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Fast-track Solutions One of the biggest challenges faced by contractors undertaking flooring installations in retail environments is working to time contraints. Clients will naturally want their business closed-off from the public for the least amount of time possible, placing pressure on contractors to complete an installation quickly, without compromising on the quality of the finish.

Recent advances in cement technology, for example, have enabled the leading manufacturers of floor preparation products to create a wide range of fast-track products, designed for when contractors need to complete a job quickly without compromising the success of the finish.

For instance, floor smoothing underlayments are now available which can be walk-on dry in 30 minutes and ready to receive floorcoverings in as little as 45 minutes. These same smoothing underlayments are typically very easy to use, self-smoothing, and applicable at thicknesses up to 10mm. These products can potentially save contractors hours of time, and as a result, a significant amount of money for the store.

A Smooth Finish Contractors may find adhesive residue on the subfloor from previous floorcoverings when they arrive to complete retail refurbishments. This residue typically requires mechanical removal. However, fast-track smoothing underlayments are available which can be applied directly over old adhesive residues, eliminating the need for the adhesive residue to be mechanically removed, saving a lot of time for contractors on site.


Here, F. Ball & Co. Ltd provides guidance

on using appropriate products and proper preparation techniques to ensure that retail flooring installations run smoothly with minimum disruption to business.

Installing flooring in a retail area can create some significant challenges for flooring contractors. If an entire shop floor needs to be refurbished, for example, it is likely that the outlet will need to close completely. This often leads to clients requesting that contractors work in stages which will allow the business to remain open, but with some serious challenges for the contractor.

There are a number of ways in which contractors can make retail flooring installations significantly quicker, easier, and more cost effective for the client. By using appropriate products and proper preparation techniques, contractors can finish retail flooring installations more quickly whilst minimising risk to the public and preventing the need to close a store.


The leading versions of these smoothing underlayments will be easy to use, requiring minimal preparation, and have a setting time of just 60 minutes, which is significantly faster than many other smoothing underlayments.

Safety Challenges Some retail refurbishments may entail working on a small area of the outlet while the rest of the area remains open to the public. If contractors are faced with this challenge, they may have to combat customer health and safety concerns. This is particularly true with regard to the use of adhesives.

Leading manufacturers have invested heavily in the development of a wide range of high performance, solvent free, low emission floor preparation products, including adhesives and smoothing underlayments. This means that contractors can now carry out installation work in public areas without safety or comfort being compromised.

Many contractors specialise in retail flooring installations; it is vital that contractors use products that are specifically catered to the needs of a retail refurbishment project. By using high performance products that have been specifically designed as a fast-track solution, contractors can ensure that they meet tight deadlines without compromising on quality. Contractors should also ensure that they use flooring products that meet safety standards for the public, so that clients are able to keep their own outlets open, placing less pressure on contractors.

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