On most jobs, the cost of adhesive accounts for a very small portion of the total cost, perhaps three percent or less. Therefore, cheap adhesive doesn't offer much potential for savings. The practice often produces job failures, which result in expensive callbacks. In most cases, it's far more cost effective to avoid callbacks by using proper materials to perform the work.

Consideration must be given to open time, working properties, ability to bond the adherents, drying rate, grab, water resistance, VOC emissions, odor and similar product issues. All this information is provided on labels and data sheets. Too often, this information is ignored by all concerned, including contractors, installers and distributors.

Inferior and/or improper materials that are often used on jobs can cause a variety of problems. This generalization applies equally to adhesives, carpet, resilient flooring materials, cove base and just about anything used on the job.

There are three main reasons why the wrong products are used: excessive concern about buying at the lowest possible price; insufficient knowledge of what is required for good results; and poor advice from a distributor, manufacturer's salesperson or another installer. Most manufacturers continually improve their products or change formulations when their raw materials suppliers introduce new items that produce less odor or better grab.

Sometimes the manufacturers drop raw materials that they used to purchase. Therefore it's a good practice to review labels or data sheets for application tips and warnings, and to make sure that everyone involved is familiar with them.

Obviously, careful planning is crucial to performing a job as efficiently as possible. Planning contributes to job profit in three important ways. First, it generates an appropriate price for the circumstances, i.e. the quote is based on reliable data, not on guesses. Second, it allows you to control the cost of the work as it is done; and third, it allows you to anticipate and avoid problems that otherwise might have detrimental impact on costs, quality, or customer satisfaction.

A large portion of commercial work is awarded on the basis of competitive bids. Bids should be based on a build-up of labor (time and rate), material required (take-offs from plans), overhead and profits. Job planning is essential to cost control. Without it, waste and delays creep into the work. Material can be misused, lost or stolen. Labor productivity can decline because of poor scheduling, inadequate supervision and mistakes.

Planning, to anticipate and avoid problems, has many facets. For instance, laying out the job in advance helps you to properly locate seams. Other important aspects of planning include preparation of substrates, crew scheduling, and making provisions for unusual job conditions. With adhesive-installed carpet or resilient floors, it is important to schedule the work so that the adhesive will be used properly within its open time, which allows it to dry safely and solidly.

12 Steps to Assure a Good Glue-Down Job

1. Visit the job site a day or two before the installation is scheduled.

2. Ask the wholesaler and/or the dealer if they have any installation instructions available for the carpet being installed.

3. Plan the work day.

4. Assemble the proper installation materials and tools required prior to the day of the installation.

5. Read and follow any special precautions and special instructions on adhesive labels and other product direction sheets.

6. Prepare the job site for the work to be done.

7. If the job is glue-down, use fresh adhesive.

8. Use the correct quantity of adhesive required for the carpet backing and the substrate.

9. Plan and control the evaporation of the vehicle in the adhesive.

10. Assure an intimate bond by following the rolling procedures of the carpet and adhesive manufacturers.

11. Clean up job site and tools.

12. Compare actual results to those planned.