Flooring installations in retail environments often face pressure to complete work as quickly as possible to minimise the time a store is closed or areas have to remain out of service to members of the public.

Fortunately, advancements in subfloor preparation products, including fast-drying levelling compounds and waterproof surface membranes, as well as adhesives, now mean floorcoverings can be installed in as little as a day, whereas it would have once taken several days.

The fastest-setting floor-levelling compounds on the market are ‘walk-on’ hard in 30 minutes and ready to receive new floorcoverings from 45 minutes.

Levelling compounds that can be applied directly over old adhesive residues, such as F Ball & Co’s Stopgap 1200 Pro, reportedly offer another timesaving solution where floorcovering installations are part of a refurbishment, removing the need for mechanical preparation.

Adhesives are also available that build-up a strong enough bond to allow for foot-traffic in less than an hour after the application of floorcoverings. Using solvent-free and low-odour products to install floorcoverings in enclosed spaces will mean surrounding areas can remain open to the public while work takes place, minimising disruption in busy retail environments.

Case study
Carpet and flooring specialist, Flooring by Henton opted for F Ball’s Stopgap 1200 Pro and its Styccobond F48 Plus fibre-reinforced high temperature grade vinyl adhesive to achieve what’s described as a high quality LVT floor finish in the company’s own showroom, providing a showcase of its workmanship and attention to detail for visitors.

As well as requiring a perfectly smooth subfloor to optimise the aesthetic appearance of luxury vinyl planks, Flooring by Henton needed a vinyl adhesive that develops a high-bond strength to hold the planks in place when subjected to very high temperatures, caused by solar gain through the showroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

The first point of action for contractors was to remove old carpet, LVT and wood floorcoverings from the 90sq m floor of the showroom. A moisture test was then conducted using a digital hygrometer, which indicated the relative humidity (RH) level of the subfloor was 55%.

As the RH levels didn’t exceed the 75% maximum threshold, the application of a waterproof surface membrane wasn’t required to prevent excess moisture potentially causing floor failure.

Contractors next applied Stopgap 1200 Pro levelling compound over the entire subfloor to create a perfectly smooth base for the receipt of floorcoverings.

Says F Ball: ‘As well as being suitable for use over old adhesive residues, the two-component levelling compound is also fast-drying and fast-setting – it is walk-on hard in as little as 60 minutes and ready to receive floorcoverings from four hours. When applied over old adhesive residues there is no need to prime beforehand, saving further time.’

With a large glass front, the main area of the showroom is prone to high temperatures as a result of solar gain. Therefore, F Ball’s Styccobond F48 PLUS high temperature grade vinyl adhesive was selected to install wood-effect vinyl planks.

Floorcoverings exposed to high temperatures can expand and contract significantly, which can lead to tenting in vinyl planks and tiles and gapping at the edges of floorcoverings over time. When cured, Styccobond F48 PLUS reportedly develops the high bond strength required to hold floorcoverings firmly in place when exposed to extreme temperatures.

The company continues: ‘Fibres in the adhesive provide high initial grab to help prevent lateral movement of floorcoverings, an advantage when working with vinyl tiles or planks. It’s also fast-drying, allowing floorcoverings to be installed in as little as five minutes after application, and solvent-free, meaning the showroom could remain open to customers during the final installation of vinyl planks, while most of the refurbishment had been completed over a bank holiday weekend.

Commenting on the project Flooring by Henton director James Scott said: ‘Using Stopgap 1200 Pro and Styccobond F48 allowed us to finish the job quickly and remain open while the work was taking place.

‘This created a good talking point for customers coming in and out of the shop, who were intrigued to see floor fitters in action. We always use F Ball products because they never let us down. We also get good advice from our local technical representative, Phil Nightingale, who provided support throughout the showroom refurbishment.’