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Smooth Operators

Surface preparation is arguably the most important part of any flooring installation:

Bostik offers a full system of surface preparation products for professional flooring applications.
For example, Bostik Screedmaster Rapid DPM is a single part surface membrane for cementitious subfloors and is designed to dry in up to one hour.
It reportedly protects adhesives, floorcoverings and smoothing compounds from residual moisture in power floated concrete slab or sand/cement screed, with a two coat application suitable for up to 95% RH.
The fast-track capability of Rapid DPM is designed for use with Bostik Screedmaster Speed, a two-part high strength polymer modified cementitious underlayment that sets in only 30 minutes.
The protein-free, low odour formula is said to be suitable for use with warm water underfloor heating installations.
Bostik Screedmaster Universal Primer is a water-based solvent-free acrylic dispersion primer for use with the full range of Screedmaster smoothing compounds.
Dustcontrol, the dust extraction specialist, has introduced a new dust extraction range for wood floor grinding. This includes two models; DC F60, and DC 1800 eco XL.
Phil Haskins, construction sales manager at Dustcontrol, says: ‘Working with a wood floor grinder produces a lot of dust which means that the container or the plastic sack has to be emptied a number of times during usage.
‘To reduce unnecessary interruptions whilst working we have developed the DC F60 pre-separator and the DC 1800 eco XL dust extractor.’
The DC F60 is designed to handle large quantities of dust.
It is placed between the grinder and the vacuum to take the load off the filters and capture the majority of material.
The DC 1800 eco XL has been purpose built for wood floor grinders, and can take care of large amounts of dust thanks to its 60-litre container. It can be used with or without a pre-separator.
Phil comments: ‘Even with its large container, the DC 1800 eco XL is still lightweight, making it perfect for any wood floor grinding project where mobility is key to doing a good job.
Plus, as it’s connected directly to the parquet grinder itself, it is the primary barrier to stopping initial dust being released.’
Janser has unveiled a new separator filter machine (product order code 115-101-000) designed to be used in conjunction with a Columbus type subfloor grinding/sanding machine when linked to a dust extraction machine, such as the Janvac.
The new Separator is reported to efficiently filter any larger debris removed from the subfloor so that the main dust extraction unit works with maximum efficiency with only the finest dust entering.
Suction performance of the main unit is therefore significantly increased!
Huge time saving benefits as well as protection of the dust extraction machine filters are said to be evident.

