5 Common Tips for A Perfect Commercial Flooring Installation

herringbone flooring installed in office commercial kitchen with tile island in the middle and white tables to the right

After choosing the perfect commercial flooring for your workspace, you will probably be excited to get it installed and start using your new floor, but there are some common pitfalls you must avoid! Here is a brief overview of 5 steps that are important for any installation.

1. Perfect Preparation

One of the most important parts of any flooring installation, getting the preparation right is the first step to a perfect commercial flooring installation. If the preparation is rushed or the subfloor is not properly surveyed this can lead to major issues along the line, whether that is during installation or even weeks, months or years later!

Once any old, exsisting flooring has been removed the subfloor will need to have an appropriate level of preparation for the commercial flooring product you are planning to install. Whereas carpet tiles can be relatively forgiving, and the subfloor may just need a good vacuum and to fill in the odd hole or smooth out the odd ridge prior to installation, many commercial flooring products will require a higher level of preparation work to create a smooth, sound and solid base to work with. Most commonly this means either a freshly installed ply base or applying a suitable self-levelling compound, presuming there are no other issues such as movement or moisture to deal with.

 Get this step right and the rest of the flooring installation should (hopefully) be a breeze!

2. Always Acclimatise

Once you have taken delivery of your chosen flooring, it will usually need to acclimatise to an ambient temperature before installation can take place. This will typically mean keeping them inside, dry and warm for a set amount of time, around 15c to 25c, for between 24-72 hours prior to installation taking place. The specifics for this will be provided on the information/installation sheet that comes with your commercial flooring product. This will allow the product to become stable to work with and will reduce the chances of any shrinkage or expansion of the flooring, which can cause major issues later on.

Making sure your flooring is properly acclimatized also has the added benefit of making it generally easier and safer to work with. Taking any resilient flooring product as an example, if it is cold if will be much tougher and harder to cut and can cause a blade to ‘skate’ along the surface, which creates a high potential for serious injury. 

Taking the time to properly acclimatised the flooring will allow it to become much more pliable and easier to work with, reduce any possible health and safety issues and prevent future failure!

3. Sure-fire Setting Out

When setting out your flooring, you need to take your time to correctly plan it out before starting your installation. The first step is to work out the size of your flooring product, which can usually be found on the product label. Then, after working out which walls are straight to the building and using some math skills, starting from the centre of your working area, you will need to carefully and accurately measure where your flooring will finish at all walls and thresholds to ensure you will be left with a straight finish and good sized cut on all sides. Once that is done it is always a good idea to double check your measurements before setting out an even and straight line to work from along your entire working area that will be clearly visible, even under adhesives. As the old saying goes ‘measure twice, cut once’!

 Unfortunately, what can seem the easiest way is not necessarily always the best. Poor setting out could lead to having to install small sections or slivers along the walls or thresholds, gaps in tiles or having your flooring visibly going off at an awkward angle. Always check and double check all of your measurements off of all walls top and bottom, side to side, through doorways and wherever else your flooring will meet to ensure that any marking out is correct. A calculator can be a great help with this task!

4. Adhesive Rules

It is always worth taking the time to carefully read any instructions that are provided and making sure you have all the right tools before going full steam ahead with your flooring project, but this especially true when it comes to adhesives. 

The commercial flooring product and subfloor you are working with will dictate which adhesives you will need to use, and all adhesives can have different qualities, purposes and H&S requirements (some can be very toxic!), so what works with one flooring product will not necessarily work for another and getting it wrong can cause some serious issues. Working times will differ, some need time to go sticky others need to be laid in wet, some need to be rolled out whilst others will need to be trowelled out, some simply wouldn’t bond your flooring and some could even cause your product to melt! If you do not closely follow the instructions provided, this can easily lead to a flooring disaster! 

There is a handy F. Ball Recommended Adhesive Guide that can help you to choose the correct adhesive for the task at hand.

5. Devil’s in The Detail

After you have completed your commercial flooring installation and marvelled at the great job that’s been completed, you will need to do one last, final walk around to make sure everything is left ‘snag’ free. it is always worth taking the time to double check everything to make sure nothing has been forgotten, so have a good look and give it a proper once over to deal with any other minor issues that could have easily been overlooked during installation process. Taking that bit of extra time at the end of the job to ensure everything is properly secured, left nice and clean and ‘snag’ free can make the world of difference and be the final step in having a perfect flooring installation!

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