By Dave Doherty and Phil Romah, Tego Systems Corp.
The key to successfully hot melt seaming carpet is to follow all guidelines as outlined in CRI 105. These installation standards are based on historical/practical procedures successfully seaming all types of carpet backings. This wealth of knowledge derives from all facets of the flooring industry. It is of the utmost importance to follow manufacturer standards regarding this process as well.
This is an outline to the basics of hot melt seaming and is not all inclusive. To begin, make sure that the pile direction on both pieces is running in the same direction. This is obviously a crucial step in ensuring seams that are as invisible as possible.
Most seams are prepared using a row cutter, but this method may not be suitable for all carpet. To prepare the seam edges, use the proper method of cutting the material as outlined by the manufacturer.
Sealing seams is crucial as the primary and secondary backings’ integrity has most likely been compromised in the cutting process. The typical seam sealing methods are applying a latex, acrylic latex, or using a glue gun and thermoplastic glue sticks. Defer to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding their material.
Choose the proper hot melt seaming tape that is suitable for the materials, as well as the traffic in the area. These tapes are typically 3”, 4” or 6” in width.
Pre-stretch the seam (length) if possible, prior to making the seam. Seam over a hard flat surface. It is important to use the proper iron temperature setting. Overheating the backing may cause damage to the backing, wrinkling or fiber distortion. Use a seaming weight to force the thermoplastic into the backing creating a strong seam. When using a seam roller, defer to the manufacturer regarding the use of a star or flat roller. It is suggested to use a 6” iron and 6” seaming tape for difficult carpet backings such as Berbers, etc.
Always allow the material to completely cool prior to stretching. These are the basics of seaming carpet with hot melt seaming tape successfully.