Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Installing Carpet Tiles
Procedure code:
The Old Customs House - Gsa/Pbs
Carpet Tile
Last Modified:
Installing Carpet Tiles
Last Modified:




    A.   This procedure includes guidance on preparing floor
         surfaces for carpet installation and installing carpet
         tiles and accessories.

    B.   Carpeting is a popular and commonplace floor finish,
         often obscuring original floor materials in GSA
         buildings.  Typical original finishes covered could
         include wood plank, wood block, cork, vinyl tile and
         stone floors.  Carpet tiles are a contemporary product
         which has, in some areas, gained favor over roll carpet.
         Carpet tiles are increasingly used in historic buildings
         and this procedure addresses their installation.

    C.   See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
         reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
         cover the following sections:

         1.   Safety Precautions

         2.   Historic Structures Precautions

         3.   Submittals

         4.   Quality Assurance

         5.   Delivery, Storage and Handling

         6.   Project/Site Conditions

         7.   Sequencing and Scheduling

         8.   General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

         These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
         this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
         along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
         Preservation Officer (RHPO).

    A.   Performance Requirements:  Carpeting to comply with the
         following requirements:

         1.   Flammability:

              a.   Ignition and Surface Flammability:  Comply
                   with DOC FF-1-70 (Pill Test).

              b.   Flame Spread:  Minimum critical radiant flux
                   of 0.25 watts/sq. cm. with a 10% negative
                   variance when evaluated in accord with NFPA
                   253 (NBSIR 75-950) (Flooring Radiant Panel
                   Test).  Class B (75 or less when evaluated in
                   accord with ASTM E-84-70 (Steiner Tunnel

              c.   Smoke:  Maximum optical density of 450 when
                   evaluated in accord with NFPA 258 (NBS Smoke

         2.   Colorfastness:

              a.   To Light:  Minimum International Gray Scale
                   Rating of 4 (slight break) for light shades
                   after being subjected to equivalent of two L-4
                   breaks and of 4 (slight break) for dark shades
                   after being subjected to equivalent of three
                   L-4 breaks, visually evaluated.  L-4 breads to
                   be in accord with AATCC 16E.  Also, fade
                   resistance of 80 hours when tested by the
                   Atlas Fadeometer in accord with AATCC test

              b.   To Crocking:  Minimum International Gray Scale
                   Rating of 4 (slight break) when visually
                   evaluated after being subjected to 20 friction
                   cycles in accord with AATTC 8.

              c.   To Wet Cleaning:  Minimum International Gray
                   Scale Rating of 4 (slight break) when visually
                   evaluated after completion of shampooing in
                   accord with Federal Test Method Standard 191
                   and FS DDD-C-0095.  Also, minimum rating of
                   "Good" when tested in accord with FS DDD-D-
                   0095 and evaluated by Federal Test Method
                   Standard 191, Method 5610.

              d.   To Atmospheric Fading:  Minimum International
                   Gray Scale Rating of 3 (moderate break) when
                   visually evaluated after test in accord with
                   AATCC 129.

              e.   Acoustics:  NRC rating of approximately 0.45
                   when installed over carpet cushion when
                   evaluated in accord with ASTM C423.

              f.   Static Control:  Generate a maximum of 3500
                   volts when evaluated in accord with AATCC 134-
                   75 and OHM resistance (ambient condition of
                   20% relative humidity and 70 degrees F. with
                   oak-tanned leather soled shoes).

         3.   Physical Strength:

              a.   Dry Breaking:  Minimum overage strength of 100
                   pounds in both length and width.

              b.   Shrinkage:  Maximum average shrinkage to be 1%
                   for each direction when evaluated in accord
                   with Federal Test Method Standard 191 and FS

         4.   Appearance Retention:

              a.   Pilling and Fuzzing Resistance:  Minimum
                   rating of 4 when evaluated in accord with
                   DuPont Random Tumble Pill Test Method 609.

              b.   Stain Resistance:  Withstand any noticeable
                   staining both from immediate removal, and
                   after minimum 24 hour aging and removal of
                   major staining mediums.

              c.   Crush Resistance:  Recovered thickness to be
                   minimum 85% of original thickness 96 hours
                   after being subjected to compression of 50 psi
                   for 48 hours, applied with a 1-1/2" diameter
                   pressure foot.

              d.   Abrasion Resistance:  Standard of manufacture
                   evaluated in accord with ASTM D1175, Taber
                   Abrader with H-18 wheel and 1000 gram load
                   weight, unless otherwise indicated.


    A.   Product Data:  Submit manufacturer's technical data for
         each type of carpet tile material and installation
         accessory required.  Submit written data on physical
         characteristics, durability, resistance to fading, and
         flame resistance characteristics.

    B.   Shop Drawings:  Submit shop drawings showing layout and
         placement of cut tiles.  Indicate pile or pattern
         direction, start points and locations and types of edge
         strips.  Indicate columns, doorways, enclosing walls or
         partitions, built-in cabinets, and locations where
         cutouts are required in carpet tiles.  Show installation
         details at special conditions.

    C.   Samples:  Samples for verification purposes in
         manufacturer's standard size, showing full range of
         color, texture, and pattern variations expected.  Prepare
         samples from same material to be used for the work.
         Submit the following:

         1.   Full-size carpet tile of each type required.

         2.   12-inch-long samples of each type exposed edge
              stripping and accessory item.

