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Sound subfloors and screeds are vital for any successful flooring installation:

Altro claims that its new AltroScreed Quartz Rapicure can be installed by an experienced team in just two days, less than half the time of other conventional epoxy systems, and without the odours associated with MMA based systems. The new rapid cure decorative quartz screed is available in 27 Boutique colours.

In an average installation of 150sq m on a suitable substrate at 20degC, it reportedly takes one day to prime and install the screed material and one day to apply the two slip-resistant seal coats.

Available in 5mm thickness, the product is designed for installation in large, medium or small public areas requiring safety, offering slip resistance of TRRL > 36 and a Ramp Test DIN 51130 R10 classification.

AltroScreed Quartz Rapicure has a closed surface texture said to reduce dirt retention making it easy to clean and maintain. It is also reported to offer a good level of chemical resistance to most common chemicals.

Compared with AltroScreed Quartz, the company says that the final curing rate for the rapid cure version is quicker with full cure being reached within a few hours, at 20degC, allowing for early application of the final seal coats.

Ardex describes Arditex NA as an ultra rapid setting subfloor levelling and smoothing compound, having the ability to adhere to surfaces which would have previously been viewed as problematic or not ready to receive floorcoverings without intensive preparation.

These include rough and poor concrete surfaces, old adhesive residues, flooring grade asphalt and even direct to ceramic tiling, all without priming.

Arditex NA is reported to have excellent coverage of 5.2sq m at 3mm thick and be unaffected by moisture, allowing it to be applied below an Ardex Damp Proof Membrane, such as DPM 1 C, and direct to damp concrete without priming.

Bostik manufactures a range of floor levelling compounds designed to meet the different challenges faced by flooring contractors. Now with improved flow for better workability, Screedmaster Ultimate is a two-part protein free latex smoothing compound for achieving a high quality finish in general applications.

The product was used by Orchard Flooring at Avery Healthcare in Stoke on Trent. Orchard’s operations manager Michael Day commented:

‘I have been in the flooring industry for over 20 years and have always used Bostik products.

‘We find that the combination of reliable product quality and excellent technical support allows us to get the job done as accurately as possible time and again.’

Screedmaster Speed has been designed for projects with tight deadlines. This two-part, high strength polymer modified cementitious underlayment is said to set in as little as 30 minutes.

Also available are Screedmaster Deep, which is designed for applications where a screed of up to 50mm depth is required, and Screedmaster Smooth, which is designed for use on projects where an ultra-smooth subfloor finish is required. It is suitable for use by trowel and mortar screed pump.

F Ball and Co products were used in the recent refurbishment of an outdoor batting area at Paultons Cricket Club, Southampton. An ultra smooth and durable surface was required in the 300sq m practice nets, and an artificial grass covering was specified to complete the exterior makeover.

The contractor Universal Flooring, of Fareham, initially cleaned and primed the surface with Stopgap P131, ready to receive a 5mm application of Stopgap 850 Exterior, a specially formulated smoothing compound designed to produce a sound and level surface. The product is said to be unaffected by rain or frost when set and dried.

The contractor then specified water-resistant Styccobond F74 adhesive to secure the artificial 300sq m grass carpet, supplied by JHS Contract Carpets.

With an open time of 25 minutes, the one-part, moisture curing polyurethane adhesive, the product is seen as suitable for outdoor flooring installations as it is resistant to grease and oil, as well as areas subject to surface water.

Terry O’Brien, project manager for Universal Flooring, said: ‘We regularly use F Ball products for indoor installations, but using Stopgap 850 Exterior was a first.

‘The guys were all particularly impressed with the smoothing compound, as it was just so simple and easy to use. The high quality result was exactly the finish we needed.’

Mapei describes its Topcem as a rapid drying special hydraulic binder for the formation of floating and heated screeds on old and new substrates to install wood, PVC, linoleum, ceramic tiles, natural stone, and carpet. Its fast drying properties reportedly allow ceramic tiles to be laid after just 24 hours, stone materials after only two days and even resilient and wood materials can be laid in four days. It reportedly has a wide range of applications from smaller housing schemes to large commercial projects.

Mapei’s Latexplan Trade is a two-component self-levelling and smoothing compound designed to be suitable for use on most substrates, including concrete floors, cement-based screeds, including Topcem and Mapecem screeds, existing ceramic tile, terrazzo, natural stone, wood, steel and polyurethane. It can also be used in conjunction with Mapeproof ESM surface membrane and Mapei’s ECO adhesives for fast-track projects.

For smoothing and levelling applications up to 30mm in thickness, Mapei’s Ultraplan Renovation Screed, a fibre reinforced water-based self-levelling compound, is designed for the renovation or refurbishment of existing subfloors of concrete, screed, stone, ceramic, timber (plywood, chipboard, parquet) and terrazzo, creating smooth level surfaces for the installation of tiled finishes, soft floorcoverings and wood products in both domestic and commercial situations.

This product is also designed for use with underfloor heating and for encapsulating electric cable undertile heating systems. It has an EC1 rating for where environmental credentials are essential.

The Preparation Group says its re-engineered 110v PPC215 shotblaster is one of the most cost effective

methods of preparing floors before the application of screeds. It is said to be useful to clean and key power floated concrete, to remove laitance, coatings and light surface contaminants.

PPC215 is the smallest abrasive machine in the company’s range yet it is reportedly capable of producing up to 25sq m an hour on power floated concrete. The new model is claimed to offer enhanced performance exceeding that of comparable products in terms of the surface profile and uniformity of finish achieved.

The new PPC215 features an easy access hopper with sieve and an improved reclaim system for greater separation of the dust from usable shot, said to provide higher performance rates when cleaning and texturing concrete, steel, asphalt, stone and tiled surfaces.

The method of operation has been improved; there are no complex switches, levers or speed controls; simple lever action releases the abrasive onto the rotating wheel for optimum operator control. The machine is portable and has double front wheels for easy manoeuvrability on site.

Having low vibration, it is claimed to allow its comfortable use by one operator for up to seven hours, while its basic design ensures minimal maintenance and operator training. Designed for use with a vacuum unit, the machine is said to achieve a dust-free, environmentally friendly operation.

Says Tracey Glew, group md; ‘The new PPC215 model is assembled in our workshop from locally sourced components. Our contracting division has found it to be invaluable on site, particularly for removing coatings and laitance on new concrete in confined spaces. We offer a next day delivery service as standard for spares and consumables from stock.’

Remmers provided flooring for Snowdome’s newly refurbished ski hire centre. A regular client of Remmers, the venue required a seamless, hard wearing non-slip surface that was easy to maintain. A total of 600sq m of Remmers Floormix DQ was installed to the wash bays and toilets, locker and changing areas as well as the open staircase leading from the main foyer.

The DQ System was also applied to the insitu coving and full wall height rendering in the wash bay area. Fast curing resins were requested to meet a tight installation schedule.

Uzin Turbolight System was used to install 1250sq m of flooring at Southend Casino, Essex. Its numerous levels and varying condition of the substrate called for a product to cope with all the variants and carry good point loads. Due to the building’s structural restrictions a normal concrete screed would have been too heavy.

The Turbolight System reportedly offered the solution.

After the initial visit by Uzin’s technical team, a floor specification was formulated, including polished concrete designs and Uzin.

John Barry from Polished Concrete Design said, ‘The Uzin technical team were exemplary. The whole job was straight forward, the product and its sequence of applications was easy, producing a surface exactly as anticipated.’

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