'Minimal Prep'...part of the problem! Resilient (vinyl, rubber, linoleum) flooring tends to follow every contour of a substrate, essentially forming a skin. Joints, cracks, depressions, protrusions, and seemingly insignificant imperfections on a substrate surface may telegraph through and become very obvious after the product is installed. 'Minimal prep' is an overused term in flooring that creates ambiguity in the process of preparing a subfloor. A preferred alternative is to reference available standards that direct testing, preparation and work responsibility for this critical stage of an installation. Most manufacturers of resilient flooring reference 'ASTM F-710 Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors to Receive Resilient Flooring'. The Floor Covering Reference Manual of Canada also notes this standard but goes further (in PART A12 Substrate Preparation) to explain who is responsible for what to get the work done. Clearly assigning this work responsibility is critical to avoid conflict and delays. Together, these documents go a long way to solving the long-standing issue of 'what is minimal preparation for the floor covering installer'.
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