Navigation Menu+
Commercial Flooring News

Floor Prep Tips

Barry Hodges, technical manager, Mapei UK, gives tips on floor preparation over previously covered areas: 

BEFORE carrying out any type of refurbishment, there are a number of factors that need to be considered:
First, you need to identify the existing floorcoverings installed, to establish if they contain asbestos. You then need to determine what type of subfloor is present, so you know exactly what you’re dealing with and can select the correct preparatory materials required.
Once this has been established, you’ll need to check for the presence and effectiveness of a structural DPC (damp proof course). This is particularly important in pre 1970’s buildings. You’ll then need to measure the moisture content of the subfloor.
Just because it’s a refurbishment, doesn’t mean the subfloor is dry. Carry out moisture tests appropriate for the type of subfloor, to ensure that the moisture level is below the requirements for the particular type of subfloor.
Once the above points have been established, if the subfloor is found to be dry and you’re confident with what you’re dealing with, preparation of the area can commence:
Uplift and remove all existing floorcoverings and, if possible, arrange for them to be taken away for recycling.
The entire subfloor can then be mechanically abraded, using your preferred method. For example, scabbled or shot blasted. This will remove any existing adhesive, levelling compound and other contaminations, along with any deleterious materials that may prevent the required preparatory products from bonding.
Thoroughly vacuum the subfloor, using an industrial vacuum cleaner to remove all dust and debris.
At this point, if there are any cracks that have been identified, they should be treated using an epoxy crack repair product. The area can then be primed using an appropriate primer, dependant on the type of subfloor.
Once the primer is dry, the levelling compound – either a two-part latex mix or a water-mixed product – can be applied at a minimum thickness of 3mm.
When the levelling compound has cured, the chosen floorcovering can be bonded using the appropriate adhesive.

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