A brief which calls for a non-standard system or one not commonly used, represents both a challenge and an opportunity to a flooring contractor or installer. The specialised brief may prove tricky, but it is the ideal opportunity to show your attention to detail, professionalism and expertise.

While every flooring brief deserves careful attention for the best results, this attention needs to be taken to the next level with specialised flooring projects because there will be specific technical, environmental, budgetary and aesthetic reasons for various aspects of the brief. These need to be closely examined alongside the requirements of the job at hand.

When installing specialised flooring, there may be certain job-specific requirements that need to be considered beyond the basic fundamentals of the flooring installation.You may well find yourself having to make adjustments to take into account the location, the site, the client’s requirements, and the guidelines set out by the manufacturers of the various components to be used in the application (because specialised flooring briefs will often involve specialised applications).To demonstrate your technical prowess and expertise while simultaneously adding value to the project, keep these four considerations in mind:

1. Manufacturer-specific rules and guidelines
Each flooring manufacturer has specific requirements for the installation of their products that may be consistent with general industry norms, but will almost inevitably contain unique rules applicable to their products. For example, one vinyl manufacturer might require that the joins in sheeting have a small gap between the sheets to be welded, while another will insist on no gap at all. Assuming that similar products from different manufacturers can be installed in exactly the same way could prove to be a costly mistake.

2. Finding the most appropriate product for your application
Each flooring manufacturer offers a range of products to cover different applications and the differing characteristics of each one will result in it having its own set of guidelines for installation. For example, consider semi-flexible and fully flexible floor tiles or sheeting: semi-flexible floor tiles have a slightly higher tolerance for screed moisture, but once again, there are differences between flooring manufacturers that demand attention.

3. The performance requirements of your project
Floors are installed for a great many purposes, and each application will have its own specific type of flooring fit for purpose. For example, a basketball court will have a very different set of flooring criteria to an operating theatre.

4. Environmental specific variables
The variables of the installation site must also be considered, and never more so than with a specialised flooring brief. These will include screed moisture levels, screed hardness and soundness (at a wide range of ambient temperatures throughout the year) and humidity levels (which can vary dramatically by location).

When each of these factors are considered in the light of your own experience of similar installations, the end result will be a floor that’s not only fit for purpose, but fits the bill in every sense. By following this approach, the client will receive exactly what they want and need, and you will have the satisfaction of a job well done, along with the benefits that flow from increased experience.

For more information, contact iTe Products on Tel: +27 (11) 864 4918 or via www.iteproducts.co.za.

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