F BALL & CO’s Stopgap 300 HD heavy-duty levelling compound and the company’s Styccobond B95 flexible wood flooring adhesive are reportedly suitable for use in combination to install wood floorcoverings.
F Ball recommends the application of a heavy-duty levelling compound, such as Stopgap 300 HD, prior to the installation of wood floorcoverings because they’re reportedly better able to withstand the added strain exerted by the natural movement of the wood – wood can expand and contract significantly as a result of environmental factors (eg changes in temperature and humidity).
The right adhesive
Flexible wood flooring adhesives provide an elastic but strong bond, which will accommodate natural movement of wood flooring over its lifetime, ensuring a long-lasting, visually attractive floor finish.
Says the company: ‘F Ball’s Styccobond B95 is a high performance, flexible wood flooring adhesive that provides good initial tack while also allowing for repositioning of floorcoverings during the initial stage of drying, an advantage when installing wooden blocks.’
F Ball also recommends Stycco Flex, its rapid-curing flexible cartridge adhesive, as an alternative for securing header rows. ‘Its rapid strength build-up aids installations where subsequent rows are butted up to the head row using a mallet and a tapping block. Stycco Flex can also be used to install skirting boards and trims.’
To ensure the correct choice of adhesive for the floorcovering, F Ball recommends checking the compatibility using its recommended adhesives guide (RAG), which lists adhesives recommended for use with over 6,000 floorcoverings, produced by over 200 floorcovering manufacturers.
The RAG is available on the F Ball website, downloadable as a free app, as well as a printed booklet. Alternatively, see floorcovering manufacturers’ instructions for advice.
When preparing a subfloor ahead of the installation of wood floorcoverings, which are particularly susceptible to moisture damage, it’s never more important to check that the subfloor is dry enough; excess subfloor moisture can rise up to the level of floorcoverings, attack floorcoverings and adhesives and potentially cause complete floor failure.
A moisture measurement test should therefore be undertaken to determine subfloor moisture levels. Normally, a waterproof surface membrane will be required to supress excess subfloor moisture where a moisture test indicates that subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels are above 75%. However, it’s recommended that a waterproof surface membrane is applied where subfloor RH levels are as low as 65% when installing wood floorcoverings.
Waterproof surface membranes create a barrier between floorcoverings and subfloor, protecting the floorcovering from the adverse effects of excess subfloor moisture. The best products protect against RH levels of up to 98%.
Once a moisture management solution is in place, contractors can proceed to apply a levelling compound to ensure a smooth base for the receipt of floorcoverings, remembering to prime the subfloor beforehand.