96 interiors+sources june2017 interiorsandsources.com
By AnnMarie Martin | Photography courtesy of Milliken
When Milliken finally realized about two years ago that it never had a moisture claim come across its quality control desk, the company knew it was onto something. It was all thanks to Milliken’s moisture vapor-wicking, open-cell cushion backing that comes standard on its modular carpet tiles. “We’ve had this technology for
25 years and didn’t realize it,” said Michael Eckert, director of strategic marketing for Milliken.
For its customers, the backing equals installation and maintenance benefits that can result in
significant cost savings throughout the years.
Below, Eckert outlines how the construction helps to avoid one of the leading problems in the
industry, making for a longer-lasting product in both design and performance.
THE PERFECT COMBO
Milliken utilizes an open-cell, polyurethane cushion backing as opposed
to a closed-cell, hard PVC or thermoplastic backing which traps vapor.
“Once vapor is trapped, all it takes is a fraction of a temperature shift
in that concrete slab below to make it condensate, and that’s when all
of the issues begin to occur—from adhesive breakdown to mold and
mildew,” Eckert explained. Milliken’s proprietary design, in conjunction
with that open-cell polyurethane cushion, allows vapor to get into the
backing and then escape through the seams of the tiles. There is never
an opportunity to turn the vapor into liquid water.
SQUASHING INSTALL PROBLEMS
A main advantage of the cushion backing is that it’s non-reactive,
evading a phenomenon called “plasticizer migration” (when a
PVC backing has a chemical reaction to existing adhesive) and
telegraphing with thermoplastic backings where some adhesive
can be seen below the tile—both of which an installer would
need to rectify. Because of the thickness of Milliken’s cushion
backing, any high ridges caused by adhesive problems can simply
be scraped off by hand. Furthermore, carpet can be installed
directly on top of any older adhesive during a renovation project. M i l l i k e n ’ s M o i s t u r e