Going With The Flow
Floorlayers must to be sure to choose the right smoothing compound from the many available:
BAL offers a choice of levelling compounds, including Solidbase, Thickbase, Rapidbase, Fibrebase and Acrybase, all designed to flow quickly and smoothly, delivering a consistent flow rate for 15 minutes after mixing. A 20kg sack reportedly gives a typical 5sq m to 6sq m coverage at 2mm depth.
BAL levelling compounds are described as polymer-rich for strong bonding, offering minimal shrinkage, excellent self-healing properties and protein-free formulations designed to eliminate possible future bacteria growth. Every BAL levelling compound has a 25-year guarantee.
Solidbase is a contract-grade levelling compound for everyday levelling of solid core substrates, including concrete, sand & cement screeds and existing quarry tiling. The single-part powder is said to mix easily with water for use at bed depths of 2-12mm, and ready for tiling after four hours.
Thickbase may be used from 2-50mm and is also said to be sufficiently flexible for underfloor heating applications. Tiling can begin within three to four hours after application, says BAL. It is also said to be suitable for use as a patch and repair to spot-fill holes.
Rapidbase is described as suitable for faster drying and may be used from feather edge to 15mm. It can reportedly be used on the same backgrounds as Solidbase, but also on floors with underfloor heating. It is said to dry sufficiently to accept ceramic tiles two to three hours after application and be ready to take foot traffic after 90 minutes.
Fibrebase is for levelling timber floors, being both flexible and having a high tensile strength. It is said to give a bed depth of 3-30mm and be ready for tiling after four hours.
The powder reportedly incorporates special fibres enabling it to deliver a smoother, stubble-free finish relative to other currently available products.
Timber substrates should be primed with BAL APD. Tongue-and-groove flooring and single layer plywood also require covering with a 4mm fibreglass mesh before levelling for added reinforcement.
These four levelling compounds are all single-part products, requiring only that the powder be mixed with water.
BAL Acrybase is an acrylic-based, two-part product, comprising a 23.5kg sack of powder and 5 litre bottle of liquid. It is recommended for external use and heavily trafficked areas, for both wet and dry areas and for use with absorbent and non-absorbent substrates.
It reportedly offers a bed depth of up to 10mm, with feathered edges if required, or from 10-20mm depth if mixed with 3mm granite chippings.
Bostik produces a range of smoothing compounds designed for different flooring jobs.
With a new formula for increased flow rate and improved workability, Bostik Screedmaster Ultimate is a two-component, protein free and low odour product that is said to offer excellent adhesion for tight timescales.
The product was used at the new Gloucestershire Cricket Club pavilion. Dave Stephens of English County Contracts explains:
‘Bostik Screedmaster Ultimate is our go-to product for smoothing compounds, as we know we can rely on it to deliver high quality with minimum fuss.’
Screedmaster Speed is offered where a quick drying smoothing compound is required. It reportedly sets in 30 minutes and is suitable for underfloor heating systems and most common substrates, including cementitious screeds, concrete floors and other strong rigid subfloors.
Screedmaster Smooth is a single-part, high strength compound for use where an ultra-smooth finish is required. It is suitable for application by both trowel and mortar screw pump. This product was recently used at the prestigious Three Quays development in central London, along with Screedmaster Rapid DPM and Screedmaster Universal Primer.
Tony Forey of Rees Flooring, a member of the CFA, which installed the flooring throughout this 12,000sq m development, explains: ‘We have used Bostik products on other high profile projects, and we’re always pleased with the performance and the level of technical support we receive.’ www.bostik.co.uk
F Ball and Co reports that its new smoothing underlayment, Stopgap 1200 Pro, was used to create a professional, hygienic floor in the Ainsley Ward of Longton Cottage Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent. This low odour smoothing underlayment is said to be suitable for use over old adhesive residues, without priming being needed.
After removing the existing floor planks, B & P Flooring contractors conducted a moisture measurement test to ensure that the surface was dry enough to proceed without needing a waterproof surface membrane.
A 4mm coat of Stopgap 1200 Pro smoothing underlayment was applied directly over the 200sq m surface, without the need to mechanically remove the adhesive residue, thus saving time. Vinyl sheet flooring was then installed.
