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Commercial Flooring News

Level Best

Smoothing and levelling compounds and underlayments are essential for floorlayers:

Ardex saysitsArditexlatex levelling compounds, produced for over 40 years, give flooring contractors application and performance benefits to help minimise risks associated with installation.

Arditex NA, designed to reduce the need for intensive preparation, and priming, is claimed to save the professional flooring contractor both time and money. The product reportedly has versatility, advanced site tolerance and a reduction in preparation machinery hire, lost time and expensive call backs as a result of failures that can be associated with working in sensitive locations.

B A L says its family of levelling products for professional tilers are ‘fast, strong, smooth and reliable. BALSolidbase,Thickbase, Rapidbase, Fibrebase and Acrybase are available from hundreds of

stockists nationwide.

The products are all designed to flow quickly and smoothly, with a consistent flow rate throughout a 15-
minute period after mixing. They are supplied in 20kg sacks, said to typically give 5sq m to 6sq m coverage at 2mm depth.

BAL levelling compounds are polymer-rich for strong bonding, said to offer minimal shrinkage, unlike certain other products which may show shrinkage-derived deformation within days, it claims.

Self-healing properties are said to be standard across the range which is protein-free,eliminatinganybacteria growth. Each product also comes with a 25-year guarantee.

BAL Solidbase is a contract-grade single-part powder for everyday levelling of solid core substrates, including concrete, sand/cement screeds and existing quarry tiling. It may be used at bed depths of 2mm- 12mm, and is reportedly ready for tiling after four hours.

BAL Thickbase for use from 2mm-50mm and is claimed to be sufficiently flexible for underfloor heating applications. Tiling can reportedly begin within four hours after application, and it can be used as a patch

and repair.

BAL Rapidbase is described as faster drying for use from feather edge to 15mm. It can reportedly be used on all the same backgrounds as Solidbase, but also on floors with underfloor heating, while drying sufficiently to accept ceramic tiles two to three hours after application and is ready to take foot traffic after only 90 minutes, says BAL.

BAL Fibrebase is designed for levelling wood floors, being flexible and having a high tensile strength. It is said to give a bed depth of 3mm- 30mm and be ready for tiling after four hours. The powder incorporates special fibres for the product to deliver a ‘smoother, stubble-free’ finish. Wood substrates can be primed with BALAPD. Tongue- and-groove flooring and single layer plywood will also require covering with a 4mm fibreglass mesh before levelling for added reinforcement.

BAL Acrybase is an acrylic-based, two-part product, comprising a 23.5 kg sack of powder and 5 litre bottle of liquid. It is recommended for external use and heavily trafficked areas. It is said to be suitable for both wet and dry areas and for absorbent and non-absorbent substrates.

It reportedly offers a bed depth of up to 10mm, with feathered edges if required, or from 10mm-20mm if mixed with 3mm granite chippings.

F Ball and Co high performance Stopgap 800 Wearcoat smoothing underlayment was used to renovate a Channel 5 news studio, London. The 280sq m basement area needed a hardwearing finish for heavy cameras and daily foot traffic in a busy news production area.

First existing paint residue and contaminants were removed from the floor by mechanical means. A moisture measurement test was then conducted to determine the relative humidity (RH) levels of the subfloor. The surface was found to be suitably dry without the need for a waterproof surface membrane.

The contractor AA Floor Services applied two coats of Stopgap P131 general-purpose neoprene primer to the subfloor to promote adhesion of Stopgap 800 Wearcoat, applied at thicknesses of between 5mm– 12mm to the 280sq m surface area.

The Wearcoat was then finished with a spiked roller to remove air from the applied material and prevent pin holes forming on the finished surface when dry. The product is a commercial and industrial grade levelling compound for upgrading and renovating internal floors in light to heavy-duty applications, for thicknesses between 5-15mm.

Being protein-free it can be used in biologically sensitive areas. For a spill resistant and protective surface finish, Stopgap Seal can be applied over the Wearcoat once it has dried.

Tony Friend, md of AA Floor Services, says: ‘I’ve been using F Ball’s products for almost 50 years and have seen the changes and developments in their products that make jobs that would have seemed
long and arduous a few years ago, completed within hours today.’

Mapei producesarangeof levelling and smoothing compounds including Latexplan Trade, a two- component, protein free product for applications between 3mm-10mm.

For greater thickness up to 30mm use Ultraplan Renovation Screed which is suitable for most substrates including existing timber. Both products are EC1 accredited for low emissions of VOC’s .

Pallmann offerscourseson smoothing compounds for use under wooden floors. The company’s experts walk participants through the five steps to subfloor preparation for wood floors. The session provides hands-on training for all aspects of subfloor preparation and it’s free to attend!

The company’s training sessions are run at its technical forum in Rugby. For more information or to book call: 01788 530 080.

Pallmann claims that its wood floor installation systems are fail safe when used correctly. That’s why it offers a two year warranty for everyone attending each of its Five Steps training sessions for installation, renovation and maintenance of wood floors.

Uzin hasdevelopedL3Gold Moisture Control System to improve L3 Gold in areas of high moisture by up to 90% RH. The moisture control system reportedly allows fitters to prime the floor with one coat of L3 Gold system primer and then mix the bag and bottle components L3 Gold Powder and the new L3 Gold moisture control liquid, before installing the levelling compound.

The rapid L3 Gold System Primer reportedly dries within one hour while the L3 Gold moisture control levelling compound is ready to accept most floorcoverings within two hours, meaning the whole installation process takes less than four hours.

This rapid system is described as extremely affordable when compared to the traditional system at price per sq m while also saving time and money on labour costs.

Due to regulations on duty of care and allergies to latex, the system is also said to be suitable for use in sensitive environments such as hospitals because the L3 Gold products are ammonia and latex-free.
The moisture control system can also reportedly be applied over old waterproof adhesives residues. It is said to be easy to sand down, flows exceptionally and has a high compressive strength of 25N.

Watco saysitsPourandWalk is a cheap way to even out rough surfaces before fitting carpet, wood or vinyl flooring in offices and other high foot traffic areas. It is also described as easy to use, fast curing and can be applied from a depth of 3mm, avoiding the need to raise doors or other edges.

With a walk-on time of only two hours in normal conditions, Watco Pour and Walk reportedly requires minimal downtime so the area doesn’t need to be closed for long. It also has a low VOC.

Large areas of uneven, damaged concrete surfaces – including areas with forklift and car traffic – can be re-surfaced quickly and easily with Watco Flowtop, says the company. This fibre reinforced product is claimed to be much stronger than other self-levelling compounds and has twice the tensile strength of concrete.

Watco Flowtop is said to achieve full strength at 3mm, but can be applied at 15mm in very uneven areas. It is designed to cure to a tough, smooth, non-dusting surface with inherent anti-slip properties.

Watco UK, which has been ISO 9001 certified since 1995, is a direct supplier of building repair and maintenance solutions and fully committed to providing high standards of quality and service.


For further information on any of the products mentioned, contact the suppliers directly. And please remember to tell them that you read about their companies in CFJ:
Ardex 01440 714939
Bal 01782 591100
F Ball 01583 361633
Mapei 0121 508 6970
Pallmann 01788 530080
Uzin 01788 530080
Uzin has developed L3 Gold moisture control system
Watco 01483 791456

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