Carpet seams

Old 09-21-02, 09:38 PM
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Carpet seams

We had new carpet installed and the seams showed badly enough that we are replacing it. Our difficulty is what type to chose that will not incur the same problem. We originally chose a short pile, warm beige with tiny blue green dots, with the best pad available. The room is large with windows all along the outside wall, emitting lots of light. We don't want a Berber....any suggestions?
Old 09-22-02, 10:28 AM
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Carpet seams

Sometimes it is impossible to have a seamless carpet installation. A professional installer will use both heat tape and seam seal glue and use a power stretcher.
The Carpet & Rug Institute recommends the following:

Making A Seam
On all seams, you will need to position the second piece of carpet so that it runs in the same direction as the first. This is very important.

When you have determined how the two pieces of carpet will lie in the room, youíll want to start by getting the straightest edge possible on the piece you will cut first. If using the cushion back carpet cutter you may make your cuts from the face side of the carpet. Follow proper seaming procedures supplied with the Carpet Cutter. If using a utility knife, fold the carpet over and, using a chalk line, mark where you wish to cut on the back of the carpet. Using the straight edge, trim the carpet as straight as you can, cutting through the back of the carpet.

Position both pieces of carpet properly in the room. Make sure that the edge of the trimmed piece is where you want your seam, and that you have enough carpet on either side to reach the walls and doorways. With the uncut piece of carpet on the floor, place the edge of the trimmed piece on top overlapping at least 2". Use the trimmed edge of the cut piece as a guide to cut the other piece.

Fold back both sides and place one strip of 3" double-faced tape, centering the line or two strips of double-faced tape parallel to the line, one on each side of the line. Remove the protective paper from the tape, keeping the carpet folded back.

Apply a bead of seam sealer along the edge of the cushion-backed carpet. A plastic bottle with a long thin neck works best. Apply seam adhesive to only one edge of the carpet.

Complete the seam by butting both sections of the carpet together while the adhesive is still wet, allowing the carpet and cushion to make contact with the tape and seam sealer at the same time. Be sure to keep carpet fiber up and away from the seam sealer. (Professional installers may use hot melt seaming tape on premium attached cushions. The seaming iron will not harm or melt the cushion.)

Making a Seam. Installation. Carpet & Rug Institute. Retrieved 22 September 2002.

A quality installation tends to be more important than better quality carpet when it comes to performance and appearnce. Installers that carry Certification from the American Floor Covering Institute known as CFI are an excellent choice.

According to James B. Smith, the following are important considerations:

Get a written agreement on where all seams are going to be laid.

Do not allow seams to run parallel with natural light sources such as sliding-glass-doors.
Make sure that no seam is placed perpendicular to doorway or immediately across entrances, except for doorways.
Make sure that the carpet is laid perpendicular to the cushion seams. Where this cannot happen, make sure that cushion seams are at least six inches away from carpet seams.

Make sure that your carpet is power stretched with a power stretcher. No power stretching can lead to buckling and delamination. Power Stretchers are long pole apparatus with teeth.
Make sure that the cushion seams are taped. If the tape is not in place, then gaps can form in the cushion seam making a dark line in the carpet.
Make sure that all carpet seams have a seaming adhesive applied to the cut edges. Seam sealers generally have ultra-violet dyes that will shine under a black light. If no seaming adhesive is applied this can lead to fray edges and pulled loops in the seam
Smith, James B. Buying New Carpet. Retrieved 22 September 2002.

Carpet Installation Tips: Carpet installation is a key factor in carpet performance over the long run. In most instances, carpet layers are subcontracted, and installation warranties are, typically, limited to one year. While almost all carpet stores have installation standards that professional carpet layers agree to uphold, many donít. You see, layers are paid for the number of yards of carpeting they install. The more yards they install in a day, the more they earn. For this reason, they are prone to short cuts. The two installation requirement most commonly violated are the use of a power stretcher and the application of seam sealer. Ragan, D. The Basics of Carpet Selection. Retrieved 22 September 2002.

A 100% name brand nylon carpet with a looped pile will give you the best performance from the standpoints of resilience and abrasion over the long run. Medium color, shorter pile carpets tend to perform better in high traffic areas from the standpoint of soiling. Higher pile density carpets also perform better.

Buy the best carpet that you can afford and purchase from an established dealer that does quality installations, including power stretching, seam sealer, and provides you with a layout of the seam placement prior to installation. Because many installers frequently take shortcuts so that they can move on to the next job, it is wise to be present to assure they do not.
Old 09-22-02, 05:25 PM
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When light sources make seam peaking and highlighting a problem, ask if they know how to seam weld. This welds the to cut edges together. Now the centerline of the stretch on the seam tape has risen, thus not elevating the tape to align itself with the stretch carpet backing. Now you don't have a peak anymore.

I could have corrected the carpet that was originally installed, using seam welding in my arsenal of seam methods.

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