivery purposes, the carpet is
required to be unrolled and allowed to lie flat immediately upon arrival at the
installation site.
CAUTION: Failure to observe the preceding requirements may result in the following:
1) Contamination from soil, grease and/or oil
2) Delamination
3) Dimensional changes
4) Permanent indentation
5) Development of wrinkles and bubbles
6) Pile reversal
7) Roll-crushing
8) Creases
9) Pattern distortion
All facets of the installation are to be coordinated. A scale drawing of the area to be
installed is required to determine type of carpet, carpet quantities, quantity per dye
lot, installation method, cushions, adhesives, transition moldings, wall base types
and other accessories, and to identify the proper location of seams.
On new construction, provide architectural drawings that define the entire installation
area with space names or numbers and a finish schedule of flooring style, patterns,
colors and installation methods. On existing structures, provide new measurements
and shop drawings.
Consideration should be given to carpet and adhesive conditioning, material delivery
considerations and other trades’ schedules. (Refer to Section 10)
Shop Drawings - The carpet shop drawing is required to contain the following
• Name of the job, owner and installation company. On new construction the
name of the general contractor and architectural firm are required.
• Building address
• Date of drawing
• Scale
• Floor number and location in building
• Compass direction on each sheet
• Drawing for each area to be carpeted (color coding is preferable)
• Construction of substrate for each area
• Required floor preparation, materials and quantities.
• Type of installation for each area
• Quantities of carpet needed for each area, including roll length requirements,
pattern repeat, manufacturer installation sequencing and cut list.
• Exact notations where dye lot changes occur
• Excess material in each area and how it is to be used
• Seam layout of each area
Allow tolerance by cutting carpet 3-4 inches (75-100 mm) longer than the area
Carpet pile direction for each area
Name of manufacturer, style, backing system and color of carpet for each area
Large scale drawings showing treatment of step areas or other detail work
Location and type of expansion joints and edge transitions.
Type of wall base in each area.
Planning for Seams - Keep seams to a minimum. Position seams so that, where
• they run the length of the area.
• main traffic flow runs along, rather than across, the seam.
• natural light does not strike across the seam.
• are away from areas subject to pivoting traffic.
• are not perpendicular to doorway openings.
Transitions to Other Surfaces - Where carpet transitions to other floor coverings,
the carpet edges are required to be protected or covered with appropriate transition
moldings. The edge of the hard surface flooring should not exceed a maximum of
1/16” higher than the total carpet thickness where no transition molding exists.
Where no transition molding is used, apply a minimum of 1/8” bead of seam sealer
to the edge of the carpet along the entire transition.
Wall base - when vinyl or rubber wall base is used in a direct glue or double glue
carpet installation, cove base or base-with-toe is highly recommended.
Carpet Over Expansion Joints – Do not install carpet over expansion joints (see
definition). Expansion joints allow separate substrate surfaces to expand and
contract independently. In addition, do not install on any area of a floor that does not
provide a stable and mechanically sound surface. This does not include cut or saw
joints within a section of the floor. Non-stable/unsound substrate joint conditions are
required to be addressed in strict accordance with the appropriate architectural
drawing. If no expansion joint device is specified on the drawing, the building owner,
owner’s representative, or other responsible party is required to be made aware that
failure to address expansion joints will potentially result in installation failure, damage
to the carpet and/or safety concerns.
Pile Direction - Where two or more pieces of the same broadloom carpet are
adjacent, the pile direction is required to be the same unless otherwise specified.
Uniform pile direction is not required with dissimilar carpet.
Note: Ideally, install carpet with the pile lay toward the entrance; but other factors, such as
pattern, aesthetics and economic use of material may be considered.
Pattern Matching – Refer to Section 15. Consult the manufacturer for specific
installation requirements and possible warranty conditions. See the CRI Technical
Bulletin, “Characteristics of Patterned Carpet,” for additional information.
Site Conditions – All Installations
Substrate Conditions – The owner or general contractor is responsible for
providing an acceptable substrate for the specified installation.
Note: Installing carpet prematurely before other trades have completed their work will result
in problems with: overall appearance, visible damage, soiling, adhesive failure, delamination
and dimensional stability. These conditions may not be immediately evident. Refer to
Section 16-Protecting Indoor Installations.
Ambient Temperature and Humidity – The installation is not to begin until the
HVAC system is operational and the following conditions are maintained for at
least 48 hours before, during and 72 hours after completion. The carpet is to be
installed when the indoor temperature is between 65-95ºF (18-35ºC) with a
maximum relative humidity of 65%. The substrate surface temperature should not
be less than 65°F (18°C) at time of installation. Do not allow the temperature of
indoor carpeted areas to fall below 50o F (10o C), regardless of the age of the
installation. If these conditions are not attainable, contact flooring manufacturer for
applications to warranty.
Floor Preparation - Carpet is required to be installed over properly prepared
substrates that are suitable for the specific product and installation method
selected. All cracks, holes and flooring irregularities are required to be repaired to
ensure a smooth, finished appearance, prevent accelerated wear and telegraphing
substrate irregularities. Substrates are required to be structurally sound and free
of foreign substances that will compromise the carpet or its installation. Patching
compounds are required to be suitable for the use application. Select polymerfortified patching compounds according to the carpet manufacturer’s instructions.
(Refer to ASTM E1155-96 (2008).
Note: Patched areas may be porous and highly alkaline, which will prevent adequate
adhesive bond. For best results, prime patched areas. Consult patch manufacturer for
primer recommendations and compatibility with adhesives.
Concrete - Concrete must be cured, clean and dry. Cracks, chips and saw cuts
must be properly patched or treated. Concrete is available in two basic forms;
lightweight and normal weight. This difference is based on the type of aggregate
used in the mix. Lightweight concrete is most commonly, but not exclusively, used
on upper floors. Various screeds and topcoats that are available – typically
gypsum based - are NOT lightweight concrete.
CAUTION: Any concrete floor, even when adequately cured and dry, can allow moisture
vapor to pass through to its surface. Depending upon the type of carpet and method of
installation, the moisture emission rate greatly influences the long-term success of an
installation. The use of a properly installed, uncompromised, approved moisture membrane
is essential in preventing moisture migration into and through a concrete slab. (Ref. ASTM F
Wood - Wood substrates are required to be structurally sound, flat, dry and securely
anchored. Substrates, such as plywood, hardwood, particleboard, oriented strand
board, or other materials, are required to be flooring grade (APA approved) and
installed according to manufacturer specifications. Irregularities, imperfections and
joints are required to be properly patched and prepared. It is required that all
protrusions be properly prepared.
