Installation Standards and Methods

Carpet for Business Carpet Installation Information Installation Standards and Methods

The CRI Carpet Installation Standard

The Carpet and Rug Institute offers a standard for carpet installation in both residential and commercial settings. This standard, which replaces CRI's 104 and 105 installation standards, is a definitive industry minimum installation standard, providing installers, retailers, specification writers, and building owners with principles and workmanship standards for residential installation, in addition to a detailed outline of proper procedures and terminology used in commercial specification writing, planning, layout and installation. The CRI Installation Standard also includes guidelines for floor preparation and installation in special areas, diagrams, and charts.

The CRI Installation Standard represents over 25 years of information-gathering and installation expertise compiled by the members of CRI's Installation Issues Management Team, which comprised manufacturers, professional installers and other interested parties.

CRI Carpet Installation Standard 2011PDF(PDF 1.06 MB)

Understanding Different Installation Methods

Stretch-in Installation: There are situations in which a specifier will wish to utilize the stretch-in method. Its selection may be for one of the following reasons:

  • Provides enhanced underfoot comfort, acoustical properties (i.e., higher noise reduction coefficients and higher impact noise ratings) when installed with a separate cushion
  • Increases thermal insulation (R-value)
  • Can be used over floors that are unsuitable for glue-down
  • Corrective measures, such as seam repair, may be easier to perform
  • Removal costs usually are less than the removal of an adhered installation

Stretch-in installations should be avoided in the following cases:

  • On ramps and inclines
  • Where office systems furniture and demountable partitions are utilized
  • Where heavy rolling traffic is likely
  • Where there is excessive humidity
  • When carpet has a unitary backing or other backing systems designed only for glue-down installation

Direct glue-down installation:

  • Suitable for rolling traffic and ramp areas
  • Seams are more durable since there is no vertical flexing
  • Minimized buckling in buildings that have HVAC systems turned off for extended periods of time
  • No restretch situations
  • Virtually eliminates incidences of seam peaking
  • No restrictions to area size
  • Intricate borders and inlays are possible

Double glue-down installation: This method combines the stability of direct glue-down carpet with the cushioning benefits of a separate cushion, stretch-in installation, as outlined below:

  • Improves carpet appearance retention, under foot comfort and overall performance
  • Simplifies carpet bordering and inlaying
  • Suitable for wheeled traffic areas
  • No restrictions on size of area

Americans with Disabilities Act Carpet Compliance

The intention of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to ensure that people with disabilities have access to employment, public accommodations, government services, transportation, telecommunications and commercial facilities.

An important consideration is the threshold height between two areas of different surface types. Requirements by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow carpet having a pile height of half an inch or less (measured from the bottom of the tuft). Exposed edges should be fastened to floor surfaces with trim along that edge. Carpet with a pile height over a half-inch must have a transition ramp between the surfaces.

The placement of carpet in the affected public areas of commercial facilities places certain obligations on the specifier, building owner and others. Compliance requirements should be thoroughly understood by the specifier. The following section has been excerpted from the ADA requirements:

4.5 Ground and Floor Surfaces

4.5.1 General. Ground and floor surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces, including floors, walks, ramps, stairs, and curb ramps, shall be stable, firm, slip-resistant, and shall comply with 4.5.

4.5.2 Changes in Level. Changes in level up to ¼ in (6 mm) may be vertical and without edge treatment.

Changes in level between ¼ in and ½ in (6 mm and 13 mm) shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2.

Changes in level greater than ½ in (13 mm) shall be accomplished by means of a ramp that complies with 4.7 or 4.8.

4.5.3 Carpet. If carpet or carpet tile is used on a ground or floor surface, then it shall be securely attached; have a firm cushion, pad, or backing, or no cushion or pad; and have a level loop, textured loop, level cut pile, or level cut/uncut pile be ½ in (13 mm).

Exposed edges of carpet shall be fastened to floor surfaces and have trim along the entire length of the exposed edge. Carpet edge trim shall comply with 4.5.2.

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