Subfloor issues continue to plague the Resilient Flooring Industry. Whether it is moisture issues, Gypsum Underlayment problems, or OSB issues, my day is consumed with answering these questions. Moisture issues continue to dominate the resilient industry. New construction schedules push the flooring contractors to install flooring when the concrete has barely begun to dry. Not having the correct temperature and environmental conditions retards the drying process of the concrete even more. Even with the fast construction schedules, no one is figuring in high moisture adhesives or patches until it is too late. I am not sure when General Contractor’s will figure out that having the correct job site conditions will reduce a number of installation and call back issues with flooring. When doing any job, I strongly urge you to do some sort of moisture test and record your results. Should any moisture problems happen after the installation, you have a recorded moisture result to go back to and compare your findings.
Adhesive manufactures have raised the moisture levels of adhesives to higher and higher moisture levels. In the Hardwood Industry, JJ Haines now has several Hardwood Adhesives that require no moisture testing:
Bostik Ultra-Set Single Step2 and Bostik GreenForce
DriTac The Golden Bullet
Mapei 985 and 995
On the Vinyl Adhesive side, adhesives have not advanced as fast as the Hardwood side. Many adhesives today will go up to 90% Relative Humidity and we do have a few VCT Adhesives (Mapei 711 and XL Dyna-Stix VCT) that go up to 95% Relative Humidity. The problem is that in new construction, even 90% is not high enough…and some cases 95% is still not high enough.
In need of moisture protection up to 95% or 99% Relative Humidity? JJ Haines also sells VersaShield and VersaShield MBX. VersaShield protects against moisture up to 95% Relative Humidity and VersaShield MBX protects against moisture up to 99% Relative Humidity. VersaShield products are approved for use with Carpet Tiles, most wide-width Carpets, Engineered Hardwood, Laminates and Resilient (VCT, Static Dissipative Tile, Solid Vinyl Tile and LVT/LVP) flooring products. VersaShield products separate the finished flooring and adhesive from moisture vapor in the concrete subfloor. VersaShield and VersaShield MBX are a great product to combat residential moisture issues as well.
Bottom line, JJ Haines has solutions for your many installation issues.
Glue down Laminate has become huge in the builder market in Raleigh, NC. Armstrong Laminates have had this recommendation for years. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it has been a huge hit and has solved some major installation issues with Laminate in the Builder Market. What are the benefits?
Eliminates the need for pad
Eliminates the need for transition pieces in doorways or very large rooms
Eliminates call backs for buckling floors due to subfloor shrinkage when the homeowner moves in
Sounds like a real Hardwood floor. Takes the hollow sound out of Laminate
From time to time a call for a Waterproofing Membrane or for a Crack Isolation Membrane for use beneath vinyl flooring.
For a Waterproofing Membrane, use Mapei Mapelastic AquaDefense. Mapelastic AquaDefense is a premixed, advanced liquid-rubber, extremely quick-drying waterproofing and crack-isolation mem-brane for installation under ceramic tile or stone in residential, commercial and industrial environ-ments. Mapelastic AquaDefense provides a thin, continuous barrier to protect adjacent rooms and floors below from water damage. Mapelastic AquaDefense dries after about 30 to 50 minutes. Adhesives used dry to the touch may be applies directly to the Mapei AquaDefense or apply a skim coat to the AquaDefense then apply the adhesive.
For Crack Isolation beneath vinyl flooring, I currently have no answer and I have never seen a Vinyl Flooring manufacturer recommend one. Placing a Crack Isolation membrane beneath a vinyl flooring product would produce a speed bump in the middle of the floor.
Starting in 2016, the Armstrong Commercial Certified Installer program will be expanded to two levels of certification.
Commercial Certification will test the installers skills;
Heat welding flat seams
Tile and Plank diagonal layout and installation
Cove base fitting, outside and inside corners
Adhesive application, open and working time
Installer should have at least 3 years’ experience, and will demonstrate these skills working with; Armstrong Linoleum, Vinyl Sheet Flooring, LVT Tile and Plank.
Level Two Commercial Certification will test the installers skills performing more detailed and challenging installations;
Following a floor plan with inset designs, circles, and curves
Flash coving with Mitered and V-Plug outside corners, heat welded
Transitioning different flooring gauges seamed together
Heat welding Linoleum and Vinyl seams intersections, circles, curves
This certification is for installers experienced with the skills listed above, it is a challenge test only there are no demonstrations by an instructor. The installer will receive a floor plan and will complete the installation to match the plan.
In addition to experience with flash coving, heat welding and design work, prerequisite requirements for this certification are:
Current Level One Commercial Certification
Current Commercial Certification
Current installers that are a certified Armstrong Commercial Installer still have the flash coving benefits.