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Laticrete looks to pull out all the stops at TISE 2019

November 26/December 3, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 12

By Nicole Murray

 

Laticrete is preparing to showcase its breadth of products at The International Surface Event (TISE) 2019 in Las Vegas. Following is a preview:

Laticrete Strata_Heat is an electric radiant floor heating system designed to go under tile and stone flooring. The system uses thermal diffusion technology to uniformly distribute heat through the adhesive, which results in an evenly heated flooring surface. The system also transfers heat quickly, saving both energy and cost. What’s more, the Strata_Heat package includes a high-performance floor heating wire, an uncoupling mat and can be controlled using a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat.

“We recommend Strata_Heat to anyone in need of floor warming,” said Joel Tully, founder, Trends in Tile, Bridgeton, Miss. “The electric radiant floor heating system offers customers design flexibility and completely eliminates cold spots, making it easier for the floor to reach a specific temperature faster.”

Laticrete will also showcase its Hydro Ban Board, a lightweight, easy-to-install wallboard suitable for bonded tile or stone installations. This ready-to-tile product is made with a waterproof membrane on both sides and contains a high-density, waterproof polystyrene core to help protect against water and vapor. The Hydro Ban Board is included in Laticrete’s Pre-Formed Shower System, which contains an expansive line of pre-sloped and linear shower pans, niches, seats and benches as well as linear and square drains in multiple sizes and finishes. “Laticrete’s Hydro Ban line performs extremely well and requires beginner-level skills to successfully install,” Tully said. “This is a huge added benefit as older methods require more skilled workers for the same high-quality result.”

Next up is Laticrete’s Permacolor Select, a high-performance, crack-resistant cement grout designed to withstand extreme environments and is suitable for residential and commercial installations. Permacolor Select is a fast-setting, color-consistent cement grout that only needs to be mixed with water and can be placed in as little as three hours.

“I highly recommend Permacolor Select because it reduces inventory levels and waste for my customers, thus resulting in more satisfied and return buyers,” Tully explained. “There are hundreds of colors available, and the non-sanded version can even be reused.”

Then there is Laticrete’s 257 Titanium, a silica sand-free, thin-set mortar best used when installing gauged porcelain tile, gauged porcelain tile panels and slabs as well as porcelain tile and stone.

“We recently used 257 Titanium for a thin panel installation at Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pa., and this product helped my team easily install Crossville Laminam Panels over existing block walls because the product was so easy to spread,” said Kevin Killian, president, ProFast Commercial Flooring, Monrovia, Md. “The non-sag performance of the thin set was a big help because the panels were held 6 inches off the existing terrazzo floor.”


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Installation: ­­J-Lock spacers keep floating floors in check

October 29/November 5, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 10

By Mara Bolletieri

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: An installer is getting ready to lay down a laminate floor. He has all the necessary tools for the job—including the plastic, wedge-style spacers that came with the standard installation kit he purchased at the store. While the spacers were designed to ensure the requisite space around the perimeter of the installation, he finds the planks keep moving anyway.

This is precisely what happened to Adrian Battle, a 35-year carpenter and installer, who works in the San Diego market. Over the years, he grew weary of using traditional spacers that were not always effective in keeping floating floors—especially laminates—in place during installation. In one instance, Battle was in a customer’s home installing laminate flooring on a steamy summer day. On this particular job site, there was one section of the wall that was not perfectly straight. So every time he would get to that section, he would push the floor together but the planks would pop apart, leaving him to start the installation all over again.

It was in that exasperating moment when he envisioned a spacer that would hold the floor in place properly. This led him to devise his own solution: The J-Lock spacer. “I was frustrated,” Battle recalled. “I thought, what if I had something that was in the shape of a ‘J’ on top of the board?”

Battle said the spacers he used in the past were either too expensive, very clunky, wouldn’t stay put and/or were difficult to pull out. The beauty of J-Lock, he said, is it stays in place and it’s easy to remove.

How it works: The longer leg in the “J” rests between the flooring material and the wall, while the shorter leg sits on the surface of the floor. If there’s a gap under the drywall that’s big enough for the flooring to slide under (something that, according to Battle, happens often when you push against it), the J shape will make it lock in place on top of the board. “It gives you a nice, stable, vertical surface to push and work against,” he explained. “And they’re easy to get out—I can stick my finger under there and pull them out.”

Designed with both novice installers and professional floor layers in mind, the J-Lock spacers—which are made of high-density polyethylene and come 20 to a pack—are easy to use and intuitive, according to Battle.

End-user approved
Installers and retailers alike are singing J-Lock’s praises. Independent contractor John Herald, located in San Diego, was skeptical about using the J-Lock spacers at first, given the fact they were a bit wider than the spacers he normally used. But his reservations quickly subsided. “I used them on a job and was impressed,” he recalled. “The base still covered all the way around the room, and my gaps were wide enough for expansion and contraction.”

While designed primarily for floating floors, the J-Lock spacers can be used in other installation scenarios as well. “I’ve also used them on glue-down products,” Herald noted. “They sit on top of the product; they don’t get down in the glue. It just makes things a little easier.”

