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Wood Floor Installation - Subfloor Preparation

Wood Floor Installation - Subfloor Preparation


Posted in Wood Flooring Installation And Maintenance by Source on June 25th 2010
Flooring contractors are always under pressure to reduce time on site, particularly in the case of retail refurbishment projects where downtime means a loss of profit for the company. Here, Georgina Fraser, Product Manager at Sika looks at the latest products that can help contractors prepare a substrate efficiently and effectively in the minimum amount of time. Professional flooring contractors need to achieve high standards of finish, however, with tight build deadlines - there is enormous pressure to cut corners and install a floor as quickly as possible. For retail environments in particular, completion of the project on time is crucial as the sooner work can be completed - the sooner business can resume. The good news is that there are now numerous systems available on the market today that can help flooring  contractors to prepare a substrate and install a floor in just one day. The most important part of any wood flooring installation is the correct preparation of the subfloor. The first step is to ensure the substrate is flat, dry and in a good condition to receive floor finishes. If levelling is required, the latest hybrid floor levelling compounds from Sika offer very high performance benefits over conventional materials. Sika Level Ultra is a state of the art high flow levelling compound which possesses improved flowability, is easy to mix and can be walked on in approximately 2 hours. This added flexibility can help reduce time on site and speed up the overall application. Most standard levelling compounds have limitations as to the maximum thickness that they can be applied at. Typically these range from 0 – 5mm, 6mm – 12mm and 8mm – 20mm. Contractors using proprietry floor levelling materials should pay careful attention to the maximum thickness that a manufacturers product can be used.  Some compounds such as Sika Latex Ultra can eliminate the need for more than one grade on site and can be applied at thicknesses from 0 – 20mm in a single application, this helps reduce costs, provides an improved finish and speeds up application time. On time sensitive projects, once a floor levelling compound has adequately cured, a liquid damp proof membrane can be installed. A damp proof membrane will protect any floor finishes from residual moisture emanating from levelling works or the sub-floor itself.  In terms of cutting down time on site, single part resin membranes can provide contractors with many advantages as there is no need to mix first and the product can be applied quickly and easily with a roller or brush. SikaBond Rapid DPM has been specifically developed to cut down time on site. A high performance single component liquid, it is a reaction curing resin, which provides an ideal solution for projects where time is limited on site. This solvent and VOC free damp proof membrane is applied by roller or brush and dries in just 45 minutes. After a substrate has been correctly prepared using the products above the floor covering can be installed. Wood flooring has become an increasingly popular choice for retail environments for its luxurious qu thealities, durability and warm aesthetics. There are a wide range of adhesives available on the market today but when it comes to installing solid wood flooring there are two basic types. The most trusted and more commonly used polyurethane adhesives were originally developed by Sika and introduced into the UK wood flooring market some 15 years ago, since then modified silicones (MS) adhesives have become popular with contractors due to their cleanability. However, MS adhesives have one major drawback, they do not bond as well to porous substrates which can dramatically increase the risk of a floor failure. To overcome this problem, Sika has developed SikaBond AT-80, which is a unique elastic hybrid adhesive that out performs polyurethanes and MS's in almost every way. SikaBond AT-80 uses an advanced hybrid technology.  A one component product, It possesses a bond strength that is equal to a polyurethane (unlike anMS) but is also very easy to spread, has excellent trowel profile retention and will clean off of a pre-finished wood floor and tools even weeks after it has fully cured, allowing any residual adhesive to be removed ensuring a high standard of finish is achieved.  Ready to use, it provides the technical performance that Sika is well known for. Using a flooring system that includes a rapid setting self levelling compound, a damp proof membrane and an easy to use, easy to clean adhesive can ensure that a substrate can be prepared, protected and a new floor covering installed all in just one day. For further installation advice or product information visit: www.sika.com or call the Sika Technical Team on Tel: 01707 363810.

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