Metal - It is required that metal floors create a smooth, even plane, and be free of
grease, oil, soil and rust. It is required that metal or raised access flooring be
structurally sound, flat and properly secured.
Note: Adhesives applied to bare metal surfaces can cause rapid oxidation or other chemical
reactions. Sand and clean bare aluminum prior to adhesive application to remove oxidization.
Resilient Flooring – Installing carpet over resilient flooring may be acceptable as
long as the resilient flooring is securely bonded to the substrate and properly
prepared. Additional concerns are carpet backing and adhesive compatibility.
Note: Installing a second layer of finish flooring material, including some carpet types, can trap
moisture and result in widespread failure, even over substrates that previously had never
shown signs of moisture or moisture-related problems.
CAUTION: Some sheet vinyl, resilient tile and cut-back asphalt-based adhesive may contain
asbestos and/or crystalline silica. Inhaling dusts from these materials creates a cancer and
respiratory system hazard. Lacking documented evidence to the contrary, e.g., current testing,
assume that these materials contain asbestos and treat them in the manner prescribed for
removing floors containing asbestos. Recommended work practices prohibit sanding, dry
scraping, bead-blasting or mechanically pulverizing resilient flooring, backing or lining felt. Do
not use powered devices that create asbestos dust when removing “cut-back” or asphalt-based
adhesives. It is required that removal procedures comply with federal, state and local
government agency regulations covering the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing
materials (ACM).
Carpet over Carpet - Refer to carpet manufacturer for guidance before installation.
Radiant-heated Floors – Radiant-heated floors require special consideration in the
selection of carpet, carpet cushion, installation methods and adhesive. (Radiant
heated floors should not exceed 85°F.)
7.9.1 Unless absolutely certain about the location and depth of heating components,
attach tack strip and transitions using adhesive.
7.9.2 The maximum surface temperature of radiant-heated substrates cannot exceed
Surfaces such as terrazzo, ceramic and natural stone - Remove finishes and
prepare flooring surfaces to ensure adhesion. These surfaces are required to be
structurally sound and well bonded to substrate. Fill grout lines flush with approved
cementitious leveling or patching compound. Follow the open time
recommendations of the adhesive manufacturer when adhering carpet to nonporous
Slate and Brick - These surfaces may be too rough and uneven for most
installations and may require refinishing and/or smoothing before installing carpet.
Asphalt – It is required that asphalt surfaces be clean, dry, free from excessive oil
and grease, and in good condition. Cure new asphalt for at least 30 days, or longer,
depending upon weather conditions. Follow adhesive manufacturer’s
9.0 Testing Concrete Substrates
Refer to the carpet manufacturer’s written instructions for guidelines on the number of test
sites/data points and the allowable moisture and pH limits. The MVER, RH & Alkalinity
testing must be performed to give an accurate assessment of the concrete condition and
the test results/data of each test shall be within acceptable limits.
9.1 Before direct glue-down, double-glue down and some stretch-in (non-porous cushion or
carpet) installations, the owner or general contractor, or their designated testing agent, is
required to submit to the flooring contractor a written report on the moisture and alkalinity
conditions of the concrete substrates.
Note: It is recommended that qualified independent third-party testing
agencies be used for determining moisture and alkalinity conditions of a
concrete slab. Testing by an independent third party specialist to determine
installation suitability is a prudent and necessary safeguard for general
contractors, owners, architects, flooring product providers and installation
contractors to reduce the risk of concrete slab moisture related flooring
problems. As a minimum, testing agencies or individuals are required to
demonstrate verifiable experience in concrete moisture testing or be certified
by a recognized organization.
9.2 Manufacturers Exceptions – If the carpet and/or adhesive manufacturer have products
with specific installation instructions, then the carpet and/or adhesive manufacturer shall
make those installation instructions available at the time of the purchase/delivery of the
9.3 Moisture Vapor Emission Rate (MVER) Testing - MVER tests must be conducted in
accordance with the latest edition of ASTM F 1869, not to exceed 3 pounds per 1000 sq ft
per 24 hours. (ASTM F1869 - Standard Test Method for Measuring Vapor Emission Rate of
Concrete Subfloor Using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride).
9.4 Relative Humidity (RH) Testing - Testing for internal relative humidity of concrete
slabs must be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of ASTM F-2170, not to
exceed 75% relative humidity. (ASTM F2170 - Standard Test Method for Determining
Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using In Situ Probes).
9.5 Testing for Alkalinity - Testing the pH at the surface of a concrete slab must be
conducted in accordance with ASTM F 710-05 “, not to exceed 9 pH . (ASTM F710-05 Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring).
Note: Preparing the surface of a concrete slab for pH testing can be
problematical. Make sure the concrete surface is adequately cleaned of
adhesives, curing compounds etc. When pH readings are less than 8.5, it may
be an indication of a residue remaining on the concrete surface. Also use care
not to over clean the surface of the concrete, consequently removing the
(usually) thin layer of carbonation. This can result in pH readings >12.
Caution: The results obtained from testing reflect only the condition of the
concrete floor at the time of testing. Further, it is highly recommended that
the test site or building be at the same temperature and humidity expected
during normal use. These conditions are required to be maintained 48 hrs
prior to, and during testing. The installation of a permanent, effective
moisture vapor retarder with a minimum thickness of 0.010 inch and a
permanency of 0.1 perms, as described in ASTM Specification E 1745, is
required under all on-grade or below-grade concrete floors.
Relaxing/Conditioning Carpet – To minimize wrinkling and buckling and to
facilitate installation, it is highly recommended that carpet be unrolled and allowed to
relax in the installation area for a time period that conforms to the requirements of
the manufacturer of the product being installed. (See Section 7.2 Ambient
Conditions) This time period will vary up to 72 hours, but should not be less that 24
hours at a temperature between 65-95ºF (18 -35ºC). Protect carpet adequately from
soil, dust, moisture and other contaminants. Sundry items, such as adhesives, should be
conditioned as well. If these conditions are not attainable, contact flooring manufacturer
for applications to warranty.
Note: The allocation of time for the relaxation period should be included in the planning of the
job by all interested parties.
Ventilation - During installation, maintain air circulation by operating the HVAC
system at full capacity.
Note: For acceptable indoor air quality, fresh air ventilation in commercial spaces is
recommended to conform to current guidelines specified in ASHRAE Standard 62 published by
the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
( Failure to comply could cause negative ramifications to the installation and
the indoor air quality.
Carpet Seam Edge Preparation
Properly prepare all edges that are used for seams in strict compliance with carpet
manufacturer recommendations.
