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Commercial Flooring News

Working Together

WE are all familiar with the concept of ‘putting the customer first’, and of course the importance of how taking a customer-led approach is a great way to help maintain a positive reputation for your company. A technical support site visit I made last month really highlighted this to me.

I visited a new housing estate with about 200 new homes of mixed size – varying from flats up to detached houses.The problem was that in one of these houses, luxury vinyl tiles had been laid in the corridor, kitchen and downstairs toilet, but had begun to delaminate shortly after the new owners had moved in.

According to the flooring contractor, the screed had been wet, so a damp proof membrane had been applied before the smoothing compound. They had then been careful to check that this was dry before the LVTs
were laid down. But a few weeks later the home owners contacted the developer, saying that the tiles had star ted popping.

So we were called to the site to take a look. The tiles were easily peeled from the floor, with the floor below wet to the touch and there was also the tell-tale smell of alkaline degradation, confirming that the problem was moisture related.

The first thing we checked was the wall cavities, as it was possible that moisture was entering the house from here. The housing developer was really helpful with this, removing several bricks from the wall to help us take a good look, which showed ever ything was in good condition.

A problem with the DPM itself also seems ver y unlikely, as the moisture is mainly around the downstairs toilet area –you would expect this to be more widespread if the DPM hadn’t been mixed properly, for example.
One possible explanation is a slight gap in the DPM around where the toilet pan was subsequently installed – it could be that moisture is rising through here and then spreading across the DPM and through the tiles.

This one is certainly a work in progress, but in the meantime the flooring contractor has agreed to pay back the homeowners for the work whilst a solution is found. Whilst I usually write about technical problems we have solved, I thought this job was well wor th covering because it highlights one of the positive sides of our industry.

The flooring contractor, the housing developer and we at Bostik are working together to make sure that the homeowners get the solution they need as soon as possible, and are accommodated for in the meantime.

Of course, there will be times when disputes happen, as I’ve covered in this column in the past, but the positive action of all concerned means that the home owner is happy, and importantly a good relationship between developer and flooring contractor is maintained for securing future work.

John Alcock is technical specifications manager at Bostik
T: 01785 272727

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at