Dezarai Gonzales, customer service supervisor at San Diego-based Coles Fine Flooring, an NFA retailer, is also a believer. In fact, she was so impressed that she insisted that all of her installation crews switch to J-Lock spacers exclusively. Aside from expediting installation, she touted another major advantage: Use of the spacers provides a bit of a legal “cushion” in cases where potential claims might arise out of challenges regarding the provision of perimeter expansion gaps. At present, the J-Lock spacer is patented in the United States, Europe and Turkey. Battle is optimistic about the future potential of his installation invention. “It’s my hope it will become the industry’s standard,” he said.

For more information, visit: jlockflooringspacers.com.

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Installation: Latest adhesives tackle subfloor moisture issues

October 29/November 5, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 10

By Lindsay Baillie

 

A floor’s ability to resist water starts with a properly prepared subfloor. To that end, many adhesive manufacturers are developing moisture-mitigating products and systems to assist installers during the installation process.

Following is a sampling of some of the new adhesives and systems designed to inhibit moisture in the subfloor.

DriTac
DriTac 7800 Supreme Green is DriTac’s latest multifunctional adhesive solution for the wood flooring industry. The product is a single-component, premium sound and moisture control hybrid polymer adhesive that can serve to isolate old cutback adhesive residue and suppress concrete subfloor cracks.

Supreme Green also provides unlimited subfloor moisture control with no testing required and has a lifetime warranty. “This is the very first wood flooring adhesive that offers five installation solutions in one pail, allowing retailers to now stock one SKU where several were required in the past,” said John Lio, vice president of marketing.

DriTac 7800 does not contain isocyanates, VOCs or solvents and has been independently tested and certified by CRI for indoor air quality. What’s more, Supreme Green is manufactured in the U.S., and the product can be used to install multi-ply engineered plank, solid wood plank, bamboo flooring and more.

Sika
SikaBond-T21, a polyurethane, all-in-one adhesive, and SikaBond-T100, a hybrid polyurethane all-in-one adhesive, are two of Sika’s moisture mitigating products. Both can be used for solid planks up to 8-inches wide and engineered planks up to 14-inches wide as well as mosaic parquets, industrial parquets, wood paving, chip boards and plywood.

According to the company, once cured, both products generate a strong bond to a variety of substrates for glue-down installations. In addition, SikaBond-T21 and T-100 form membranes that reduce moisture vapor transmission from the subfloor and reduce sound. Both products are also permanently elastic, allowing planks to expand without damage to the adhesive. SikaBond-T21 can be elongated up to 270% and T-100 up to 150%.

No moisture testing is required with the use of SikaBond-21 and T-100, and both have excellent Green Grab, according to Sika.

Laticrete
Laticrete’s NXT Vapor Reduction Coating is a single-coat, low-odor, 100% solids epoxy coating designed for controlling the moisture vapor emission rate from new or existing concrete slabs. In addition to being UL Greenguard certified and a component of the Laticrete system warranty, NXT Vapor Reduction Coating is compatible with NXT underlayments as well as non-water-based adhesives for hardwood, vinyl, carpet and tile installations.

NXT Vapor Reduction Coating offers installers an insurance policy against excess moisture levels as well as wrapping the Laticrete flooring system in a long-term warranty, according to Jeff Bonkiewicz, Laticrete channel manager.

Additionally, the product can be applied over new concrete in as little as five days. It also features fast-curing properties that allow for finishing floor coverings or NXT underlayments to be applied within 12 hours.

Schönox
Schönox EPA and EPA Rapid are two of the company’s moisture mitigation solutions that can be used prior to applying an adhesive. These products not only offer a one-coat application, a low viscosity and moisture resistance up to 100% RH, but they are also suitable for both interior and exterior applications. These rapid curing, two-part, epoxy-based moisture mitigation systems contribute to LEED v4 category EQc2 with one to three points in low-emitting materials. What’s more, EPA has been designed for leveling in four to six hours, while EPA Rapid is ready for leveling in as little as two hours.

Once the concrete surface is sufficiently smooth and level, a Schönox adhesive can be applied directly to EPA and EPA Rapid within the first 48 hours after curing. The company’s recommended adhesives are Schönox MSP Classic, Schönox Emiclassic and Schönox Roll and Go.

Gerflor
The Gerflor Dry-Tex System is a moisture mitigation system integrated into the backing of the flooring. It is a 100% full-spread adhesive solution applied directly to the slab, resulting in no risk of the floor curling or shifting under pressure from rolling loads, according to the company.

The Gerflor Dry-Tex System withstands up to 100% RH and 25 lbs of moisture. Products installed using the Gerflor Dry-Tex System will not promote mold growth on, within or directly under the installed floor, according to the company.

The Gerflor Dry-Tex System also offers up to 70% cost savings compared to third-party mitigation systems, because there is no additional labor required or need to purchase moisture barriers.

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Installation: J-Lock spacers keep floating floors in check

By Mara Bollettieri

 

J-Lock spacers are designed to hold floating floors firmly in place during the installation process.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: So an installer is getting ready to lay down a laminate floor. He has all the necessary tools for the job—including the plastic, wedge-style spacers that came with the standard installation kit he purchased at the store. While the spacers were designed to ensure the requisite space around the perimeter of the installation, he finds the planks keep moving anyway.

