Flooring and Carpeting/carpet padding
QUESTION: We had Cashmere II carpet by Shaw installed in July. We found some hard spots in the pad. The pad is Crystal Mountain 1/2" white by Kraus. We have also noticed some flat spots. We are concerned that the whole pad is possibly defective. The company we purchased from is only wanting to replace the hard spots. They are saying the flat spots are because the carpet is so soft. I called Shaw and they said if we are feeling flat spots that it is the pad not the carpet. I need an unbiased opinion about what to do. We spent $6000 on this carpet and I am very upset. I just want it to be right. On top of that. They tucked the carpet leading into the bathroom and kitchen. At first it looked great but now there is a bump a 1/2" to an 1" from where the carpet is tucked. Is this normal? Plus there is an evident line where the carpet seam is in a few spots. They fixed the one seam once but it is still very noticeable. They said it will blend better in time and the more it is vacuumed but yet again added that it is very soft carpet and will show those things. Is it true that it will be less noticeable with time and more vacuuming and that the softness of the carpet will cause this to be more noticeable?
ANSWER: Hi Nancy,
Shaw carpets I recognize.... Kraus, according to my recent searches does not make a padding that I can find called "Crystal White" They do distribute some other products that I am familiar with but so far, nothing in a residential line. but lets assume I am missing it and they do make it.
Some of the easier questions that you refer to
Tucked carpet at the kitchen and bath ... the padding may have shrunk back and actually caused an indentation...(low spot) and thus you feel the lump an inch prior to the transition. A void where no padding exists. Does that make sense? The opposite can occur as well when the carpet is stretched and the padding climbs up on the tack strip (carpet tack strip, wood with sharp nails protruding) However this is usually noticeable immediately. As a large noticeable rise in height across the doorway/transition.
3 different ways to finish carpet at the transition that I know of.
1. tucking the carpet directly to the face of tile or wood...the same as you would trim and tuck to a wall.
2. rolling the carpet over a piece of pliable metal, thus hiding the metal and trapping the carpet edge under the metal, and softly hammering the invisible metal to capture and clamp onto the carpet, holding it in place. In the trade we call this a "Z Bar"
3. Clamp down metal in gold, bronze or silver. Visible, capturing the carpet and them hammered down to trap the carpet edge.
Which one do you have?? With either of these methods the padding can shrink back especially if you have a concrete slab and the padding was glued to the floor. The pad glue and application will require a return visit to repair.
Repairing it so it will not be a problem is easily resolved by removing more padding and adding a larger piece to compensate for the shrinkage.
Investigating the desired trim and tuck method and re installing it to your satisfaction.
NOTE: Although Z bar is used frequently, I only use it when forced to. I much prefer the direct trim and tuck to wood and tile....but I do 2 things to insure it stays in place.
1. I apply latex adhesive in the gap between the concrete and where the carpet edge will be tucked, when it dries it is basically glued in place and will not pop out, come loose or be capable of being lifted by foot traffic.
2. I will install 2 each tack strips in that location. To insure extra grabbing power and retention over the years. This is known as DOUBLE STRIPPING the application of double strips in front of doorways and sliding doors and transitions is very common.
Lets examine one other thought.
If the wood or tile / stone transition is exceptionally high, 3/4" for example.
The cheap and expedient route is to build a tack strip stair with 3 or more pieces of tackstrip to increase the height and make a smooth transition. This is a problem, that may lead to noticeable padding lumps and after a few weeks/ months the tackstrip may infact release the carpet and the edge may be visibly popping out. The padding pulls back and you are actually walking on part of the wood tackstrip.
The correct method to repair and resolve this would be to apply a cement floor patch and truly build the slab level up 1/4-3/8" thus allowing you to proceed without the extra tackstrip, other than the above mentioned DOUBLE STRIP. This might take 30 minutes per doorway when done at the onset of the job. at this juncture it will require much more time pulling back / removing previous materials/ repairing and installing the new.
Do not accept anything other than perfection. If they can not get it right the first time they better send out a qualified mechanic who can ...or completely replace that room and do it again.
Every time they attempt to repair the currently laid carpet they are removing material... and stretching the existing material further and further to reach the wall. You can only get away with it 2 or 3 x
The additional stress on the seam itself will create a PEAK in the seam and it will take many months for the peak to lay down. Additional Heat from the seam iron causes PEAKING and it actually deforms the latex backing creating a cupping effect which will never really go away.
