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tigerbalm2424 07-20-2008 12:07 PM

Finishing Basement, carpet install order?
Currently bare concrete slab, no trim up, no doors installed and I am planning on installing carpet. What order should i put them up in and what should I do for a underlayment when installing carpet with an attached pad?


26yrsinflooring 07-20-2008 12:13 PM

Unless it is a hgh grade Enhancer carpet it will not last long with the attached pad.

If it is a Enhancer backed carpet the floor prep is limited you can glue it right down.

It sounds like that cheap stuff from one of the box stores is it ?

tigerbalm2424 07-20-2008 12:57 PM

Actually, I havent picked it up yet. I was just trying to understand what order I need to install everything (carpet, trim, doors). Can you suggest a good carpet or carpet pad combo? I was looking at some berber but I dont think it had an attached pad. Suggestions are more than welcome:yes:

Nestor_Kelebay 07-20-2008 01:06 PM

You always install the flooring last. The reason why is that you're likely to make a mess of the floor doing all the other basement renovating. So, frame your walls and exterior walls, insulate, drywall, install doors and then when everything else is done, install your flooring.

"Kanga-Back" carpets (the the attached underpads) aren't good quality. For a "rec room" it's fine, but if you want a better quality carpet, then you need a separate carpet and pad.

Installation is variable. You can glue the carpet directly to the concrete. You can glue the pad down to the concrete and glue the carpet down to the pad. You can nail the tackstrip down to the concrete or use construction adhesive to glue it down. In my sister's basement, I glued the tackstrips down with LePage's PL Premium construction adhesive and used double sided carpet tape around the perimeter of each piece of underpad to stick it down to the concrete. There are many different ways to install carpet over concrete.

26yrsinflooring 07-20-2008 01:50 PM

I am sorry I misunderstood the nature of the question.

I have some contractors that want to do trim last...albetit very few.
The norm is carpet last.

HomeDepot23 07-20-2008 03:23 PM

Tiger. Berber carpets are good and bad. They have usually 3 fibre types. Wool, Nylon or Olefin (polypropelene). Wool is superior, but expensive and more expensive to maintain. You won't find it at my stores or probably the other big boxes.

Nylon is the best bet, actually, I haven't priced wool in a while, with the rising price of oil, maybe it is almost as much now. Nylon, is a memory yarn. When it gets crushed from normal foot traffic, it can be brought back with regular vacuuming or cleaning.

Olefin is the cheapest route. The only successful installs I have seen with this are with darker colors. Oils are almost impossible to remove from this fibre, it holds on to them and in short time even the highest quality olefins will mat down and have ugly dark appearances in traffic areas. Not being a memory yarn this cannot be removed very easily with cleaning.

26yrsinflooring 07-20-2008 03:52 PM

23 has the carpet covered.
I will cover the pad.
Use good rebond pad perhaps a 7 lb you can get that in 3/8 for the berbers and 7/16 for the conventional. A 6 lb is good and a lot better than the 4 lb.

tigerbalm2424 07-20-2008 04:41 PM

Thanks all! I will look for a nylon beber and a 7 lb 3/8th inch pad then if I choose berber!:thumbsup:

ccarlisle 07-20-2008 05:44 PM

I've hardly ever seen a nylon berber carpet...olefin (ie. polypropylene) berbers are the norm because of their cost and relative suitability to basements. There's a degree of 'recycling' involved in olefins too, that sways some buyers - although I don't know the exact connection. But olefin berbers tend to wear and grey out faster than any nylon.

There's always just straight nylon carpeting, not in a berber weave, if you like something to squish your toes into. We've had our olefin berber 20 years now in the basement. I'd definitely stay away from any cellulosic (cotton) or animal fibre down there, so orientals are mostly out.

HomeDepot23 07-20-2008 06:55 PM

Carlisle. Yes there are plenty of nylon berbers out there. They are softer. Any time if it is "stainmaster" it is nylon.

I'm glad your olefin held up. If you treat it well, it will. Barefeet, dirty shoes will kill it. Once in a while, this was in the 90's, so excuse me if they have corrected the problem, when the yarn was excruded, the mills had to put oil on the yarn and then clean it afterwards. Once in a while they failed to clean it properly before making it into a carpet.
Down the road it would get black. A cleaner would come in, put more cleaning agents in, then it would get worse.

26. Good call on the pad. I would only use rebond. I am sure the rubber pad is good too, but it is so expensive and in the heat of Florida I would get more issues than was worth it. Stay away from anything that is solid foam. Even if the salesperson says how great it is. Rebond is lots of foam put together, so it is easy for a salesperson to make you think it is inferior. It isn't. With 26 and myself you have 52 yrs of experience!! There is a fake horsehair pad out there too. It seems okay, I've never used it. But it seems to lack comfort.

tigerbalm2424 07-20-2008 08:59 PM

Well, I went and looked around the Mohawk website and it seems that a lot of their berber is nylon. Any suggestions on cut pile, loop pile or loop cut. I always think of the loop pile when I think of berber but the cut pile looks nice when it has multiple color strands in it. I would really like a carpet that is beige or light tan or a blend but I dont want it to show tracks if possible. Thanks again guys!

