The quality of a finished floor is only as good as the subfloor on which it is laid. All wood, tile, LVT, linoleum, rubber and resilient floor coverings require a smooth, hard, clean, sound and level surface – not only for appearance but also for achieving a satisfactory adhesive bond and long-term durability. It is for this reason that the main contractor and specialist subcontractor should have a clear understanding at the outset of the quality or the level of workmanship required.
Subfloor dos and don’ts
Do not lay flooring onto a wet subfloor as it will affect the adhesive and cause the flooring to curl and lift. Remove all grease, any traces or patches of oil and any oil-based paint from the subfloor surface using either paint strippers or degreasing compounds. Once the grease is removed, the sub-floor must be thoroughly washed to remove any stripper or residue and then allowed to dry thoroughly.
The levelness, smoothness, soundness and cleanness of the subfloor depend on the acceptable level agreed upon by the specifier and main contractor. It can happen that a floor layer is needed to repair the subfloor surface before a floor covering can be installed. A smoothing compound such as FloorworX Pavelite can be used to obtain a good surface, but remember, smoothing compounds are only to be used on minor surface imperfections, such as small holes, filling thin cracks and smoothing over rough patches of concrete.
If the subfloor is in a very poor condition, a reliable self-leveller that will achieve the desired result is recommended. A smoothing compound will not necessarily improve subfloor undulations, as it is not a self-levelling product. The minimum requirement is for the subfloor to be compliant to a Grade 1 floor finish as set out in SANS 10070 Code of Practice.
For more information, contact FloorworX:
Tel: +27 (11) 406 4024
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