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Professional surface preparation is a vital part of any floorcovering installation:

Bostik says it offers a ‘one stop shop’ range of products for surface preparation. Its Screedmaster One Coat Membrane is a solvent-free two-part epoxy surface membrane designed to protect from residual moisture in power floated concrete slab and sand/cement screed.

Screedmaster Rapid DPM is a single-part surface membrane for cementitious subfloors designed to dry in up to one hour, and be suitable for up to 95% relative humidity with a two-coat application. These products are both recommended for use with Screedmaster Universal Primer, a water based, solvent-free acrylic dispersion primer.

Screedmaster Speed is described as a high strength and high performance self-levelling compound that sets in as little as 30 minutes for tight deadlines. It is said to be protein-free, low odour and can be laid over most common substrates, including cementitious screeds, concrete floors and other strong rigid subfloors.

Also available are Screedmaster Deep for projects where a depth of up to 50mm is required, and Screedmaster Smooth, where an ultra-smooth finish is needed.

Kerakoll UK offers a range of products to prepare surfaces to be easy to tile on. The company’s products have reportedly been specified on a number of projects for various reasons, primarily their ecological credentials. These include the refurbishment of John Lewis’ Exeter store where Kerakoll products were used throughout to prepare surfaces before laying tiles, vinyl or carpet.

Kerakoll’s Slc EP21 was chosen to damp proof the basement screeds which needed isolating. This was then topped with Keracem Eco screed and movement joints were filled with Eco PU40 joint sealant suited to industrial and commercial flooring subject to heavy traffic.

In areas where imposed loads had to be kept to a minimum Keratech Eco Flex was chosen to prepare the concrete subfloor ready for tiling. This is a water-mixed, fibre reinforced levelling compound and was used in 7,000sq m of the store. It reportedly has a working time of 40 minutes and will receive foot traffic after only two hours.

Keracem Eco hydraulic screed binder was used in 4,000sq m of the store. This product is said to create highly stable screeds. Its extended working time reportedly avoided the use of day joints. It was bonded to the subfloor with Keraplast Eco P6 slurry primer, which allowed Keracem Eco screed to be laid as low as 20mm while maintaining its high compressive and flexural strength.

N&C Nicobond Nicobond has launched Nicobond D-Mat 3L, a decoupling mat and anti-fracture membrane to securely fix tiles and natural stone onto problematic substrates.

Tiling to cracked floors or green screeds can cause damage, resulting in costly tile installations to fail.
D-Mat 3L is designed to prevent the transfer of stresses between the substrate and the tiled surface, and to separate the floorcovering from the substrate, acting as an uncoupling membrane to neutralise the deformation or cracks in the substrate.

`Thoroughly tested, Nicobond D-Mat 3L is claimed to surpass the performance of other similar systems available. It is described as waterproof, load bearing and equalising vapour pressure with impressive adhesion performance.

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PPC (The Preparation Group) says the removal of adhesives, levelling compounds and other sticky substances, has always been a challenge for flooring contractors. Traditional grinding methods have a tendency to generate surface heat, rendering the surface residue softer and stickier.

PPC has developed a range of accessories made from Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD), a composition said to scrape rather than grind efficiently and cost effectively and to ‘lift’ these problem materials. Less heat is generated, so all cutting edges remain clear.

The company offers plates designed to fit 110v walk behind machines, including the new 250TP twin power grinder and STG450. PCD shoes which can be fitted to these machines are interchangeable with regular grinding shoes.

The PCD’s will reportedly fit all machines with plates that hold standard grinding shoes. The heavy duty plate for the STG450 can be adapted to house PCD shoes.

A floor can be cleared of adhesives using the PCD’s, and then the cup discs fixed to the plate ready for grinding, says PPC. This saves time because the PCD’s can be left attached ‘in the background’.

PCD shoes, said to offer long life and high thermal stability, are available in double tooth for the removal of thick materials (e.g. carpet backing) and triple tooth removal of thin coatings (e.g. adhesive), and a closer profile.

There are also PCD discs to fit 9in hand grinders, consisting of a cup disc onto which fit interchangeable outer PCD rings, for confined spaces and edgework.

There are two rings available; six pieces for the removal of thick coatings and 18 pieces for the removal of thin adhesives and paint.

PPC’s PCD accessories have additional uses beyond adhesive removal, including the removal of other soft thick materials from latex screeds and certain asphalts.

