A team of three IVC national installation specialists and a technical service specialist laid down approximately 5,200 sq. ft. of the company’s sheet vinyl and Moduleo LVT in the lobby and showroom of the company’s Dalton, Ga., headquarters recently. The install included what IVC National Installation Specialist Ford Chase calls a new technique: Installing LVT with the use of a Koolglide seaming iron to create custom patterns.

“Custom work with LVT before now has been pretty much non-existent,” Chase said. “You could do custom with a glue-down installation, but on a floating floor you really couldn’t. With wood LVT planks, you’d have to make the end-joints random. With tile, you’d have to offset the tile a minimum of 3 inches, because anywhere four corners met there would be a weak spot. However, using the Koolglide iron works fantastically, and we’ve now bridging that gap where we can do truly custom floors.”

The Koolglide uses radio frequencies to heat the seaming tape below, ensuring that the LVT doesn’t scorch and creating an extremely strong bond with the underside of the flooring. “For the lobby, we cut a circle and arc reminiscent of the IVC logo, and put it together using the Koolglide iron. When the radio frequencies go down through the material, it melts the seam tape underneath and immediately bonds it to the back of the LVT.”

With this new technique, coupled with the dual-fiberglass core and compression locking system of the Moduleo product, he says the possibilities for custom LVT is virtually limitless. “You can inlay logos in the floor, or if there’s a spot where you gouged the tile or board, you can remove the old piece that’s damaged. With the Koolglide, you can do a board replacement in less than 10 minutes.”

The idea for this new technique came from speaking with Robert Varden, executive director of International Certified Floorcovering Installers (CFI) and longtime technical guru for the Koolglide system. “Robert had been doing some tests on repair work, replacing a laminate floor board using the system, as well as LVT. We decided to take it a step further and try doing custom work with it.”

Aside from the lobby, the IVC installation specialists also used Koolglide for portions of the showroom. “In the showroom, we had a diagonal white wood floor meeting a straight-laid dark floor. Where we had that diagonal, we had to cut the locking joint off and run Koolglide down the whole seam. It really opened up the possibilities, and we’ve really gone beyond just single board or tile replacements with the system.”

The full install took four days, including two for the lobby. “The lobby has ceramic tile underneath, and we put a thin, contractor-grade vinyl over that in case we want to use the ceramic tile again. Then we laid the LVT over the top.”

Chase said he plans on taking these techniques on the road with him to demonstrate the new installation method. He said these types of breakthroughs are one of the main reasons to stay trained. “I tell the guys all the time, I’ve been doing this for more than 40 years, but if I’d just stayed where I was at without trying to educate myself, I might have great knife skills but I would be lost. It’s a matter of work ethic, of who takes this job as a profession and who sees it simply as a paycheck.”

For more information on IVC US, visit www.ivcgroup.us.