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Carpet standards available for public review

Will greatly impact business operations

Volume 26/Number 20; February 18/25, 2013

Vancouver, Wash.—In 2009, industry forces came together to work on creating a national carpet installation standard under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Shortly thereafter, a similar standard was begun for the inspecting of carpet. Known as S600 Carpet Installation Standard and Reference Guide, and S800 Carpet Inspector Standard and Reference Guide, these two standards are now available for public review and comment.

Spearheaded by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and sponsored by the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), with input from numerous organizations such as the International Certified Floorcovering Association (CFI) and the International Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL), manufacturers and others, the standards have been hailed as important documents for the industry moving forward. One of the key reasons for this is S600, for example, will replace CRI’s long-acknowledged 104 and 105 installation guidelines.

Referring to just the S600 standard, Werner Braun, CRI’s president, wrote in a Letter to the Editor, “The standard represents a huge commitment… It provides consumer assurance that the carpet value chain will not be broken, all the way from fiber production to a quality finished flooring installation. And that’s good news for all of us.” (FCNews, Feb. 4/11).

WFCA’s former CEO, Chris Davis, who helped lead the charge for creating these nationalized standards before passing away last year, said, “If you look at other industries where ANSI standards have been implemented, what you will see is clarification of responsibilities and improved professionalism—resulting in fewer problems and thus, fewer claims—which really enhances consumer satisfaction.

In terms of what S600 will do for carpet installation, S800 is expected to do the same for those involved in the inspection of textile floor coverings. Simply put, it establishes a procedural standard and reference guide for a professional inspection to take place.

The draft versions of both standards are available for public review until March 11. All comments must be submitted no later than this date, and by way of the ANSI process, all comments must be addressed before the standards can become official.

Robert Varden, CFI executive director, urged members and the industry to review the documents and provide input. “This is an important step in elevating carpet installation to the next level. Without your support, things do not change…It is very important that you become a part of changing this industry.”

To obtain a copy of the standard and comment forms, contact Mili Washington, IICRC standards director, at mili@iicrc.org or call 360.693.5675.