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Unit: Preparing floor coverings

LMFFL2002A: Receive and prepare floor covering materials for installation

Preparing floor coverings


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Audio for slide 1 (mp3 |6|KB)
Before you begin an installation, you need to let the floor covering condition - or 'acclimatise' - to the surrounding temperature and humidity in the room.

AS 1884 says that the conditioning process should take place for at least 24 hours, or until the product has achieved an 'ambient room temperature' range of between 15° and 28° C.

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If the room temperature is below 15°, you should use a heater, blower or air conditioner to raise the temperature.

In these circumstances the temperature must be kept under control for the duration of the installation, plus another 48 hours after it's finished.

Note that air conditioners tend to lower the air humidity, which is why AS 1884 says that conditioning units must be set to their expected operating temperature and run continuously for at least 7 days before the underlay or floor coverings are laid on the subfloor.

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Again, the air conditioner should be left on throughout the installation process and for another 48 hours after that.

Keep in mind, too, that if the room temperature is less than 15°, the subfloor itself could be below 10°. This may have an effect on the adhesive's performance and curing time, so you should always check the manufacturer's installation guide to see whether there are special instructions that apply. To let tiles or planks condition, take them out of the box and spread them on the floor. This will allow the air to get to all of the pieces.

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Heated floors

Some floors have heating elements in or under the subfloor.

You have to be careful with these floors and use the right type of covering, adhesive and installation process.

The product manufacturers will list the requirements in their specifications.

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Audio for slide 5 (mp3 |6|KB)
Heating units must be turned on at least 7 days in advance, and then turned off 48 hours before you begin the installation.

This is designed to give the subfloor time to return to the recommended temperature range for the installation.

When the installation is finished, you should leave the heating units off for another 48 hours while the adhesive sets, and then only turn it up at 2° increments per day until it reaches a maximum temperature of 28° C.

You should also avoid reaching this maximum temperature until at least 7 days have elapsed.

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Learning activity

Audio 6 (mp3 |6|KB)

The link below will take you to a clip produced by Forbo Flooring:

'Forbo general jobsite conditions video'

Watch the clip and answer the following questions:

  • How long does Forbo recommend that the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system be left running - both before and after the floor covering is laid?

  • In the sequence of trades undertaking work on the jobsite, where should floor laying be?
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