This is precisely what happened to Adrian Battle, a carpenter with 35 years of experience who works in the San Diego market. Over the years, he grew weary of using traditional spacers that were not always effective in keeping floating floors—especially laminates—in place during installation. In one instance, Battle was in a customer’s home installing laminate flooring on a steamy summer day. On this particular job site, there was one section of the wall that was not perfectly straight. So every time he would get to that section, he would push the floor together but the planks would pop apart, leaving him to start the installation all over again.

It was in that exasperating moment he envisioned a spacer that would hold the floor in place properly. This led him to devise his own solution: The J-Lock spacer. “I was frustrated,” Battle recalled. “Then I thought, what if I had something that was in the shape of a ‘J’ on top of the board?”

Battle noted the spacers he used in the past were either too expensive, very clunky, wouldn’t stay put and/or were difficult to pull out. The beauty of J-Lock, he says, is it stays in place and it’s easy to remove.

How it works: The longer leg in the “J” rests between the flooring material and the wall, while the shorter leg sits on the surface of the floor. If there’s a gap under the drywall that’s big enough for the flooring to slide under (something that, according to Battle, happens often when you push against it), the J shape will make it lock in place on top of the board. “It gives you a nice, stable, vertical surface to push and work against,” he explained. “And they’re easy to get out—I can stick my finger under there and pull them out.”

Designed with both novice installers and professional floor layers in mind, the J-Lock spacers—which are made of high-density polyethylene and come 20 to a pack—are easy to use and intuitive, according to Battle. “There’s not a lot to figure out about how to use them. You just put two on every long edge and one on every end, and you get going. Plus, they’re small—you can just throw them in your bags and go on to the next job to use them again.”

End-user approved
Installers and retailers alike are singing J-Lock’s praises. Independent contractor John Herald, located in San Diego, was skeptical about using the J-Lock spacers at first, given the fact they were a bit wider than the spacers he normally used. But his reservations quickly subsided. “I used them on a job and was impressed,” he recalled. “The base still covered all the way around the room, and my gaps were wide enough for expansion and contraction.”

While designed primarily for floating floors, the J-Lock spacers can be used in other installation scenarios as well. “I’ve also used them on glue-down products,” Herald noted. “They sit on top of the product; they don’t get down in the glue. It just makes things a little easier.”

Dezarai Gonzales, customer service supervisor at San Diego-based Coles Fine Flooring, an NFA retailer, is also a believer. In fact, she was so impressed that she insisted that all of her installation crews switch to J-Lock spacers exclusively. Aside from expediting installation, she touted another major advantage: Use of the spacers provides a bit of a legal “cushion” in cases where potential claims might arise out of challenges regarding the provision of perimeter expansion gaps.

“I’m sick and tired of manufacturers denying claims,” Gonzales said. “With the J-Lock spacers, we can put them in room by room, snap some pictures and leave those in our file. Then, if we have a claim on that floor in the future, we have proof that we did, in fact, leave an expansion gap. It’s not disputable.”

J-Lock spacers have even made an impression among installers outside the U.S. James Scully, a senior fitter/installer who formerly worked for Floors & Doors in Palmers Green, London, commended the product for its innovative design. “These spacers are a game changer,” he said.

At present, the J-Lock spacer is patented in the U.S., Europe and Turkey. Battle is optimistic about the future potential of his invention. “It’s my hope it will become the industry’s standard,” he told FCNews. “I think it’s going to end up being like peanut butter and jelly—when somebody goes into the store to buy laminate, the salesperson might say, ‘You need a few packs of those J-Locks.’”

 

Visit jlockflooringspacers.com for more information.

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Installation: For underlayment suppliers, silence is golden

Sound-deadening padding provides noise-control solutions

September 3/10, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 6

By Reginald Tucker

In today’s fashion-centric world of flooring, a lot of emphasis is placed on style and design. But it’s important to not overlook what lies beneath the flooring—specifically underlayments. Not only can these innovative, functional products extend the life of the flooring materials they support, but they also provide numerous benefits for end users, especially noise suppression.

Centaur

Centaur Sound Reducer is a composition rubber sound-control underlayment engineered for use directly under most floor finishes. Available in 48-inch-wide rolls and a variety of standard and custom thicknesses, Sound Reducer yields exceptional impact sound insulation results, even under hard surface flooring for concrete or wood-framed construction. Sound Reducer is backed by more than 400 independent laboratory and field tests.

Also available with a waterproof membrane, Sound Reducer can be installed under most types of grouted, glued and floating floors, including hard tile, hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, LVT and carpet. Product installs easily and is compatible with radiant heat systems.

Diversified Industries

FloorMuffler Ultraseal has been the gold standard for flooring underlayment, offering the highest sound ratings in the industry for the past 14 years. The polypropylene formula used to create FloorMuffler not only provides optimal sound abatement attributes, but it also features a built-in moisture barrier. FloorMuffler is an all-in-one underlayment for use under laminate, engineered and solid hardwood flooring and boasts IIC ratings up to (74) dB, an STC up to (73) dB and a delta IIC up to (25) dB.

FloorMuffler LVT Ultraseal is also made of polypropylene. The product is 1mm thick, providing a more dense product for use under luxury vinyl tiles and planks and boasts IIC ratings up to (71) dB, an STC up to (66) dB and a delta IIC up to (25) dB.

