February 2020

The do’s and don'ts of dealing with underfloor heating

Hessle high school, Altro-XpresslayOur European Technical Services Manager, Roger Moore, is here again, this time with some guidance on installing vinyl flooring over underfloor heating.

In both new-builds and refurbs, we’re seeing more and more underfloor heating systems. Installing vinyl flooring in these areas is straight-forward but there are some simple steps that need to be taken to avoid issues – after all, we’re talking about a heat source! As you read, you’ll see that some of the steps take time. We understand you can be put under pressure to get the job done quickly - hopefully this guidance will give you additional confidence to stand your ground and stick to your schedule, avoiding problems later.

Before doing anything else, check that the screed containing the heating system is dry and even, ready to receive the flooring. The heating should be turned off 48 hours before the flooring is installed and it should remain off for 48 hours after the installation is complete. As this is the heat source for the room you’re installing in, it’s likely you will need heaters to keep the room temperature between 18-27°C. As you’ll know, installing vinyl flooring in low temperatures isn’t recommended – not much fun for you either!

Rhyl School, Altro XpressLayOnce the second 48 hours have passed, the heating should be turned on and very slowly increased to its operating temperature – and by this, I mean no more than five degrees each day. The temperature at the adhesive line should never exceed the industry-agreed maximum of 27°C. If the temperature is cranked up quickly, it can cause de-bonding, join damage, and I’ve actually seen discolouration caused by the heating being turned up, not only quickly but higher than it would ever need to function. It was essentially a scorch mark – totally avoidable. The temperature level should then be maintained for at least two days, before turning it down to room temperature – ensuring that this doesn’t mean less than 15°C.

So that you don’t have to worry about the heating causing problems with the floor adhesive curing, check carefully that you’re using an appropriate one – for example, AltroFix 19 can be used in temperatures of -30°C to 100°C, so nothing to worry about there. If you’re not sure, check with your supplier.

If you’re installing an adhesive-free floor such as Altro wood adhesive-free, Altro Cantata or Altro XpressLay, the good news is that the guidance for installing over underfloor heating is exactly same.

Our guidance supports that from the UK Resilient Flooring Manufacturers Association (UKRFA).

As usual, if you have any queries on this, or any other technical issue, please get in touch on 01462 489 516 or use the online chat box that’s bottom right of your screen.

Pigglefairy Puppies, Altro Cantata
Posted: 25/02/2020 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments

Cut installation time with our help

Reducing the installation time, and ultimately cost, on a project is one of the biggest challenges our customers face. How can timescales be reduced when installing a floor in a busy hospital ward, or an educational corridor that is in continual use without risking the integrity or overall finish of a project?

How could we help? We already had an award-winning product which aided with installation time but with customers demanding ever more designs and colours we knew that it was time to re-visit our adhesive-free flooring range to expand its benefits.

The genius behind the technology

Making our design ambitions a reality is a team of innovators and technical experts, continually looking for ways to give you performance-enhancing products. Their expertise has ensured that the new technology in our adhesive-free floors means that they retain all the benefits of an adhered floor - but without the need for adhesive - giving you complete flexibility for your differing application areas. A great example is Altro XpressLay - the world’s first ever adhesive-free safety floor which was introduced to the market place after 5 years of Altro development and testing; revolutionary and award-winning!

With all Altro adhesive-free floors no DPM or adhesive are required. They have been designed to avoid the need for a moisture barrier to subfloors which are damp and to those which cannot be prepared by traditional methods, due to surface contamination. The nodes on the underside of the sheet create an airspace allowing the evaporation of water vapour from damp subfloors. The water vapour evaporates in a controlled manner as part of the building’s regular breathing cycle over its lifetime. Giving moisture the ability to migrate through the building ensures that adhesive-free flooring is not at risk of the formation of water bubbles disturbing the performance or aesthetics of the floor.

This technology gives you a natural, organic and environmentally-friendly drying method for subfloors, which has been rigorously tested to ensure sufficient ventilation of the damp substrate.

Sustainability and wellbeing

We have now introduced options featuring our most advanced cleaning technology, ensuring ease of maintenance and enhanced infection control with the reduction of bacterial and mould growth through improved cleanability. This new cleaning technology helps to reduce general dirt pick-up and staining and improves the floor’s scuff-resistance. These improvements aid the reduction in use of abrasive cleaning products in areas where hygiene is critical.

We have applied our new, patent-pending “chocolate bar” emboss on the underside of our new adhesive-free products to provide impact sound reduction to 14dB; enabling you to extend use of adhesive-free ranges into quieter environments for education and reducing disturbance in health and care settings.

Comfort underfoot is a must for staff standing all day or young people needing to sit or play in education. Regular prolonged standing on hard floor surfaces can create pain and discomfort, and if ignored, can have long-term health implications. It can damage joints, causes swelling of the legs and lead to problems in the feet including bunions, corns, achilles tendonitis and other orthopaedic conditions. An estimated 6.6 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the UK in 2017/18. Our backing is designed to give comfort underfoot and helps to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Performance tested – what the results tell us

We know that our adhesive-free flooring won’t let you down. But don’t take our word for it. We’d like to share some key test results with you, so you can rest assured that it will perform as stated for its lifetime.

So why choose adhesive-free over an adhered floor?

Save money – save costs on disposal by diverting your waste from landfill or recycling the floor and reusing it.

Range of design options and colours – 57 inspirational and decorative solutions for all application areas.

Helping you meet sustainability goals – environmental credentials: sustainable, 10% recycled content, 100% recyclable post-consumer.

Sound reduction and comfort underfoot options – 14dB impact sound reduction, great for noisy environments, plus comfort underfoot.

Giving reassurance and expertise – with 15-year life expectancy and 10-year guarantee you needn’t fear that an adhesive-free product will let you down.

Sustainable wellbeing – our new cleaning technology helps to reduce general dirt pick-up and staining and improves the floor’s scuff-resistance so you need fewer abrasive cleaning products.

Easy maintenance – an adhesive-free floor is a great problem-solver. Subfloors will stay clean from adhesive; and easy access to the subfloors for maintenance or repairs means less damage to floors and walls.

And not forgetting saving time – with an adhesive-free floor’s speed of installation you can easily return to service within 24 hours. Closing a busy space for a lengthy period is not an option, so by installing an adhesive-free floor the work can be completed quickly so that traffic flow is uninterrupted.

Meet our family of adhesive-free time saving products

NEW Altro Wood adhesive-free brings you wood-look designs and refreshed Altro Cantata provides more colours, designs and textured looks for busy spaces. Altro XpressLay continues to deliver durability and all our adhesive-free floors provide innovative solutions for harmonised spaces and are tried and tested for your peace of mind.

Altro Cantata
Altro Wood adhesive-free
Altro Xpresslay
Posted: 10/02/2020 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments