No errors in stair installation


1. PVC hems installed incorrectly

Damage: The angular PVC hems on a stair in which the floor covering has only been laid in will come loose.

Cause: Adhesive tapes were used for adhering the PVC hems.

Prevention: PVC stair hems on stair steps must be mounted exclusively with an adhesive. The latest state of the art solvent-free contact adhesives should be used here. Adhesive tapes equipped with soft adhesives at the factory cannot withstand pushing movements in the edge areas.

2. Profile not suitable for intended use

Damage: Worn down stair angle profiles and profiles that have come loose on the edges of stairs with homogeneous PVC floor covering.

Cause: The profiles are not suitable for application and the respective use.

Prevention: Choose profiles accordingly based on the intended purpose for edge areas of steps. Safety edge profiles with PVC inserts should be used in heavily trafficked areas. These will be covered, bolted, or dowelled, and furnished with an anti-slip PVC insert.

3. Textile floor covering not fit for stairs

Damage: A textile floor covering shows signs of heavy traffic and wear.

Cause: Textile floor coverings on stairs must be chosen based on their type of use as a matter of principle.

Prevention: The installer should choose a floor covering appropriate for the intended use based on the traffic that the stairs will see. In doing so, visual aspects like colour and susceptibility to dirt should not be the only factors, but also the technical values like type of manufacturing, pile weight, back frame, and suitability for the stairs. The specifications for the ETG seal of quality can help in making a selection.

4. Pile direction of wall-to-wall carpeting is not considered

Damage: Different colour appearances in cut-pile and loop-pile carpet on the stairs.

Cause: The running direction of the carpeting was ignored.

Prevention: The pile direction (nap direction) should run from top to bottom (in the direction of the stairs) in cut-pile carpeting. For loop-pile carpets, it should likewise be ensured that the pile direction is uniform. In doing so, it is important that the pile channel in loop-pile carpeting runs perpendicular to the stair noising.

5. Solvents cause a disturbing odour in the stairwell

Damage: Disturbing odours when bonding staircases in the stairwell.

Cause: Adhering was done with solvent-based contact adhesives.

Prevention: The use of heavily solvent-based contact adhesives is no longer permitted. There are solvent-free aqueous contact adhesives as an alternative, which replace all ranges of use for conventional contact adhesives. This also takes care of the redrafting of TRGS 610, 2011 version. The longer open time of the new contact adhesives requires some foresight in the work process.

6. Subfloor preparation on the stairs is not done professionally

Damage: Undulations appear in a PVC or linoleum floor covering on a staircase.

Cause: Professional refurbishment of the substrate or subfloor preparation was not carried out.

Prevention: The steps in stairwells and setting zones need to be prepared based on the recognised rules of the trade when using resilient floor coverings. Removing labile old layers and cleaning agent, along with applying repair angles and smoothing the steps, is part of the standard set-up in rehabilitating stair steps.

7. Poor appearance of rubber mould stairs

Damage: Visual flaws due to excessive silicone grouting on the railings and wall areas of rubber mould stairs.

Cause: The exact adjustment of the stair tread was economised by using a compass.

Prevention: When installing stair treads, stair steps are adjusted precisely using a compass.

In doing so, it’s important to mount the railings and moulded parts on the wall side first. These are adhered with solvent-free contact adhesives. Afterwards, the stair moulds are marked precisely with a compass. After making a clean cut with about a 1 mm margin, the stair moulds are adhered cleanly and quickly with dry adhesive. That way, the stairwell stays ready for foot traffic and jointing the edges with silicone is unnecessary.

8. Sharp-edged treads create wear on carpeting

Damage: The installed carpet on a wooden step shows wear and tear in the corners after a short time.

Cause: The corners of the treads are too sharp-edged.

Prevention: When installing carpeting that is pulled around the corner, pay attention to the radius of the staircase. This should be at least 10 mm. If no appropriate radius is available, the installer must ground out the corners of a wooden step accordingly and thus manufacture an appropriate curve. If the step is concrete that’s difficult for the installer to prepare, an insulating underlay can be used as well. This protects the carpeting in the corner areas of the tread.


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