Trimming – Trim carpet edges at seams using tools and techniques best suited
for the carpet style (e.g., loop-pile, cut-pile, cut-and-loop pile, woven carpet) in
accordance with manufacturer recommendations. Trim edges far enough into the
material to maintain the structural integrity of the carpet and to maintain pattern
design where applicable.
Note: Although “row-cutting” both edges is preferred, other trimming techniques may be
more suitable on some carpet. Many carpets do not lend themselves to all methods of
cutting. Some woven carpet selvages are not to be trimmed. Contact carpet manufacturers
for specific recommendations.
Sealing Edges – Regardless of installation method, most carpet requires an
edge protective material be introduced between the edges to be joined. This
material can be a liquid or thermoplastic and can be applied using various
procedures and techniques. Consult the manufacturer of the products for specific
sealing procedures.
CAUTION: Failure to properly prepare seam edges often results in:
• edge ravel
• edge delamination
• tuft loss
• seam separation
• safety concerns
Proper Seam Characteristics – With any seaming method, a properly
constructed seam:
• has cleanly trimmed edges properly secured with seam sealer, if applicable
• has tightly abutted edges without gaps or overlaps, maintains pattern integrity
• will not be totally invisible
Direct Glue-Down Installation
Relaxation/Conditioning Carpet – Refer to Section 10.
Additional Substrate Requirements – It is required that substrates be clean,
structurally sound, dry, and with no cracks, existing adhesives and surface
irregularities that might show through the finished installation or cause premature
wear and be free from contaminants that may interfere with adhesion. Substrate
temperatures below 65 °F are unsuitable for adhesive application.
CAUTION: Carpet, when bonded with an adhesive, follows every contour of a substrate,
imperfections can become very obvious after the carpet is installed. Joints, cracks,
depressions and protrusions that are not on an even, flat plane may be unsightly and
cause premature wear. Soil, dust, wax, oil, grease, moisture, alkalinity and other
contaminants can prevent or otherwise destroy adhesion causing localized or
widespread failure.
Note: It is the general contractor or building owner’s responsibility to supply a substrate that
meets agreed upon specifications as defined by ASTM E1155-96 (2008).
13.2.1 Treated Wood – Wood that is chemically treated to alter properties relating to
outdoor exposure or flame resistance is not a suitable substrate for direct glue-down
applications. Floor covering adhesives would be subject to chemical degradation
when applied to these surfaces.
13.2.2 Painted Surfaces - Painted surfaces may be suitable for adhesive application;
however, contact the carpet and adhesive manufacturer for recommendations.
CAUTION: Lacking documented evidence to the contrary, e.g., current testing, assume that all
paints contain lead and treat them in the manner prescribed by existing local, state, and Federal
lead abatement regulations.
13.2.3Resilient Floor Coverings – It is not recommended that carpet adhesive systems be
used directly over existing sheet vinyl, laminated or solid vinyl tile, and some rubber
flooring products. These materials may contain plasticizers that could migrate into
the carpet adhesive and loosen the bond. Contact individual manufacturers for
specific recommendations. Direct glue-down installations over vinyl composition tile
(VCT) are acceptable as long as all tiles are tightly adhered to the substrate and all
waxes, sealers, floor finishes and other foreign materials have been removed.
Caution: any resilient tile may have the possibility of containing asbestos.
This can be verified by an independent testing laboratory. Vinyl asbestos tile
requires specific precautions. Refer to local, state or Federal regulations.
13.2.4 Surfaces such as terrazzo, ceramic and natural stone - Remove finishes and
prepare flooring surfaces to ensure adhesion. These surfaces are required to be
structurally sound and well bonded to substrate. Fill grout lines flush with approved
cementitious leveling or patching compound. Follow the open time
recommendations of the adhesive manufacturer when adhering carpet to nonporous
13.2.5 Primers – Primers are used to enhance substrate adhesion characteristics and
address porosity. Substrates that are overly porous, chalky or have varying degrees
of porosity require priming. Priming under or over patched areas and between layers
of patching compound may be required by the patching compound or the adhesive
manufacturer. Priming may be recommended for carpet with factory applied
adhesive systems. Ensure that priming products are compatible with substrate
conditions, patch and adhesives.
13.2.6 Liquid Adhesive Removers - These products are not recommended for use on a
substrate that will receive a floor covering to be installed with adhesive.
13.2.7 Sweeping Compounds - These compounds may leave residue that interferes with
adhesive bonding. Do not use sweeping compounds prior to adhesive application.
Vacuum dusty areas instead. Vacuum is required to have a properly functioning
filter per OSHA and/or EPA requirements.
13.2.8 Layout – Lay out the carpet according to the seaming diagram. Where applicable,
allow for pattern repeat. Align all carpet breadths to their proper position and trim
Floor Adhesive Application
13.3.1 Trowel Selection - Select the appropriate adhesive and trowel notch configuration
recommended by the carpet manufacturer and/or adhesive supplier, or refer to the
list shown in Table II as a minimum.
13.3.2 Adhesive Application - Spread floor adhesive uniformly over the substrate with an
appropriate trowel, leaving ridges of sufficient height to achieve full and complete
coverage of both the substrate and carpet backing. Trowel notches wear down
during use. Maintain a clean and properly notched trowel throughout the installation
process. After sufficient open time, press carpet into the adhesive and roll with an
appropriate roller as specified in section14.7.
CAUTION: Bond failure most often is caused by:
• inadequate adhesive application from incorrect trowel notch size and/or trowel notch
configuration or improper trowel angle during application
• improper type and grade of adhesive t
• incorrect open time and/or working times
• bond breakers or substrate contaminants such as, but not limited to, residual curing and
parting compounds
• pH and moisture-related problems
• lack of protection (see Section 20)
• premature traffic or cleaning before adhesives have adequately cured
13.3.3 Open Time – Appropriate open time varies depending upon environmental
conditions, substrate porosity, backing system and adhesive type. Refer to the
adhesive and/or carpet manufacturer for recommendations regarding open time.
13.3.4 Working Time - ( also referred to as slip time) – length of time after covering the
adhesive with carpet to make adjustments or manipulate the carpet without
negatively impacting the permanent bond.
Alternative Adhesive Systems – Alternative field-applied systems, such as spray
adhesive or roll-adhesive films, are available. Refer to carpet manufacturer
information whether an adhesive system is acceptable.
Seam Adhesive (“Sealer”) - For carpet systems that require seam sealing, apply an
appropriate seam adhesive in sufficient quantity to seal both edges trimmed for
seaming, covering the thickness of the primary and secondary backing without
contaminating face yarns (See Figure 1). This insures that all edges trimmed for
seaming are protected from edge ravel. Allow seam adhesive to dry before
proceeding with the installation to prevent transfer to the face yarn. An additional
bead of seam adhesive is applied to the cut edge of one side only, after that side is
first placed into the floor adhesive. In order to weld the seam edges together, while
the seam adhesive is still transferrable, abut the edges to form the seam.
