Food for thought and an interesting perspective on a few technical terms.

In the July/August issue of FLOORS in Africa magazine, we published a comprehensive list of technical terms along with detailed definitions. Chris Westergaard from C.E. Westergaard sent us some interesting corrections to a few of these terms, which we wish to share with you.

Under the entry “Floating Floors”, J.K.P Edwards correctly defines it as “a free floating floor laid on top of an underlay” as opposed to flooring which is glued to the subfloor or installed using the batten system.

J.K.P Edwards goes on to say that “floating floors are necessary when installed with underfloor heating where the heat causes the floor to expand”. According to Chris, the truth is that if flooring is installed over underfloor heating (either built into the screed or in the form of mats) the wood will most likely contract. “It will not expand. The amount of contraction depends on the moisture contents of the flooring at time of installation and the temperature setting of the heating system. The general rule is that the setting should not exceed 27°C.”

Furthermore, a floating floor is not a prerequisite in combination with underfloor heating. An installation can be equally successful using the batten system. Even a glued-down floor can be successful provided that careful attention is given to moisture contents and if the floor area is not excessive. “I am not a proponent of the glued-down method,” emphasises Chris.

“Edwards’ comments under the heading “Lacquer” leave one with the impression that they were written rather far back in history. These days, in step with rising concerns about the environment, the trend is strongly geared towards water-based lacquers whereas solvent-based products are on the way out. The same, incidentally, could be said for laminates and vinyl which are based on oil or coal.”

The above is food for thought and an interesting perspective.