The trend for wood flooring in the home, office and public buildings continues to grow however some are still being laid without the correct installation methods being followed. We’ve all heard the saying ‘proper preparation prevents poor performance’ and when it comes to laying wood flooring this statement couldn’t be truer with good surface preparation making the difference between achieving a professional finish and one that requires repair work in the future.
When laying flooring, there are three main steps to consider with each being as critical as the other. Firstly the substrate should be thoroughly prepared to ensure it is open textured, dry, and free from dust, debris and any old bituminous layers or existing adhesive, with any particularly dusty surfaces being primed and sealed with an acrylic and water solution.
The second step is to use a levelling compound such as SikaLevel® Latex Self Levelling to ensure the surface is even and free from cracks and bumps before the final flooring material is laid – something which is especially important when using flooring adhesive. These products are hugely popular within the flooring industry, and offer many of the following benefits:
• Self-smoothing and highly fluid
• Can be easily applied by pump or manual application
• Fast setting and drying – can be walked on in 2-4 hours
• Low shrinkage
• Suitable for use with underfloor heating systems
Supplied as a powder in easy to manage bags, self-levelling compounds can be mixed with water to make the exact amount required before simply being poured onto the subfloor surface, paying careful attention to areas with dips and valleys occur so the compound can be poured accordingly. Using a straight edge, such as a level, it is easy to see where these occur and can be marked accordingly so that these areas can be worked on first to bring the room to an even level.
Once the vital preparation work is complete, the final step is to lay the wood flooring using the correct adhesive for both the substrate and the material being laid. Some woods such as beech and bamboo can be problematic to lay due to moisture content so choosing the correct adhesive is vital. One product which can be used with these types of wood is SikaBond 52 Wood Floor, a gun applied fast curing, elastic wood flooring adhesive for use with solid, engineered planks. It can also be used with the Sika Silent Layer mat as part of the Sika Acoubond System which helps to reduce the sound of footfall which can be an issue when installing wood flooring.
Whilst laying wood flooring might seem like a daunting task, following these steps will ensure you achieve the perfect result every time.