Figure 1
Rolling – After the recommended amount of adhesive has been applied to the floor
and the prescribed open time has been allowed, the carpet is carefully placed into
the adhesive. To insure an adequate bond, It is then required that the carpet be
uniformly pressed into the adhesive using a roller designed for this purpose. Rolling
should be performed with the lightest roller that will cause the adhesive applied to the
floor to fully coat the back of the carpet (with a minimum mirror image of the
adhesive applied to the floor) while still covering 100% of the floor. Do not exceed
75 lbs. unless specifically directed by the manufacturer. Roll the carpet in both length
and width directions.
NOTE: In some circumstances, re-rolling is required as well as the placement of weights in
problematic areas. A hand roller should be used around walls and other obstructions to insure
a proper bond is formed in these areas.
Finishing at Wall Line – Finish the installation along the wall line leaving a net,
smooth, neat, and secure fit.
Double-Glue-Down Installation
Relaxation/Conditioning Carpet – Refer to Section 10.0. In double-glue down
installations, a separate cushion is adhered to the substrate and the carpet is
glued to the cushion.
NOTE: Because significant differences exist in various carpet cushions, consult with
the manufacturer of the cushion, carpet, seam tape and adhesive for
recommendations regarding this installation method. Only materials specifically
designed for this installation method may be used.
Preparation – Refer to Section 6.0 and 9.0 of this Standard for floor preparation
Cushion installation - Install cushion in the longest continuous lengths possible
with consideration to traffic patterns and carpet seam placement. It is required that
cushion seams be at a right angle (90º) to carpet seams or offset at least six inches
(150 mm). Butt cushion seams net without compression, leaving no gaps. Do not
tape or staple cushion seams for double glue down installations.
Layout –Where applicable, allow for pattern repeat. Align all carpet breadths to their
proper position and trim seams. Take care to avoid cutting into cushion under
Adhesives and Trowel Notch Sizes - When applying cushion to floors and carpet
to cushion, select the appropriate adhesive and trowel notch size recommended by
the carpet, cushion and adhesive manufacturer. If recommendations are not
available, refer to the general minimum guidelines in Table II. Spread adhesive
uniformly over the cushion with the specified trowel or other application procedure.
After sufficient open time, the carpet is to be pressed into the adhesive and rolled
with the appropriate roller. Proper open time is critical for a successful installation.
Note: excessive trowel pressure causes cushion to expand into the trowel
notch reducing effective adhesive coverage rate.
Seaming - A variety of seaming options exist. Consult the cushion and carpet
manufacturer for specific recommendations.
Rolling – Refer to Section 13.6.
Attached-Cushion Installations
Relaxing/Conditioning Carpet – Refer to Section 7.11.
Carpet Layout - Refer to Section 9.2 (Direct-Glue Installations)
Floor-Applied Adhesive Installations - Use the carpet adhesive and seam
adhesive recommended by the carpet or adhesive manufacturer. Also, refer to
Table II.
15.3.1 Trowel Notch Size - Refer to Table II
15.3.2 Open Time – Allow adequate open time for adhesive. Open time varies depending
upon environmental conditions and the adhesive type.
15.3.3 Installation Procedures – Cut seam edges with appropriate tools based on carpet
manufacturer recommendations. Trim edges to eliminate possible height variation at
the seam. In the case of woven goods, carefully refer to the manufacturer’s
recommendation for that specific style. Seal cut edges at seams with proper seam
adhesive applied as recommended by the carpet or adhesive manufacturer. Roll
installed carpet according to manufacturer recommendations.
Pre-applied Adhesive Systems (“peel-and-stick”) - Pressure sensitive adhesives
sometimes are applied to attached-cushion backings during manufacture. Backings
of this type have special floor preparation requirements. Consult the carpet
manufacturer for recommended installation procedures and the use of primers, if
Hook and Loop Technology - This specialized installation system uses hooked
tape and a looped fabric to cover the entire underside of the carpet. The system
involves detailed and specific installation practices. Consult the carpet manufacturer
for recommended installation procedures.
Stretch-in Installation
This method involves installing carpet under tension over a separate cushion,
using tack strip fastened at all walls and other vertical abutments around the
perimeter of the area.
Relaxing/Conditioning Carpet – Refer to Section 7.11.
Tack strip –It is required that tack strip be a minimum of one inch (25 mm) wide
and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Architectural strip two inches in width (50mm) with three
rows of pins, or two conventional strips with two rows of pins each are required for
stretching areas exceeding thirty feet to provide secure attachment of the carpet
and additional shear strength. To prevent possible injury to building occupants, it
is required that the pins on tack strip not protrude through the carpet being
Additional tack strip installation specifications include:
• Securely fasten tack strip to maintain the tension _ provided by power
stretching. Nailed or stapled tack strip is required to have a minimum of two
fasteners per piece.
• Place tack strip with the pins angled toward the vertical abutment.
• The gully, or distance between the tack strip and vertical abutments, is required
to be slightly less than the thickness of the carpet but not exceed ⅜ inch (9 mm).
• Avoid installing tack strip across door openings and/or sills.
• Cut tack strip to follow the contour of door casings and other irregularly shaped
• Do not staple carpet to tack strip.
• On radiant-heated floors, use manufacturer’s approved adhesive to secure
tack strip do not use nails or screws to prevent damage to heating system.
Separate Cushion Selection –It is required that the cushion conform to carpet
manufacturer recommendations for the specific product being installed. Failure to
follow these recommendations for cushion may void manufacturer warranties.
These recommendations may differ, depending on the style and construction of
specific carpet. Cushion thickness for commercial carpet installations
should not exceed ⅜ inch (10 mm).
Install separate carpet cushion in the longest continuous lengths possible, with
cushion seams placed at right angles to carpet seams, or offset at least six inches
(150 mm) to one side. Trim cushion flush with the inside contour of the tack strip
and securely fastened to the substrate using staples or nonflammable cushion
adhesive at all seams and around the perimeter of each room. With the exception
of fiber cushions, secure seams with appropriate vinyl-coated cloth cushion tape
per the carpet cushion manufacturer’s recommendations.
Seaming – The seaming method depends upon carpet construction and backing
type. Always follow manufacturer recommendations for seaming. Common
seaming methods include:
hot-melt tape
hand sewing
tape and latex
Power Stretching – Power-stretch carpet following the eight step procedure
described in Figure 2. Firmly hook onto tack strip.
