Contract Flooring Journal (CFJ) the latest news for flooring contractors

HomeHelp and adviceBalancing price and quality

Balancing price and quality

WITH inflation having a double effect on the flooring business as rising costs squeeze margins as well as demand for new flooring, it’s more important than ever for flooring contractors to know how to keep costs down. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to save money without cutting corners or using inferior quality products.

The starting point should always be to follow recommended subfloor preparation and floorcovering installation processes. This ensures a long-lasting flooring installation without the possibility of costly recalls and delays to projects.

It’s also useful to know about products, or combinations of products, that can save time and expense in certain situations. For example, thixotropic primers, applied over chipboard subfloors, prime the surface while filling gaps between panels and avoid the need to overboard with plywood, saving both time and expense.

Coverage rates 
Using the correct amount of product is critical for the performance of an installation while avoiding unnecessary expense. In the case of adhesives, for instance, if too little is used, it may not deliver the required bond strength throughout the life of the installation, potentially leading to floor failure. Apply too much and it can extend the drying time or mean they fail to dry properly, which will also reduce the final bond strength.

Furthermore, excess adhesive may seep through carpet floorcoverings and cause bleeding at joints. In sheet floorcoverings, it can cause indentations to appear.

F Ball’s RAG app, which details the compatibility of all of the company’s adhesives with more than 6,000 floorcoverings from more than 200 international manufacturers and is free to download from the Apple App store or Google Play, provides a handy product coverage calculator to work out exactly how much adhesive you’ll need for a particular project.

The same coverage calculator, which is available on F Ball’s website, can be used to work out how much of an F Ball smoothing compound or waterproof surface membrane will be required for an installation based on subfloor area.

Volume versus weight
For the reason adhesives are applied by volume and not weight, it also pays to be aware of packaging decisions when assessing value when purchasing adhesives.

In recent years, there’s been a trend towards stating quantities on product packaging by weight (ie kilos) rather than the standard UK measurement, which is volume (litres). While there’s nothing wrong with this in itself, there is the chance that it could be inadvertently misleading for someone who may equate volume with weight.

In fact, a given number of litres of an adhesive will almost always give a significantly greater volume than the same number of kilos of the product because of its relative density.

If two containers of adhesive (one litres and the other kilos) are being sold at virtually the same price, as is often the case, it means that you are getting significantly less product for your money from the product that is sold in kilos.

A case in point is F Ball’s Styccobond F58 fast-drying, fibre-reinforced, pressure sensitive adhesive for LVTs, which is available in 15L and 5L units, but 15 litres of the product weighs 17.25kg, over 20% more than products sold by equivalent weight.

Recycling scheme
F Ball is also helping reduce costs associated with waste disposal while making it easier for flooring contractors to do their bit for the environment by providing locations at select distributors where contractors can deposit empty recyclable F Ball buckets and bottles for recycling, for free.

The scheme has been steadily expanded in response to a positive reception from flooring contractors, with bin-loads of empty containers that would have otherwise been destined for landfill being taken back for reprocessing. The number of F Ball buckets and bottles recycling points at wholesaler partners across the UK around the UK now stands at 40 and counting.

This follows the introduction of recyclable packaging for a number of F Ball products, with much of the new packaging itself manufactured from recycled materials, including fully recyclable versions of five and 20 litre plastic bottles used for liquids, primers and tackifiers.

Ball Rewards
One method of saving money that is open to members of the Ball Rewards loyalty programme is to claim cashback on all purchases of F Ball products made through approved distributors.

It’s completely free to join, and in addition to regular cashback, members gain access to a wide range of benefits, including the opportunity to enter monthly competitions to win exclusive prizes, advanced previews of new products and access to F Ball’s e-newsletter, F-Talk.

The cashback value is usually 2.5%, but there are special promotions each quarter, often giving the chance to claim extra cashback on particular products. Over the 10 years since it launched, it has returned more than £6m to flooring contractors and retailers.

You can find out more about the F Ball Recycling Scheme and Ball Rewards, as well as apply to join, on the F Ball website. F Ball’s technical service department is also on hand throughout the working day to answer questions about the best course of action for any flooring project, including the optimum product for a particular situation.
Neil Sanders is F Ball technical director

Please click to view more articles about

Stay Connected




Popular articles