FLOORING in entrances is often exposed to moisture and dirt that’s been brought in from the outside, as well as having to cope with high levels of foot traffic and extreme temperatures. It’s therefore important to select suitably heavy-duty subfloor preparation products and flooring adhesives when installing floorcoverings in these areas.
Before proceeding with any flooring installation, contractors should take the time to thoroughly assess the composition and condition of the subfloor to ensure a suitably sound, smooth, and dry base for the receipt of new floorcoverings.
A levelling compound can then be applied to create a suitably smooth base for the receipt of floorcoverings, remembering to prime the subfloor beforehand.
When installing floorcoverings in interior entranceways, the application of a heavy-duty levelling compound is recommended to withstand expected levels of foot traffic and heavy loads.
Heavy-duty levelling compounds are formulated to have the high compressive strength required to maintain their integrity throughout the lifetime of a flooring installation, even when subjected to heavy daily usage.
For areas likely to be subject to rain or frost, such as transitional areas, doorways and walkways, an exterior levelling compound, such as F Ball & Co’s Stopgap 850 Exterior, should be selected. With few exceptions, it’s essential to prime a subfloor before applying a levelling compound. When used over non-absorbent surfaces, such as waterproof surface membranes, priming promotes adhesion between the subfloor and the levelling compound applied over it.
When applied over absorbent subfloors, such as concrete, sand/cement screeds or plywood, priming also prevents the unacceptably rapid drying of a subsequently applied levelling compound to maintain its working time. The product prevents ‘pinholing’; small holes in the levelling compound that have the appearance of pinholes caused by the slow escape of air from absorbent surfaces as the levelling compound cures.
Once the levelling compound is fully cured, contractors can proceed straight to installing floorcoverings. Again, it’s important to select an adhesive with suitable properties to be able to withstand the elements and pressures put upon it in transitional areas or outside.
Epoxy or polyurethane-based adhesives are the traditional choice for installing floorcoverings in areas that will be exposed to high foot traffic as well as surface water, including external settings. Once cured, they’re resistant to water, oil and grease.
Says F Ball & Co: ‘The latest advancements in adhesive technology have enabled the development of one-part adhesives for internal and external heavy-duty applications, such as F Ball & Co’s Styccobond F73 PLUS. The solvent-free, moisture-curing adhesive provides the high bond strength required to firmly hold in place a wide range of textile and resilient floorcoverings, including rubber, vinyl, linoleum and synthetic grass, in areas that will be subject to heavy loads and high foot traffic, as well as surface water.
‘Styccobond F73 PLUS is also easier to apply and faster curing than traditional alternatives, requiring as little as 90 minutes to secure floorcoverings. Its fast-setting properties allow welding of sheet floorcoverings to take place in as little as two hours.
As always, it’s recommended contractors check the compatibility of particular floorcoverings and adhesives.’
For these purposes, F Ball produces its industry-leading recommended adhesives guide (RAG), which lists adhesives recommended for use with over 6,000 floorcoverings, produced by over 200 floorcovering manufacturers.
It’s available on the F Ball website and as a free app, as well as a printed booklet. Contractors can also consult floorcovering manufacturers for advice.