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M50 Rubber Plastics Cork Lino Carpet tiling sheeting (Checklist) G#1160 N#1164

By 8 January 2015October 25th, 2016Checklist, Code, Encyclopaedia, New Build

GBE > Encyclopaedia > Design > Code > Checklist > M > G#1160 N#1164

M50  Rubber/Plastics/Cork/Lino/Carpet tiling/sheeting (Checklist)

M50 Rubber/Plastics/Cork/ Lino/Carpet tiling/sheeting


Cradle to Cradle:

  • design carpets using only natural biobased materials
  • design carpets to avoid mixing natural (biobased) and technical (Plastics petro-chemical chemicals) ingredients
  • design carpets to enable easy seperation of composite construction carpets
  • design laying/securing method to simplify reclaim for reuse

Resource Efficiency:

  • Consider carpet roll widths when planning room sizes
  • Select carpet roll width (and multiples) to fit room size

Mat wells:

  • Avoid highly textured open weaved carpet which may hinder wheelchairs, trolleys, wheeled luggage, wheeled bins and wheeled furniture


Preparation & Conditioning

  • Ensure substrate (bases and backgrounds) screeds and concrete floors have dried out to recommended level
  • Follow the correct sequence and duration not the over optimistic programme
  • Test with moisture content test kit
  • Ensure space and materials are conditioned to manufacturer recommendations for the correct duration
  • Ensure all preparatory work by others is complete
    • (e.g. electrics and plumbing)
  • Ensure all pipes and cables are made air tight through external walls with grommets
    • (air leakage, smoke and acoustics) at abutments
  • Ensure all pipes and cables are made fire tight through fire resistant construction
  • Ensure all air leakage air passage routes are stopped or closed with tapes, sealants or filled with thermal insulation
    • (make airtight behind finishes not at finishes)
  • Carryout any recommeded preparation and priming to receive finish
  • Any underlayment that creaks before laying finish will creak after laying finishes, secure it first
  • Acoustic isulation battens create batten zone voids
    • (insulate to avoid air movement, thermal flanking, thermal bypass)



  • Natural fibre carpets and backings
  • Sheep’s wool from small flocks which are not dipped and other non-dipped flocks.
  • Switzerland keeps its flocks small to avoid need for dipping.
  • Cellulose fibre underlayment boards
  • Rubber crumb sheet underlay
  • Absorption of UV light


  • Reclaimed, locally grown UKWAS or FSC temporate species Plywood
    • or other equivalent timber panel products
  • Cellulose fibre underlayment boards (thermal and acoustic properties)
  • Aerogel thermal insulation quilt or laminated to timber panel products
  • Vacuum Insulated panels (in modular resource efficient floor plans)
  • Rubber crumb sheet underlay (acoustic isolation impact sound)
  • Rubber sheet (acoustic barrier airborne sound)
  • Low-smoke halogen-free plastics in underground projects
    • (London Underground has a list of permitted materials)


  • Linoleum to avoid plastics
  • Thin Linoleum or Rubber to exploit solar gains and thermal mass of screed or concrete floors
  • Rubber sheet flooring for slip resistance
  • Plant fibre carpets and backings to avoid plastics
  • Sheep’s wool from small flocks which are not dipped and other non-dipped larger flocks
    • Swiss flocks are kept small to avoid need for dipping
  • Smooth flat surfaces for ease of cleaning and avoidance of dirt traps
  • Integral coved skirtings for ease of cleaning (but beware below)
  • Coved skirtings for improved room acoustics


  • Phthalate-free PVC coved skirtings below PVC and other resilient flooring
  • Phthalate-free PVC capping above coved skirting with PVC and other resilient flooring
  • Compatible coving, capping, flooring and adhesives
  • Solvent-free adhesives
  • Low VOC adhesives
  • Water based adhesives
  • Low-smoke halogen-free plastics in underground projects
    • London Underground have a list of permitted materials

If you have to use PVC flooring:

  • Phthalate-free PVC coved skirtings below PVC and other resilient flooring
  • Phthalate-free PVC capping above coved skirtings in PVC and other resilient flooring


  • Manufacturers are known to change recipes and make their materials incompatible with others
  • When failures occur some manufacturers distance themselves and lay blame at any other door
  • Some are making REACH illegal recipes of PVC and denying it.



  • Plastics in carpets and carpet backing
  • PVC in carpet backings See Z50
  • Bitumen in carpet backings See Z50
  • Polymer migration between plastics
    • e.g. PVC to adhesives,
    • PCV to coving and capping,
    • adhesives to coving and capping
  • Floor finishes which will affect the exhibits in museums and art galleries
    • British Museum has a database of compatible materials and finishes
  • Slip resistance can be obtained with rubber flooring
  • Carpet and upderlay over underfloor heating: it will act as a thermal insulator and underfloor heating relies on radiant heat to warm objects in the space
  • Carpet and underlay over concrete floors if thermal mass is to be exploited.