Dri-Tac

DriTac introduces DriTac 8501 RecycUL, a sound and moisture control felt underlayment for glue-down, floating and nail-down wood and laminate flooring installations. Made from 100% recycled fibers, this thick plastic moisture barrier provides enhanced acoustical abatement and can be used for the installation of multi-ply engineered plank, solid plank, bamboo and more. American made, RecycUL provides moisture vapor blocking technology, with improved foot-fall sound performance.

DriTac also offers two premium-grade foam acoustical abatement underlayments: DriTac 8301 Impact for resilient floor installations and DriTac 8302 Double Impact for wood and laminate floor installations. Both provide enhanced acoustical abatement properties and a total sound reduction system when used with approved DriTac flooring adhesives.

Foam Products

Foam Products introduced one of the first acoustical underlayments, The Silencer, back in the mid 1990s. Today, it produces premium acoustical underlayments for all laminates, wood and vinyl plank flooring using the Silencer brand name.

The company offers Eco Ultimate Silencer/Eco Silencer HD FOF premium acoustical underlayments for use with laminates, bamboo, engineered wood and hardwoods. They are intended to reduce noise transmission in two- to three-story residential homes, condos, apartments or other high-rise buildings. This product has acoustical ratings of up to IIC 73, STC 70 and Delta IIC 22, depending on the subfloor and installed flooring composition. These acoustical underlayments eliminate the hollow, “clicky” sounds inherent in many laminate floors.

Silencer LVT premium acoustical underlayment is designed for a range of vinyl plank flooring products (LVT/LVP/WPC), including the 2mm – 3mm glue-down planks used in many apartments. This underlayment has all the sound control, acoustical rating and moisture protection benefits available with the aforementioned Eco Silencer products while adding comfort underfoot when walking on the thinner vinyl planks. The Silencer LVT is extra dense to protect the thin locking edges on the vinyl planks from breaking.

Foam Products’ underlayments are constructed to minimize the noise associated with hard surface flooring and are GreenGuard Gold certified. Foam Products’ underlayments are made with high-density polyurethane foam, which rebounds from applied pressure and is designed to last the lifetime of the installed flooring.

Laticrete

Laticrete Fracture Ban is a high-performance, pliable, lightweight, peel-and- stick membrane designed for use under thin-bed adhesives for ceramic tile, stone and other hard surface installations. This reinforced, high-strength membrane performs as a crack isolation and an acoustical underlayment system that eliminates the transmission of stresses from the substrate, while dampening the transmission of impact and airborne noise through the floor to the room below.

Laticrete 125 Sound & Crack Adhesive is a superior crack prevention/sound isolation adhesive mortar designed to achieve high Delta IIC ratings and independently tested to ASTM E2179. Laticrete’s 125 Sound & Crack Adhesive provides sound transmission protection while simultaneously protecting the surface finish from any cracking in the substrate. Equipped with lightweight technology and reinforced with Kevlar to provide maximum strength and durability, 125 Sound & Crack Adhesive is an alternative to time-consuming, thin-set membrane or mat combinations and allow for a more cost-effective tile and stone installation.

MP Global

QuietWalk Plus, MP Global’s signature underlayment, literally does it all. It is versatile in its application and can be used under floating, nail-down and glue-down floors. QuietWalk Plus is made from recycled fibers in a patented process that offers excellent sound reduction at a very affordable upgrade option when compared to cork and rubber options. The product is popular in high-rise multifamily applications as it helps diminish the transfer of impact and airborne noises from traveling to rooms below. IIC ratings are 71 dB and STC 66).

QuietWalk Plus also boasts a factory-attached vapor barrier, which protects hard surface floors against harmful moisture emissions found in concrete subfloors.

Insulayment, a cousin to QuietWalk, is made from the same recycled materials, but is denser and offers more support under glue- and nail-down hardwood applications. It has good sound ratings as well and boasts an FIIC of 60 and STC of 53, making it suitable for multifamily and single-family dwellings.  Due to their fiber makeup, both Insulayment and QuietWalk products inherently offer insulation value, and there are no harmful off-gassing or VOCs. Furthermore, the products are GreenGuard certified.

WE Cork

WE Cork’s latest addition to its family of sound-control products is WECU Silently-LVT, a high-density rubber and cork underlayment specifically designed for use under glue-down LVT. WECU products are ideal for use in single-family homes as a better and best upgrade under flooring for step sound within the room as well as transmitting sound from rooms above. WE Cork has also test results using the DELTA IIC ratings, with performance up to Delta 26.

WE Cork’s cornerstone product is WECU-Soundless (1⁄4 inch) and Soundless+ (1⁄2 inch), one of the most dense cork underlayments on the market. It is ideal for use directly under ceramic tile and stone with an IIC rating of 53 dB, based on laboratory testing for 6-inch concrete structure (without suspended ceiling) and one of the highest performing products on the market. WECU-Soundless products also meet or exceed building code requirements in wood-joist buildings for use under hardwood and stone flooring.

WE Cork also offers Warm&Quiet (1⁄8) and Warm&Quiet+ (1⁄4), a medium- density product line for use under hardwood and carpeting. WECU-Warm&Quiet+ provides an IIC 59 rating under hardwood and significant thermal insulation as well.

