Cement Technology Advances Boost Speed
Stuart Whiteley on deep base levelling compounds
I discussed fast-track subfloor preparation solutions in the January issue of CFJ. This month I will explain the importance and significant advantages in the development and specification of deep base levelling compounds.
There are various environments and settings in which a new or existing floor may need to be raised before it is ready to receive a new floorcovering. This can often be the case in conservatory or extension projects where a new floor has to be at the same level as the adjacent room, to create a seamless continuation from room
Alternatively, when removing an internal wall, a subfloor may need to be filled and raised to the same height as the existing floor.
I Substandard surface preparation: Where contractors may be tempted to simply apply a smoothing underlayment at a greater thickness, this can lead to weaknesses and cracks appearing in the surface. This can be due to the material not being designed for such thick applications, nor being suited to the specific criteria of the environment.
It is, therefore, essential to specify the correct products at the initial stage of a project, to ensure that a new floor is durable and finished to the highest standard.
I Deep base levelling compounds: These specially developed products now offer the same impressive properties of traditional smoothing underlayments while successfully raising subfloors by thicknesses of between 5–50mm in one application.
As well as being low odour and protein free, deep base products are suitable for heavy duty areas and can be pump applied, making them ideal for clinical areas and large scale installations, as well as extension and renovation projects.
Furthermore, specialist deep base floor levelling compounds currently available, such as the
deep base compound made by F Ball, now incorporate fast-dr ying technology and set after just three hours, thus allowing a project to continue without delay.
When a deep base compound has been installed and set, it should then be capped with a smoothing underlayment that accommodates the specific criteria and demands of the installation setting.
This stage in the project is necessar y to fur ther ensure a smooth and level subfloor, and to provide a suitable sur face on which to adhere the new floorcovering.
I Before deep base: Before advances in cement technology made it possible to apply one coat of a deep base smoothing compound, contractors would have to raise a subfloor in stages, relying on either an existing, general-purpose smoothing underlayment that was suited to the installation requirements, or using a standard concrete mixture.
Using an all-purpose concrete mixture can cause issues with excess construction moisture, which will lead to a compromised finish. In addition, raising floor levels in this way will result in much slower dr ying times and ultimately delay the completion of the flooring installation.
A contractor may also need to make repeat visits to the site to monitor the drying of the floor, which is both costly and time consuming.
Where flooring installations that required raising or repairing would have been inconvenient or troublesome in the past, the advancements in subfloor preparation products mean that these once challenging projects can be completed with ease, and ofteninthesameday.
Stuart Whiteley is section leader cement technology at F Ball and Co
T: 01538 361 633
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.