Testing Moisture in Concrete

The Layman’s Guide to Testing Moisture In Concrete

by Charles Milledge
Some days I think I spend about half of my work day answering questions about concrete moisture and test procedures.

Anhydrous Calcium Chloride Moisture Vapor Testing – The CaCl Test

ASTM – F1869-11 Standard Test Method for Measuring Moisture Vapor Emission Rate of Concrete Subfloor using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride is the guide that needs to be followed to correctly set a CaCl test. Here are the boiled down basics for doing this correctly. (more…)

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Plywood Underlayment Direction

Impact of Plywood Underlayment Direction¹

By Frank Woeste and Peter Nielsen

Beginning in 2007, the TCA Handbook for Ceramic Tile Installation listed in bold print the following requirement for two-layer wood sheathing installation methods:

  • face grain of plywood shall run perpendicular to joists for maximum stiffness.

Should the tile contractor or other interested parties be concerned whether or not the plywood underlayment runs perpendicular to the joists? (more…)

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The Decline of Carpet

The decline in carpet is due to one thing and one thing only: Poor quality.

Our industry has killed itself by selling products designed to meet a price point over tangible performance. The worthless warranties and those who sell them are only nails in the coffin.

The increase in hard surface sales IS NOT because people like living on hard surfaces and IT’S NOT about indoor air quality. (more…)

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Dilemma of Flooring Choices

The Dilemma of Appropriate Flooring Choices

Home-ownership comes with many decisions – flooring being one of the most important. Like roofing, flooring is a requirement for Western Living Standards. So many choices on the market make it a daunting task for the homeowner. Oftentimes choice is based on trends instead of what is needed. The aesthetics, or “look” of the floor outweigh the importance of the material chosen.

Flooring decisions need to be made based on several factors, not just “the look.” Too many times a homeowner’s disappointment with a floor has nothing to do with the flooring, but everything to do with personal expectations. (more…)

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Glossary of Tile Terminology

The Most Comprehensive Glossary of Ceramic & Stone Tile Terminology Online

Although this may be the most comprehensive list of tile terminology you can find, it is by no means complete. Glossaries and tile articles from around the Internet have been researched to compile this list and it is an ongoing project. If you know a term related to ceramic or stone tile that is not listed here, please use the comment form to add it. In return, we will link to your professional flooring related website. You might also spot a mistake in our glossary, or feel additional information should be provided. Please use the comment form below to inform us so we can continue to make this the finest place for flooring information on the web. (more…)

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Patterned Carpet On Stairs

An interesting question from a member came up on The Floor Pro Community forums (it happens all the time) and deserves a detailed answer. First, the question paraphrased:

I got into a discussion with a designer about running matches in patterned carpet on steps. She said the pattern should be in the same spot on each step. The designer suggested that every installer should know this. My belief is, if the carpet is left in a continuous piece, the pattern matches, but if cut to align a pattern on each step, the run of the carpet will not match. Which way is the right way?

While the customer is not always correct, they do deserve to have things done to fit their desire or definition of correct despite whether we believe it to be obtuse or ugly. That being said, in terms of design there are several factors to consider. (more…)

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Where Are The Installation Instructions?

Forum DiscussionRecently, a topic on The Floor Pro Community forums was started, seeking installation information and tips about a specific product sold by a popular flooring franchise. I searched several of the franchise websites and pages looking for actual installation instructions for the product. I found nothing more than marketspeak – no instructions. I called their corporate offices and, after being shuffled around a little, spoke to a woman who didn’t seem to understand the concept of a website that offers support to flooring professionals, consumers and DIYers. She seemed confused about our desire to provide links to installation instructions.

This is discouraging. I feel like I have totally failed in the mission of The Floor Pro Community. I understand that many people and organizations haven’t heard of us. To not even understand that vital information, like installation instructions, should be easily available just baffles me. (more…)

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The Formula for Profiting On In-House Labor

This covers an aspect of business I have not heard much on around the various flooring sites. Perhaps you have and you may find this repetitive or boring. If so, my apologies. However, for those who have not, the point I hope to share comes from a pivotal point in my wife’s and my business becoming truly profitable. So here goes…

It would be easy to say the best formula for profit margins is to always have our income exceed our out-go. That’s really silly, it’s like saying the best way to avoid accidents is to not have them. You might need to read that sentence again. I know, it’s an obvious point. The problem is, doing the obvious is not always as easy as identifying it. (more…)

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VALUE – Where is it Found in Installation

For years the term value has been bandied about throughout the flooring industry, but when it comes to excellent installation where is the value?

Until recently the real value associated with installation of flooring products has only received lip-service from retailers trying to close a sale by consoling customers who’ve previously felt the sting of poorly installed products.

“Will it wrinkle, bubble . . . what happens if it starts to come up?” These are only some of the questions asked by concerned customers at the point of sale. Generally, the salesperson will answer, “Oh, our installers are the best and we provide full warranty.” However, being the best is not always reflected in an installer’s pay. Moreover, why would a salesperson say their installers are the best then go on to undo that thought by mentioning full warranty in the same sentence? (more…)

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Cement Boards Over a Slab

Using Cement Boards Over Concrete Slab Construction

It seems that ceramic tile installation has an abundance of myths that pop up all too frequently regarding Do-It-Yourselfers on “help forums” and DIY websites. So-called tile experts offer advice and opinions based on, well… I’m not sure what some of the comments are based on or where some people get their (mis)information to tell you the truth. I want to address the subject of installing cement board products over a concrete substrate.

It is imagined by some that products like Durock, Hardibacker and others can be used to fix imperfections in the surface of concrete or to override a previously painted or sealed concrete surface. Installing tile over painted or sealed surfaces is usually not good practice. (more…)

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