Understanding flooring moisture mitigation

By working together, specifiers, installers and other trades can make the job run more efficiently. For example, if there is an existing subfloor in another part of the space, how long does patching take to dry while a new slab is curing somewhere else? How long will the surface prep really take across multiple spaces? If there are new slabs and existing floors, can the general contractor work with the flooring installer to stagger the installation?

“Working smarter together is the answer to this challenge,” concluded Rhode. “Floor preparation and moisture testing education should be common practice across the A&D industry, and the more educated specifiers and contractors are, the less flooring failures we will see in the future.”

Knowledge is power

This discussion demonstrates a gap between specifiers, contractors, and floorcovering installers. Together, their work can yield huge success. Working apart is a recipe for failure. Moisture testing and concrete slab performance are not typically part of the interiors team and the specification process, yet these subjects directly affect the performance of specified floorcovering products.

This is where education, training, and certification comes into play. There are organizations which offer comprehensive floor covering training to flooring professionals, who can, in turn, educate architects and designers to better understand moisture testing and floor prep.

Knowledge is power, and with the right tools and understanding, specifiers can guide this process and ensure their designs in the built environment will last for years to come.


John T. McGrath, Jr. is the Executive Director of INSTALL – the International Standards and Training Alliance, which is the construction industry’s best industry-endorsed floor covering installation training and certification program.

McGrath has helped to increase installation standards and expectations in the flooring industry by playing a leading role in facilitating communication and cooperation among mills, manufacturers, specifiers, contractors and installers.  All of these groups regularly come together to review and revise the INSTALL curriculum and certification standards. He was a significant contributor in creating the ANSI S600 Carpet Installation Standards and has served as a returning judge in the Starnet Awards, Canadian Apprenticeship Contest and the Schonox Worst Subfloor in North America Contest.

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