The CFI 45-page Installation Resource Manual was recently introduced at the Patterned Carpet Workshop in Kansas City, Mo. The installation guidelines are a valuable tool. Always follow the Manufacturer’s recommendations. The guide will prove useful in the absence of such. This issue, CFI offers helpful advice if “SKEW or BIAS” pattern tolerances are present. Definition of SKEW – This condition exists when the face yarn of a carpet is set on secondary backing in such a way that the face yarn is not square with that backing. Distortion is noticeable when the pattern on one side is slightly ahead of pattern on opposite side.

If the skew is no more than 2 inches in 12 feet, the following procedures should correct the problem when implemented by a qualified installation contractor who is paid according to the work and time involved.

The use of a powerstretcher and deadman is mandatory. If a direct-glue installation is involved, stay nails may also be required.

To check for skew CFI’s recommended tolerance is 2 inches in 12 feet. Some patterned carpets display 4-5 patterns – length, width and multi-diagonals. Often the length, width and one diagonal will match, but the other diagonal (or two) may be off. 1. Position carpenter’s square at selvage edge of carpet and align with pattern along the length 2. Lay 6-foot straightedge on top of or beside carpenter’s square aligned across the width to ensure that the straightedge is at a 90-degree angle to the straight tufted rows 3. Hold a dryline (dry chalkline) at the top of the carpenter’s square along the 6-foot straightedge 4. Extend dryline 12-feet across the width of the carpet from one side to the other side 5. Measure pattern on the left side up to the dryline and measure the same pattern on the right side to the dryline 6. If the difference is greater than 2-inches, contact the Manufacturer. B. To correct skew A – Bottom left corner B – Top left corner C – Top right corner D – Bottom right corner 1. Prior to proceeding, check the room for squareness 2. Cut carpet across width on the skewed pattern and allow a minimum of one additional pattern in length 3. With the powerstretcher, start in corner A and set 3-feet in each direction 4. Use the powerstretcher to stretch the carpet from A to B - do not overstretch 5. Set and tuck the carpet along wall A-B Do not trim wall B-C at corner B at this time 6. If carpet is running away from wall A-D, continue as follows: 7. Set powerstretcher from wall A-B at a 15-20 degree angle toward corner D 8. Stretch carpet and hang it on the tackstrip, do not trim 9. Consider it normal for ripples to appear in the length and width of the carpet 10. Continue by setting wall A-D with powerstretcher; kneekicker is acceptable if minimal movement is required 11. Stretch from B-C wall to A-D wall; maintain pattern alignment on wall A-D 12. Stretch at an angle to move bubbles toward corner D. 13. Continue to stretch from wall A-B to wall D-C, keeping pattern aligned; do not trim 14. Use tape measure or dryline to periodically check the measurements or the pattern alignment from A-B wall to C–D wall 15. Once this is accomplished, stretch from A-D wall to B-C wall Keep patterns aligned. Prior to trimming in the carpet, all patterns must be aligned. For additional information, visit the CFI website or register for the CFI Installation Inspector Course designed for all in the industry who work with flooring contractors. The ability to communicate is a very important asset in achieving customer satisfaction.