HomeDepot23 07-20-2008 10:03 PM

without getting into the whole berber story, it has become pretty well accepted now that berbers are looped, even though it isn't really neccessarily the case.

The looped pile is supposed to give you the wearability, but my original post on carpet covers that.

Any time you get a cut pile you run the risk of having tracks, footprints, markings. Certain carpets such as textures will hide this, carpets such as plush highlight this.

Frieze carpets or california berber types are a more casual. They tend to wear well as you walk on the sides of the carpet more than on the tips. Most will hide the footprints etc, however, the thicker you go, the more markings you'll get.

You'll need a salesperson you can trust to show you.

Lighter colors will hide more than darker ones.

On cut pile Nylon rules again. Stay away from Polyester if possible, Absolutely never, NEVER, get a cut pile olefin.

Look at the tips of a cut pile. Isolate one fibre strand. Look at the tip closely. Does it look tightly wrapped and even all the way from the base? :yes: Or is it blooming at the top like a rose? :( Often carpets like that have been blown with air to make them look bulkier. It is already on its way to looking worn and it hasn't been laid yet.

Run a thumb across the face of the carpet as if you smudged it and were trying to wipe off the smudge. See if the carpet deterioates, so to speak, or if it just goes back to the way it was.

Don't get sucked in by Karastan salespeople. Mohawk owns Karastan and mixes many of their products in their regular line under different names, for a lot less money.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-20-2008 10:52 PM

Let me chime in:

I agree nylon is the strongest fiber used to make carpet, and therefore results in the longest wearing carpets. 80 percent of commercial carpets are made of nylon fiber.

The problem, however, with nylon is that it's got polar groups on it, which makes it highly susceptible to water based stains. DuPont has spent a king's ransom trying to make their "Antron" nylon more resistant to water based stains, and they're still trying.

There is a certain wisdom in knowing when to give up.

Other producers of nylon are now producing "solution dyed nylon fiber" and are selling it to make commercial carpets out of. That way, you have the durability of nylon combined with the ability to use bleach or acetone straight out of the jug on the carpet to remove otherwise impossible stains.

For those who don't know:
A "solution dyed" fiber is one in which the fiber is coloured by adding solid coloured particles called "pigments" to the plastic before drawing it into a fiber. As a result the coloured pigments are encased in the plastic fiber very much like raisins in an unsliced loaf of raisin bread. Since the colour of the carpet comes from the pigments, which are encased in nylon plastic, you can use strong chemicals like bleach to remove any stains from the exterior surface of the fiber without discolouring the pigments encased inside the fiber.

That way, you can have the durability of nylon with the ability to use bleach to remove stains from the carpet fibers without bleaching the carpet.

If someone in here doesn't think that's an important selling point, they come from a different planet.

PS: I've been using bleach to remove dyed candle wax stains from Olefin carpets for about 22 years now. (Tenants love candles.) There's a supposed carpet cleaning guru who works out of the place where I buy my carpet here in Winnipeg, and he warns against using bleach on any carpet. He said it would "etch" the carpet fiber, making it rough. I asked him if it did that, wouldn't that rough surface scatter light, making the carpet look whiter? He couldn't answer that. Think about it. If you take a piece of sandpaper and roughen up any smooth surface (even glass), those scratches will look lighter in colour than the original surface because they're rough and scatter light in all directions. Light coming from all directions reflects and refracts off that rough surface and when it refracts, the different frequencies of light get scattered in slightly different directions (just the same way as a prism works). Your eye sees the combination of different colours from a rough surface as the colour "white". So, if you scratch a piece of glass, the scratch with be white. If you've ever seen heavy machinery scratch concrete, the resulting scratch is white. Even if you scratch a black granite tombstone, the resulting scratch will be a whiter version of black. If bleach were to cause any increase in roughness of the surface of the carpet fiber, you'd expect to see a whitening of the carpet (even without any chemical "bleaching" effect) just due to the roughening of the carpet fiber. Therefore, if you don't see that, then the bleach is not affecting the smoothness of the carpet fiber.

PS2: As I have typed this post, I have had a scrap piece of the solution dyed nylon carpet I installed in Suite 2 sitting not more than 4 feet from me with some undiluted bleach soaked into an area the size of a quarter. So far no detectible change in the carpet colour, except that it is darker, as most water absorbing materials are when they're wet. I just now used a wad of toilet paper to wick up that bleach, and there is absolutely no discernable change in the carpet colour whatsoever. And, it's taken every bit of 10 minutes to type this post so far.