QEP

Roberts Consolidated Industries, a division of QEP, offers SoundBarricade Universal Sound Control Underlayment featuring advanced rubber foam technology that delivers enhanced sound absorption and antimicrobial protection. The ratings are IIC 69, STC 63, Delta 25 under luxury vinyl tiles and plank, and IIC 68, STC 63, Delta 22 under laminate and wood products.

Schönox

Schönox TS improves impact sound insulation by up to 17 dB. This impact sound insulating underlayment is available in a thickness of just 1⁄8 of an inch. Schönox TS is made of cork and recycled urethane granules for sound reduction and provides additional thermal insulation as well. It is suitable for installation under resilient floor coverings such as vinyl and cushioned vinyl or carpet. It’s also made for all wood flooring, floating laminate floors or on wood substrates such as plywood, oriented strand board or well-bonded floor coverings such as ceramic.

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Installation: Adhesives aim to ease the task at hand

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Ken Ryan

The installation crisis—a shortage of installers and a lack of skilled workers—has created a backlog of business for many flooring dealers who worry that projects will not be completed satisfactorily or on a timely basis.

In today’s environment, products that can ease the burden for installers and save time and money for dealers are golden. Fortunately, many of today’s new adhesives add value to the installation process through quicker bonding techniques that ultimately make the job more cost efficient.

Following is a rundown of some of the latest adhesive offerings.

Ardex/Henry

The new Henry 647 PlumPro was engineered for today’s demanding world of fast-track installations and remodels. The fast-track, roll-apply vinyl adhesive is moisture resistant up to 95% RH and pressure sensitive in just minutes. Approved for use on all substrates, Henry 647 can be used with commercial and residential installation of LVT and LVP as well as fiberglass-encapsulated sheet vinyl. Using Henry 647, installers can install flooring minutes after application; flooring can be immediately opened to traffic and property owners can access the space as soon as installers clean up their tools. The product’s unique, purple color is easy to see and allows the installer to achieve even coverage during application.

DriTac

DriTac recently unveiled a solution-based, multi-tier adhesive and underlayment system for wood and resilient flooring installations. Called Total Sound Reduction System (SRS), this dual-force, silent-fuse technology consists of both sound and moisture reduction systems. The company said these types of system-based installation solutions offer proven technology and value with increased profits for distributors and retailers.

DriTac’s double-stick method consists of two layers of adhesive above and below a layer of underlayment. “When done properly and adhering to manufacturers’ specifications, this type of comprehensive application can often times offer the highest degree of overall value associated with sound control and moisture resistance,” said David Jackson, field technical services manager, DriTac Flooring Products.

Gerflor

The Gerflor Dry-Tex System is a one-step, full-spread adhesive solution with a moisture-mitigation system integrated into the backing of the flooring. Available on Gerflor’s resilient sports flooring, Taraflex, and new heterogeneous resilient sheet flooring Premium designs, the system comprises DTx, a textile backing that allows a proper bonding of the adhesive onto the flooring; and Gerpur, a proprietary, moisture-cured adhesive using breakthrough technology that reacts to humidity.

This one-step system resists up to 100% RH/25 lbs. and helps save time and money for installers by preventing delays and unexpected costs due to high moisture within concrete slabs. With Gerflor Dry-Tex System, there is no risk of shifting or curling floors under heavy rolling loads. Plus, no water trapping means reduced risk of mold growth.

Laticrete

Laticrete recently introduced Prime-N-Bond, a versatile primer designed to enhance the performance and mechanical bond of mortars to a variety of smooth or low-absorptive substrates to which adhesion may be difficult. Prime-N-Bond is low VOC and does not emit a strong odor, making it ideal for use in interior or occupied areas.

Prime-N-Bond is designed to allow for a faster preparation which can save contractors time and money on the job site, according to Jonathan Scott, senior product manager. “This product is a perfect example of how advanced building material technology has helped to drive the construction industry forward while helping installers do their jobs more effectively.”

Schönox

Schönox’s newest addition in adhesives is HPS 1100—a clear, thin-spread acrylic adhesive that offers benefits of the company’s most popular adhesives. Much like HPS 92, HPS 1100 does not require any sort of priming. HPS 1100 can also be roller applied, similar to Roll and Go, thus providing an easier application for the installer.

Because HPS 1100 can be roller applied without priming, the application is much more efficient. This process reduces time and costs by eliminating the priming step while extending the adhesive product to its fullest range. This labor-saving rolling technique requires a 100-lb roller in both directions—North-South and East-West for best results.

Sika

SikaBond-T100 is a new, low-VOC, all-in-one wood floor adhesive from Sika that doesn’t require moisture testing, can be used to glue down engineered and solid wood flooring and easily cleans off prefinished floors before and after use. SikaBond-T100 allows installers to save time on a job since moisture testing is not required. What’s more, the product is easy to clean and the low-VOC formula helps achieve a healthier environment.

Uzin

Uzin KE 2000 S is a premium, universal adhesive designed for the installation of various floor coverings on porous and nonporous substrates. It features high shear strength, resistance to plasticizers and is quick drying for fast installations. Uzin KE 2000 S is also low odor and easy to trowel, making it ideal for commercial and residential use.

