An Installer’s Tips

July 30th, 2008 | Category: Installation

Topic: KOOLGLIDE Discussion

[reprint from The Floor Pro Community]

I wanted to start a discussion on the KOOLGLIDE iron.

I’ve been using it on every job now for a couple of weeks. It was a bit strange and difficult for me to change the way I’ve been doing seams for the past 30 years, but I am very happy with the results.

Since I already was sealing the seams with thermoplastic, the KOOLGLIDE iron does a great job of remelting it and binding the edges together. I could do that with my regular iron, but I could only go a few inches at a time since the tops of the irons have the heat shield which does not want to get the thermoplastic hot enough to remelt. Also, you will need to use the glue sticks made for the KOOLGLIDE. It has a lower melting point then the standard glue stick and is very sticky.

The one main thing I am having a hard time getting used to is the fact that you need to cut down the carpet and the tape to the wall or it won’t melt the tape on the edge.

I did have a very slight overlap the other day on a carpet that the edge was very crooked, and was very pleased to be able to quickly fix it by reheating that area and pushing it back to where it was supposed to be.

Also, the tape has the orange line right down the middle that is most helpful as any gap jumps right out at you.

I have found that peaking is all but completely gone which is very good to an installer like me who takes stretching very seriously.

The store I work out of is so impressed with the iron that they gave me a $.50 a yard raise which will pay for the purchase of the iron and the additional cost of the tape.

I like how I can walk away from the seam at any time, and the fact that if I am working on a difficult seam, I don’t have to push the activation button and can work on the area I am working on without having to worry about hurrying up because the next section is ready.

I did a patch with it the other day… OUTSTANDING!

The use of this iron is cumbersome to start with, but once you get used to it, it is hard to justify using any other method of seaming.

The tape is very low profile, it is wider and it is way more “sticky” then standard tapes.

Another benefit…
You don’t ever get those clumps of glue that try to pool behind your standard iron.

Another benefit….
You can “spot weld” places on the seam on trouble pattern carpets then go between later.

I have found that for the best results for me I do this.
After I move the iron forward, I do not immediately reactivate it…
I check the area I just melted first, make sure that I got good melt, make sure that I don’t have to do any adjusting, THEN I activate the iron.
I then “pinch” the seam to bind the thermoplastic sealed edges together, tractor it and move my weight on it, by then, the KOOLGLIDE is ready to move forward.
It only takes about 8 seconds for it to melt the tape.
(I don’t pinch cheaper carpets…. they are to thin and flimsy and will overlap if you pinch it!)

Can anyone tell that I really like my new KOOLGLIDE iron?

What is your experience and do you have any neat tricks?

Chris Sheafer

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