Commercial carpet installation requires planning, attention to detail and meticulous workmanship. The benefit of such painstaking perfection is that it extends the life of the carpet, promotes a safe environment and creates an attractive and functional workspace. Being properly prepared and knowing what to expect beforehand makes the process go much smoother.
Commercial carpet installation requires a team effort. If applicable, painting and drywall should be completed before carpet installation occurs. Office furniture and equipment must be moved. All electronics, equipment and computers must be disassembled and moved to ensure their safety. Some equipment, such as vending machines or copiers, should be moved by the manufacturer or warrantees could be voided.
Interior doors may also need to be removed temporarily to accommodate the large rolls of carpet that will be moved throughout the building. Professional installers should be made aware of any security systems or alarms present in the building, as well as the locking-up procedures.
Glue-down carpet installation can be done in two ways for commercial application:
1. The carpet can be glued directly to the floor. When padding is not used, the floor must be very smooth or imperfections could be obvious. The advantage of this method is the carpet will have minimal movement and will better accommodate rolling traffic such as wheelchairs or carts. This method is suitable for ramps, flooring transitions and large areas. Some of the drawbacks of this method are the carpet can be less comfortable and less insulated, and its durability can be compromised.
2. Double glue-down carpet installation glues padding to the floor first, and then glues carpet to the padding. Special padding must be used in this process. The advantages are increased comfort and insulation, as well as extended durability. This method requires additional time to allow the flooring adhesives to cure before traffic can be introduced to the area. Additional cost is a consideration with this method—the added supplies and eventual removal are more expensive.
Step by Step
The following is a general outline of the common method for commercial carpet installation:
1. Remove the old carpet and padding. The new carpet must be installed on a clean surface. Remove moldings, cove bases and any trim that might hinder carpet removal. Remove the old carpet by rolling it, starting at one end of the room.
2. Begin with a carpet strip that overlaps the floor area by at least 4 inches (10.2 centimeters). Measure the room at its longest point and add 4 to 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 centimeters) to that measurement. Excess can be removed but not easily added.
3. Sometimes the carpet is cut from the topside of the carpet, and sometimes it is cut from the backside with a sharp utility knife and straightedge. Make sure you put scrap board underneath if you’re cutting on top of other carpet in order to protect the underlying surface.
4. Trim the carpet in each doorway so the edge is centered underneath the closed door. Finally, install a door-edge strip to hide any gaps or transitions.
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) provides commercial installers with detailed principles and guidelines for carpet installation. CRI 105 Commercial Installation Standards were created by the industry. In 2015, the CRI updated the 105 standards, addressing innovations that require new methods for carpet installation—specifically planning and subfloor preparation. This document reviews all aspects of commercial carpet installation including:
1. Storage standards dictate that carpets must be kept in a climate-controlled, dry space and that they must be protected from dirt and moisture. Stacking heavy objects on carpet is prohibited.
2. Handling standards seek to prevent damage and distortion. Guidelines dictate that carpets must not be bent or folded. If this is unavoidable, the carpet must be unfolded immediately upon arrival at the installation site.
3. Planning standards require scale drawings to determine the type of carpet, quantity, installation method, cushioned backing, adhesives, transition molding and seam locations that are required. The planning process must be followed to avoid costly mistakes.
4. This document goes into great detail about how to safely and effectively deal with alkalinity, humidity and ambient temperatures, among many other considerations.
Tom Mikulski is the founder and president of Commercial Flooring & Interior Concepts, Inc. Call 732-542-0022 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the company’s services.
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