Surface Preparation

Proper Floor Prep for AdhesiveImproper surface preparation is the most common reason for failure of glue down wood flooring. Surface preparation is especially critical when installing less stable products such as solid hardwood or bamboo flooring.

Surfaces must be clean, dry and flat to within 3/16” in 10’; free of voids, loose materials, paint, varnish, adhesive residues, sealers, oil, grease, plaster and gypsum finishing compounds.

Asphaltic “cut-back” adhesive residues should be completely removed prior to the installation of solid or bamboo flooring or if there is concern/history with elevated moisture content in concrete.

CAUTION: Black mastic or cut-back adhesive residues may contain asbestos-containing materials.

Dimensionally stable, engineered flooring may be installed over on and above grade concrete that has an asphaltic or “cut-back” adhesive residue after preparation. Such a residue must be completely removed from the surface and only exist as a black stain on the concrete. Do not install solid or bamboo flooring over cut-back adhesive residue; and do not install over cut-back adhesive residue below grade or if there is or ever has been a moisture concern with the slab.

Concrete substrates should not be smooth or reflective. Suitable concrete will have a minimum CSP 3 surface profile, which is similar in roughness to a light broom finish.

Remove contamination and create a surface profile by diamond grinding, shot blasting or scarifying. The use of floor sanding equipment may polish contaminates into the concrete. Be sure the resulting concrete is porous and clean.

Areas that require patching or leveling should be treated with Portland cement based materials. Do not use gypsum patching or leveling products for substrate preparation.

If installing over existing sheet vinyl or VCT, all waxes and sealers must be completely removed and the existing flooring must be well bonded. Installations over existing sheet vinyl or VCT are limited to dimensionally stable engineered wood flooring only.

If installing over existing ceramic tile, natural stone or terrazzo, all waxes and sealers must be completely removed. Highly reflective tile, stone or terrazzo should be lightly abraded with a sanding disk to improve adhesion.

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