  • Virgin plastics:
    • Petro-chemicals are non-renewable
    • Instead use recycled content products, which are becoming increasingly available. See Z50
  • Use of PVC: becuase of potentially high phthalate content
  • Recycled plastics containing PVC
    • (older PVC is probably not REACH compliant)



  • All materials and ingredients fit for purpose and not identified and/or restricted by REACH or its supporting lists and guidance.
  • SVHC Substances of Very High Concearn
  • SIN-list Substitute It Now list
  • Not classified as dangerous under:
  • Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC or
  • Dangerous Preparations Directive 1999/45/EC
  • Not classified as hazardous under the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008; or
  • Not a substance that is: (as defined in Annex XIII of REACH)
    • persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), or
    • very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB); or
  • Not a substance that included in the European Chemicals Agency’s ‘Candidate List’ of substances of very high concern for reasons other than those listed above.

Precautionary principle:

  • Avoid Phthalates in PVC Plasticisers
  • Avoid PVC (recent testing for REACH-compliance found blatent breach of rules)

Resource Efficiency:

  • Reduce:
    • Match component size (and multiples of them) to the size of the space to minimise waste due to off cuts
    • Reduce component size at perimeters to minimise off cut waste
  • Reclaimable:
    • Use dry laying technique
    • Use dry laying carrier system
    • Lay without adhesive,
    • Use low tack self-adhesive,
    • Use adhesive tabs at corners only
  • Reuse:
    • Reclaimed materials
    • Off-cuts to minimuse use of more cutting of whole tiles
  • Recycle:
    • Off cuts
    • Use in recycled textile underlay
    • See Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK)
    • Interface Europe (US) and Milliken (US) offer recycling services for petrochemical based carpets
    • Acoustic isolation: recycled rubber chip sheet underlay to minimise impact noise transmission from above to below
  • Recover:
    • Nutrients from bio-based materials
    • Avoid combustion of plastics due to highly toxic pollution potential
  • Remanufacture
    • See Centre for Remanufacture and Reuse (CRR)
    • Interface will take any manufacturer’s products and refurbish, retexture, reprint and resell or give to charity

Waste Issues:

Waste Category:

  • Carpets: Textile
  • Textile ban from landfill is in place
  • making carpet waste expensive
  • Accessories: Adhesives: Hazardous

Waste statistics:

  • 30 m tonnes (33% of 90 m. tonnes/year) of waste is offcuts (not all floor finishes, carpet or underlay)

End of Life options: 

  • reclaim and reuse as much as possible
  • reclaim and remanufacture
  • reclaim and recycle

Health and safety issues:

Sheep’s wool carpet

  • If organophosphates from sheep dipping are still present.
  • Organophosphate compounds (OPs) were developed as chemical warfare agents because of their action in inhibiting blood cholinesterase activity: this means that in effect they can cause continual and uncontrolled stimulation of organs and muscles.
  • There are a number of recent reviews of OP toxicology.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are about 3 million acute severe incidents of pesticide poisoning every year.
  • Up to half of these may be due to OPs.
  • Dipping is no longer compulsory in UK but it continues.
  • Reports of adverse effects following dipping come from many parts of the UK, Australia and New Zealand as well.
  • See


Maintenance issue:

  • Textured flooring can create dirt traps that the cleaners may not reach.
  • Coved skirtings can make internal corners easier to keep clean,
  • There are densly packed fibre carpets and water proof backing that are pee, poo and spew resistant

Information sources:

Liability avoidance:

Consider use of the following in contract specifications:

  • GBE DoC Declaration of Conformity
  • GBE DoEM Declaration of Excluded Materials
  • GBE DoRR Declaration Of REACH Requirements
  • GBE Appendix of Approved Installer/Applicators

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
16th December 2012 – 30th June 2016

M50 Rubber/Plastics/Cork/ Lino/Carpet tiling/sheeting

GeminiPVC GCS-01 Capping 2DGeminiPVC GCF-038 CoveFormer 2DGeminiPVC GCF-020 CoveFormer 2D

GeminiPVC GCF-020 CoveFormer 3DGeminiPVC GCS-01 Capping 3DGeminiPVC GCF-038 CoveFormer 3D


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
16th December 2012 – 30th June 2016

M50 Rubber/Plastics/Cork/ Lino/Carpet tiling/sheeting
See Also: 

GBE Jargon Buster

  • CFA
  • CFJ
  • CRUK
  • FSC
  • FSP
  • PVC
  • SIN
  • Carpet
  • Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK)
  • Carpet tiles
  • Contract Flooring Association (CFA)
  • Contract Flooring Journal (CFJ)
  • Flooring Sustainability Partnership (FSP)
  • Lino
  • Linoleum
  • Resilient Flooring
  • SIN-list
  • Vinyl (PVC)

GBE Defects

GBE Solutions


GBE Shop

GBE Checklist

  • M10 Screeds
  • M50 (This page)
  • Z20 Adhesives
  • Z50 Plastics

GBE Links

GBE Projects

GBE Calculator


  • 2D and 3D SketchUp Product files
  • SketchUp files of Construction Sections

GBS Green Building Specification

  • Robust Specification Clause
  • Robust Specification Work Section


GBE Products

GBE Accessories

GBE Manufacturers

GBE Suppliers

GBE Installers/Applicators

  • M50

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
16th December 2012 – 25th October 2016

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