Latex free Stopgap 1200 Pro reportedly has excellent self smoothing properties with a working time of 20 minutes, and a walk on time of 60 minutes. New vinyl flooring was installed in just four hours.
The product is said to be suitable for application over damp, clean and uneven concrete and can be used over other subfloor types including waterproof surface membranes, sand/cement screed, concrete, granolithic, terrazzo, asphalt, steel, epoxy and polyurethane resins, ceramic and quarry tiles.
It is also protein free, making it suitable for use in clinical and biologically sensitive areas such as medical facilities and laboratories.
This two -component smoothing underlayment is packaged in a 20kg sack and a 5 litre bottle. It can be applied ‘unfilled’ to a maximum thickness of 10mm and, filled with graded aggregate, in applications of up to 30mm.
Stopgap 700 Superflex is designed to offer a strong and stable base for use on semi-flexible substrates, such as plywood and steel which may be subject to movement due to changes in ambient temperature, moisture or traffic.
The product incorporates fibres and utilises advanced binding technology to create a smoothing underlayment that can ‘flex’ once cured.
The fibre-reinforced formulation reportedly provides enhanced crack resistance and maintains the integrity of the installation, to ensure a high quality, long lasting finish.
Stopgap 700 guarantees the long-term integrity and aesthetic finish of a floorcovering, according to F Ball. www.f-ball.co.uk
Larsen Building Products has opened a Midlands office in Tamworth, Staffordshire, expanding its sales support function and demonstrating its continuing total commitment to help service customers throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Part of the Larsen Group of companies, it has manufactured a comprehensive range of products for construction and civil engineering since 1975.
Ongoing investment in equipment, products and staff development to meet the construction sector’s needs means that Larsen can produce over 2000 bags an hour at its computer controlled facility.
‘We believe that our customers value the excellent service provided by our product sales and customer service teams.
‘In order to support and sustain growth in our tiling, flooring, streetscape and highways divisions, we are strengthening our infrastructure to help our sales teams’, says the md Peter McGill.
Paul Luff, sales and marketing manager, says, ‘We’re committed to delivering top quality service and recent growth has led to this investment which will support all our customers.
‘The benefits of using Larsen brand products are being recognised by retailers, contractors and specifiers.’
Laticrete describes its Supercap System as designed for speed, a solution for self-levelling in city centre construction sites. The system is said to be a time-saving, cost-effective method in finishing new concrete or capping existing slabs, while providing benefits from the start of concrete placement in division 3 and flowing through to division 9.
Laticrete Supercap, a low alkali cement-based, premium self-levelling underlayment based on a proprietary mineral binder system, is used to finish interior concrete and level uneven floor surfaces. It combines a LEED contributing, Greenguard certified, low alkali, self-leveling cement based technology with a computer controlled mobile blending unit (the pump truck).
This system, introduced in the USA in 2011 and dubbed ‘The Next Generation Slab’, is claimed to benefit the entire project from design to completion by providing predictable results that save time, money, and improve overall quality. Using Super-Size Sacks means less waste.
Benefits start from when the state of the art truck shows up on site, carrying all products necessary, including a long arm articulating crane and blends at street level. That means no permanent or makeshift silo has to be installed. It even brings its own water and electricity.
Laticrete Supercap is said to produce up to 15 tons of material an hour and pump it up to 50 floors. All the material, mixed onboard the Swedish built computer controlled blending truck, is said to have a high early compressive strength, extremely quick drying and walkable in around two hours.
The product, known as Laticrete Supercap SC500, can reportedly even be applied over green concrete, eliminating any problems with anhydrite screeds and subsequent tiling work. It can be applied over concrete, exterior glue plywood and other types of sound flooring before installing wood, resilient, cork, sports flooring, ceramic, stone, carpet or other flooring systems, according to Laticrete. It also claims that floorcovering adhesives unsuitable for concrete can be used on Laticrete Supercap SC500. The system has a 10 year warranty.
Says Laticrete UK md Michael Hailwood, ‘the truck pulls up to site, blends and pumps the screed at phenomenal speed then leaves.
‘The screed dries so quickly that other trades are back on site within 2-3 hours. The cost saving on this is incredible!’ www.laticretesupercap.com
Mapei describes its Ultraplan Renovation Screed as a fibre reinforced self-levelling compound, designed for the renovation or refurbishment of existing subfloors. The high coverage, low VOC screed can be applied to a thickness of 3-30mm, in one application, and is suitable for prepared concrete, screed, stone, ceramic, timber (plywood, chipboard, plywood, parquet) and terrazzo.