The carpet I installed in Suite 2 and tested the bleach on is made by Shaw. It is their "Franchise" line of commercial level loop carpet. The colour I purchased was #10405 called "Starry Night", but all of these carpets in the Franchise line are solutiond dyed nyon and would not be harmed by bleach.

A second 100% solution dyed nylon commerical level loop carpet made by Shaw is their "Reward Power" line.

Tigerbalm: You have very little to lose by spending $2 on a car floor mat size sample of a 100% solution dyed nylon carpet and torturing it with bleach. Just look on the back of the sample and it'll say what fiber it's made of, and if it's nylon, whether or not it's solution dyed nylon.

Just pour some Grape Kool-Aid (worst stain I could think of) on the sample, rub it in, and use bleach to remove the stain. Just apply the bleach right out of the jug to the stain, allow it to work and remove the stain, and then suck the bleach out of the carpet using the suction hose of a wet/dry Shop Vac vaccuum cleaner. Just press the end of the hose down on the carpet and the air flow will pull the bleach out. Then apply clean rinse water several times, recovering the rinse water after each application. Maybe try a good grade of water based wood stain on the carpet, too!

If you have a puppy or kitten, you can also use bleach to kill any germs (disinfect) on the areas of your carpet where your puppy or kitten had an "accident" exactly the same way. That way if you have a toddler dropping things on the carpet and then putting them in his mouth, you don't have to worry (as much) about what he's puttin in his mouth.

In my books, not having to worry about staining a brand new carpet because you can remove that stain with bleach is an important selling point that no one seems to have mentioned so far.

PS3: I have no fight with foam chip pads, but I install a 38 pound commercial pad called SP380 (I don't know who makes it) in every apartment in my building, and I've had absolutely no problems with it. It's strong ad thick and seems to last forever. When I remove the old carpet in a suite, I press down on the traffic lane and compare how it compresses with the non-traffic areas in the corners of the room. Until I start to detect any difference, I'll keep installing new carpet over the same SP380 solid foam rubber underpad.

HomeDepot23 07-21-2008 05:52 AM

You are right Nestor. The only thing is though, that bleach has other problems too. That is why manufacturers, who emphasize using bleach on their products also say to use very little and to dilute it.

I was cleaning out a closet once for a friend that was moving house. She had apparently knocked over and susequently broken a bottle of bleach.

Now, granted, I do not know the quantity of bleach and I do not know the duration of time that the bleach had sat there, but sat there it had.

After emptying the closet, I pulled up the carpet so I could take the sample back to my store and match it with some remnants I had back there. All the carpet fibres just brushed off the backing in a neat circle where the bleach had sat.

I only recommend the use of bleach in extreme cases.

ccarlisle 07-21-2008 07:05 AM

I'm no expert on carpets here but the terms you refer to ("berber", "cut-pile" and "loop-pile") are types of "weaves' and in a way describe the weaving process. A berber weave is a looped weave, as HomeDepot23 described. Cut-pile is what one would think of when one thinks of a traditional nylon carpet because the piles have been cut.

So, IMO a berber is a looped-pile weave, and there may not be such a things as a 'cut-pile berber'...looped-pile weaves like berber are sold precisiely because they tend to show footprints much less than a traditional cut-pile carpet would. That's what the loops are for.

Now staining is another matter; I think we're up to the sixth generation of "stain-proof" carpeting, with each subsequent generations solving the problems of the previous generation in terms of being resistant to soils. This is a particular feature of nylon carpets only, as many have already pointed out.

Pricing for berbers is still something like this: wool berbers are around $75 per sq yd, nylon berbers around $50 and olefin berbers around $20. So in terms of volume, you'll see more olefin berbers out there. They are very profitable berbers to sell, that's why. Some berbers are made from recycled soda botles (PET), so have an environmentally-friendly message.

Yes, bleach is strong...a strong oxidizer actually, and the products of its reaction on most things equally as strong as the product itself. It is highly alkaline and therefore a danger to many compounds. I think the tendency is to use - as with many chemicals - as little as you can to do the job and although we carry 10 volume (the drug-store concentration) and the 30 volume (the hairdressing concentration) with us, we never use them straight. On the other hand, don't conclude that "bleach will dissolve carpet" - because it won't in the hands of an experienced professional.

The damage that HomeDepot23 describes is a good case, but I see that phenomenon after plain water has been left to stand for long periods of time, so has something to do with degradation of the fiber (probably a cotton backing) accelerated by the corrosiveness of the bleach. A mess in either case...:(

There was a time that Shaw Carpet was the largest manufacturer of carpet and Home Depot (the store) the largest seller of carpet. May still be true...

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