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Smooth Operators

Good surface preparation is vital for successful floorcovering installations:

Ardex teamedupwith flooring contractor Superior Finish Contracts of St Ives, Cambridgeshire, to provide a 2500sq m fast track refurbishment of the main reception, corridors and refectory at Peterborough

Regional College.

The college had to remain in operation throughout the refurbishment, so efficient weekend operating procedures had to be delivered which would allow the project to be completed as quickly as possible.
Ardex took moisture readings of the floors, discovering dampness within the existing subfloor, meaning it required a surface damp proof membrane. Ardex DPM 1 C was specified to guarantee the early laying of subsequent floorcoverings, and to protect the installation from residual construction moisture and ground

water vapour.

This DPM is described as easy to apply, fast curing and can accommodate hygrometer readings up to 98% RH. It is also compatible with Ardex’s range of commercial systems.

To assist with bonding, Ardex P82 primer was then applied to the cured DPM prior to the application of Ardex K15 New self-levelling, subfloor smoothing compound with Rapidry Formula’ technology, claimed to enable the subfloor to be rapidly levelled, allowing floorcoverings to be laid the next day, regardless of thickness.

Kerakoll UK offersarange of products designed to ensure that surfaces are perfectly prepared and easy to tile on. Its products have reportedly been specified on various projects for several reasons, first and foremost their ecological credentials.

The floors of the Earth Sciences Building at Oxford University were levelled with Keratech Eco R10 self-levelling compound for use in thicknesses between 1-10mm, said to quickly develop a smooth finish and high levels of mechanical resistance making it easier to lay various coverings.

The same product was used for the lobby floors in the Dorset Fire & Rescue Centre in Weymouth, as well as at FlyBe training centre at Exeter airport. The main reasons for choosing it for the FlyBe centre were its quick drying properties as the tiling had to be completed rapidly to let other trades finish within the project deadline, and the ecological criteria specified by the project managers.

Keratech Eco Flex was chosen for a private barn conversion in the Cotswolds where there was a heated anhydrite screed with a decoupling mat on top.

The product was used to level the floor after the mat had been laid and fixed with Kerakoll’s H40 Eco Ideal. It is fibre reinforced and designed to set rapidly which helped with the tight project deadlines.

Keralevel Eco LR was used in the main appliance bay of Dorset Fire & Rescue Centre.

The product can reportedly be used for thicknesses from 1-25mm and has prolonged workability allowing falls to be built up over a large area in one application. Its sister product Keralevel Eco, which is high grab and with extended workability, was used to level the walls in the bay.

Lafarge, whichmakes Gyvlon screeds, says the most important thing to consider with any screed is that it must be dry. It recommends <75%RH or <0.5% by weight. (Underfloor heating must have been through a drying cycle. Furthermore, the screed surface must be sanded. The levels of abrasion are determined by the screed used: I Traditional Gyvlon may have been sanded shortly after installation. I Low skin material may just need sanding prior to provide a mechanical key. In both cases the surface must be sanded to remove site traffic. As with all floors, any cracks that may have formed must be repaired with a suitable medium. Lafarge recommends ‘low viscosity epoxy’. Primer selection is important as the surface must be sealed correctly before finishes are applied, full recommendations can be attained from the main manufacturers. Finally, Surface DPM systems can be used. However they are not to be used on underfloor heating systems. Lafarge prefers the screed to be dried rather than a DPM system employed. However, if a DPM is considered the screed must: I <87%RH or <1.5% by mass & >28 days of age Individual projects should be assessed on merit before considering this option and the DPM manufacturer consulted.

M a p e i emphasises that the substrate and its preparation are vital for the success of any flooring installation, and that a poorly or inadequately prepared substrate often leads to problems within the finished floor.
Mapei offers a full system of surface preparation products designed to ensure a high quality and longevity to the final flooring.

Mapeproof 1K Turbo surface membrane can resolve the common causes of resilient floor failures; moisture within the subfloor, says the company.