KE 2000 S is a LEED v4-contributing product with low-emitting materials. Furthermore, its high coverage area equates to low cost per square foot, which saves money.

 

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Installation: Latest adhesives promote eco-friendly attributes

May 28/June 4, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 25

By Lindsay Baillie

Adhesive manufacturers are continuing to develop premium environmentally friendly products as a means to stay in lockstep with the flooring industry’s continuous push toward greener floors. Many of today’s green adhesives are FloorScore certified, solvent free and contain zero VOCs—all of which help contribute points to LEED. These qualities are all beneficial to the end user and environment as well as the installers who handle the products on a daily basis.

What’s more, many of these eco-friendly products provide installers with easy-to-install, quick-drying solutions to help shorten installation time while also addressing specific subfloor issues found on the job site.

Following is an overview of some of the latest green products hitting the market.

DriTac

DriTac offers a full line of wood and resilient flooring adhesives that have been certified by CRI’s Green Label Plus Program and also tout zero VOCs/zero solvents. This includes DriTac 7800 Supreme Green, a hybrid polymer adhesive that provides unlimited subfloor moisture control with no testing required and a lifetime warranty.

Supreme Green is a premium, single-component, environmentally friendly sound- and moisture-control wood flooring adhesive designed to suppress concrete subfloor cracks. The problem-solving solutions contain zero VOCs, zero solvents and has been independently tested and certified by CRI for indoor air quality. Manufactured in the USA, Supreme Green can be used for the successful installations of multi-ply engineered plank, solid wood plank, bamboo flooring and more.

Utilization of DriTac 7800 Supreme Green allows end users to turn what has traditionally been a two-to-three-day process into a time-efficient, one-day installation that saves the consumer money. DriTac 7800 Supreme Green is also easy to clean off the surface of hardwood flooring wet or dry and contains zero isocyanates. With its ability to isolate old cutback adhesive, Supreme Green offers five installation solutions in one pail.

Henry

Henry, an Ardex Americas brand, has launched its new fast-track, roll-applied vinyl adhesive, Henry 647 Plum Pro, which is formulated with GreenLine technology.

“Since the early 2000s, the Henry GreenLine adhesives have been designed to provide high performance with extremely low odor and VOC emissions,” said Steven Newbrough, environmental programs specialist, Ardex Americas. “Henry 647 can endure RH levels up to 95% and a pH of 11, making it suitable for use in extreme environments.”

The vinyl adhesive has a long lifespan and is backed by a 20-year SystemOne warranty. As a result, Henry 647 spreads the environmental impact over a longer period of time, causing it to be lower per year than some products on the market, the company said. This impact is further reduced by its coverage of up to 400 square feet, as fewer packages and pails are needed to complete a job. Henry 647 also joins a number of Henry adhesives with FloorScore certification. It has been tested in accordance with CDPH v1.2-2017 and meets the indoor air quality emissions criteria of LEED, CHPS, The Green Guide for Health Care and a number of other healthy building programs.

Laticrete

Latapoxy BioGreen 300, a high-strength, chemical-resistant epoxy adhesive made with biobased material, is designed to provide an alternative to conventional, nonrenewable, petroleum-derived products.

Equipped for the most demanding installations of tile and stone, Latapoxy BioGreen 300 exceeds both ANSI A118.3 and ISO 13007 R2 requirements for epoxy adhesives and can be used in interior and exterior areas such as walls and floors, as well as wet and dry areas. Additionally, the bio-based epoxy adhesive can be used to install a variety of ceramic tile, marble and natural stone flooring products, and it will bond to most sound, clean surfaces, the company stated. It also spreads easily and can be cleaned with water while fresh.

Latapoxy BioGreen 300 is a component of the Laticrete Lifetime System Warranty, thereby providing one source, one warranty from the substrate to the grout.

Uzin

Uzin, a UFloor brand, now offers Uzin KE 2000 S, a premium, universal adhesive designed for the installation of various floor coverings on both porous and non-porous substrates. Thanks to its high-solids formulation, Uzin KE 2000 S has an extremely high coverage rate—up to 630 square feet per three-gallon pail, depending on the flooring, trowel size and substrate condition. It has high shear strength, high moisture vapor resistance, excellent resistance to plasticizers and is quick drying, thereby allowing for fast installations.

This installer-friendly adhesive is low odor (less than 20 g/l VOC), easy to trowel and is ideal for use in occupied buildings such as healthcare and educational facilities. Uzin KE 2000 S is compliant with both the strict California Specification 01350 (VOC emissions) and SCAQMD Rule 1168, and it is a LEED v4 contributing product. Furthermore, Uzin KE 2000 S conforms to the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s Ship Safety Division 0736 and meets the extremely stringent GEV-Emicode EU standard for very low emissions. Uzin KE 2000 S can be used in both commercial and residential applications and is suitable for use with all radiant heat systems.

Schönox

One of Schönox’s most popular green adhesives, Schönox Roll and Go, is a rollable acrylic adhesive for luxury vinyl tile floors. It is suitable for bonding LVT on smooth, sound, clean, dry substrates in interior areas. This rollable, acrylic adhesive will contribute up to five points in a LEED v4 project. Schönox Roll and Go contributes to low-emitting materials, Environmental Product Declaration and Material Ingredients, and it has been recognized as an EC 1Plus-regulated product yielding very low emissions. Schönox Roll and Go can be easily applied to substrates and features an open time of approximately 24 hours. Schönox Roll and Go offers an immediately loadable surface for LVT installation.