Says Tracey Glew, group md: ‘The Polycrystalline Diamond range of accessories have been rigorously tested by our contracting division, the largest surface preparation, removal and finishing operation in the UK, and deliver exceptional results; offering time savings but also considerable cost savings and less wastage.’

PWM says its Bull floor stripper is a ‘quantum leap’ in the level of performance achievable by a pedestrian controlled machine. It claims that its stripper will outperform just about every machine of this type and deliver performance comparable to certain ‘ride on’ machines.

The Bull has been engineered to combine power, performance and reliability with simple operation and low maintenance. An important feature is the adjustable weight system that transfers weight from the drive wheels onto the blade, increasing performance on difficult floors.

The stripper reportedly excels at the removal of all floorcoverings due to superb engineering, clever design, and the combination of weight and a powerful ram action. It features a variable speed drive system that can be operated in manual or automatic mode. An optional dust extraction port and chisel holder are available.

T&R Floor Covering Distributors of Nottingham offers a range of surface preparation products. Available for next day delivery from extensive stocks, the range includes branded adhesives and screeds from leading manufacturers, including Ardex, F Ball, Laybond, Tremco and Uzin.

Products are offered alongside flooring options and complementary accessories, with expert specification advice available from T&R’s in-house team.

Products in the range include 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. Preparatory products include admixes and aggregates, repair and smoothing compounds, membranes, industrial floor systems, primers and screeds.

Trelawny is to launch a new range as part of its Vibro-Lo collection. These heavy-duty single disc floor grinders are divided into two categories; entry level, which accept a range of cutting media such as carborundum blocks, scarifier heads and wire brushing; and a ‘Rapid’ model, with high performance diamond technology. This is a redesign of the TCG250.

Revising it from a square form to a circular one, it is now possible to get within 20mm of an edge, thus allowing more accurate work and a higher rate of precision. An improved dust control, via a brush seal around the rim of the body, further allows air to flow through while keeping the dust contained.

Emissions are reportedly reduced up to 40% when used with a Trelawny dust collector. In addition, for wet grinding applications, the TCG250 features a liquid injection system, said to ensure adequate water supply around the grinding head, even at low delivery pressures.

The new parking stand is designed to protect the rubber drive coupling and grinding head when hot, to prevent deformity when in direct contact with the floor after use. The floating front skirt is said to be protected when the tool is parked on the stand, as it keeps it raised and intact. It also has an adjustable height for varying floor levels, allowing high spot removal with minimum effort. The vibration reduced mounts are designed to protect the user from HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) related injuries.

Uzin products were used to install safety flooring in the kitchen at Nottingham City Hospital. The project was complex because extensive remedial work was required. Several different types of old floorcoverings had to be removed from the old kitchen, revealing multiple substrates with latex residues.

The flooring contractor chose a Uzin system due to its experience and expertise when working with technically demanding projects. The repair system, combining several high quality Uzin products is said to have ensured that the project was successfully completed.

Uzin products were also used to keep emissions to a minimum. A combination of Uzin PE 460 damp proof membrane, NC 160 smoothing compound and RR 201 repair mesh were first used to damp proof and repair the substrate. The safety flooring was then installed using Uzin KR 430 adhesive, which has an EC1 Plus accolade for very low emissions.

Uzin Turbolight system is designed to create a substrate up to 300 mm. The product is said to combines mutually compatible materials to rapidly create lightweight and flexible floors. The combination of components, comprising Uzin NC 194 Turbo, RR 201 and NC 195 is designed to create sound and level floors even on deformed and problematic substrates.

The patented system is said to be easy to install, free from deformation and is low tension with low specific density and heat insulating ability. It can be installed using common installation techniques and has accelerated hardening and drying properties for construction sites with tight schedules, says Uzin.
It adds that with the minimum of a 10 dB reduction, the Turbolight System can provide remarkable sound insulation important in the renovation of old buildings.

The system is also water tolerant and therefore suitable for damp rooms. It is designed for the direct installation of textiles, resilient, wood, tiles and natural stone using standard methods and adhesives.

WH Surface Preparation hires a range of equipment to help prepare surfaces and keep coatings in the right place.

New fleet for hire this year includes the SPE DFG700 triple head planetary grinder and SPE 316-3 phase dust control unit. These units when used together only need one power source from a suitable 32amp three-phase supply.

The suction from the dust control unit, described as excellent, means there is no dust and less debris to be removed from the floor after grinding. Diamond plates and tools can produce up to 400sq m per day, says the company. This machine compliments the company’s specialist range of blasters, planners, grinders and more.

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