Installing vinyl flooring can be complex and requires expertise for a successful installation. Here are a few useful tips to ensure the result ticks all the right boxes, with no costly comebacks from your client:

Elements to consider when installing vinyl flooring:

1. Regular site visits are imperative for the success and smooth running of your project
Daily demands and deadlines often result in it being difficult to visit sites as often as intended but it is essential.

2. Notify and schedule a visit with your building and flooring contractor
Empathy and consideration go a long way in achieving a mutually beneficial outcome. In the flooring industry, strong and positive relationships can often make the difference between success and failure.

3. Ensure that the site is ready for vinyl installation
Flooring contractors are often instructed to install the vinyl flooring when the site isn’t ready. As the flooring expert, it is your responsibility to ensure that your client understands the requirements for a successful (and beautiful) vinyl flooring installation.

4. Favourable site conditions
Site conditions must be favourable for the flooring contractors, adequate lighting is necessary, and achievable timelines need to be set.
Projects often run over with the flooring contractors having to work under tough conditions and meet unrealistic deadlines.

5. Identify any structural expansion joints
Structural movement will affect a vinyl installation, so ensure the correct expansion joint covers are used over all the expansion joints.

6. Have saw-cut joints been made and how deep are they?
When laying the screed topping, saw-cut joints may have been specified to prevent cracking whilst the screed is drying.

7. A clean screed
The screed must be level, smooth, contaminant free, dirt and dust free.
Vinyl will eventually mirror imperfections in the screed and this step in the process is critical to producing a quality finish.

8. Is the screed level?
What thickness self-leveller was applied? Is it per your specification?
Screed levelness is vitally important so be sure to specify a self-leveller.

9. Is the screed sound?
Is the screed soft or powdery and are there any visible cracks?
The screed must comply with at least 25MPa strength. Ensure there are no hollow patches and check for any cracks which could result in delamination of the screed.

10. Check the screed moisture content
The moisture content measured of the screed must be at 40% depth.
Use a reputable moisture reading instrument (Protimeter or a Wagner meter) to ensure there are no moisture issues. A good moisture barrier is fast becoming essential and will provide peace of mind and ensure no nasty comebacks in the future.

11. Check for excessive moisture
Check surrounding areas for indications of excessive ground moisture i.e., vlei, slopes, clay, etc. Ground conditions in the area can affect moisture seeping into the structure.

12. Be mindful of the temperature at the time of installation
Ambient temperature affects the adhesive curing period in the winter months. It is advisable to consult your adhesive and screed manufacturer to advise on best practice for their product.

13. Ventilation
What was the ventilation like over the drying period?
Poor ventilation causes adhesives to take longer to flash off, self-leveller longer to dry and causes a screed to powder.

14. Is the correct vinyl and adhesive on site?
Check colour, batch and roll numbers. It is common to experience some colour variation in different batch numbers. Note the manufacturer’s recommendation on the correct adhesive to use per product.

15. Storage of vinyl
Vinyl is best installed when it has been rolled out and left to relax and acclimatise.

16. Contractor skill
Is the Flooring Contractor’s installation team skilled in vinyl installations?
It is important to have a skilled team managing the installation.

These are important considerations for a successful vinyl flooring installation. For more technical support and help, contact Blythe or Wendy.

For more information, contact Polyflor SA:

Tel: +27 (11) 609 3500 (speak to Blythe or Wendy)

Email: marketing@polyflor.co.za Website: www.polyflor.co.za

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