    D.   Design Data/Test Reports/Certificates:  Submit
         manufacturer's certification stating that carpet
         materials furnished comply with specified requirements.

    E.   Operation and Maintenance Data:  Submit manufacturer's
         printed maintenance recommendations for the care,
         cleaning and maintenance of the carpet, including
         detailed instructions pertaining to the cleaning and
         removal of stains and burns.


    A.   Qualifications:

         1.   Installer Qualifications:  Engage a carpet
              installer firm, which has at least 5 years
              successful experience in carpet installations
              similar in size and type to the carpeting
              requirements of the project.

         2.   Manufacturer's Representative:  Obtain carpeting
              tiling materials from only manufacturers who will,
              when requested, send a qualified technical
              representative to the project site, to advise the
              installer of proper installation procedures.

    B.   Measurement Verification:  Order sufficient carpet tile
         to fully cover area as indicated and to fill overage
         requirements as specified.


    A.   Packing and Shipping:  Deliver materials to project site
         in original factory wrappings and containers, labeled
         with identification of manufacturer, brand name, and lot

    B.   Storage and Protection:  Store materials in original
         undamaged packages and containers, inside well-ventilated
         area protected from weather, moisture, soilage, extreme
         temperatures, and humidity.  Lay flat, blocked off
         ground.  Maintain minimum temperature of 68 degrees F (20
         degrees C) at least three days prior to and during
         installation in area where materials are stored.


    A.   Environmental Requirements:  Maintain temperatures in
         space in accordance with carpet manufacturer's
         recommendations, but in no case less than 60 degrees F
         for 24 hours prior to, during and after installation.
         Permit no traffic over newly laid carpet for a minimum of
         24 hours after installation.



    A.   Lees Commercial Carpet Co.

    B.   Bigelow-Sanford, Inc.

    C.   Interface Flooring Systems, Inc.


    A.   Carpet Edge Guard.

    B.   Installation Adhesive:  Water resistant and nonstaining
         as recommended by carpet manufacturer to comply with
         flammability requirements for installed carpet tile.

    C.   Miscellaneous Materials:  Provide other accessory items
         recommended by the carpet tile manufacturer for the
         conditions of installation and use, without failure
         during the life of the carpet tiling.

    D.   Protection Covering:  Non-staining reinforced sisal-kraft
         paper, as recommended by protection covering



    A.   Examine the substrate and conditions under which carpet
         tiling is to be installed.  Do not proceed with the work
         until unsatisfactory conditions have been corrected.


    A.   Measuring:  Measure each space to receive carpet tiling,
         as a basis of supplying, and installing the modules.

    B.   Substrate Surface:  Ensure that substrate surfaces are of
         smoothness acceptable for the modules installation.

    C.   Cleaning:  Vacuum and wet mop substrate immediately prior
         to the modules installation, and remove all deleterious
         substances which would interfere with the installation or
         be harmful to the work.

    D.   Patch holes and level to a smooth surface.  If previous
         finish is chemically stripped, reseal concrete.  Seal
         powdery or porous surfaces with sealer recommended by
         carpet manufacturer.


    A.   Comply with manufacturer's recommendations for seam
         locations and direction of carpet; maintain uniformity of
         carpet direction and lay of pile.  

         1.   Determine the center of the room using standard
              tile laying methods.  The center chalk lines,
              dividing the room into quadrants, should be off-
              center, if necessary, to ensure that perimeter
              modules will be half-size or larger.  

         2.   At doorways, center seams under door in closed
              position; do not place seams perpendicular to door
              frame, in direction of traffic through doorway.  Do
              not bridge building expansion joints with
              continuous carpet.

    B.   Adhere perimeter and cut tiles, tiles in high traffic
         areas with a full spread of adhesive.  All remaining
         tiles shall be loose laid.  Butt carpet edges tightly
         together to form joints without gaps.  Maintain straight
         joints, true with lines of building.  Roll entire carpet
         area lightly to eliminate air pockets and ensure uniform
         bond.  Remove adhesive promptly from face of carpet.

    C.   Extend carpet tile under removable flanges and
         furnishings and into alcoves and closets of each space.

    D.   Provide cutouts where required, and bind cut edges where
         not concealed by protective edge guards or overlapping

    E.   Install carpet edge guard where edge of carpet tile is
         exposed; anchor guards to substrate.

    F.   Install with pattern parallel to walls and borders.
         Perimeter modules shall be half size or larger.

    G.   Dry-fit sections of carpet tile prior to application of

    H.   Apply adhesive uniformly to substrate in accordance with
         manufacturer's instructions.  Butt edges tight to form
         seams without gaps.


    A.   Remove adhesive from carpet tile surface with
         manufacturer's recommended cleaning agent.

    B.   Remove and dispose of debris and unusable scraps.  Vacuum
         with commercial machine with face-beater element.  Remove
         soil.  Replace carpet where soil cannot be removed.
         Remove protruding face yarn.

    C.   Following cleaning and vacuum, carefully protect the
         carpeting from soiling and damage until final acceptance.
         Protection shall be accomplished by using building paper.
         Edges shall be lapped 6 inches and secured with non-
         asphaltic construction and move-in period.


    A.   Provide final protection and maintain conditions, in a
         manner acceptable to manufacturer and installer, to
         ensure carpet tile is not damaged or deteriorated at time
         of Substantial Completion.

                         END OF SECTION
Last Reviewed 2012-02-24