By Don Procter
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you ….”
— Rudyard Kipling
When a floor fails in a new building, virtually every head in the project team turns to the flooring contractor for answers. Often blamed for problems that can cost 10 times as much to remedy as the original installation price, flooring contractors face bad raps for failures that aren’t always their fault, said John McGrath who led “Flooring Disaster: Prevention and Recovery,” a panel discussion at Toronto’s IIDEX Canada, held in December. Flooring contractors can’t be scapegoats, every time a floor fails, he said.
McGrath is director of the International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL). It’s the leading construction-industry-endorsed floorcovering installation and training certification program in North America. He told the seminar that due diligence has to start higher up the contractor chain.
The cause of flooring problems is often related to the condition of the substrate, said panelist Steve Zizek. He is a flooring instructor with the Resilient Floor Workers Training Trust Fund, Carpenters Local 27. Zizek said the substrate can be in poor shape long before the flooring contractor’s arrival on site.