What is commercial flooring? It is the type of floor made in commercial, industrial, and retail spaces. Your office and business space are important assets for the business. The visual presentation of commercial space has a big role to play in business. Employees like the office environment with good ambiance but clients will make an impression on your business by looking at your office space. It is important to make this investment that will serve you for many years.
A business faces many challenges, especially in the initial years. And once the business is up and doing good, the last thing you need is problems due to the flooring in your workspace. Actually, there are more important matters to deal with. The investment made in setting up the office is wasted if the flooring is not done in a proper manner. The whole process needs repetition to correct the mistakes made by the initial contractors. You can contact M&M Carpets Contractors Ltd which is one of the best carpet fitters for contract of carpet fitting and avoid making any mistakes.
The following are the common reason for the failure of commercial flooring. There are a few things to keep in mind before the installation of flooring and certain things at the time of installation. This is to ensure that the contractors follow the best practices for flooring.
Is the subfloor in the commercial space affected by moisture?
This is the most common reason for the failure of flooring. This can happen because of two reasons. The moisture may already be present on the subfloor. The other reason can be the presence of moisture on the concrete put at the time of flooring. It is important to deal with this problem before the flooring installation happens.
Laying the floor with vinyl
Laying a floor with vinyl, gives a thin floor covering. There is the use of compounds for smoothing. Screeds are also an essential component at the time of installation of vinyl floors. It is important to remove the moisture first. The compounds tend to lift and break. This causes bubbles and holes in the flooring. The entire flooring is in ruins after a few days of installation.
There is also the problem of the emulsification of the adhesives put at the time of installation. This leads to an unreliable and weak bond. The floor and the subfloor do not remain together. This ruins the flooring.
This is a common problem in UK for buildings built before 1970. The country put new legislation. All the properties built will have damp-proof membranes. This was mandatory for all new constructions.
Always get a survey done of the building before flooring. Take moisture readings at various points in the building. This will give a complete picture of the situation. A few places are dry, does not mean that all other areas are okay. Few places may have the problem of moisture on the subfloor.
Use of hygrometer
The most common method of moisture reading is the use of a portable, handheld Hygrometer. This device can penetrate through different types of flooring. Even the more durable and resilient floors do not pose a challenge to a Hygrometer. It will tell you the level of moisture on the floor. Relative humidity reading( RH%) is the unit of measuring the level of moisture. There are more techniques available for measuring moisture content on the subfloor.
Every type of floor covering has a different level of tolerance for moisture. LVT or contract vinyl are the most common types of floor coverings. Their moisture reading should be less than 75% RH.
A common practice for preventing moisture from seeping up the floor is the use of a damp-proof membrane (DPM). They are liquids free of any solvent. Apply them on the subfloor and allow to dry. This creates a physical barrier between moisture and the floor. It prevents moisture from rising up. Apply an appropriate smoothing compound after the DPM is completely dry.
There are other options for a faster installation of flooring. One is the use of Altro Xpresslay. You can use this vinyl product for loose laying of the flooring. Check with your contractor if this is a viable option. The use of Altro requires few conditions.
Flooring expansion or contraction due to various reasons
A common cause of problems in flooring is due to anyone like the expansion of or contraction of the flooring. This is most common when installation happens with LVT or laminate. Heat causes expansion in the product. This makes it arch at the joints and they pop off the floor. The cold may cause shrinkage to the product which leads to gaps in the joints of the flooring.
Manufacturers of commercial flooring make a manual with instructions. It is advisable to follow the instructions during the installation of flooring. Time for acclimatisation is very important for the durability of the flooring product. Make sure you follow set temperatures for the flooring product before installation. Also, for the time of installation and afterwards.
The manual is very helpful to prevent any type of failure in flooring.
Good quality flooring products give certain leverage for expansion and contraction
f there is proper installation, there are no problems. There should never be any sudden or frequent changes to temperature. Imagine a building built in the middle of winter without any heating. Then sudden activation of the central heating system will damage the flooring.
Poor workmanship is the most common cause of damage to the commercial flooring
There has to be a provision for an expansion gap. Installation of a click-together high-quality vinyl tile needs a gap. So does the use of a laminate flooring product. The gap should be around the perimeter. Without any gaps for expansion around the walls, the flooring will certainly fail. This happened due to the tight fitting of tiles to the skirting boards. LVT and laminate flooring products need a 5 mm gap around the walls. This allows expansion and contraction of the flooring. Hide the gap by installing the skirting boards after the flooring. Another way is to install a curved scotia to the perimeter and pin it with the skirting.
Improper use of adhesive on the subfloor
This can lead to bubbling in vinyl products and in marmoleum. The reason can be many:
- Choice of a wrong adhesive or the wrong trowel.
- Leaving adhesive too long before installation is another common problem.
- The flooring into the adhesive is incorrect.
Use the Recommended Adhesive Guide for reference by F. BALL & CO.
Each adhesive has a specific time for flooring. Use a specific trowel for the right amount of adhesive.
Use a 68 kg heavy roller to remove the air from the flooring.
Poor Installation of commercial flooring:
Use a contractor with a good reputation for work. Poor choice of a vendor can cause problems like;
Get flat and smooth flooring done. This is imperative while using a smoothing compound for resilient flooring like LTV or safety flooring. But if this is not done, the poor preparation of the subfloor will be visible and will increase with a new floor covering. This smoothing flooring requires the set of skills and machines which are not available with many contractors.
Common issues faced are:
- Tiles put with gaps
- Walls and flooring products having gaps
- Cracks, lumps, burn marks, or a bad setting out
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