The universal hose connector reportedly allows the Separator to connect to most types of dust extraction machines with a simple set up.
Kerakoll UK offers a comprehensive range of eco-friendly surface preparation products designed to ensure that surfaces are well prepared and easy to tile on.
Keragrip Eco is a water-based primer for internal use, with its distinctive red tint making it easy to identify the areas already primed.
It is reportedly suitable for use in renovation work. It can also be used on substrates such as ceramic and porcelain tile, and other impervious surfaces that have previously been treated with resin.
It has a very low VOC content making it safe for both the person applying it and the future occupants of the room being treated.
It is reportedly quick and easy to use and has an extended overlay time, meaning that high adhesion mineral levelling and self-levelling compounds can be laid over it from as little as one hour after application.
Another product is Primer A Eco, designed for use with dry absorbent substrates such as cement.
It is said to form an isolating cohesive layer to stop any chemical reaction occurring between the substrate and the mineral mortars and adhesives.
For substrates needing to be levelled the Keratech Eco range offers different formulations depending on the surface and environment being worked in.
Three popular products include Keratech Eco R30, an extra rapid-hardening self-levelling compound for internal use in thicknesses from 3 to 30mm, suitable for floors with a large variation in levels.
It is said to have high dimensional stability and able to accept all sorts of tiles and stone, as well as hardwood and resilient materials. Like all Keratech products it is reportedly eco-friendly with low CO2 and VOC emissions and can be recycled at the end of its life.
Keratech Eco R10 is a self-levelling compound for use in thicknesses from 1 to 10mm which reportedly quickly develops a smooth finish and high levels of mechanical resistance making the subsequent laying of all sorts of coverings easy. Thirdly, Keratech Eco Flex is for internal use in thicknesses up to 15mm and is said to develop a high degree of flexibility and dimensional stability, suitable for correcting deformable substrates and giving superior workability and hardness.
For surfaces needing to be waterproofed, there are Slc Eco PU310 and EP21. The former is an organic resin that allows absorbent substrates to be consolidated and waterproofed. It is said to increase mechanical resistance on the surface and below and gives up to 5% CM residual waterproofing for floors with high residual humidity.
Slc Eco EP21 is a two-component, solvent-free product also containing an organic resin for environmental friendliness. It also consolidates and waterproofs inconsistent substrates and is intended for use on low-absorption materials. Both PU31 and EP21 are said to be suitable for use with heated floors.
These products are all available from Kerakoll UK, a subsidiary of Kerakoll Group, the Italian supplier of GreenBuilding products for tiles and construction work.
PPC The Preparation Group has launched the Terrco 701-S grinding and polishing machine in the UK. It is the smallest in the range and with an adjustable handle is designed to be easy to transport for projects of up to 500sq m. Along with the three other models offered by PPC, it features contra-rotating heads for precision and uniformity of profile, with minimum operator intervention, to provide optimum results on a variety of background surfaces.
The 701-S will efficiently remove rubberised compounds, latex, adhesives and coatings and produces a high luster finish when polishing concrete, granite and terrazzo, meeting the most stringent specifications, according to PPC. It also has a variable speed option and can reportedly be used wet or dry, fitted with a 26.5 litre water tank as standard.
Says Tracey Glew; ‘The 701-S has a proven diamond performance when compared to competitors models. Accessories suited to this machine have up to 67% more diamond content. The Terrco process yields high production and cost effective operational rates, leading to exceptional value for money per square metre.
‘In addition it requires minimal maintenance and has a guarantee of long life due to its high quality construction. It is highly unlikely that you would ever need to replace it.’
The Terrco grinding and polishing process involves the correct selection of metal bonded diamond discs to grind the background surface and remove surface contaminants, followed by polishing with the specified resin bonded grades (50-6000) and may require the application of a densifier/sealant.
Resin Surfaces Limited (RSL) has developed a range of primers suited to concrete floors. RS Dampshield is described as an epoxy resin membrane tolerant of residual moisture, while RSL’s Oil Tolerant Primer forms a barrier against oil contaminates.
Dampshield is said to allow materials like screeds, coatings and other floorcoverings including carpets, tiles, vinyl and wood to be applied much sooner than the normal time it takes for concrete to dry.
Oil-affected floors can cause damage if contaminates come through onto the final coat. A reported advantage of RS Oil Tolerant Primer is that it enables finishes to be applied onto previously contaminated concrete, allowing it to prime the floor and safeguard the toppings.
T&R Floor Covering Distributors offers a comprehensive range of surface preparation products available for standard two day delivery or next day by request. Products include branded screeds from leading manufacturers, including Ardex, F Ball, Laybond, Tremco and Uzin.
Individual preparatory products include admixes and aggregates, repair and smoothing compounds, membranes, industrial floor systems, primers and screeds. T&R also offers a range of permanent and peelable bond adhesives for carpet, cork, rubber, tile, wood, underlay and vinyl, as well as epoxy products, deck sheathing underlayment and marine primer.
All products are offered alongside a wide range of flooring options, as well as entrance systems, underlays, accessories and trims.
Tremco says its new SX500 rapid drying smoothing compound enables contractors to achieve a one-day turnaround on jobs. Crucially, the new OPC free product can be walked on in just half an hour, while most floorcoverings can be laid after a drying time of 90 minutes.
SX500 has been developed for use in conjunction with Tremco ES600, a water-based one part moisture vapour suppressant, as well as a selection of adhesives to allow specialist installers to complete a rip-out and relay of areas in shops, offices, hotels and other time sensitive locations.
A fast track system is said to be of advantage to landlords of social and affordable housing properties where a refurbishment often has to be completed within a day. Using ES600 and SX500 in conjunction with a compatible adhesive allows the landlord to refurbish several areas at any one time, without causing major disruption to residents.
SX500 is described as moisture tolerant and for use where underfloor heating is installed. It has 40% recycled content and is protein free for projects where high environmental credentials are being targeted.
As a two component product, SX500 rapid drying smoothing compound is supplied in 22 kg bags of the Part A dry powder and is mixed with 4.4 kg of activating liquid (Part B). Once mixed to a consistent colour using a slow speed paddle, the compound has an approximate working time of 10 minutes.
It is recommended that a Hygrometer test is conducted prior to the application of SX500.
Ultra Floor reports that its Level IT Two high flow smoothing underlayment has been used to transform part of the Premier Inn at Manchester Airport. The work was carried out over a three day window by flooring contractor, Aspire
Flooring, based in Lancashire, who completed 250sq m of subfloor preparation and Amtico floorcovering installation throughout the hotel’s Thyme restaurant and kitchen areas.
The concrete substrate was primed before the application of Level IT Two to help stop any moisture from the wet underlayment passing through to the porous subfloor which can cause pinholes. Level IT Two was then applied by trowel to the prepared area to a depth of 8mm.
Level IT Two is a two-part smoothing underlayment said to have exceptional flow characteristics designed to make it easy to apply to most common substrates in both commercial and domestic flooring projects.
The cured product reputedly has excellent surface strength and able to tolerate foot traffic with minimal damage, making it suitable for both small and large projects where floorcoverings may not be installed for several days after application.
This project is one of several undertaken by Aspire Flooring using Ultra Floor’s Level IT Two.
Martin Spencer, md of Aspire Flooring, commented ‘we are always happy to use Ultra Floor products because of their excellent quality and finish.’
Ultra Floor is currently re-branding its entire range to include new products, enhancements to the existing range and new packaging! Ultra Floor is a brand of the Instarmac Group plc.
Uzin L3 Gold, smoothing compound is designed for use in refurbishment projects as it can be applied over old waterproof adhesives residues such as bitumen, if hard, sound and well bonded to the substrate.
It can reportedly be used without a primer in most cases and has a high compressive strength of 25 N.
It is described as extremely quick setting and floorcoverings can be installed after only two hours.
It is can also be used under a DPM, is easy to sand down and flows exceptionally well.
Due to increasing regulation on duty of care and allergies to latex, Uzin developed L3 Gold to be free from ammonia and latex for use in sensitive environments such as hospitals.

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