As a flooring inspector I have seen many different things involving flooring, the one thing that is constant; if a floor fails, the homeowner suffers. Sure...
By Jason Cantin
Surfaces 2016 Blog post
I recently returned from the Surfaces Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is always an amazing event, aside from the shin splints and blisters from all the walking there is always a great deal to see and learn. I spent a great deal of time with adhesive manufacturers, tile setting material manufacturers and moisture meter companies. It is always interesting to hear different theories in how to deal with the same situations. I feel that there is little difference in the majority of the basic options, (think the difference between Fords, Chevy, and Dodge). The basic lines are all very similar but they each have specialty products that set them apart. With the basic lines it comes down to personal preference of the installer and customer (it should not be the sales person alone deciding setting materials). For glues; Bostiks, Mapei, Royal Adhesives, Sika, Tite Bond, Dri Tac, Taylor, and others, in the basic wood flooring adhesive category all are very similar. When you get into specialty products they have different ideas how to handle them, which sets them apart. For example, some require that you roll the glue with a 100lb roller, and some require that you key in the adhesive to the slab before spreading it. It is similar with tile setting materials, Laticrete, Mapei, Merkrete, and others have similar basic lines but can vary greatly on the specialty product lines. Each of them has Scientists that test the products and have decided that their way is the best for the makeup of their product. It doesn’t make the others way wrong; it is likely the chemical makeup is different and has different requirements. The other big difference is moisture testing requirements. Some require Calcium Chloride testing and some prefer Rh Insitu testing, while some recommend a Tramex surface test. I appreciate the opportunity to pick each companies brain in one central location that is offered by Surfaces. The same scientific backing, testing application, and usage can be said for each meter manufacturers; Tramex, Wagner, Lignomat, Delmhorst, and Protimeter. Having all of them in one place to compare features, and pricing is very beneficial to installers and inspectors. Not to mention the wide variety of training and certification programs that are available during the event. As a Flooring Inspector I ask the hard questions, and I want to say a special thank you to Sonny Callahan (Royal Adhesive), Randy Isaac (Tramex Meters), Jason Spangler (Wagner Meters), and Sharon Schaller (NWFA) for spending extra time with me and allowing me to better understand their products. I am sure that at times I drive them crazy.