Suitable for both commercial and domestic applications, Ultraplan Renovation Screed is designed for smoothing and levelling floors ready to receive tiled finishes, resilient floorcoverings or wood flooring. It can also be used alongside capillary underfloor heating and electric undertile heating systems.
The product is claimed to reflect the company’s high environmental credentials and is rated GEV Emicode EC1 for low emissions of VOC, during mixing and working of the application. It reportedly gives a coverage of approximately 6sq m per 25kg at a thickness of 3mm. www.mapei.co.uk
T&R Floor Covering Distributors offers a range of adhesives and screeds, from leading manufacturers including Ardex, Bostik, F Ball, Tremco and Uzin. All products are available from stock, for standard two-day delivery or next day, by request. A comprehensive trade counter is also available at T&R’s Nottingham warehouse facility with expert advice on subfloor preparation and floor installation from the experienced team.
Preparatory products include admixes and aggregates, repair and smoothing compounds, membranes, industrial floor systems, primers and screeds are offered alongside a wide range of permanent and peelable bond flooring adhesives for carpet, cork, rubber, tile, wood, underlay and vinyl, as well as epoxy products, deck sheathing underlayment and marine primer. www.trflooring.com
tremco illbruck says its SX200 green smoothing compound can be used as part of a fully EC1-compliant specification for levelling large floor areas in locations such as shops, schools, hospitals and airports.
This product can also be used in conjunction with the manufacturer’s other compatible products including EC1-compliant adhesives, damp proof membranes or the new ES600 moisture vapour suppressant.
The BREEAM-compliant underlayment is integral among the company’s environmentally-friendly solutions. SX200 is available through a network of distributors and is reported to be favoured by many flooring contractors due to its performance and application characteristics, as well as its green credentials’.
Formulated from a blend of natural and reclaimed materials, it is mixed with water for either spreading by trowel or pumped application to depths from 3-25 mm. It is described as a fast setting product that can be walked on in 2-4 hours with most floorcoverings suitable to be applied after 24 hours.
The product achieves compressive strength of over 35 N/mm2, making it suitable for applications that receive heavy traffic.
For environmentally friendly flooring systems, tremco illbruck says it has a range of products that conform to EC1 standards.
SX200 can be used with other of the company’s products including ES600 moisture vapour suppressant, SF108 pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive or SF200 carpet tile tackifier for a system that is not only EC1-compliant but has also been tested to BREEAM standards.
Up to 2,000sq m a day can reportedly be installed while tremco illbruck’s technical service department can assist with creating a fully sustainable system solution. www.tremco-illbruck.com
Uzin has reduced the weight of its most popular levelling compounds. NC 150, NC 160, NC 170 and NC 172 are now available in 20kg bags to make the transportation of levelling compounds easier and safer for flooring contractors.
Despite reducing the weight of the bag, each of the levelling compounds still reportedly offers coverage of around 5sq m at 3mm.
In commercial locations, Uzin NC 160 heavy-duty smoothing compound is said to provide contractors with a reliable solution.
It has also been awarded an EC1 plus classification and Blue Angel label for very low emissions providing an ecological approach for flooring installations. www.uzin.co.uk
Saint-Gobain Weber says ease and speed of application is vital when preparing floor surfaces.
Designed to correct irregularities, weber.floor level helps to smooth out surface unevenness on cement screeds and concretes.
This self-smoothing, cement-based compound can be applied up to a maximum depth of 30mm and will reportedly provide a smooth, rapid-drying finish.
Where irregularities exist on difficult surfaces weber.floor flex renovation screed is designed to self-smooth and self-level to a depth of 50mm and provide improved bond to tiling, flexible floorcoverings, parquet and rigid plastic tiles.
This compound has the added benefit of Low Dust Technology and being rapid-setting it’s ready for foot traffic after just three hours. Both products are for use in interior applications.
Furthermore, the new weber.app provides product and technical advice, a consumption calculator and a find a stockist facility.
Follow the free download links on the website or book a free Saint-Gobain Weber Flooring CPD. www.netweber.co.uk
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.