For more than 125 years, Schönox products have been manufactured in Germany under the strictest quality standards. The company is certified under the ISO 9001 and 14001 quality and environmental management standards. In addition, the company’s research and development division works daily to develop solutions that are innovative with regard to performance as well as environmental stewardship.

 

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Installation: ‘Blazer’ tool makes quick work of laying cove base

By Reginald Tucker

David Low, a floor covering installer with 25 years under his belt, had grown tired of pulling muscles, busting his knuckles and otherwise breaking his back when laying down wall base—particularly on large jobs. But he wasn’t quite ready to hang up his tools and knee pads altogether, so he decided to do something about it.

Using a little ingenuity—and a lot of imagination—Low crafted a crude dolly device that would not only hold rolls of cove base in place, but also allow an installer to easily transport the heavy rolls (usually about 70 lbs.) and unfurl the material while gluing it in place to the bottom of the wall.

Low looks back on the day the idea for his invention came to be. “I was doing a job for a lawyer’s office that had all these little rooms as well as big open office spaces. I said, ‘Man, there has got to be a better way.’ So I went to Home Depot and bought a Lazy Susan and three caster wheels. I had an idea in my head in terms of what I wanted to do, so I just fabricated a round circle to put the wall base on.”

The Base Blazer Pro can accommodate cove base rolls spanning 2-, 4- or 6-inches wide.

After experimenting with some different materials used to form the foundation of the base of the dolly, Low switched to a more durable plastic that would withstand the rigors of years of use on job sites without breaking the bank. “With the materials I’m using to make this product, it’s probably bulletproof. Heck, it can probably catch bullets. You could probably even drive a car over it.”

At first Low began making the Base Blazer using a CNC lathe. Later on, production shifted to a full-service machine shop in Graham, Wash., where his uncle—who has 35 years building all sorts of contraptions—lent his expertise. “I showed him what I wanted, then we started drawing the design using CAD,” Low explained. “Then I got some help from family members who helped me apply for the patent.”

Back saver, money maker

Just as knee pads lessened the pain and wear and tear for carpet installers when they were invented decades ago, Low’s creation—dubbed the Base Blazer Pro—aims to preserve the joints and muscles of floor layers who oftentimes have to install cove base in awkward positions.

“When you’re on your knees you have to throw the cove base, it can create what’s called ‘tennis elbow’ from the impact each time you toss your arm out,” Low explained. “Base Blazer Pro gives installers a tool they can push or pull around the room and still and work from at the same time. Using this product, installers can glue right up to an edge, pull it out a little bit and make their corners while it’s still on the dolly and just keep going.”

Aside easing the task at hand from a purely labor perspective, the Base Blazer Pro also allows installers to shave time off each installation—which, in turn, frees them up to take on more jobs and earn more money. “Installers see the possibilities with this tool,” Low said. “It basically transforms cove base as an accessory product into a profit center. And it’s going to help installers get home faster.”

Those who have utilized the product on the job site see the benefits. Low shared a story about how he loaned the Base Blazer Pro to one of his friends—another flooring installer—to see how he liked it. That friend, unfortunately, allowed another installer to borrow it. Problem is, he never gave it back. “That tells you a lot right there,” Low said. (Good news: Low ultimately gave his friend another one to use.)

Then there’s the case of Sam Penlesky, a professional flooring contractor and the owner of SJP Flooring, LLC, Tacoma, Wash. He said the Base Blazer Pro typically shaves off one-third the time it takes for him to lay the cove base. “Usually with roll base you have to use your hand to spin the coil, and over time your hands hurt. But with this tool you just put in on the base blazer and it does the work for you. I’ve had the Base Blazer Pro for a few years now, and I use it all the time.”

According to Low, this is the typical response of those who have used the product. “It’s like the first time you put on a pair of Pro Knees; you ask yourself, ‘Why didn’t I get one of these before?’ Once you have installed multiple rows of cove base with this tool, you’re not going to go back to the old-fashioned way of doing it. For the professional installer, it’s just another tool in their arsenal.”

The Base Blazer Pro retails for $179, not including shipping and handling.

For more information, visit BaseBlazer.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Installation: Self-levelers solve subfloor prep issues

April 30/May 7, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 23

By Lindsay Baillie

Retailers, installers and contractors know that what’s underneath a floor is just as critical to a consumer’s long-term happiness as the floor’s overall look and feel. For the consumer to get the most out of her floor over the life of the product, installers need to properly prep the substrate.

To assist installers with this crucial step, manufacturers are developing new self-levelers to help shorten prep time and create a better working environment for workers on the job site. Following are some of the recent entries to the market.

Ardex

Ardex K 22 F and Ardex K 60 are designed to accelerate even the tightest construction schedule. Ardex K 22 F is a high-flow, self-leveling underlayment that is reinforced with microfibers to increase product flexibility. This installation can be done as thin as 1⁄8 inch without the need for a liquid admixture or any sort of mesh fastened to a wooden subfloor. The product eliminates the need for putting down lathe. It is also fiber reinforced and low tension allowing it to go over challenging substrates with less floor preparation than the most common self-levelers.

