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Letters: One standard simplifies carpet installation

Volume 26/Number 19; February 4/11, 2013

Carpet and rugs create a quieter, more comfortable, safer and sustainable environment in homes and businesses. But the carpet value chain consists of a lot more than merely manufacturing the product. Soon after distribution and sale, carpet has to be installed.

In past years, carpet installation was a trade handed down from employer to employee. But the quality of installation work was highly dependent on the quality of on-the-job training programs, as well as how receptive an aspiring installer was to that training.

And that’s where the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) enters the picture. In 2009, CRI, in association with the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), brought the need for an installation standard to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Since 1991, IICRC has specialized in developing carpet industry standards and is approved for writing standards by the prestigious American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

That’s a mouthful of acronyms, but together they are the ingredients necessary to create a quality installation standard.

From 2009 to 2012, IICRC assembled installation experts from major manufacturers, including Shaw, Mohawk and Beaulieu, along with installation trainers and others, to combine their expertise from the installation trades. Over time, some 16 chapters evolved to create the ANSI/IICRC S600 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Installation, or simply, ANSI/IICRC S600.

The highly practical ANSI/IICRC S600 installation standard begins with areas of responsibility for all parties of the carpet value chain, including manufacturers, distributors, specifiers, retailers, architects, designers, installers and consumers/end-users. It continues with discussions about carpet components, carpet cushion and installation equipment, tools and materials.

The section on installation estimating and planning is followed by subfloor preparation and descriptions of both glue-down and stretch-in installation methods, including both their advantages and limitations. The standard concludes by covering specialty installations, patterned carpet installation and carpet installation on stairs.

The ANSI/IICRC S600 carpet installation standard is scheduled for publication by mid-2013, assuming the peer-review process proceeds on schedule.

The standard represents a huge commitment on the part of CRI to elevate the quality of one of Georgia’s most important products: carpet. 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.

(Editors note: The S600 standard replaces existing standards, such as CRI-104 and -105, and its more recent unified carpet installation standard. The most important thing about S600 is that it is a national standard that supersedes all previous carpet installation standards.)

 

Werner Braun, president,

Carpet & Rug Institute