FIGURE 2 - Stretch Diagram for Tufted Carpet
In the absence of carpet manufacturer stretch recommendations, use the diagram below.
Step 8
Step 6
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Carpet direction
Step 1
Step 1 - Hook onto tack strip, approximately three feet in both directions, along corner A.
Step 2 - Power stretch at approximately 15o angle from wall A-B and hook onto tack strip at corner C.
Step 3 - Hook and secure onto tack strip with knee kicker along wall from A to C.
Step 4 - Power stretch at approximately 15o angle from wall A-C and hook onto tack strip at corner B.
Step 5 - Hook and secure onto tack strip with knee kicker along wall from A to B.
Step 6 - Power stretch at approximately 15o angle from wall A-B and hook onto tack strip temporarily at corner D.
Step 7 - Power stretch from wall A-C and hook along wall from B to D.
Step 8 - Power stretch straight from wall A-B and hook onto tack strip along wall from C to D.
16.5.1 Using a Mechanical Stretching Device (i.e. Power Stretcher) is Mandatory.
Devices used as a substitute for, or an attachment to such devices that penetrate
through the carpet backing may cause injury, damage carpet or substrates, or
result in inadequate stretch. Such devices are not acceptable.
Mechanical stretching device – A tool used to stretch carpet during the installation
process. This tool is commonly referred to as a “power stretcher” or “carpet
stretcher” and can be found in a number of forms. This tool should have all of the
A method to positively engage the carpet without slippage or damage –
usually a pin plate or similar structure commonly referred to as the “stretcher
A method to bridge between the “stretcher head” and a stationary structure –
usually an opposing wall. This is typically a group of adjustable metal tubes
ending in a padded plate.
A leverage or other type device that is capable of either supplying its own
force or multiplying the force applied by the installer. This force is required to
be sufficient to allow the carpet to be elongated by the amount required for
the carpet being installed.
A method by which the elongation achieved can be locked and held in place.
CAUTION: Failure to mechanically stretch a carpet may result in:
• wrinkling and buckling over time
• localized damage to the carpet
• delamination
• Wrinkles and buckles most often are caused by: failure to adequately
stretch carpet using a mechanical stretching device, using inappropriate or
improperly installed cushion, adverse temperature and humidity
conditions, or inadequate conditioning time.
16.5.2 Amount of Stretch – Due to the difference in carpet backing types, it is required
that manufacturer recommendations for carpet stretch be followed. In the
absence of specific recommendations, tufted carpet with synthetic backing should
be stretched a minimum of 1% in length and in width. Patterned carpet may
require additional stretch to obtain pattern match.
Finishing at Wall– Finish the installation along the wall, leaving a smooth, neat
and secure transition. Trim carpet without damaging baseboards or moldings,
leaving sufficient material for backing to be securely tucked into the gully without
protruding face or backing yarns.
Transition Molding – Where carpet meets other floor coverings create a smooth
transition and adequately protect edges with a transition molding that meets all
carpet manufacturer and ADA requirements.
Note: Carpet placed into transition moldings requires edge sealing to prevent raveling.
Carpet on Stairs
Preparation – It is required that the stair tread, riser and stair nose should be
clean, dry and structurally sound. The stair nose return should be rounded ¾-1
inch (19 to 25 mm) to prevent sharp stair edges from cutting carpet and/or
cushion, and to provide proper carpet contact for adhesive installations. When
carpet is installed over a separate cushion, extend the cushion over the stair nose.
Stretch-in Installation - Tack strip is to be installed on each tread. It is required
that pins on the tread point toward the riser. On a waterfall-type stair installation,
tack strip is to be installed on risers also. Pins on risers point down to the tread. It
is required that the gully between strips be slightly less than double the carpet
thickness. Where a turned finish is desired, tack strip and cushion are about 1½
inches (38 mm) less than the carpet width, to allow for a turn under on each side
of the stairs. Some stairs require tack strip on the sides to maintain the proper
tension. When using a cap-and-band or contoured technique, tack strip is not
used on riser.
Note: When staples are used in upholstering carpet on stairs, take care to separate pile yarns
to avoid trapping yarns, resulting in visible distortion. If the edges are cut net, they must be
sealed. Upholstery work needs to have no raw edges exposed. Any seams or joints must be
sealed. Carpet seams need to be split in the direction of the balusters.
Glue-down Installation – Install carpet on stair treads and risers using
recommended adhesive. Stairs without a return (nose) can be installed as one piece
over the tread and riser. It is required that on stairs with a return, carpet be cut and
installed with the tread and riser being separate pieces.
17.3.1 Carpet Direction –It is recommended that carpet be installed parallel to length of
Note: Most manufacturers recommend carpet pile direction run down the stairs.
Modular Carpet
Follow carpet manufacturer recommendations regarding application, squareness and
location of working chalk lines. Install modular carpet on 90º format with corners
aligned according to manufacturer specifications. It is required that installation
geometry (monolithic, ashlar, quarter turn, etc.) be agreed upon by all parties prior to
Joints – Modules in the completed installation should be tight but not compressed.
To insure proper spacing when installing modular carpet, measure the distance
covered by 11 modules (10 joints) installed on the floor with no visible gaps, peaks or
overlaps. Continually check that modules are being installed in compliance with
manufacturer specifications for that particular product. Take care not to trap yarn
between modules.
Adhesive Application - Follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, a thin
film of pressure-sensitive adhesive is used to prevent lateral movement of modules.
Patterned Carpet Installations
Uninstalled Patterned Carpet - Carpet is a textile fabric subject to inevitable
processing variations in the four pattern conditions: bow, skew/bias, elongation
variations and trueness of edges. Measurement of these four conditions is
performed on an uninstalled breadth of carpet. Individual manufacturers have
tolerances to which their patterned products are required to conform. There are no
industry standards for carpet pattern variations.
Understanding Carpet Manufacturer Tolerances – A successful patterned carpet
installation requires a thorough understanding of patterned carpet characteristics by
designers, specifiers, and all others involved with carpet selection and installation.
Carpet is a textile fabric subject to inevitable process variations, which are more
critical when patterns are involved. Most manufacturers provide established
tolerances and specific installation instructions for their patterned goods, although
most do not guarantee exact pattern match. Skilled, responsible and competent
craftsmen experienced in the installation of patterned carpet can effectively make
adjustments within manufacturer tolerances to provide a successful installation. To
assist this process, clearly understand manufacturer tolerances. It is required that
these tolerances be communicated and agreed upon by all parties prior to the
specification, bid, purchase and installation.