For years and years instructions and manufactures have warned about the excess heat creating Seam Peaking. Designers make detailed seam diagrams to avoid sunlight crossing over a seam to avoid the shadow on the other side. manufactures tell you not to use a seam iron over a setting of # 3 even thought the seam iron manufactures have settings up to # 4. Tool companies for the industry come out with new teflon shields to place on the seam iron so hot metal does not contact the latex backing.
And now finally the seam iron of the future is here KOOLGLIDE an induction heat system that can be used on the surface / face of the carpet and never distort the carpet itself.
I would think at the price point you are at a master mechanic would employ this device.
I am looking on line for your style of carpet... many CASHMERE II names pop up some by Shaw others by Mohawk "Soft spring"
Some are a Berber...some a cut and loop
Which exact model do you have?
color doesn't matter style does
If you have a berber type carpet there are special guidelines for cutting and seaming this style.File a claim with Shaw ... Have the Shaw sales rep inspect the seam and any fault will be found. the installation retailer will be forced to repair it at their expense ...and sadly your inconvenience.
The padding ... I used to purchase Legatt and Platt or one of the other major manufactures on the west coast. they were distributed to the warehouse and I purchased only the best at the time depending on the customer budget. 1/2" or 7/16" and only 8 lb density. Every so often, due to the fact that it is made from recycled material we might stumble over a stiff/ hard spot in the new padding. we immediately cut out and replace that whilst installing prior to bringing in the carpet. One or 2 small 4" squares might be the extent of it. If you have more than this the carpet might need to be pulled back and the padding examined ...and another claim filed with the padding company on behalf of the retailer.
I'm sorry I wrote a book I tend to get carried away. Above all I want to encourage you to seek satisfaction to the inth degree. In this industry the manufacture will blame the retailer and the retailer will have to fix it. Installation issues are the responsibility of the retailer. DO NOT LET THEM OFF THE HOOK. Keep pressing and document everything. If you have to withhold payment or cancel a transaction to gain recognition I suggest you enter a dispute as soon as you feel necessary. Send a letter of intent to the retailer with 10 days notice CERTIFIED MAIL. Bluff if you have to or seek an attorney. Pay an attorney to generate the letter with your intended actions to start a claim and for all intensive purposes a lawsuit. That might get the retailer motivated to move a bit faster. Once you have stated your aggressive stance do not convey or agree to anything unless it is in writing.
Call Shaw and schedule a Service rep to examine the carpet installation and or ask the service department how to begin resolving the issue ... via the 800 # at SHAW
Get the exact manufacture of the carpet padding, the style # and density rating and the phone # for the manufacture. Call them and politely ask for all the help you can possibly get. Remember cute little nicknames for padding mean very little...get the product #
Always here, if I missed anything please us the FOLLOW UP response
I called a PROSOURCE in my area they called Kraus.
The padding is a 7 lb density rated 1/2" I was not able to determine if it is a REBOND product or a soft foam...aka memory foam. The receptionist did not ask.
IMO the padding should not go flat no matter the stiffness or softness of the carpet. I think the retailer is grasping at straws to find an excuse. Memory foam should in fact have a memory.
Call KRAUS in Seattle Washington...the closest to me. Ask for customer service and get every detail you can from them... ask for a PDF file to download all about the padding you purchased. And if the retailer has any factual basis to make that statement. " Too Soft"
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your answer. I appreciate you being so technical with all your anwers.
This is the carpet we have https://shawfloors.com/flooring/carpet/details/cashmere-ii-ccs02/fawn it's a cut loop.
We have the Sales Rep, Pad Rep and Installer coming Wednesday. I wanted to find out before they came whether these were actual concerns I had or not. The Sales Rep and Installer acted like I was being overly picky the last time they came to fix 3 other problems I had with the way the carpet was installed. I asked for a different installer before they came but the Sales Rep said that wasn't possible.
What would you suggest I do with all of them coming on Wednesday? The Sales Rep is already saying the low spots are the softness of carpet and not the pad so I feel like I will have 3 people ganging up on me when they are here. We feel with all these problems and some repairs already made maybe it should just be relaid? I just want to make sure it's done right so in the future it continues to look and feel good.
