How to prepare and prime a sub-floor for aesthetics and performance

by Ofentse Sefolo
How to prepare and prime a sub-floor for aesthetics and performance

The condition of a subfloor is a huge determining factor in the durability and final appearance of virtually any flooring installation. The proper preparation of a subfloor will often be repaid by an installation of which all project members can be proud.

Sensible planning, careful design and detailing, adequate specifications, good workmanship and proper inspection are all needed to bring a good concrete sub-floor to life. Besides the aesthetic benefits of a floor that is laid on a quality, well-prepared subfloor, these floors are able to achieve long-term durability and a good adhesive bond.

FloorworX Self Leveller is a rapid-hardening, dustless cement-based screed for levelling floors where quick setting is essential. It is used for levelling and smoothing floors for all new construction or refurbishment projects where carpet, ceramic tiles, vinyl, wood, laminate or cork flooring need to be installed. It comes in a single pack and can be hand applied by an appropriate puller (0-20mm) or pumped (4-20mm). For pumped applications, a 5-8mm average thickness is a typical expectation on a reasonably level substrate.

Some of the major benefits of this self-leveller are that it is quick-setting and self-levelling. Up to 2 000m² can be pumped per day under suitable conditions and it can also be walked on after 6-8 hours at 25°C under normal conditions. Coverings can usually be applied onto a 10mm thick screed after 24 hours. In addition, it is both pump-able and can be hand laid, comes in a single pack which just requires the addition of water, is protein free and will therefore not harbour bacteria.

For the perfect finish, correct mixing and proportioning of the FloorworX Self Leveller and proper priming of the surface are essential. Priming improves the adhesion of the FloorworX Self Leveller to concrete, prevents the formation of air bubbles and reduces water absorption into the subfloor. FloorworX Acrylic Primer to prime concrete surfaces is used in conjunction with this self-leveller.

To make sure that the self-leveller isn’t subject to draughts in the first 24 hours after curing, doorways should be taped-up with polythene if necessary to prevent air movement during application. The room also needs sufficient ventilation to allow the screed to dry. Cracking and crazing on the floor will result if FloorworX Self Leveller is exposed to draughts during this curing period. Besides draught protection, the floors also need to be protected from traffic as any damage to the sub-floor will have to be rectified before it is suitable to receive the final floor finish.

The type of finish, density and dryness of FloorworX Self Leveller, screed and ambient conditions will influence the open time before floorcoverings can be installed. It is very important that the requirements for critical moisture content of the particular floorcovering be studied and understood before installation.

For more information, contact FloorworX on Tel: +27 (11) 406 4024 or via www.floorworx.co.za.

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