Factors affecting pattern match on the job site include, but are not limited to: the
method of installation, the condition and levelness of the floor and the type of carpet
backing system selected. It is imperative that all parties agree upon realistic levels
of expectation before the carpet is installed.
Installation of patterned carpet requires more time and expertise, requiring the use of
mechanical stretching devices and additional staffing, thus affecting the cost of
Patterned Carpet Installation Methods - Generally, patterned carpet may be
installed by all installation methods. Consult the carpet manufacturer for restrictions.
Seaming Diagram – It is required that the seaming diagram reflect the desired
pattern direction (6.1).
19.4.1 Patterned Carpet in Corridors - It is highly recommended that carpet with widthwise linear patterns not be installed breadth-to-breadth along the length of a corridor
to avoid inconsistent alignment of pattern.
Roll Sequence - Roll sequencing information may be available from the carpet
manufacturer. In the absence of roll sequencing information from the carpet
manufacturer, sequence carpet cuts working from the longest measured repeat
gradually down to the shortest repeat within the dye lot.
Carpet Layout – Lay carpet out according to the seaming diagram. Unroll carpet
and allow it to relax for a minimum of 24 hours before installation. Pre-cutting of
carpet is recommended.
Note: Patterned carpet may require additional material for proper pattern matching.
Seam Preparation – Refer to Section 8.
Pattern Adjustment - Pattern adjustment during installation is possible and should
be anticipated.
Pattern Alignment - Match the pattern at the midpoint of the seam’s length. Work
from the seam’s midpoint to the seam ends. Bring the pattern into register using
appropriate tools that might include:
• mechanical stretching device
• knee kicker
• dead man
• “dry” lines
• stay nails
• double-headed mini-stretcher (“crab stretcher”)
Note: For patterned carpet, exercise care to ensure pattern alignment along walls. The use
of a mechanical stretching device, stay-nails and a “dead man” may be necessary to achieve
pattern match at seams and alignment along walls.
Protecting Indoor Installations
Curing Adhesives – It is highly recommended that traffic over field-applied adhesive
installations be restricted to installation personnel only for a minimum of 24-48 hours
to allow adhesives to cure properly. Premature traffic will cause installation failure.
Restrict carpet exposure to water from cleaning or other sources for a minimum of
30 days.
Materials for Protection – It is recommended that carpet be the last trade on any
job site. However, if it is required to protect the finished floor covering from soil or
paint, or if additional work is required to be done after the installation, the carpet
should be covered with a non-staining building material paper. Protect the
installation from rolling traffic by using sheets of hardboard or plywood in potentially
affected areas.
CAUTION: Self-adhering plastic films may leave residues that result in rapid soiling after
removal. Do not place plastic sheeting over any carpet installation because it may present a
slip hazard. Most importantly, plastic coverings will trap moisture, retard adhesive curing and
may promote mold growth.
Maintain Temperature – Do not allow the temperature of indoor carpeted areas to
fall below 50o F (10o C), regardless of the age of the installation.
Outdoor Carpet and Synthetic Turf Installation - Outdoor carpet installed with
adhesives creates conditions quite different from those encountered indoors. Both
carpet and adhesive are subjected to extreme weather and traffic. Installation
surfaces are much more varied and often are uneven.
Note: Installing artificial turf on athletic fields is a highly specialized procedure and is outside
the scope of this standard. Consult the manufacturer for specific installation instructions.
Carpet Selection - Carpet to be installed outdoors is required to be of the
construction, and backing and fiber type recommended for outdoor use.
Site Conditions – It is required that all installation surfaces be clean, dry, sound,
cured, smooth and have adequate drainage. It is required that the temperature prior,
during, and after installation be a minimum of 65oF (18oC) and a maximum of 95oF
(35oC). Substrate temperatures are required to be between 65°F (18°C) and 85°F
(29°C). If these conditions are not attainable, contact the flooring and adhesive
manufacturer for applications to warranty.
Floor Preparation - Carpet is required to be installed over properly prepared
substrates that are suitable for the specific product and installation method
selected. All cracks, holes and flooring irregularities are required to be repaired to
ensure a smooth, finished appearance and prevent accelerated wear. Substrates
are required to be structurally sound and free of foreign substances that will
compromise the carpet or its installation. Patching compounds are required to be
suitable for the use application. Select polymer-fortified patching compounds
according to the carpet manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Check porosity. Patched areas may be non-porous and highly alkaline, which will
prevent adequate adhesive bond. For best results, prime patched areas.
21.3.1 Wood – Cover slotted wood surfaces with an outdoor-grade plywood and prime with
a primer that is compatible with the adhesive selected. Joints in the substrate must
be properly patched and prepared to prevent telegraphing of joints. Waxed or oiled
wood surfaces present special problems and require resurfacing. Adhesive
installations over pressure-treated lumber generally are not recommended. Contact
the adhesive and carpet manufacturer for recommendations.
21.3.2 Metal – Clean metal surfaces of grease, oil, soil and rust, and properly primed.
Prepare painted metal surfaces and remove loose paint appropriately. Aluminum
surfaces should be sanded and cleaned with cleaner approved by the adhesive
manufacturer immediately before applying adhesive.
21.3.3 Surfaces such as terrazzo, ceramic and natural stone - Remove finishes and
prepare flooring surfaces to ensure adhesion. These surfaces are required to be
structurally sound and well bonded to substrate. Fill grout lines flush with approved
cementitious leveling or patching compound. Follow the open time
recommendations of the adhesive manufacturer when adhering carpet to nonporous
21.3.5 Asphalt – Asphalt requires special considerations as a substrate. Follow adhesive
and carpet manufacturer’s recommendation.
21.3.6 Swimming Pools - Regardless of the surface encountered, indoor swimming pools
should be drained and dry before installing outdoor carpet. Do not use outdoor pools
during carpet installation. Remove fungus or algae from the surfaces to be covered.
Ventilate indoor pool areas to reduce excess humidity. Follow manufacturer’s
recommendation for proper adhesive use in this environment.
Adhesives - Adhesive selection is very important. It is required that carpet backings
and substrates be compatible with the adhesive. Contact manufacturer for their
adhesive recommendation.
CAUTION: Using the correct adhesive greatly enhances the success of an outdoor installation.
When the backing material is unknown, or if doubt exists, contact the carpet manufacturer for
positive identification.
Acclimation – roll all outdoor carpet and allow to relax before installation according
to manufacturer’s recommendation. It is required that this take place when the
temperature is between 55oF and 95oF (13oC and 35oC).
Planning – Pre cut carpet for the area to be covered, allowing for required trimming.
