Making Sound Decisions

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In the hardwood flooring industry, you risk being left behind if you’re not staying on top of new products and trends. Faced with an installation project of immense size and scope, Ken Clifford of DFS Flooring in Utah was able to take advantage of new product knowledge to save his client hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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“We were tasked with doing the flooring at a ski-in/ski-out hotel nestled in the center of Canyons Village in Park City, Utah. The construction project consisted of three buildings that were six stories high. All told, we were going to install 85,500 square feet of hardwood flooring,” explains Clifford. “We have worked with the owners of this project for many years, and always want to do the best possible work for them.”

Park City 8Installing this much flooring was a daunting task on its own; however, it was complicated by the designer’s request that all of the wood flooring would have a recycled acoustical rubber underlayment mat beneath it to minimize the transfer of sound.

“It is a very high-end hotel, and it was imperative that guests could not hear anyone above them,” says Clifford. “We understood their concerns, but from experience, I knew the most important thing I could do as a contractor was to review the specifications they came up with. My first concern was the time and cost that this request required. We would have to glue the rubber underlayment mat to the concrete and then glue the wood flooring on top of that.”

Without purchasing the mat or the adhesive to bond it to the subfloor and all the planning and labor necessary to do so, Clifford calculated he could save his clients roughly $400,000 while still meeting the specification requirements and not compromising the quality of the installed system.

Park City 15“I felt I owed it to the clients to see if there wasn’t a better way. I’ve always known that it’s important to keep up with the latest products for situations like this. So, working with our Bostik regional sales manager, James Allred, I became aware of a multi-functional product called Ultra-Set SingleStep2, which could provide acoustical reducing properties that met the specification, as well as acting as a moisture barrier, which the rubber did not provide,” says Clifford.

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Photos courtesy of Ken Clifford | DFS Flooring

While the new adhesive cost more money, Clifford’s clients were not paying for the rubber underlayment, and it saved labor costs, as he only would be applying it once.

“It made the job so much simpler and easier, as well as gave us the confidence that we were using a complete system that would also be combating potential moisture issues,” says Clifford. “I’ve heard stories of our competition having moisture issues months after installation. If you’re not paying attention, it can cost you a lot of money and headaches. It will not be good for you or your clients if you have a floor fail due to a moisture issue.”

Clifford says he was able to get the entire flooring project done in half the time it originally would have taken.

“Every project has a time crunch. Flooring is one of the last things to go in, and they were trying to get the furniture into the space and open it. We saved so much installation time by eliminating the extra step,” explains Clifford. “We were able to wait until the rooms were more complete, the permanent HVAC was on, and then go ahead and install the flooring.”

Clifford says that this project was a great reminder that it never pays to assume that you know all there is to know about hardwood flooring.

“You cannot be content to stay put or assume that the way you’ve always done things is the best way. A part of being a professional is the idea that if we see something that is not going to work well or that can be done in a better, more efficient way, we need to bring that to their attention,” explains Clifford. “Being able to show them ways to save money and time is a big plus for them and their bottom line, but also for us when it comes to future projects.”

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