A reader takes the industry to task.

Dear FCI,

As an installer of 30 years who has worked with carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile and wood flooring, it is disgusting to see the quality of both installations and materials today. Tackless strip and carpet have lessened in quality to the point that it makes installations difficult even for an experienced installer. Tackless tacks down from 82 to 56. Installation nails on concrete strip spaced farther apart to save one nail per strip.

The spray crete used as an adhesive for secondary backing. It is brittle, flakes off when scratched, and breaks apart when bent. The primary backing delaminates with water, or if too much cleaning liquid is used. Talk to a factory representative and he says, “I don’t make the stuff, I just sell it.”

Try to cut one wire to do a repair: Impossible. It falls apart. Pad is specified – can’t use a soft pad. Latex seams and edges. Why? So it doesn’t fall apart. Use a beveled weight on the seam so it doesn’t peak. Could it be the quality of the carpet? Pure, unadulterated garbage.

And then there are the installers. Installers that nail tackless ½- to ¾-inches from the wall, pieces 6 to 8 inches with one nail, that do not form fit around the trim and doorways, that trim with a knife instead of a trimmer and slice the baseboards. I watched one installer and asked him if he would do at home what he was doing on the job. “Do what?” he replied. ‘Nuff said.

I could go on and on, but it wouldn’t make any difference. Carpet manufacturers cut quality and raise prices. Tackless manufacturers cut quality and raise prices. Name of the game.

Sincerely,

John L. Bellini

Fort Myers, FL