How to prepare a surface under the glued vinyl flooring?

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Leveling floor

Vinyl flooring has many practical advantages over the laminate and wood flooring. But everything has its advantages and also some disadvantages. From the feedback of my customers I see that the biggest disadvantage of vinyl flooring is that the dry-back vinyl used for gluing is inconvenient when it comes to preparing of the surface underneath it. So in this article we will look closer on the problem of preparing such surface.

Correctly prepared surface under dry-back vinyl must be perfectly narrow and smooth, because vinyl planks will copy every little difference. If you will forget a small sand grain you can be sure you will feel it in the end in a way of small bulge. Definitely never underestimate the perfect preparation of the surface. If you don’t trust your skills enough then let it to professionals.

I will try to shortly describe how this procedure should look like when you prepare the surface under dry-back vinyl flooring. The concrete or anhydride layer should first be grinded so it will get rid of materials stuck to it. Also it helps to narrow bigger bulges on the under layer. Usually this is done by disc grinder or plate grinder with sandpaper P24 or various diamond discs. The under layer them must be vacuumed to get rid of the smooth dust and then it is prepared for the penetration and pouring of the self-leveling compound.

Grinding under layer
Grinding of the under layer by the one-disc grinder.

I would like to note people who are decided for the anhydride layer to let their workers and professionals aware of this. This way they can make it perfect on the first time and there will be no need for adding additional self-leveling compound. This can save a lot of money. I know from personal experience that when the anhydride layer is well done, all that needs to be done is to grind it a little, penetrate it and on that we can already put the dry-back vinyl flooring.

Penetration under layer
Penetration of the under layer with water based penetration compound UZIN PE 360

When the surface is grinded and vacuumed then it is time for penetration of the under layer. It serves for the perfect connectivity of the under layer with the next layer of the glue or self-leveling compound. If you underestimate this process or do not do it at all I assure you that the next layer will not hold so good as if you did make the penetration process. Wrong choice of the penetration product can sometimes create cracks  on the self-leveling layer and that this layer will actually disconnect from the under layer under it – this will be apparent by dull sound when knocking on the layer. I use German made flooring chemical product UZIN and when dealing with new buildings I mostly apply penetration UZIN PE 360. This penetration is applied by the roll pure as it is in one layer or mixed with water 50/50 in two layers.

When the penetration is dry we can move to next step, the narrowing of the surface with the self-leveling compound. Under vinyl flooring I use product UZIN NC 110. It is a hybrid concrete-gypsum self-leveling compound. It is very easily poured and since it is not very dense you can conveniently pour it over large surfaces. The basic during this process is to have it very well stirred so there will be no lumps. Don’t underestimate the process of stirring. After pouring it on the surface it is spread all over the surface we want to cover by special kind of rake and after that we need to create small furrows in it. This is done by special “hedgehog” tool and it is done to make it perfectly narrow and aerated. Most important rule is to mix these compounds only with as much water as is in the manual. Also when working with self-leveling compounds never have the floor heating on. Ideal temperature of the surface is around 15 degrees Celsius. It is not good when the self-leveling compound dries too fast that is why I even close windows when working with it. When it is already a bit tough and you can walk on it I open the windows to make it dry faster.

The “hedgehog” tool
The “hedgehog” tool

Before the final assemble it has to be measured of course if it is still not too wet. Then we can start the assemble process. Before it I personally grind the layer with one disc grinder (P24), vacuum and penetrate it with a product recommended for the glue which I will use for gluing the dry-back vinyl flooring. It is good to use those types of glues which are meant for gluing the dry-back PVC flooring, there is more than enough of them on the market. For example:  Quick Step Livyn glue, Bona D 750UZIN KE 66 or alternatively UZIN KE 2000 S.

I hope I put more light on this subject for you with this article. I would like to read about your personal experiences or hints, also if you have any questions you can write here in the comments and I will be happy to help you.

Author: Soska Milan

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