First of all this is your hard earned money. You chose a retailer and product based on reputation and recommendation. You followed the retailers advice and purchased his recommended pad.
If the padding he recommended was not the right choice for the carpet he sold you then is he not liable for the error?
If I were the retailer, Why would I even begin to mention a padding for an exceptionally soft carpet if I knew the padding would not benefit the carpet or cause an issue in the future.
Secondly, if there are any discrepancies with installation or materials you have every right to have it repaired / replaced until there is no doubt remaining ...hard spots under the carpet...flat spots due to ill recommended products... lumps or voids at transitions... poor quality workmanship with regards to the seam ...which I assume is in a very prominent location. Otherwise I doubt it would be such an issue.
A badly placed seam in a bedroom or a closet can be overlooked, possibly... but not in a formal room or focal point in a living / entertainment room.
If you feel like they are ganging up on you...tell them so. And then separate them and deal with them one on one. Do not be intimidated ... and make sure you get everything important backed up in a letter after the meeting within 48-72 hrs.... if the pad rep says something ...have him put it in writing. Same for the Carpet rep and retailer... anything that disputes your attempts to reach satisfaction by way of product behavior should be in a written letter.
Invite a friend over or two, record the proceedings ...or segments of, anything that sounds ludicrous or outlandish. Today's cell phones can make videos easily. Record any promise they make to rectify the situation.
If the resulting meeting comes to a point where they offer to replace the padding installation due to the faulty padding, offer to upgrade ...or possibly downgrade to an 8lb rebond which will certainly do the job. But only mention your willingness to spend monies if it becomes favorable to you.
As far as the seam goes that will be the one area of concern that has variables. If the same installer is required to repair it the results will not likely be favorable. After all he has had 2 attempts if I assume correctly. it's time for the installer to bite the bullet and pay for the mistake.
When I installed for a large contractor handling Lowes retail contracts the distances we traveled and schedules often forbid me to do my own, and very few repairs. I was happy to pay for the friendly company technician to do that for me. In all of my 27 years on my hands and knees I never had to be called back for a poorly done seam.
How does this seam compare to any others in the overall installation ??
With the tools we are equipped with there are 3-4 methods to cut the carpet properly.
The cut loop product you have can be cut in 2 different ways...
Which way is the best... the ROW CUT... From the Face of the fabric pile. Even then if you don't cut the row properly before you "BURN" the seam, you better examine the cut as a dry mock up with the seam butted in place to make sure it looks good.
At this point it is the installers technical abilities and moral fiber at stake.
If I do not like the way it looks before applying the seam iron to it...I cut it again until I am satisfied that it will look perfect/ invisible.
At the time of installation I have a multitude of attempts to get the seam right....but after it is burned, there is no recourse but to tear it apart and start again with limited material. After final trimming and tucking and vacuuming there is even less material to utilize in a repair attempt...obviously
We typically roll the carpet out in a driveway or swept street. If the installer flips the carpet over and cuts the backside (latex backing) using a metal straight edge for nice straight cuts. This is called STRAIGHT EDGING and in some carpets such as a cut loop it is not desirable nor acceptable.
Without giving away your position try to determine which method they used to cut the seam.
below are a few examples from You Tube on ROW CUTTING
The straight edge method for textured and plush ... but not recommended for cut and loop in my opinion.
Being picky ...Ive dealt with every kind of customer. But I never came across someone who didn't deserve my utmost best. Sure I might have felt tired and possibly abused by the end of the day moving extraneous furniture and doing complicated extras at no charge... but in the end the customer was always satisfied and I feel my workmanship was it's own reward. The greatest compliment was a word of mouth referral which paid off due to one of my advertising handouts with a discount offered for "REFER A FRIEND" It would always surprise me when a tough customer recommended me.
You have a right to be particular and expect the best. There is no excuse for inferior products and workmanship. If you settle for less you are the one who has to live with it for the next 10-15 years. Flooring is an investment in your home. It can increase the property value. It is not meant to detract with unsightly products or workmanship. Flooring is not a throw away product.
If you need further assistance contact the CRI and see what additional recourse they can offer
(CARPET AND RUG INSTITUTE) is your installer CRI certified? Is the retailer practicing CRI standards with continuing simple online courses / bulletins / latest updates and news, possibly a seminar once a year.
click the CRI logo for more pages and links.
I'd be very happy to hear this goes in your favor, let me know how this turns out