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Commercial Flooring News

Easy Ways To Meet Deadlines In Your Stride

Stuart Whiteley on facing up to fast-track flooring solutions

THIS month I will tackle the issue of time limitations in flooring preparation, and highlight how best to overcome the pressures of tight deadlines and speed up the subfloor preparation process.

Installing a new floorcovering is commonly one of the final stages in any new build or refurbishment project and, as such, is often likely to encounter tight timescales and tough deadline pressures.

A new floorcovering is naturally expected to enhance the aesthetics of the finished project, so a contractor is required to deliver quick results without compromising on quality.

Regardless of time, it is essential that a subfloor is free from contamination, permanently dry and smooth before the new floorcovering is laid. On-going product developments and advancements in subfloor preparation technology now mean there are many options available to fast track the installation process.

I Swift moisture management: Should a moisture measurement test confirm that the relative humidity of the subfloor is 75% or above (65% for wood flooring installations), a waterproof surface membrane needs to

be installed.

Popular epoxy resin waterproof surface membranes normally require a curing time of 18-24 hours before a smoothing underlayment can be applied. However, by using specially designed additives, curing time can be reduced to just three hours, enabling the next stage of the preparation process to be undertaken on the

same day.

Speedy smoothing compounds: After ensuring the subfloor is sound and dr y, you need to install a suitable smoothing underlayment to create a uniform, smooth sur face on which to apply the final floorcovering.

The introduction of advanced cement binder technology has made it possible to create truly fast-track underlayments with a walk on time of only 30 minutes, while providing a genuine open time of 10-15 minutes.

Exhibiting excellent self-levelling and self- smoothing proper ties, due to improved polymer technology, these fast-track smoothing underlayments allow textile and resilient floorcoverings to be installed over subfloors after just 45 minutes.

This level of product performance and ease of application allows flooring installations to be completed more rapidly than ever before, saving flooring contractors valuable time and money.

I Pump and spray: When covering larger areas, time saving can also be achieved by using pump-applied smoothing underlayments. Depending on site conditions and the thickness required, pumpable
underlayments can be applied at a rate of up to 1,500sq m a day.

Regardless of the timescale available to complete the preparation of a subfloor, the correct steps to achieve a high quality finish must be followed, without taking shortcuts. In recognition of the need for fast-track
solutions, there are now many products available from leading manufacturers that enable all aspects of the subfloor preparation process to be completed in a fraction of the time of traditional products, whilst still delivering a top quality finish.

Stuart Whiteley is section leader – cement technology at F Ball and Co

T: 01538 361633 I

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at