Here's our latest Coverings Magazine article: Specs Matter - Managing the end at the beginning. https://bit.ly/2XMqTLx
Pre-installation site meetings between all parties help set process, budget and a realistic schedule
Pre-installation site meetings between all parties help set process, budget & a realistic schedule to plan for the unique challenges of installing complex floor covering products properly. Flooring systems can involve multiple layers of different products (from various suppliers) and are ultimately as strong as the weakest link. A typical scenario may include the original concrete surface, moisture barrier, primer, Hydraulic Cement Underlayment (HCU), new adhesive & finally... a floor covering. Considering how many layers of product & the dollar investment that sits on top of the parent slab, the risk of short cutting on surface preparation, specifically removal of all pre-existing contaminants such as old adhesive from the original surface, is simply not worth it! 10,000 square foot office space - Original concrete surface covered in old adhesive which was left in place before primer was applied and HCU poured. Soon after a new adhesive and Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) floor installation went ahead. Result, sporadic lifting where the HCU de-bonded from the old adhesive. Cost to mechanically remove the old adhesive? Insignificant compared to the cost of full floor system removal & relocating a busy office for many weeks. www.nfca.ca
The finished result can exhibit many issues that may seem problematic to the untrained eye but are in fact acceptable to industry standards. Viewing finished installations under extreme lighting conditions, or from a low or particular angle, that highlight irregularities is a recipe for dispute. Imperfections exist in construction, grey areas between acceptable and not acceptable fuel much debate and many unnecessary hold-backs. When resilient flooring (vinyl, rubber, linoleum) for example, with its' reflective surface and telegraphing characteristic, is installed over an acceptable concrete sub-floor, the finished product will still show undulations. NFCA supports construction parties across Canada when such disputes arise by offering inspections through a network of independent certified experts who are experienced and trained to inspect and report from a position of 'what's right, not who's right'. Getting the facts from a third party who has no skin in the game helps those caught up in a dispute to agree and move forward from a position of trust. For more information go to: www.nfca.ca/inspections.html
Avoid the problems! Don’t underestimate the placement of Gypsum Cement Underlayment in construction or, as a floor covering contractor, the installation of glue down flooring (especially resilient flooring) over a Gypsum surface. Gypsum concrete offers many advantages over regular concrete such as fire resistance, acoustical properties and a lighter over all weight. When properly mixed and placed it can offer the same compressive strength (Industry recommendation 4000psi /27mpa for resilient flooring), is easier to place and smooth out due to its runnier consistency and is also less prone to cracking.
Most often used in wood frame construction as an underlayment (thickness of 1 ½” /38mm) and also when hydronic radiant heating systems are present. Issues such as dusting, cracking, de-bonding, and overly soft surfaces leave projects with significant problems, corrective costs and delays and are mostly caused by poor planning, over watering, improper mixing and questionable site conditions. Refer to NFCA Floor Covering Reference Manual Specification Guide - Section AA2 - 03-54-12 – Gypsum Cement Underlayment.
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