2000 was another great year for learning ways to improve on installation techniques, as well as pick up some new ones from the FCI stable of experts. To test your recall, pick up a pen or pencil, find a quiet place, and try and come up with the correct answers to the questions listed below.

1. There are three methods that can be used to measure the alkalinity of a concrete slab: the pH paper test, the pH pencil test, and the pH meter test.
a. True
b. False

2. The Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation is published annually by:
a. ANSI
b. ASTM
c. ISO
d. TCA

3. There is an industry standard for moisture testing.
a. True
b. False

4. Jobsite conditions, such as humidity and temperature, determine adhesive open time. Should the installer take such factors into consideration when a job is being installed in the winter as opposed to the summer?
a. Yes
b. No

5. Over-watering a mix of floor patch will lower the compressive strength and increase the shrinkage of the final set.
a. True
b. False

6. Speaker wires, cable wires, and telephone wires can be installed under the carpet if you glue them to the side of the tackless strip with a glue gun.
a. True
b. False

7. Yellowing of vinyl floor coverings is always the fault of the installer.
a. True
b. False

8. The use of the incorrect size of notched trowel will not affect the set-up time of adhesives.
a. True
b. False

9. You can minimize baseboard damage when installing tackless strip by:
a. Placing a white rubber cap on the head of your hammer.
b. Using a hammer tacker.
c. Glue down the tackless.

10. Can latex adhesive be installed over existing latex adhesive when replacing an old resilient floor?
a. Yes
b. No

11. How many different formulations of adhesive are available to floor covering installers?
a. Two
b. Three
c. Four
d. Six

12. Most laminate flooring must be installed as a floating floor system with the ability to expand or contract unrestricted.
a. True
b. False

Answers to the “Best Job Practices Annual Quiz”

1. a. True – The most destructive area of moisture problems is the slab’s alkaline condition.

2. d. TCA – The TCA publishes an updated handbook each year.

3. a. True – In 1998 the ASTM adopted standards for testing moisture vapor emissions in a concrete slab (ASTM #F-1869-98).

4. a. Yes – Labels or data sheets are guidelines, not absolutes.

5. a. True – The mix recommended by the manufacturer allows for required setting time and compressive strength.

6. a. True – But don’t try it with electrical wires.

7. b. False – The yellowing can be caused by site-related extreme overexposure to direct sunlight.

8. b. False – Size does matter. If an installer uses a trowel with larger notches than recommended, a longer set-up time will be required. The reverse is also true (using a trowel with smaller-than-recommended notches will result in a too-quick set up and a proper bond will not be provided).

9. a. or c. – A helper must learn how to properly gauge the spacing from the wall to minimize damage.

10. b. No – When a non-solvent latex adhesive is applied over an existing solvent-based latex adhesive, oils can be leached out of the new adhesive by the old oil-starved adhesive, resulting in bond failure.

11. c. Four – Solvent rubber; SBR latex; acrylic; and urethane.

12. a. True – The expansion gap or joint is a must for long-term performance in laminate flooring without problems.