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F. Ball & Co. Ltd discusses how the use of fast-track solutions can provide quick, safe and easy installations in residential and care facilities.


Installing flooring in care homes can pose a number of challenges for flooring contractors. If flooring is installed along corridors for example, it might mean that residents are required to remain outside of their rooms for prolonged periods of time. Where communal areas, such as dining rooms or lounges, are being refurbished, access to facilities could be restricted, causing inconvenience for residents and staff alike. Many adhesives and smoothing underlayments also create unpleasant odours or present health and safety concerns when used in enclosed areas.


Nowadays, a number of leading flooring preparation products, including waterproof surface membranes, smoothing underlayments and adhesives are available which, when used together and applied correctly, allow floorcoverings to be installed quickly, easily and safely. These fast-track solutions prevent the need for areas of care homes to remain inaccessible for extended periods.


MOISTURE


MANAGEMENT Unmanaged moisture is one of the leading causes of a new floor failing. When a surface has been suitably prepared, a moisture measurement test should always be carried out to determine relative humidity (RH) levels of the subfloor. A number of timesaving options exist where a solution for damp is required.


Damp can be controlled with the application of a waterproof surface


present after the removal of old floorcoverings, contractors can save time by using smoothing underlayments that have been specially formulated for use without the mechanical removal of old adhesive residues. One such product takes as little as 60 minutes to set, is ready to receive floorcoverings from as little as four hours and


membrane. Advanced products are now available that will isolate residual construction moisture where relative humidity values are up to 98% with a single coat application and will fully cure in as little as three hours.


An even quicker, two-coat system requires 15-20 minutes curing time for the first coat, and a further 30 minutes curing time for the second coat, meaning a barrier against moisture values of up to 95% RH is created in less than two hours.


A SMOOTH FINISH Recent advances in cement technology have enabled smoothing underlayments to be developed that deliver the ultimate in fast-track performance, without compromising on quality or finish.


Smoothing underlayments are now available that are walk-on hard from 30 minutes and allow textile and resilient floorcoverings to be installed from as little as 45 minutes after application. The same products are low-odour, easy to use, self-smoothing and can be applied at thicknesses of up to 10mm.


Where old adhesive residues (including bitumen and carpet tile tackifiers) are


32 | RESIDENTIAL & CARE FACILITIES does not usually require priming. SAFE AND HYGIENIC


SOLUTIONS When it is required to install flooring in areas of care homes that remain open to residents or visitors, contractors should be sure to select a low odour adhesive, to avoid any unpleasant smells that could be unsettling for residents.


Due to advances in adhesive technology, most adhesives are now formulated to be solvent-free and low odour and can be used with a wide variety of floorcoverings. These adhesives have been developed with a range of other specialist properties, including the ability to be applied over underfloor heating systems, on vertical surfaces and in areas subject to extreme temperature fluctuations.


To prevent a substandard finish or even complete floor failure, contractors should always ensure that adhesives are compatible with the chosen floorcoverings. It is therefore advised that contractors consult manufacturer’s adhesives guidelines, such as F. Ball’s Recommended Adhesives Guide.


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