Done once, done right. No ambiguity, no disputes on site - 30 storey tower, concrete construction, all suspended slabs left 3/8" shy of finished height with a rough Concrete Surface Profile (CSP) of 5 or 6 (note: an open rough surface profile also facilitates slab drying). Hydraulic Cement Underlayment (3/8" topping) planned and budgeted for well in advance, primed and poured 4 months later to build the slab up to finished height. 10' Straight Edge tests measured 1/16" over 10' (2mm over 3m) everywhere, even the most challenging test spots, such as up to support columns where slabs typically slop away, exceeded floor covering industry standards of 1/8" over 10' for a suspended slab. www.nfca.ca
The three temperatures you must control prior to delivery of flooring to site: Surface, Ambient and Product. Floor covering products are required to be delivered into eventual living (service) conditions prior to installation so that they acclimate and don’t change shape when occupancy is reached. Living conditions are typically 20c (68f) at 45% Ambient Relative Humidity. Thermostat controlled, main heat and or HVAC should be operating and maintaining these conditions. Test results should be recorded for future reference. Managing this critical pre-installation stage helps avoid the risk of encountering a host of related problems (depending on flooring type) such as splitting/checking of hardwood top veneers, excessive expansion and related squeaking, shrinkage and gaps, buckling and lifting of vinyl plank edges. The installation area is either within manufacturers’ installation guidelines or not. Temporary electric heaters, such as in this image, are limited to the amount of space they can heat and often do not have thermostat controls. Fans are also required to circulate air and keep conditions stable. Propane heat is not recommended as it introduces water vapour into the air that will raise Ambient Relative Humidity. www.nfca.ca
Some flooring products are not recommended for all areas of the home or conditions that may exist within certain rooms. Understand product limitations before committing to purchase or specification. Vinyl products for example, shrink and expand with changing temperatures. Direct sunlight through south facing windows can quickly cause temperatures to increase above a product's limitations. Choice of adhesive may mitigate movement but will not prevent it when extremes occur. Understand the limitations of any product you are considering by reading the installation guidelines and warranty exclusions. Some products for example include statements such as, ‘do not install product in areas of direct sunlight’ or ‘to satisfy warranty requirements window coverings must be installed to protect flooring from direct sun (heat). Homeowners don’t know this. Flooring and design professionals should. Products with ambiguous or inadequate installation guidelines should not be purchased. Choose products based on performance first and aesthetic second. www.nfca.ca
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