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02 September 2019

The term “resilient coverings” generally refers
to floor and wall coverings made from carpet, rubber or PVC. One of the
characteristics they have in common is resilience, a property that
allows these types of material to deform so they can absorb impact or
deformations without breaking.

What properties should a substrate have to make
it suitable for bonding these types of material?

  • Mechanical
    strength –
    resilient materials do not distribute the loads acting on the floor. The forces
    pressing down on the surface of resilient floorings are transferred almost
    directly to the substrate. It isn’t unusual to notice the marks (albeit
    temporary) left by desks and chairs on PVC flooring. The weight of these
    objects acts directly on the screed and skimcoat under the flooring. Generally,
    the compressive strength of screeds must be a minimum of 20MPA. MAPEI stocks a variety of screeds that
    can be used as underlayments in resilient installations, such as Topcem, Topcem
    Pronto and Mapecem Pronto.
  • Low
    level of residual moisture –
    Even though this is a common requirement for all
    substrates, it becomes even more important in the case of resilient materials.
    PVC and rubber are essentially impermeable, so if the level of moisture in the
    substrate is too high, they will swell or detach from the surface. According to
    current standards, a carbide hygrometer should be used to measure the level of
    residual moisture in the screed. Moisture barriers such as MAPEI’s Eco Prim PU
    1K can be used for consolidating and waterproofing cementitious screeds.
  • Flatness
    the compact thickness of resilient materials, if any imperfections or
    irregularities in the substrate are not eliminated, they show up clearly on the
    surface of the flooring. Flatness, therefore, must be guaranteed by taking
    special care when making the screed. A practical way of levelling off the
    surface of a screed and making it flat is to apply a skimcoat, such as Mapei’s
    Ultraplan Eco. Ultraplan Eco is a self-levelling, ultra-quick-hardening
    smoothing compound for thicknesses of 1 to 10 mm. Ultraplan Maxi can be used
    for thicknesses of 3 to 40 mm. Skimcoats are generally made from high-strength
    fast-drying cementitious mortars, often with self-levelling properties.

While the three requirements above are
particularly important, they are not the only ones. All those working in this
sector know that curing, thickness, compactness, cleanliness and other factors
all play their part in the successful installation of resilient materials.

information from Geoffrey Green, Tel: +27 11 552 8476; Cell: +27 82 726 6830;
E-mail: [email protected]; Website: www.mapei.co.za

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