It is essential that commercial carpet is fitted by experienced Installers who are familiar with all the different types of carpet constructions and qualified to undertake the installation and complete it to the highest standard.
The quality of the carpet installation is largely determined by the quality of the subfloor over which the carpet is laid. Concrete subfloors should be smooth, sufficiently cured and free of oil and dust. Wooden subfloors should be structurally sound, level and free of moisture, oil and dust.
It is essential that commercial carpet is fitted in accordance with BS5325 code of practice and by experienced installers who are familiar with all the different types of carpet constructions and are qualified to undertake the installation and complete to the highest standards.
The actual method of installation; Stretch Fit, Double Stick, or Direct Glue Down will depend on factors such as the carpet construction, area of intended use, traffic patterns and must be discussed and agreed between the installer and the person responsible on site.
For conventional stretched installations, machine seaming, hot-melt tape seaming, silva-seaming, or hand-sewing are the preferred methods. Hand sewing is a highly skilled process and carried out rarely today as it is dependent on the skill and experience of the installer. In addition, it is more difficult to carry out with a synthetic backing and was more traditionally used with jute and cotton.
It will be necessary to trim carpet with selvedges prior to seaming. The installer must be careful not to cut any face yarn and then must seal the edges with a recommended seam sealant to prevent the loss of any tufts. When seaming there should be no gaps between the two edges of the carpet, and no tufts trapped between them.
At the quantification stage of a project the specifier should determine where they would like placement of seams. It will be important to avoid high traffic areas and doorways as the seams will come under greater scrutiny in these areas. As part of this consideration is also the pile direction of the carpet. Typically, it is good to have the pile running the direction of the main traffic and towards the entrances.
Underlay provides increased underfoot comfort and supports the resilience of the carpet. There are different types of underlay available depending on the method of installation, ie. Stretch Fit, Double Stick or Direct Glue Down. There are more felt underlays available today using recycled carpet and they can be used with underfloor heating and classified with Tog ratings which measures the transfer of heat through the underlay and carpet.
The installer should have the areas to be carpeted available for their use and free from other trades and activities. The carpet should be unrolled and allowed to relax and acclimatise prior to installation.
During the winter the carpet must be stored in an area that is of the same or similar temperature as to the area to be installed in . Any storage facilities utilised prior to installation should be clean and dry and the carpet should be protected to avoid any damage. The carpet should be inspected before starting any cutting or installation and any concerns should be reported to the manufacturer immediately.
Once the carpet is installed, it is often necessary for other trades to pass over the carpet to continue their work. In this instance, it is essential that a permeable membrane or timber board be used to protect the carpet. The use of an impermeable membrane or similar material can cause permanent damage and change its appearance like water marking or shading.
Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is the total quantity of visible and useable light reflected by a surface in all directions and at all wavelengths when illuminated by a light source. (ref. British Standard BS 8300:2001/A1:2005). This is typically referenced when trying to match accessories like nosings, trims, and stairrods to the carpet.
For commercial installation the Contract Flooring Association produce “The Guide to Contract Flooring” which is updated every 5 years. This is unique in that it provides the only single volume of installation guidance for the industry. It speaks about all of the main British Standards as its main point of reference here
The National Institute of Carpet Fitters (NICF) offer a similar guide document for the residential market here. The CFA also suggest trade bodies that provide an excellent resource for quality installation for the specification market. The CFA and NICF also help train the industry, including apprenticeships through FITA here. In the North American market the Carpet & Rug Institute also offer advice and guidance on carpet installation here