Bill Baxley has been a floor covering inspector, specializing in resilient, wood, and carpet products, for the past decade. He is certified by the Floor Covering Institute of Technical Services, and is CFI certified for residential and commercial installations.
It’s the last thing to be
installed before your tools get put away; it was either wall base or carpet
base and pretty much was installed the same. Carpet base (years ago) had an
advantage because the length was determined by the roll size of the carpet.
Wall base was (years ago) manufactured in four-foot lengths but that too
changed, and 120-foot coils are available to speed the installation process. As
a visual extension of the flooring to the transitioning from a horizontal to
the vertical plane, wall/cove base has come a long way in a relatively short
Well, the holidays are over, the
work is (for the most part in my area) spotty at best, and we have a new
president coming into office. Changes are coming (inevitably), including your
New Year’s resolution. Do you have one yet? Here’s one I came up with after
viewing the photos for this article. May we all resolve to do a better job
regardless of the task at hand! Because your work is your signature and the
quality of your work is the calling card. Remember all those one-liners your
parents or mentors taught you, like “Your Word is Your Bond” and “Any Job Worth
Doing is Worth Doing Right”? The older I get the more I seem to use those
one-liners. So in the spirit of “Quality Work” in mind, let’s practice our
powers of observation and take a look at a couple installations, playing a
well-known game in my house, twenty questions. And we’ll see if “You Make the
In the last article I showed you
what was happening in the basement of a three-year-old, multi-million dollar
healthcare facility. The cheapest fix for the basement area was to replace the
vinyl with carpet and turn up the dehumidifiers.
Hey, I know it’s an old saying
from a butter commercial, but it seems appropriate for this “Best of the Worst”
or “Shock and Awe” type article. The following information and photos are for
learning proposes only. They are for your visual pleasure and are intended for
mature audiences; any rebroadcast or misuse without written permission from FCI
and ME is strictly prohibited. The names have been changed to protect the
innocent; the events and time line are real and used as a teaching tool for
those who choose to pay attention. All others can keep their comments to
themselves or share them with one of their equal intolerants. OK, now that the
political lingo is out of the way let’s get to it!
As a child I walked a lot with my
head hung low, looking at the ground beneath me watching every step I took,
being sure to not step on a crack because, of course, that would break my
mother’s back! As a flooring guy I still spend a lot of time with my head down,
looking at every floor I walk over, wherever I go. I can’t help myself; I
critique every substrate I cross watching the endless combinations of flooring
and how they transition from one type of floor to another. The majority of you
reading this do the very same thing; sure you do and that’s ok. It means you’re
paying attention; life has tripped you up so many times that you are trained to
be cautious of that dreaded next step!
The March Issue of FCI had some really
great information about cracking in ceramic floors and concrete joints. So, I
was prompted to show some examples of what a worst-case scenario can look like in
a VCT installation when the GC and flooring contractor ignore the job site
details regarding the concrete subfloor.
Tack strip is a pretty generic item in our
industry right? Wrong. Invented in 1938, there has been very little change to
its physical composition. Plywood in different widths, pins and nails in
different sizes, and tensile strengths-this is all we have seen in the way of
change. But many of us in this trade never saw the first pieces of stick and
only get a glimpse of the past when a very old carpet is replaced. But I assure
you there has been change.
are so many types of underlayment available to the retailer/installer these
days that it is hard to keep track of them all. A quick history lesson is in
order here to understand what and why we have OSB, OFB, Plywood-Birch,
Plywood-Poplar, Meranti and Lauan/Mahogany. Which one is best for your
This is one of the fun issues we do at FCI magazine, Troubleshooting. As part of your customer service from installers, retailers and distributors, being a problem solver and troubleshooter is both a benefit and a burden.
will be, hopefully, the final drain detail on this subject. But never say
never, right? That’s floor covering for you. We all need to pay attention to
the particular job site conditions we are confronted with on a daily basis.
Most of the time moisture problems are from the bottom up. A green slab, with
the resulting high levels of water vapor emissions, is just one type of several
possible moisture-related problems found in the field.
In the May 2020 issue of FCI, Custom Building Products' Will White walks us through a
brief history of gauged porcelain tile panels and how the category grew from a niche product to a popular flooring option with millions of square feet manufactured, sold and successfully installed.