Failing to properly prepare a floor can cause even the most beautiful flooring to be undermined. According to iTe Products, the ‘rule of the seven Ps’ applies to correctly and professionally installed flooring:  Proper Prior Planning Prevents Particularly Poor Performance.

The company describes some of the most common potential pitfalls that they see in the market:

Not investing in a thorough screed assessment
This should always be the first step in any flooring project. In a restoration project, it is vital to look underneath any existing floor covering. Where the existing flooring cannot be removed, it is essential to make provision for all the potential problems that could emerge down the line. Product knowledge is crucial at this stage. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to outline precisely what is required, and which components of a complete flooring system are essential on a case-by-case basis to ensure a perfect result. An itemised quotation for the customer is a great starting point. If a customer is unwilling to pay for some of the suggested elements, then they should be made aware of the potential consequences.

Not examining the condition of the substrate
The condition of the substrate beneath the planned flooring needs to be examined as this will largely determine which products and steps are required. Check moisture levels, assess the risk of rising moisture and determine whether a moisture barrier would be indicated.

It is critical to remove all adhesive residues and other contaminants in older screeds. An inspection for cracks and hollowness will determine if repairs are needed, and a spirit level (or in bad cases, a marble!) will show if the screed is smooth, level and even. If not, a self-levelling product may be required. After this, the type of adhesive can be determined according to the chosen floor covering.

Four questions to ask before a flooring installation
A thoughtful approach nearly always yields the best results. iTe Products recommends that the following questions be asked before a project commences:
•    Will the floor be exposed to direct sunlight, heat or cold?
•    What specific atmospheric conditions will be encountered?
•    Are special tools required to undertake the work and does the installation team have the skills to use them correctly?
•    Are there training needs that have not been addressed?

Responsible salespeople and installers will be able to advise you on the suitability and likely success of the desired floor. Whether you’re looking for a moisture barrier, self-levelling screed or the right adhesive for a specific floor, talk to iTe Products.

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