Installers are creatures of habit. When the seaming iron was first introduced to me, I took it back to my distributor telling him that hand-sewing was the best choice and the tool would never last. I was wrong then, but after recently using two new tools that are going to revolutionize seaming, I won't treat them as I did the seaming iron. I can assure you that the new seaming systems are installer friendly and here to stay.

Over a year ago, Seam Master introduced me to the Kool Glide Seaming System that uses SINCH technology. It caught my eye because the tape was heated through the carpet. A prototype of the Kool Glide tool was given to me and I was asked to report on my experience. It operates with a specifically designed tape manufactured by SEAM MASTER. One of the special features of this tape is that it is designed to eliminate seam peaking. Seam Master provides a DVD explaining in detail the use of the tool.

This system allows the installer to view the appearance of the seam before it is completed. Corrections can be made without removing the carpet or completely remaking the seam. The basic methods of seam construction have not changed. The arrows on the sides of the iron indicate the energy field.

The guide that goes in front helps to center the tape and the tool.

We never worry about setting the tool on the face pile of the carpet because it does not get hot. It releases a minimal amount of heat, which eliminates discoloration and distortion. The tool generates no smoke.

It is an excellent tool for repairs. We can use a cookie cutter in a smaller area or cut a larger section of a torn or stained area. The great thing about this is that the work is done from the face of the carpet with no removal involved.

Double-glue installation just became easier for us. This tool does not come in contact with the adhesive on the cushion because it operates on top of the carpet.

The Kool Glide Tool will also revolutionize the manner in which patterned carpet is installed, acting as the "stay nails" for matching patterns. After using the tool, I am convinced that the possibilities for its use are limitless.

Another new tool is the Vacuum Board invented by Daniel Bennett, a flooring installer. By using it behind the seaming iron, we have found it enhances our seam construction. The advantage of using a Vacuum Board is the thermoplastic is actually pulled up into the backing by suction. This keeps the tape flat and helps to eliminate seam ledging. It incorporates a vacuum device that immediately draws the heat out of the seams. It increases the speed of the installation, while improving the quality of the seams.

The tool slides as it places a tremendous amount of suction on the carpet while at the same time placing a uniform pressure downward. It is draws the air through the carpet, which is immediately cooled. Once the seam is completed, it is almost impossible to pull apart. There is no waiting to powerstretch.

We see these tools as the future of carpet seaming. The times are changing and we, as installation professionals must look into the possibilities of improving our seams because these are our signatures for the world to see.