F. Ball discusses how technological advancements and product developments mean that levelling compounds can offer time-saving benefits without compromising the high-quality finish.

Time can be one of the greatest and most common challenges a contractor will face when completing a new flooring installation. Where the setting of levelling compounds would have once taken hours, perhaps a day to dry, developments in cement technology means that there are now more fast track levelling compounds available to speed up the preparation of subfloor surfaces.

The installation of a new floorcovering is often one of the final stages of a refurbishment or new-build project, and as such, there can be a lot of pressure for new floorcoverings to be installed as quickly as possible.

The finished floor has a major influence on the overall aesthetic appearance in an internal area and must deliver long-term durability, whilst accommodating the expected foot traffic. This means that not only are contractors expected to deliver speedy results, they must do so without compromising the quality of flooring projects.

MOISTURE MANAGEMENT First and foremost, contractors must take care to ensure that the substrate is suitably dry before proceeding with a flooring installation. Should a moisture measurement test find relative humidity (RH) levels of 75% or above, (65% or above when working with wooden floorcoverings), a waterproof surface membrane should be installed. The fastest high-quality waterproof surface membranes on the market can be applied, cured and ready to receive levelling compounds in less than two hours.

DEALING WITH CONTAMINATION Before any floorcovering can be laid, a subfloor must be smooth and free from contamination. On large projects, the necessity of removing any adhesive residue with a grinder can prove costly and time consuming, which is why there are now professional levelling compounds on the market that can be applied directly over adhesive residues.

Stopgap 1200 Pro is a minimum preparation, maximum performance levelling compound, which has been specially formulated to be applied directly over subfloors where some adhesive residue is still in place, as long as any loose residue is removed and the floor is clean and dry. In most cases, Stopgap 1200 Pro doesn’t require the subfloor to be primed, again saving significant time and expense. The time saving offered by the product is further enhanced by its fast setting time of around one hour and its ability to be ready to receive a new floorcovering from as little as four hours after application.

Because of its versatility, adaptability and fast setting characteristics, many contractors opt to use Stopgap 1200 Pro as their ‘go-to’ levelling compound for a wide range of projects.

THE QUICKEST SOLUTIONS As well as levelling compounds that can save time on the mechanical removal of adhesive residue, dedicated fast


track solutions are available where the levelling compound formulation enables water to be chemically ‘locked’ into the compound rather than having to wait for the water to evaporate.

Stopgap Fast Track 30 is the ideal choice for jobs where time matters, with the ability to be ‘walk-on hard’ after 30 minutes and to receive floorcoverings after just 45 minutes. It is also protein-free, making it suitable for use in biologically sensitive areas, and is suitable for use over a wide range of subfloor types including sand/cement screed, concrete and waterproof surface membranes.

LEVELLING FLOORS QUICKLY When uneven floors need to be tackled under time constraints, there are specially formulated products that can be used to raise and level these uneven floors quickly, easily and economically.

Stopgap 600 Base is a low odour, fast setting deep section base compound, which can be applied in thicknesses between 5 – 50mm in one application. It cures to chemically bind all remaining water in the mixture, which minimises the risk of air bubbles in the subfloor and also means that contractors are not faced with having to wait for all of the water to evaporate naturally, dramatically decreasing the drying time.

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