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Unit: Subfloor coatings and toppings

LMFFL2102A: Prepare, select and apply smoothing and patching compounds
LMFFL2103A: Select and apply appropriate compounds and additives
LMFFL2105A: Select, prepare and apply moisture barriers and damp proof membranes to concrete sub-floors


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Experienced floor layers know that the long-term quality of a finished project always starts with the subfloor.

Even though the client often doesn't see this stage of the job, it's the part that most often causes problems in the finish or performance of the floor covering.

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In this unit, we'll cover the processes of preparing the subfloor and applying various coatings and toppings to the surface.

We'll use the term coatings to refer to primers and liquid moisture membranes, and toppings to describe all patching, levelling and smoothing compounds.

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We'll also use the term substrate to refer to the subfloor surface.

In the unit Inspecting and testing subfloors we gave 'substrate' the precise definition from Australian Standard 1884-2012 (resilient floor coverings) to describe the layer immediately under the floor covering.

However, this more general definition includes any layer below another layer that's placed on top.

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Primers, moisture barriers and damp proof membranes will also be discussed in this unit.

Note that all of these processes involve 'building up' from the surface of the subfloor.

The process of 'going down' - or removing layers - is covered in detail in the unit: Concrete grinding.

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Working through this unit

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There are three sections in this unit:

  1. Preparations

  2. Concrete moisture barriers

  3. Priming patching and levelling.

Each section contains an overview, an assignment, and several lessons. The links to these pages will appear in the side menu bar when you select the main link for that section.

Practical demonstration

Your final assessment of competency in this unit will include demonstrations of your ability inspect subfloors and test their moisture content. To help you get ready for these hands-on assessment activities, have a look at the Practical demonstration checklist by clicking on the link below:

Practical demonstration checklist

Your trainer may ask you to keep a log book of the work you do on-the-job that relates to these tasks. This will help them to see whether you have had sufficient practice in the full range of activities needed to satisfy the competency requirements, and to determine when you'll be ready to undertake the assessment events.

Select the link below to go to the first section of this unit.

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