Your Four Step Guide to The Perfect Subfloor Preparation System

TREMCO / 08 August 2022

After the last couple of years, refurbishment is likely to be high on the agendas of our beloved pubs, bars, and restaurants. However, one key aspect that may have been overlooked is the matter of flooring system updates. After considerable periods of no foot traffic, this is an ideal time to ensure the floors of our beloved public houses and eateries are shipshape and Bristol fashion.

We know what you’re thinking: days, weeks, and months of work and potential delays. In fact, you’re very much mistaken. Simply follow this step-by-step guide and Tremco will have you sorted in no time!

1. Use a moisture vapour suppressant

When preparing a subfloor, a damp-proof membrane is required to prevent residual construction moisture in sand/cement and concrete bases, which contain moisture of up to 95% relative humidity (RH). This is except for pubs with a cellar, in which case a damp-proof membrane is not required. Laying a moisture vapour suppressant at the beginning of the process on new floors will control the passage of moisture, subsequently ensuring satisfactory laying of floor coverings.

An ideal solution is Tremco’s water-based ES600, which promises a fast-drying time of only two hours (two coats – one hour each), and can be used with underfloor heating. Priming and mixing are not required, creating a seamless application, and it is also EC1 compliant.

2. Lay the smoothing underlayment

Next, you will need a high-performing, smoothing underlayment. This forms the base of the floor and smooths any uneven areas. When planning a flooring project, the substrate must be one of the first considerations, in addition to the damp-proof membrane, as it is vital to the system’s success. It is important to remember the flooring’s eventual function in relation to the products and methodology chosen.

For this step, Tremco’s underlayment of choice is SX600NA. This versatile, high-performance smoothing compound sets rapidly, meaning it has a walk-on time of just two hours and can receive floor coverings after four hours. The solution is ammonia free, therefore, you needn’t worry about any strong chemical odours, and it can even be applied over old adhesive residues. It has good adhesion to most substrates without a primer as well as the ability to be used over under-floor heating.

3. Apply the adhesive

No flooring system would be complete without a layer of adhesive. This crucial step bonds the underlay to the subfloor, firstly, and then the underlay is bonded to the floor covering. This mitigates the risk of subsequent movement and generally enhances the overall quality of the flooring system. Depending on the complexity of the project, your chosen adhesive will need to meet the required function of the floor. In pubs and restaurants, for instance, flooring systems need to be hard-wearing due to the high volume of foot traffic. Therefore, it is vital you choose a solution that will bond the subfloor and covering securely.

Depending on the floor covering to be used, SF108 is ideal for floor system adhesion. The pressure sensitivity makes it the perfect adhesive for bonding a wide range of rubber and vinyl floor coverings. The solution is solvent-free as well as non-flammable and is guaranteed to leave none of those pesky serration marks. SF108 is also timescale friendly, as its fast application capabilities result in quicker installation, helping the project to be completed in an efficient manner. When used with sheet vinyl, this adhesive can be welded the same day, and its placement can be adjusted up to 72 hours after installation.

4. Floor

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, it’s time to place the floor covering. Using Tremco’s range of high-quality and performing products gives pubs, bars, and restaurants the opportunity to refurbish their entire floor system in less than a working week.

For more information on how we can help you implement the perfect subfloor preparation system, get in touch to speak with one of our experts.