ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS Ineffective substrate preparation is one of the most common causes of flooring failure.

The application of a proven, strong, self-levelling compound can help iron-out a raft of blemishes, says Michael Hooper National Flooring Manager - Schönox at Sika.

If damp or cracks are left untreated within a substrate, the floor system - at some point - is likely to be compromised. In such circumstances, costly refurbishment is a likely outcome. Preparation and planning are key to good flooring – there is no shortcut to success. However, when it comes to commercial floor installation where time is of the essence to minimise production downtime, a rapid, reliable self-levelling compound is crucial.

Sika’s SCHÖNOX range of high-strength, synthetic, gypsum- based, self-levelling compounds offer the ideal time and cost-effective flooring solution. Classified SR1 ‘high standard’, as per the British Standards Code of Practice in relation to surface regularity of screeds for normal accuracy floors, SCHÖNOX compounds are the result of two decades’ worth of Sika experience and expertise in gypsum-based technology.

BENEFITS The SCHÖNOX range of levelling compounds self-level in the truest sense of the word, even at 2mm thickness. Sika’s range of gypsums - incorporating super-flat technology - contains no aggregates to guarantee the products achieve an SR1 surface finish as standard. This avoids the need to rub down cured screed imperfections and apply a feather edge. As well as strength and speed of usability, SCHÖNOX APF, for example, is accessible to foot traffic after just two hours. One of this system’s greatest assets is its ability to prevent substrate defects being visible on a finished floor. It’s why it is the ideal solution for any substrate that has the potential to flex or move i.e: plywood, OSB, UFH, sand/cement screed, abutting ceramic tiles or floorboards. SCHÖNOX APF - for use from 3mm to 15mm - provides a super-smooth, flat finish that looks as good as it performs, eliminating the threat of blemishes or damage that lie hidden beneath.

SCHÖNOX SDG DPM’s unique selling point is its suitability for the fast pre-treatment of unheated cement-based substrates. Its superb penetrability means a little coating goes a long way in terms of coverage.

PREPARATION When applying SCHÖNOX APF, for example, substrates should be of adequate strength and load-bearing capacity. Residues such as dust, dirt, oil and loose particles should be removed along with any ‘friable’ areas of the subfloor. Additionally, old, loose and weak levelling layers should be removed mechanically. When it comes to the subsequent installation of floorcoverings, cement screeds are required to display a residual moisture reading of < 2.0 CM-% (heating screeds <


1.8 CM-%); calcium sulphate screeds should have a reading of < 0.5 CM-% (heating screeds < 0.3 CM-%). SCHÖNOX APF is also suitable for levelling partial surfaces of bituminous substrates, such as asphalt and the like. From one, 25kg bag mixed with six litres of water it is possible to achieve up to 7m2

at 3mm thick.

The SCHÖNOX gypsum-based range exhibits zero-shrinkage, therefore it will not stress the substrate. With the appropriate SCHÖNOX primer, screeds can be laid directly over weak substrates or existing vinyl sheet, luxury vinyl tile, ceramics, steel access floors, and wood flooring (assuming it is well bonded).

APPLICATION Adequate ventilation is essential when SCHÖNOX APF is being worked and during its drying time. Cold, clean water should be added to the compound to form a homogenous mixture. SCHÖNOX screeds can be applied by pump or poured and spread using a trowel. When curing SCHÖNOX APF, for instance, levelling layers should be protected from high ambient temperatures, direct sunlight and draughts. The application temperature should not be below 5°C floor temperature. Contact with metal such as water-bearing pipes should be avoided (e.g. sealing of pipe penetrations) when using the compound, as galvanised steel pipes have no sufficient corrosion protection. When applied to a 3mm thickness, the compound is ready for covering after approximately 24 hours. For layer thicknesses up to 15mm, the residual moisture should be tested with CM- apparatus.

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