American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC)

National Tile Contractors Association Endorses Concrete Industry Position Statement on Floor Flatness Tolerances

The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, Mo., has announced that the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Jackson, Miss., has endorsed a Position Statement on floor flatness tolerances written and published by the ASCC. Members of both associations will use the document to help resolve the incompatibility of tolerance-measuring methods between the flooring and concrete construction industries.

The statement, "Division 3 versus Division 9 Floor Flatness Tolerances," is also endorsed by The National Wood Flooring Association, St. Louis, and The Flooring Contractors Association, West Bloomfield, Mich.

The statement explains that flooring contractors (Division 9) and concrete contractors (Division 3) measure floor flatness by different means. In addition, floor flatness changes with time, due to a process called curling. Curling makes it impossible to predict what the flatness of a slab will be when the floor coverings are installed.

The solution to this, the associations agree, is for the owner to provide a bid allowance, established by the designer and based on the floor covering requirements, for grinding and patching necessary to close the gap between Division 3 tolerances and Division 9 tolerances.

“The difference between how Division 3 and Division 9 measure floor flatness, and the changes that occur in a concrete slab between pouring and the time the floor covering is applied, have been the source of many arguments, much misspent time and numerous lawsuits,” says Clay Fischer, president of ASCC.

“Instead of disagreeing, the two sides have come together to find a common solution to a problem that has cost both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars in rework,” adds Bart Bettiga, executive director, NTCA.

“We believe an allowance in the bid would accomplish two things,” says Ward Malisch, technical director of ASCC. “First, it would cover the cost of the patching and grinding that is almost always required. Second, it brings the issue to the attention of the owner and designer early on, hopefully forcing them to acknowledge that the point in question does in fact exist.”

“Many members of the ASCC have successfully used this Position Statement to drive home this point with owners,” says Fischer. “We believe a joint statement from Division 3 and Division 9 contractors will carry even more weight. The intent of all four organizations is that it will be used to make the construction process go more smoothly for all involved.”

The read ASCC Position Statement #6, "Division 3 versus Division 9 Floor Flatness Tolerances," online. To purchase a copy call (866) 788-2722.

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