Eco Prim T is a multi-purpose primer for interiors, said to act as a bonding aid to improve adhesion of levelling compounds.

The company also offers a range of smoothing and levelling compounds, including the established Latexplan Trade to versatile Ultraplan Renovation Screed. Whatever the floor finish, linoleum, carpet tiles, carpet, PVC, vinyl or rubber, Ultrabond Eco adhesives are said to provide ‘a quality solution’.

All these products have GEV- Emicode EC1 / EC1R accreditation, confirming ultra-low emissions of volatile organic compounds. Mapei’s technical representatives can offer advice or make a site visit when required.

P P C (The Preparation Group) has launched the Liberator 250TP 110v grinder, shown as a prototype at the company’s open day in March.

The new grinder has been developed to suit standard site power and therefore eliminates the need to hire a generator normally associated with the use of three phase models. In addition, with its twin motor configuration, the new grinder reportedly generates twice the torque of a standard 110v machine.

Says Tracey Glew, Group md: ‘The Liberator 250TP grinder has been designed and manufactured in-house by our team of experienced engineers. We believe it is the only 110v grinder currently available which has the weight, capability and performance of our three phase models. Historically, 110v machines of this size
lacked the power required to effectively grind and smooth hard surfaces such as concrete and stone. With two 2.2kw motors driving the grinding disc, this machine solves all that.’

The Liberator 250TP is said to be capable of production rates from 30–50sq m per hour and is simple to operate and compact. In addition to grinding and smoothing hard surfaces, it is also designed to remove latex and paint and for polishing terrazzo, stone and concrete.

The new machine fits PPC’s standard range of 250 accessories; grinding discs and the new PCD grinding plate for removing adhesives, levelling compounds and other sticky substances.

Weber saysproductsinthe high performance range of weber.floor screeds, manufactured by leading UK formulator Saint- Gobain Weber, are designed for fast and efficient application in demanding commercial and industrial projects. In all cases, the most successful results are achieved with appropriate

substrate preparation.

weber.floor 4716 primer is designed to make preparation easy and can be used on most building substrates before applying weber.floor levelling screeds. It is said to be suitable for use on pre-cast and lightweight concrete, ceramic tiles, stone, timber and even steel plate in the marine levelling industry.

This primer reportedly regulates the porosity of the substrate while improving the adhesion of flooring products and improving the flow of levelling compound. It can also be spray applied in large areas and offers good alkali resistance and adhesion properties in both wet and dry environments, says the company.

weber.floor 4716 is the result of years of research and development by Saint-Gobain Weber to produce a high performance, universal, water- borne

WH Surface Preparation has a range of equipment to hire with vast range of consumables added to the company’s many years of experience to advise and assist you in getting the job done.

The company can also supply a full range of accessories and attachments as well as repair materials, paints, chemicals, and aggregates. It can arrange deliveries, demos and site visits across the UK.

Items for hire include: I SPE MS600 ride on tile stripper I Ride on lpg scrubber drier I Chariot battery ride on
scrubber I Imer forced action mixers, I Titan airless sprays, I Large floor grinders I 12e 3phase blast machines I Electric floor saws Wolff offers several folders and a DVD with detailed technical know- how for flooring professionals.
I Range of floor scabblers I Pressure washer bowsers

W o lf f supplies high quality subfloor preparation machines and strippers, as well as tools for floorcovering removal, application and substrate-preparation and has a range of high quality.

The company’s award winning stripper machines are said to have the ultimate level of quality and innovation. No matter whether oscillating principle or impact technology, Wolff says it can provide the right machine to suit many different needs.

The Turbo Stripper is described as an extremely powerful machine, yet is easy to handle and transport. Its impact system with 5,000 beats per minute combined with an automatic drive system is claimed to give an ‘unmatched performance’.

The Wolff Duro Stripper, on the other hand, is designed for small to medium sized areas and is available to buy as a handheld or floor unit.

Wolff offers several folders and a DVD with detailed technical know how for flooring professionals.

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