Moisture in the substrate is complete anathema to laminate and wood floors, and to get the best results from any such installation one must ensure that what happens underneath the eventual floorcovering is kept sustainably dry.

To ensure that customers enjoy the best possible advice for their installations, the Southern African Wood & Laminate Flooring Association has compiled a pre-installation checklist for its members – to be read in conjunction with any specific instructions from the wood/laminate flooring manufacturer – that will ensure that the substrate conditions are acceptable for the installation to continue.

The moisture in the screed must be checked with a Tramex or Proximeter. On average new slabs and screeds in ventilated areas dry at the rate of 1% per day – that means that a 100mm thick slab will take 100 days and a 30mm screed about 30 days to dry.

It is advisable to check also along outside walls and doors and at various points in the centre of the room where the installation is to take place.

It should be noted that if moisture readings are testing high the floor cannot be laid until the substrate is dry or the damp problems are resolved.