Don’t let your hard work go down the drain!

Our European Technical Services Manager, Roger Moore, is back with some guidance on installing floors around drains.

Don’t let your hard work go down the drain!

Installing flooring in areas where there are drains is a part of most projects. It’s a straight-forward process but if the right steps aren’t taken, it can result in water and contaminants getting under the flooring, causing the flooring to lift, and trapping bacteria.

The drains that you are most likely to come across are clamped down circular drains. In areas where there is a larger amount of water, such as communal showers, swimming pools and changing rooms, you tend to find linear drains. Whichever you are dealing with, the approach should be the same.

Cut in haste...

When installing flooring around any drains or manholes in a wet environment, it’s vital to lift out the cover and cut the flooring so that it goes down inside the drain until it’s vertical. This means that any liquids will run from the flooring and down into the drain.

Where it all goes horribly wrong is when the flooring is cut just inside the clamped down area, at floor level and, unfortunately, this does happen! Not only does it mean you can see the edges of the floor which looks unprofessional and unsightly but it means any liquids don’t run into the drain, they sit at the top and some will go underneath the flooring causing it to lift. It also creates the perfect environment for dirt and bacteria.

We often see this problem in refurbishments – particularly when replacing a tiled floor. Our floors are a great alternative to tiles; no messy, time-consuming grouting and no risk of bacteria being harboured in broken, cracked tiles or grout. It’s common for tiled areas to have a drain that won’t work with a vinyl floor - one that doesn’t allow the material to be fitted underneath it and clamped with a retaining ring. It’s really important to look at what’s there and replace the drain if necessary.

Fixing the problem

It’s pretty simple to avoid but something that could be overlooked, particularly if the installer is inexperienced. If you are the one called to fix this type of problem, there are a couple of things you can do. The first option is to install a new section of flooring that runs into the drain, after replacing the drain with a clamp type, cut and welded far enough away from the drain to avoid similar issues. The second option is to use weldable edge trims, such as gully angle or Visedge  fitted around the drain, which will allow you to weld the flooring to it. This isn’t the easiest option for a circular drain. In all instances you will need to replace a section of flooring. These solutions won’t be particularly attractive but will work; as usual, avoiding the problem in the first place is definitely the easier option!

For help with fitting Altro safety floors around a drain outlet, please speak with your Altro consultant- alternatively, we have a short video.

Posted: 06/08/2019 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments