Flooring installation: Preparation
As with all things, preparation is the key to success, and this is especially important when thinking about flooring solutions. As the saying goes - fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Appropriate preparation is a key aspect of flooring and the professionals at Hamilton Flooring have more than 27 years of experience providing high quality and specialist expertise to all stages of the flooring process.
Working with some of the leading suppliers of specialist products, the flooring experts at Hamilton Flooring have mastered the craft of preparation, providing high-quality solutions tailored to the requirements and specifications of each of the flooring types on offer.
Hamilton Flooring offers both residential and commercial flooring solutions including; Luxury Vinyl Tile from Amtico and Karndean, safety flooring from Forbo and Polyflor, and carpet and carpet tiles from Altro, Burmatex, Desso, Heckmondwike and Interface. Each product requires a specific approach to preparing the surface for installation, whether carpeting a bedroom or commercial space, supplying safety flooring in a warehouse or creating a beautiful office or home space using Luxury Vinyl Tile.
The preparation stages of laying new flooring are extremely important and they not only provide for a beautiful finish but also promotes the longevity of the flooring. The appearance and performance of a covering is significantly determined by the base upon which it is installed, therefore, proper preparation is necessary to prevent issues such as bulging, dipping, warping or shifting of the flooring.
Stages of floor preparation
The first step taken when preparing a surface for flooring is to assess the condition of the area, paying particular attention if a previous floor has been removed. It is imperative to ensure that all previous adhesives and residues of the former flooring have been removed and that the subfloor is clean and dry.
The next stage, whether laying on a surface which has previously been covered or if it is a brand new building, is to examine the subfloor for any raised points or dips. The entire space should be completely level and smooth. Raised points in the surface will need to be ground off and dips filled with a levelling compound.
Considerations during floor prep
There are multiple factors to consider when selecting smoothing and levelling compounds such as; site conditions, substrate type, flooring type and the use of the floor once completed. There are many products on the market but at Hamilton Flooring we tend to use UZIN or ARDEX self levelling and smoothing compounds due to the quality and variety of products available from these suppliers. Self-levelling compounds should ensure a flat, smooth and level subfloor and are essential for a successful flooring installation. ARDEX and UZIN manufacture a range of latex and water-based self-levelling and smoothing compounds
The type of compound to be used should be chosen based on the type of flooring being laid, considering the thickness and compressive/flexural strength required. What is suitable for Luxury Vinyl Tile may not be suitable for ceramic tile.
Application of smoothing and self-levelling compounds should be undertaken by a trained professional and the experts at Hamilton Flooring have mastered the techniques required to create the perfect base for flooring. Certain types of flooring are less reliant on this aspect of the preparation process, for example, floor tiles are very forgiving when it comes to what is below them. Irrespective, Hamilton Flooring’s ethos is that high quality preparation is necessary for high-quality finishes and as such, undertake the full preparation process for every floor they install. The knowledge and expertise they garner extends across both residential and commercial spaces, the latter of which are often governed by regulations and compliances of which Hamilton Flooring professionals are fully versed.
Further to the aesthetic benefits of flooring preparation, there is an additional benefit in the form of the advantages to adhesives and fixatives. A properly prepared base surface will allow for better binding of adhesives which ultimately leads to a superior floor installation.