In-floor, hot water (hydronic) radiant heat systems work well with hardwood floors when site conditions are managed according to manufacturers' recommendations - but when they're not...
In-floor, hot water (hydronic) radiant heat systems work well with hardwood floors when site conditions are managed according to manufacturers' recommendations. The opposite is true when conditions are not managed properly. Ambient relative humidity; air, surface and product temperature; subfloor and product moisture content, all must be maintained within specific ranges. Thermostat temperature controls for rooms must be connected to regulate heat 24/7. Without proper management and site control, thousands of dollars or perfectly good product and installation work can be quickly ruined. Surface temperature, as in this image, is most commonly overlooked. An overly hot surface can cause splits, checks, delamination, gaps and buckling in hardwood flooring . Many manufacturers, for example, advise a max surface temperature of 28c (82f). Always check the installation guidelines that (should) accompany the product. Avoid products that do not provide detailed installation guides. www.nfca.ca
Flooring systems can be complex, involving concrete slabs, moisture barriers, primers, leveling cements, adhesive and finally a floor covering product. Multiple products are often used to complete one flooring system and so the risk of being caught up in a question of failure between two unrelated manufacturers is likely. With fewer manufacturers involved in a system, there's less chance of finger pointing and dispute if an issue arises. For example, switching products like adhesives from the original specification to save money is a common cause of problems in the floor covering industry. Technical support offered by product manufacturers should be consulted to ensure approval of their products when used in combination with other unrelated manufacturers. Manufacturers who do not have accessible and comprehensive technical support should be avoided.
Floors installed in poor lighting get inspected after installation in good lighting. This increases the likelihood of deficiencies, complaints and hold backs. Quality of workmanship depends on a number of factors, one of them being adequate lighting on site. Work Safe regulations separate different tasks/trades and designate onsite lighting requirements accordingly. All flooring installation work, for example, is in the same lighting category as ‘finish carpentry’ and therefore requires a minimum LUX (light measurement) of 500 be maintained in the area of work (easily achieved with halogen lighting). The Construction Manager is responsible to provide adequate lighting when the NFCA installation standards manual is specified. The floor covering installer is responsible to ensure acceptable conditions exist before proceeding and issue written advice to the Contractor and or Building owner if they do not. www.nfca.ca
NFCA in Print: Here's our latest Coverings Magazine article - NFCA reflects on a year of success. https://bit.ly/2sMN6hd
Hospitals and mold DON'T mix, which underlines the importance of ensuring correct site conditions exist prior to floor covering installation. The NFCA commercial floor inspection service (Quality Assurance Program) protects building owners from the process of fast track construction which so often overlooks critically important details such as slab dryness, flatness, temperature, porosity, surface profile, approved testing to ASTM standards, and who should take those tests under contract, correctly. The result is an increased likelihood that site conditions will be ready for trained installers, ‘accepted’ instead of ‘rejected’ slabs, quality flooring systems and products installed correctly, on time and with warranties intact lasting for decades as the manufacturer intended. www.nfca.ca
National Floor Covering Association (NFCA) of Canada welcomes Armstrong Flooring as a new member supporting quality assurance and best practices in Canada’s floor covering industry. www.armstrongflooring.com
For the most part, building owners have no idea who is going to show up on site to install their flooring. This is not the case when NFCA is specified along with the Quality Assurance Program third party inspection service. As part of NFCA's membership requirement, all NFCA member contractors must be able to provide Trade or Product qualified installers in accordance with PART A05 TRADE QUALIFICATIONS of the Floor Covering Reference Manual of Canada. They must also be able to provide their own Bond for projects where the NFCA Quality Assurance Program is specified. For building owners concerned about quality of workmanship, this goes along way to ensure skilled and trained installers are on the job. This also raises the value of a trained and certified installer. PART A05 outlines the details and is downloadable for free at: www.nfca.ca/store/c1/Featured_Products.html