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Unread 12-20-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
ddmoit
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The "C" Word

OK, slightly off topic, but I know that there are some floor covering specialists among the tile pros and DIYer's here.

I intend to have some carpet installed in a basement hallway and the stairs to the basement. The stairs are your typical wooden stairs. The floor is a concrete slab with 9" asphalt tiles in remarkably good shape for the 3+ decades they've been down.

I'd like to go with a low pile, "commercial grade" carpet in some neutral gray color. I don't think I need/want padding. It will be the only carpeting in the house. Mainly what I'm trying to do is establish a dirt and sand barrier between the floors. My two dogs have access to a pet door in the basement. I'd like to trap most of the dirt they bring in before they make it upstairs. I'd rather vacuum a carpet frequently than have to sweep or vacuum the entire upstairs on a near daily basis.

I'll probably hire it done, but I'd like to know the correct installation process. Do the 9" tiles have to come up? I'm assuming this is a glue job. Really I'm completely ignorant on what needs to be done.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 08:03 PM   #2
Saldibs
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I can think of a good reason to leave that asphalt tile down if you can, Asbestos is in it. If the tile is down tight you can cement the carpet right to it and it should be fine. The problem will be when it's time to change the carpet in a few years, when you go to rip it up some of the tile will probably come with it. You could take a different tack and install the commercial carpet with a padding under it so when it comes time to change the carpet it will be a piece of cake. I did quite a bit of carpet in my younger years and did it that way many times. There is even a method where you cement the padding down and then cement the carpet to the padding did that many times to.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 08:11 PM   #3
sdaniels7114
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The tiles don't need to come up. Carpet lasts longer and feels better over pad and you're less likely to need any floor prep over pad; but it does add a significant amount to the cost. It also adds to the complexity of the install and doubles the height of the new floor which can be a pain if the doors, particularly doors leading outside, need to be cut.

Tell them you insist on the seams being cut from the top, and between the rows on seams running with the grain and they must use seam sealer. Lots of carpet seams can be cut just by over lapping and slashing through both layers; but the only seam that lasts is one where each edge is cut separately, between the rows. Two other factors are them using enough glue, (no VCT trowels allowed) and since you're from Minn, the carpet needs to be warmed up a bit before install. Its not as bad as hardwood, an hour or two rolled out will be fine; but carpet doesn't act right if its not at 65 degrees or warmer.

Don't discount the 'feels better' and 'lasts longer' benefit of cushion. Of the last 100 or so basements I've carpeted maybe 3 of them have been direct gluedown. I've had maybe 1 homeowner since 1985 go with no cushion on their stairs.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 08:18 PM   #4
KenH83
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sdaniels7114,

Just to let you know the state abbreviation of MI is not Minnesota, its Michigan.. but same weather climate I just felt like correcting you.. Besides anyone out of the 2nd grade should know their state abbreviations.

Anyway.. ddmoit glue it right to the tile, it'll stay. as mentioned above you can glue the pad to the tile, heck.. you could even drill and nail the tack strip so you can replace the carpet later if needed.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 08:25 PM   #5
sdaniels7114
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Ok MN=Minnesota and MI=Michigan. I feel like I'm ready for 3rd grade

Don't waste your money on gluing the pad down and gluing the carpet to it. You need special glue and special padding, and as we all know special always=more money. Double glues are for hotels with big, wide open areas. No matter how hard you try you can't get a 100 ft length of carpet stretched properly. There's also issues with distorting any sort of pattern (99% of hotel carpet has a pattern) if you need to stretch the carpet upwards of a foot or more. You can get a typical basement stretched properly using the right tools however. A knee kicker is not the right tool.

Oh and I nail tackless right through VCTish tile at least once almost every week. Its easier to get a nail to hold through the tile.
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Last edited by sdaniels7114; 12-20-2007 at 08:32 PM.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 08:38 PM   #6
KenH83
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Whoops.. I thought he said 9" ceramic.. I completely blew that..

no drilling required
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Unread 12-20-2007, 08:43 PM   #7
cx
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I'd like to help, Dan, but stretching carpet may be the only discipline involved in residential construction that I've never once even tried. Nor had any desire to, truth be known.

Soon as you git all your answers, though, I wanna axe Steve about how I wanna do new carpet in my motorhome.

But I ain't gonna hijack your thread right inna middle of Ken teaching everybody alla state abbreviations. And you never know what he'll be willing to teach us next.
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Unread 12-20-2007, 09:00 PM   #8
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Unread 12-20-2007, 09:10 PM   #9
ceramictec
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Minn. - Mich., whats the difference, still too cold....lol
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Unread 12-20-2007, 11:37 PM   #10
river-wear
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No kidding! Especially all the way over by Lake Michigan where they get lots of that lake effect snow. BRRR.
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Unread 12-24-2007, 11:42 AM   #11
sdaniels7114
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Quote:
Soon as you git all your answers, though, I wanna axe Steve about how I wanna do new carpet in my motorhome.
Those can be kinda tricky since the walls usually aren't strong enough to push off of. If it was a nice hot day and the carpet wasn't super thick it could be kicked in without the certainty of it getting loose enough to be a bother since motor homes are small and we're of course talking about a Texas-style hot day.

The only thing you can say for sure about stretching carpet with a kicker is that it won't give you what the manufacturers are looking for. It also hurts, quite a bit. Please don't ask me how I know that Even still the vast majority of carpet stretched in the USA is stretched with a kicker and most customers don't end up with bubbles. They just don't end up with an installation that'll last as long as it should.

The installer might want to use a little water on the backing, I wanna emphasize LITTLE, or he might want to use something called a crab stretcher, or a mini stretcher or seam repair stretcher. They're all the same. They hook onto the tackless and pull the carpet towards them rather than a conventional stretcher which braces against the wall and pushes it. So weak trailer home walls aren't a problem.

Bottom line? Use someone who's judgment you trust and think about how much you're spending and what you really need. If its a $150/yd wool piece from Fabrica think about why the heck you want to put something that fancy in a trailer. If its a regular, but still nice piece just use a good guy who knows how to operate slightly outside of the manufacturer's specs.
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