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New fast-drying flooring compounds streamline social housing refurbishments

FLOORING contractors installing floorcoverings in social housing settings often face pressure to complete projects as quickly as possible – where an installation is part of a refurbishment between one tenant moving out and another moving in, for example. Smoothing compounds with fast-track properties have been developed for creating a perfectly smooth base for floorcoverings in these situations.

The fastest-drying products on the market are walk-on hard from 30 minutes and allow textile and resilient floorcoverings to be installed from as little as 45 minutes after application.

For flooring installations that are part of a refurbishment, there is another solution, which will potentially save even more time. Where old adhesive residues, such as bitumen and carpet tile tackifiers, are present after the removal of old floorcoverings, contractors can choose from smoothing compounds that have been specially formulated for use over old adhesive residues. Traditionally, contractors would have to remove these completely by mechanical means before proceeding with an installation.

In most cases, there’s no need to apply a primer beforehand, saving further time and expense. The best of these smoothing compounds are usually able to accept foot traffic about one hour after application and are ready to receive new floorcoverings from around four hours later. They also have the benefit of allowing contractors to use the same product in situations where newly installed subfloors and areas with old adhesive residues present are next to each other.

New formulations
The latest advancements in cement technology have enabled the creation of fast-track, water-mix smoothing compounds that can be applied over old adhesive residues, including F Ball’s Stopgap 1500 AquaPro. Such products have previously only been available in bag and bottle formulations.

Launched last year, the smoothing compound is suitable for preparing a wide range of sound internal subfloors prior to the installation of new floorcoverings and can be applied over bitumen, carpet tile tackifiers and ceramic tile adhesives, eliminating the need for mechanical preparation.

Just as with the market-leading bag and bottle versions, the product is walk-on hard in as little as 60 minutes after application and ready to receive floorcoverings from just four hours. As a water-mix smoothing compound, no bottle is required, meaning less plastic waste is produced by the flooring industry.

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