Keep seams to a minimum and run with the traffic pattern when possible. Where
seams are required, be certain that the pile runs in the same direction on both sides
of the seam. (Refer to Direct Glue Down Installation for specifications, Section 13.)
Note: For indoor installation of outdoor carpet, follow the procedures outlined in Section ,
except where outdoor conditions may also exist, such as indoor swimming pools, health spas,
and indoor-outdoor patios. Do not use flammable carpet adhesives for any installation in an
enclosed installation.
Table I
Adhesives – Common Types Used in Carpet Installation
A. Carpet Floor Adhesives
1. Latex Adhesive: Common name for adhesives used to install broadloom carpets, excluding
those with vinyl backing, either directly to a substrate or over underlayment and cushion. Refer
to carpet manufacturer for adhesive grade recommendation for specific backings and uses.
2. Multi-purpose Adhesive: A latex adhesive designated for use with varying carpet types as well
as non-vinyl backed (mineral-felt backed) resilient sheet goods.
3. Vinyl-Back Carpet Adhesive: Adhesive specifically formulated for permanent installation of
vinyl back carpet.
4. Modular-Carpet Adhesive: Pressure sensitive type adhesive for releasable installation of
modular carpets. Note: Always consult manufacturer for proper type adhesive.
5. Outdoor Carpet Adhesive: Water resistant adhesive for installations of carpet designed for
outdoor use. Refer to adhesive manufacturer for adhesive grade recommendation for specific
6. Polyurethane Carpet Adhesive: For installing specific polyurethane backings. Refer to
adhesive manufacturer.
7. Contact Adhesive: Used for bonding various carpet edge moldings to a substrate. It can be
used for adhering carpet to difficult or irregular surfaces.
B. Carpet Seaming Adhesives (Seam Sealer)
1. Vinyl-back Seam Adhesive: Solvent-based (chemical weld) or solvent-free (mechanical bond).
2. Latex Seam Adhesive: For applying seaming tapes, reinforcing sewn seams, sealing trimmed
edges prior to “hot melt” seaming, securing binding, etc.
3. Hot Melt Seam Adhesive: A thermoplastic adhesive used for adhesive or stretch-in
Typical Adhesive Applicators for Carpet Installation
Carpet Type
Approximate Spread Rate
Approximate Spread Rate
1/8” x 1/8” x 1/8” U notch
(3.2mm x 3.2mm x 3.2mm)
54 – 90
6 – 10
1/8” x 1/8” x 1/16” U notch
(3.2mm x 3.2mm x 1.6mm)
45 – 72
1/8” x 1/8” x 1/8” V notch
(3.2mm x 3.2mm x 3.2mm)
90 – 108
10 – 12
1/8” x 1/8” x 1/16” V notch
(3.2mm x 3.2mm x 1.6mm)
72 – 90
8 – 10
Carpet: smooth back, attached cushion,
needle punched
3/32” x 3/32” x 3/32” V notch
(2.4mm x 2.4mm x 2.4mm)
90 – 135
10 – 15
Vinyl back carpet, double stick carpet
pad to floor
1/16” x 1/16” x 1/16” Sq. notch
(1.6mm x 1.6mm x 1.6mm)
160 – 180
18 – 20
1/16” x 1/16” x 1/16” U notch
(1.6mm x 1.6mm x 1.6mm)
160 – 180
18 – 20
Carpet: rough back, woven, double stick
carpet to cushion
Carpet: woven propylene, unitary back,
Carpet Tile
Applicator Size
1/16” x 1/32” x 1/32” U notch
(1.6mm x 1.6mm x 0.8mm)
3/8” Nap Paint Roller
220 – 260
350 – 400
24 – 29
35 – 45
Note: Above dimensions are given as width x depth x spacing. Spread rates vary with texture and porosity of the substrate. Trowels should be held at a consistent 45-60° angle to
substrate to apply adhesive. Examine notches regularly for wear.
Notes: The above guidelines should only be used when specific recommendations are not available from the carpet manufacturer and/or the adhesive supplier. Rough, porous
concrete surfaces and heavily textured carpet backs often require trowels with deeper notches than listed above.
Guidelines for Maintaining Indoor Air Quality
During Carpet Installation
• During installation, maintain air circulation by operating the HVAC system at full capacity.
• Vacuum old carpet thoroughly before removal to minimize the amount of dust particles.
Note: When selecting a new vacuum cleaner, look for units bearing the CRI Seal of Approval “Green
Label.” This label identifies vacuums that have been tested and meet minimum standards for dust
containment, soil removal, and carpet appearance retention.
• Vacuum the floor immediately after old carpet and cushion have been removed.
• Continue operating the ventilation system at normal room temperature for up to 72 hours after
• If carpet is to be glued to the floor, use a low-emitting floor covering adhesive. Low-emitting
floor covering adhesives may be identified by the CRI Adhesive Green Label Plus Program
label on the container, or by contacting CRI as indicated below.
• If occupants consider themselves unusually sensitive to chemicals, they may wish to avoid the
area or leave the premises while the old carpet is being removed and the new carpet installed.
• If possible, unroll the carpet in a well-ventilated area for 24 hours or more before installation.
Look for and purchase carpet, carpet cushion and floor covering installation
adhesive products that display the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Indoor Air
Quality label. These three indoor air quality testing programs identify the
products that have been tested and meet stringent indoor air quality
requirements for low emissions. For further information on these programs,
plus the CRI vacuum cleaner testing program, visit our website at
adhesive – A substance that dries to a film capable of holding materials together by surface attachment.
[Applying adhesive to the floor normally is accomplished with a trowel, airless spray, or roller.]
adhesive transfer – When installing carpet, the degree of coverage and/or penetration of the applied adhesive
into the back of carpet, while maintaining full coverage of the floor. [The degree of coverage may be
influenced by adhesive type, method of installation, open assembly time and other factors.]
alkali – A soluble substance with base properties and having a pH greater than 7.
attached cushion – Cushion material permanently bonded to the back of carpet and rugs by the manufacturer.
baseboard – A board skirting the lower edge of a wall, covering the junction of the wall and the floor.
bow – A distortion visible as wavy or crooked lines when viewed across carpet width or length.
calcium chloride test – ASTM F1869 test method that is used to obtain measurements of moisture vapor
emission rates over concrete substrates.
carpet cushion – Material placed under carpet to provide resiliency, support, insulation qualities and noise
reduction. Also referred to as carpet lining, padding, or underlay, although “carpet cushion” is the preferred
industry term.
conditioning – The process of allowing the substrate, carpet, cushion and sundries to relax or acclimate to the
proper environment into which it is to be installed as described in the text.
dead man – A device used in carpet installation to provide a point of resistance for facilitating stretching
procedures. Construction is a board with strips of tack strip attached to the bottom side.
direct glue down – An installation method whereby the carpet is adhered to the floor using the proper
double glue down – An installation method whereby the carpet cushion is first adhered to the floor, and the
carpet is then adhered to the cushion using the proper adhesives.
