Last fall, I got a call from James Duffy, director of sales and marketing at Independent Floor Testing & Inspection (IFTI). He said IFTI wanted to see less talk and more action on a hot topic in the industry: concrete moisture and flooring failures.

“Concrete moisture is the predominant cause of flooring failures, costing more than $1 billion annually, not to mention cost of downtime while the floor is re-installed,” Duffy said.

IFTI contends the underlying reason behind the persistence of floor failures is that independent concrete moisture testing is often not considered at any point during the flooring lifecycle. As one of the few organizations in the industry that is marketing independent testing on a national level, Duffy said they wanted to see more action from the industry on how to solve flooring failures due to concrete moisture.

There are many groups who hold stake in this issue, and it’s a tough one to navigate. As floors succeed and fail, different players stand to earn or lose money. Several industry organizations have come together to collaborate on white papers, panel discussion, task forces and negotiations among installation firms and manufacturers, and yet no one has an answer on how to eradicate the problem. Not sure that we ever will get to a complete solution, but Floor Trends would like to be a part of the discussion.

Some say there should be an understanding among industry stakeholders that when a flooring contractor is hired, they do not know the condition of the concrete slab they are working with until they get there. The Floor Covering Contractors Association (FCICA) says, “Flooring contractors can’t be expected to determine such critical points as the chemical composition of concrete due to moisture content, alkalinity, or the effects of various admixtures on the concrete itself.” The question remains: what steps can these groups take to reduce the risks of floor failure due to moisture issues?

In this issue, we are kicking off the talks with a feature, Concrete Moisture: The Blight of Flooring. We want to hear from you about what the industry should do to navigate this issue. How are concrete moisture issues and flooring failures affecting your business? Comment on, send us an email, or comment on the links on our social media pages—we want to hear from you about this problem and how to solve it. The goal is to get enough feedback to follow up with stories that share your experiences, thought processes and solutions. Drop me a line at