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Welcome one and all, to the big show! For those of you attending Surfaces you know your feet will complain and your wallets may be drained. But remember you are here to look, listening and learn about new products and proper applications.

On a heartfelt, somber note: one of the biggest little men in our industry will not be with us this year at market, Howard Olansky. I valued my relationship with this man in many ways; his professionalism, candidness and work ethic will be forever ingrained in our hearts and minds. Those of you who were lucky enough in life to know him understand what I’m saying. He told me many years ago after my first article (which I thought would be my last), “What you write may not be popular with all of our audience but it needs to be said.” And with those words of encouragement always in my mind I will continue to sit at my keyboard and ponder the written word, with Howard always on my mind!

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As I stated in the last article, more information on repairs was coming and here it is! There is very little glamour in floorcovering installation. Most customers or end users aren’t around during the hard work part, the actual installation. The glamour does not kick in until you have a finished product. That’s when you look back at all the obstacles you over came and say, “Looks Good!” For those of you who do night work (after hours while the business is closed) it can be downright taxing on both equipment and personnel. Not only is it hard to switch from days to nights, but also scheduling and making sure everything is needed for the night shift to be productive can be a challenge for everyone involved.

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But let’s take it one step further. Let’s look at restaurant work. You have even less time to do the actual installation because of the routines the food service industry has. Cleaning up from the meals prepared that day plus the preparation needed for the following day’s menu. But what if you are repairing the kitchen area? This is the last place that the restaurant’s personnel leave for the night! The dinning room carpet replacement is usually pretty straightforward; move the tables and chairs, pull up transitions/moldings, maybe some base, and pull the carpet. Prep the substrate and reinstall the new goods; this is not as simple as it sounds. But restaurant kitchens are a little different; they cannot close down for several days due to lost revenue. If they aren’t serving food they don’t make money! So very seldom do you get more than 8-10 hours a night to do a good job! Oh and what about the equipment that must be moved? Ever tried to find a plummer or gasman at midnight? How about moving the dish line or the cook’s line? Nothing glamorous about grease and grime.

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I was given an invitation to visit some repairs being done (at night in a restaurant) by a very good friend of mine, Roy Frock of Gray Flooring located in New Kensington, Pa. Although Gray Flooring did not do the failed installation he was willing to repair/replace the areas that had failed.

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He said “Come on down” but don’t slow them down! Paul Keil, the foreman, was nice enough to allow me on the job but probably won’t invite me out again anytime soon because I asked too many questions. The other mechanics, Tony Smatana and Jerry Mormur, didn’t mind me at the job site cause I was a great gopher; “Gopher the coffee and donuts will you Bill?” But I think they said that just to get me out of the way for a little while.

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Photos 1and2show the lack of glamour in both visual and scented stimulation. You can see what was underneath the floor (do to the lack of proper installation the first time) and the smell would make you lose your lunch! Note the rubber gloves in use.

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After cleaning up the muck and drying out the substrate the prep can now begin.Photos 3and4show the grinding of the concrete to remove the old epoxy using a vacuum-equipped hand held surface grinder (Photo 5).

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Extra attention at the drains is a must for proper drainage;Photos 6and7show the patching needed to get the desired slop.

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InPhotos 8and9, you can see what happens when this detail is NOT done properly.

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After the hole is cut for the drain, the adhesive is mixed (Photo 10), applied to the subfloor, and the goods are set in place.

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Note the use of a scrap piece as a precaution while mixing. Even if you’re mixing on the old floor that will be replaced the next day, keeping your work area clean just makes good sense. The properly mixed adhesive is then applied, with the seam sealer also used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications (Photo 10A).

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Cleaning excess adhesive from the drain grate (face plate) also makes good sense (Photo 11). Do we stop here and go home for the day? Did we miss something in our drain detail?

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Photo 12shows an ad hoc weight with a cutout ring beneath to be left overnight and for what?

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Photo 13shows the reason, to get the proper slope! More to come in Details and What They Entail III. Thanks again for reading “You Make the Call.” Have a great day!