Carpet               Rugs            Laminate      Solid wood         Vinyl          Ceramic tile       Subfloor          Testing

Hire the most effective, timely, highly trained, and analytical independent flooring inspector in Canada to reduce costly, unnecessary replacements, call-backs, wasted time, and questionable reports. A standard inspection involves travel to a job site; observations, measurements, data gathering, and any field testing on site; followed by a formal written report including any necessary digital media, diagrams, table, or charts to support the conclusion.  Reports are generally sent by email, fax, and/or by mail. 

What is and IICRC Senior Carpet Inspector

What is an FCITS Hard Surface Flooring Inspector

Reporting method

Inspections can be performed for the following:

Carpet:  Any soft floor covering that generally has a pile surface, traditionally woven, but currently produced by other methods, including tufting, bonding, knitting, or stitching the pile to a backing or supporting base.  It is generally installed in a variety of ways in a wall-to-wall installation, including stretch-in, direct glue-down, double glue-down, or loose layed.  Broadloom is a descriptive term for carpet more than 6 feet wide. Today's carpet are generally 12 feet wide.  Some are 15' wide for near seamless installations.  Some are 6', or less, wide for special corridor installations. 

Rugs:  Any soft floor covering that is usually bound along the perimeter to prevent unraveling, is short from the walls, and is installed loosely over another flooring for easy removal for cleaning or storage elsewhere.  Oriental rugs are hand knotted  rugs from the Orient and Middle East (China, India, Iran, Turkey, etc.).  

Laminate:  A rigid floor covering consisting of layers of thin sheets of a fibrous material, impregnated with  thermosetting resins. In direct pressure laminates (DPL) all the components (melamine saturated overlay embedded with aluminum oxide, decor paper, cushion paper, fiberboard, and balancing/backing layer) are fused together in a one step process from 450 to 500 psi at 400 degrees F. In high pressure laminate (HPL)  a two step process includes using high pressure of 1,000 to 1,500 psi at 250 degrees F to assemble the top and the bottom layers of materials. These two layers are then "glued" with adhesives to the core (fiberboard or particleboard) at 100 psi.  The product normally has a balancing backing material. In the past these floors were glued and floating (not attached to the subfloor or walls), and now they are mostly glueless (Clicked) and floating. 

Engineered: A wood flooring comprised of a solid wood top surface layer laminated to a dimensionally stable plywood base. Some product lines require gluing while others use a click system.  

Solid Wood:  Solid wood floors can be comprised of hardwood or softwood, neither of the latter two terms refer to the degree of hardness of the wood.  For example:  The terms softwoods and hardwoods are used to describe the leaves, seeds and structure of the trees. It is not used to describe the type of wood produced e.g. Balsa is light and very soft to use. It is however a hardwood. Yew is a coniferous tree but is heavy and hard to use like some hardwoods.  Hardwood is generally from deciduous trees (lose their leaves in winter) comprised of broad leaves whose seeds are enclosed in fruit (acorns), such as oak, walnut, birch, beech, elm, chestnut, sycamore,  and ash..  Hardwood can also come from evergreen trees (keep their leave all year round), such as walnut, ebony, balsa, teak, and mahogany.  Softwood is produced by cone bearing conifers, having needle-like leaves.  They are cheaper, softer, and much easier to work with than hardwood. Examples:  pine, spruce, cedar, fir, yew, and larch.    

Vinyl/Resilient:   There are two kinds of sheet goods:  those with felt, paper, or mineral backings (all referred to as "paper-backed" goods); or those with pure or solid vinyl.   The more popular paper-backed goods are comprised of a top wearlayer (clear spray coat or sheet) of polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane.  Can be embossed or not embossed.  Directly below the wearlayer is the gel coat, comprised of a white foam of pure polyvinyl chloride with inks or pigments applied to the top to produce a characteristic appeal.  Can be embossed.  The expanded vinyl is used as a core or rarely as the backing or bottom layer.  The gel coat is designed to absorb both foot traffic and wear.  Finally there is the bottom layer or carrier base of paper/felt, which is designed to be bonded to the floor.  Certain older floors may contain asbestos. The only way to determine if it does is to have it tested by a qualified asbestos testing company.    

Ceramic Tiles: Hard heat-set, clay-like floor tiles. Often glazed surface.  A hard floor unit, usually square in shape, and thin. It is manufactured from clay, clay mixtures, or talc.  Examples:  red bodied tile, white bodied tile, and porcelain (finest clay).  Red bodied and porcelain tile can have a glazed or unglazed face surface, and porcelain can be polished.  Fired above red heat to produce the ideal characteristics for the use intended. Unlike typical ceramic tile, marble and stone are quarried from the ground and cut into the desired thickness. Since they are quarried, the material can have a visual or color variation from one piece to the next.  See Photo Library for examples.  

Subfloors:  The flooring material or substrate located directly below the installed, walk-on floor covering. Generally it is plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), or concrete.  In trailers and mobile homes, particle board is common.  Subfloors can have various underlayments above them, such as particle board, additional plywood, mud bed, and cement-board. It is important to know the different layers of materials in the "flooring sandwich", in order to determine its suitability as a subfloor for the intended floor covering. 

Building Moisture Check (water damage):  Unwanted intrusions of clean or contaminated (gray or black) water into  single dwellings, town-homes, condominiums, or commercial buildings -- large or small.  Water can be tested for the degree of contamination by a Certified Canadian Laboratory.  Buildings are tested for the degree and extent of moisture intrusion in a building.  Restorative solutions can be offered.  

Building Dry Check:  Testing and documentation for the degree of moisture presence in structural building materials and assemblies at a moment in time. The value of this documentation to prove a drying state at one moment in comparison to another moment in time in order to reduce or eliminate liability of a future moisture intrusion.    

2005 Clayton Shull

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