Double-headed mini-stretcher (crab stretcher) – Hand device used for stretching carpet in a confined area
and aligning patterns where a power stretcher cannot be used and is not practical. Also used for removing
fullness at seams and closing gaps at seams.
dry line – A length of line or cord, which is stretched slightly above the carpet, but not touching the carpet, and
used as a visual reference in pattern alignment. Lasers also may be used in this capacity.
gully – The distance between the tack strip and the wall. A gully should always be slightly less than the
thickness of the carpet and not exceeding 3/8 inch.
HVAC – Acronym for “heating, ventilating, and air conditioning” referring to indoor climate control systems.
knee-kicker – An installation tool designed to position carpet and move it onto the tack strip. [NOTE: With the
exception of stair installation, knee-kickers should only be used for positioning and hooking the carpet onto
the tack strip and not for stretching carpet. A power stretcher, i.e. mechanical stretching device, should
always be used for stretching carpet during installation. See definition of power stretcher.]
modular carpet – Carious shapes and sizes of carpet precut during manufacturing with applied backings.
Backing materials include thermoplastic PVC, polyethylene, polyolefin, bitumen, polyurethane and other
compositions for cushion and dimensional stability. Also referred to as “carpet tiles.”
needlepunched carpet – carpet made of a dense network of yarn fibers having a
open time – The earliest time interval between the spreading of adhesive on a substrate and the placement of
a floor covering material into the adhesive for bonding.
patching – Floor preparation process of filling holes, cracks, and imperfections, etc., in a floor substrate prior
to installation of carpet
pattern bow – A distortion visible as wavy or crooked pattern lines when viewed across carpet width.
pattern elongation – A variation of cumulative pattern measurements from one breadth to the next. Often
referred to as “pattern run-off” or “repeat variation.” [Sequencing of cuts minimizes effects.]
pattern skew – A distortion visible when the pattern on one side is slightly ahead of the pattern on the other
side. Skew, or bias, describes pattern squareness.
pH – A value representing the concentration of hydrogen ions in gram equivalents per liter used to indicate the
acidity or alkalinity (base) of a substance on a scale from 0 to 14 with 7 representing neutrality, numbers
less than 7 increasing acidity, and numbers greater than 7 increasing alkalinity. [Use distilled water for
laboratory and field testing for pH.]
power stretcher (i.e. mechanical stretching device) – A carpet installation tool used to stretch carpet for
installation on the tack strip. Consists of a pinned plate that grips the carpet, tubular extensions, a padded
end used to brace against an opposing wall or other structure, and a lever system that multiplies the
installer’s applied stretching force.
riser – The upright part of a step between two stair treads.
seam – In a carpet installation, the joints or interface of two pieces of carpet by the use of various securing
seam adhesive – A specifically formulated adhesive for securing and protecting cut edges of carpet to be
seam peaking – The slight elevation of taped seams, which usually renders the seam more visible, resulting
from stretching of the carpet. [Sometimes referred to as “seam stress realignment” peaking is a natural and
sometimes unavoidable condition and not the result of a manufacturing or installation defect. For additional
information, refer to CRI Technical Bulletin “Peaking Seams in Stretch-In Carpet Installations.”]
seam sealing (edge sealing) – Common term used to describe the application of seam adhesive to secure
and protect cut edges of carpet to be seamed from edge raveling and delamination.
seaming tape – tape used for joining two sections of carpet. [“Hot melt” tape is pre-coated with a
thermoplastic adhesive. Adhesives may be applied separately to other types of seaming tapes.]
secondary backing – Woven or non-woven fabric reinforcement laminated to the back of tufted carpet, usually
with an adhesive, to enhance dimensional stability, strength, stretch resistance, and ease of handling.
selvage (selvedge) – The lengthwise, factory-finished edge portion of a carpet.
shoe molding – Wood or plastic strip with one corner edge rounded slightly. Used to conceal the floor/wall
line junction or between larger moldings and floors.
stair nose – leading edge of a stair tread. For carpet installation, it is required that this edge be rounded.
stay nailing – A technique of temporarily fastening carpet to the floor using nails to prevent movement until
permanent fastening with tack strips, adhesives, or other means is possible. This technique is commonly
used to align patterned carpet.
stretch-in – Installation method whereby carpet is placed over separate carpet cushion and is secured in
place, under tension, using a power stretcher (mechanical stretching device).
tack strip – Wood strip fastened to the floor near the walls of a room, containing either two or three rows of
pins angled toward the walls on which the carpet is stretched and secured in a stretch-in installation. (Also
referred to as “tackless strip”)
telegraphing – The gradual appearance of irregularities, imperfections, or patterns from a substrate onto the
surface of the carpet or other floor covering.
threshold – The raised material beneath a door. Also known as a “door sill” or “saddle.”
transition molding – A wooden, metal, vinyl, or plastic strip, either quarter round or shoe molding, attached to
the bottom of a baseboard or wall to cover the joint between wall and floor or to cover raw edges of carpet
at doorways or where carpet abuts another type of floor covering. There are two basic types: 1) Applied
before – Shapes put in place before carpet is installed and carpet is fitted to them, commonly called “gripper
bar”; 2) Applied after – Shapes put in place on top of installed carpet commonly called “binder bar.”
tread – The horizontal part (walking surface) of a stair.
trowel – Hand implement used for metering and spreading adhesive to the floor or other substrate.
trueness of edge – Also referred to as lengthwise pattern bow. It is generally measured as maximum deviation
from a straight line, over a defined distance, between common pattern points along the machine direction of
the carpet.
tufted carpet – Carpet manufactured by the process of inserting pile yarns into a primary backing fabric
through needles.
unitary carpet – Carpet backcoated with a compound intended to increase physical properties normally
without the addition of a secondary backing.
plasticizer – A substance incorporated into polyvinyl chloride polymer or other polymers to increase flexibility,
workability, or distensibility (capable of being extended).
working time (may be referred to as slip time) – The length of time available after covering the adhesive with
carpet to make adjustments or manipulate the carpet.
woven carpet – Carpet produced on a loom. The lengthwise (warp) yarns and widthwise (weft or filling) yarns
are interlaced to form the fabric. Carpet weaves, such as Wilton, Axminster and velvet, are complex, often
involving several sets of warp and filling yarns for the pile and backing.
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