DuraCeramic Flooring is a Great Choice!

In 2015, we worked with Congoleum’s Duraceramic Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) for the first time. This required learning the ins and outs of working with a floor tile that was much thinner than standard ceramic tile. Duraceramic flooring doesn’t require traditional Portland based cement setting material. The grout is acrylic based instead of cement based. That made it super easy to clean. Many homes in West Fargo got Duraceramic in 2015 because it was one of the first LVTs on the market.

Prep

Duraceramic flooring is installed with DS100 Duraset glue. This needs to flash over and become tacky before flooring install can continue. However, before installing, there is some mandatory floor prep that must be done. This can be moisture tests for RH and PH. It can also be ensuring the flooring surface is clean and solid. As always, surfaces should be relatively flat. This is usually 1/8″ over 10′.

Moisture testing must be done to ensure the subfloor is within moisture requirements. This is especially true in basements. West Fargo used to be full of farms with wet fields in the spring. This explained part of the high moisture levels.

In addition, the subfloor must be of adequate thickness and should be plywood. If the subfloor is not plywood, 1/4″ plywood is added to ensure a smooth and moisture resistant substrate. If there is a crawl space under the subfloor, it must have a liner installed under the floor joists to ensure excessive moisture does not affect the floor above it. If this is not observed, moisture issues can occur leading to cracked grout, cupping, discoloration, in addition to other problems. Congoleum usually has their flooring install instructions on their box. Duraceramic flooring instructions can also be found on their website.

If installing Duraceramic flooring on concrete, the concrete should meet the same flatness requirements and should also meet moisture requirements. Concrete subfloors tend to be the easiest floors to prepare on average. Moisture mitigation systems and flatness can be remedied with ease and are usually thick enough by themselves to take any floor covering.

Install

When we installed these Duraceramic jobs in West Fargo, we had to install 1/4″ Plywood, skim coat using Ardex Feather Finish, and wait for the adhesive to get tacky. The main problem was that the summer months were so humid in parts of West Fargo that the adhesive was not curing. In fact, our papers were becoming damp from sitting in the room. We tried to notify the contractor in charge of the job, as we were subs at the time. We were told to install it. These tiles were installed in the bathroom and kitchen areas. This is because the LVT and Grout are waterproof. The new homeowners also had several kids and one dog. The dog had a hard time getting outside in the winter time. So the owners wanted a floor that was pet and kid friendly. They didn’t want their busy areas to have carpet.

We only worked for that contractor for a few more months, but we no longer do that type of work. Thanks to our Design Audit, we now know better than to rush work. We do our homework to ensure the best results for our clients, as that’s the best form of marketing. We pride our selves on being reputable installers. We no longer offer Duraceramic but we do have Armstrong Alterna and Beauflor Pure LVT.

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Carpet has remained one of the most popular flooring options in our part of the country due to it’s warmth and noise reducing properties. Most people would consider Fargo, North Dakota as a cold state six months out of the year, so carpet really does shine compared to other flooring options such as ceramic tile. Due to it’s popularity coupled with a skilled installer shortage, we’ve found that most carpets are not properly installed. One of the most skipped steps is properly power stretching the carpet.

 

 

     If your carpet is meant to be stretched but your installer says it’s not necessary, you may want to reconsider having them do your carpet installation. Power stretching carpet has been around almost as long as modern constructed carpets. Brands such as Shaw, Southwind, Mohawk, and Axminister actually require it per their installation instructions. A knee kicker does not apply the same amount of force as a power stretcher does, since the knee kicker can’t hold the wall to wall stretch that the power stretcher can. 

Man improperly installing carpet with no power stretcher
Man installing carpet properly with knee kicker and power stretcher

In the two photos above, you can see that two different individuals attempting to install carpet. Use of a knee kicker without assistance of the larger power stretcher will not only leave your carpet improperly stretched, but will also be much harder on the body and knees. This can potentially lead to injuries with a reduced ability to perform future carpet installations. 

 Power Stretching Helps A Carpet From Developing Wrinkles

A power stretcher helps keep a carpet from developing wrinkles, which means it stays looking and feeling newer for longer. Wrinkles or simply improper stretching can damage the bond between the primary and secondary backings in your carpet. Once your carpet starts to develop damage between it’s two backings, this can lead to what’s known as delamination which would make it next to impossible to stretch as the carpet can no longer attach properly to the tackstrip which holds it in place. 

 

Power Stretching is one of many steps required to properly install your carpet. There are other factors that help determine the longevity of your carpeting, such as carpet padding, fiber type, density, etc. We will cover that in future posts. If you have any questions, feel free to fill reach out to us via our contact us page!