Ardex K 60 Arditex—a rapid-setting, self-leveling latex underlayment—is mixed only with a latex additive and can be installed over a wide variety of substrates without the use of a primer. Ardex K 60 is a versatile product that eliminates the need for sourcing water. It also saves significant time by reducing the need for floor preparation.

Laticrete

The Laticrete SuperCap ready-mix delivery service is a new turnkey service that delivers blended self-leveling underlayment (SLU) through the company’s patented pump truck technology directly to the job site. According to the manufacturer, this service significantly saves both time and cost while providing a safer, cleaner work environment.

With the ability to blend and pump up to 30,000 pounds per hour—the equivalent of 600 small bags per hour—the SuperCap ready-mix delivery service benefits the entire project from design to completion by providing predictable results, according to Clint Schramm, director of marketing, Laticrete SuperCap. “Thanks to its computer-control system, a consistent, quality blend is ensured every time, shaving weeks off a project schedule while delivering a flat floor for subsequent trades to build out on within 24 hours.”

Schönox

Schönox will soon take the wraps off its latest cement-based, self-leveling compounds, S1500 and XM. Schönox S1500 is a cement self-leveling compound designed for a multitude of projects with a depth of ¼ inch to 1½ inches. Schönox S1500 is noted for its very low shrinkage and PSI of 4900.

Schönox XM offers a self-leveling, cementitious smoothing as a leveling compound with very low VOC, good working properties, standard preparation and cost-effective applications. This high-flow self-leveler is designed for layers from 1⁄6 inch up to ½ inch with a PSI of 4300.

Both of these new compounds feature high hardness and strength, underfloor heating and a Schönox quality smooth subfloor.

Sika

Sika recently launched two innovative self-leveler systems: Sika Level-425 and Sika Level-525. Sika Level-425, a low-dust solution, offers innovative dust reduction technology preventing excess dust from spreading around the job site during the mixing of the product. Sika Level-525, which is designed to work quickly, rapid cures in 90 minutes, offering installers the opportunity to cover the underlayment with a floor in the same day.

The new products round out Sika’s total system of moisture-mitigation products. “The Sika Secure System helps installers to find what they are looking for,” said Marlene Morin, marketing manager, interior finishing. “We offer solutions that can provide great flow, high compressive strength, fast drying time and varying thicknesses.”

Taylor

Sahara is one of Taylor’s most aggressive moisture vapor barrier (MVB) products on the market. The product, which is engineered to withstand the most extreme moisture installations, is designed to control concrete substrate vapor emissions. For glue-down applications, it is designed to be paired with the company’s all new Enhance bond promoter. Sahara can be applied directly to a clean and porous concrete substrate, meaning installers can eliminate expensive and time-consuming bead blasting or scarifying, also making it easier for the flooring contractor to comply with the new OSHA regulations on crystalline silica dust.

As a self-leveling, one-part trowel applied product, Sahara is ready to use straight out of the pail. It creates a smooth, solid surface for excellent flooring installations and is ready for next steps in approximately eight hours. Floating floors can be installed directly over Sahara and hardwood can be glued directly to it using the Taylor Signature Series line of wood flooring adhesives.

Uzin

Uzin Fast System features three products: Uzin PE 414, a turbo surface strengthener/ primer; Uzin PE 280, a fast primer; and Uzin NC 172, a bi-turbo self-leveling compound. This system allows flooring to be installed in as little as four to six hours from initial application, which makes it ideal for time-sensitive projects. The Fast System also reduces mixing time from three minutes to one minute and meets strict Emicode EC1 Plus environmental criteria.

Uzin PE 414 dries in 60-90 minutes, saving time and labor costs. As a single component, it requires no mixing and is ready to use. Both water and solvent free, Uzin PE 414 meets strict criteria for healthy indoor air quality. Uzin PE 280 dries in approximately 45 minutes and has superior bonding strength. Uzin NC 172 is ready for covering in as little as one hour and provides a flat, level surface.

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Guru USA looks to make a splash in North America

Europe-based waterproof membrane supplier seeks opportunity for expansion

April 2/9, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 21

By Mara Bollettieri

 

Guru USA knows a thing or two about waterproof membranes for ceramic tile flooring and wall installations. The Spain-based company brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of waterproofing membranes, shower drain systems and other accessories designed to advance installation performance and increase sales opportunities for its customers.

Derick Cooper, national sales and marketing manager of Guru USA, North America, stands behind its products as well as its focus on high-quality manufacturing. “We actually manufacture our own products. A lot of people in the waterproof membrane industry don’t. We are proud to be a company that’s supportive, approachable and collaborative with our customers.”

Already a household name in countries like Spain, Italy and France, to name a few, Guru USA wants to share its expertise with the North American market. The company’s goal, according to Cooper, is to penetrate new territories by reaching out to wholesale distributors, dealers and contractors. Another potential avenue to market is through private-label manufacturing agreements with other suppliers.

In many cases, Guru USA is willing to take that extra step to keep customers happy by offering a variety of colors, different packaging and sizes of waterproof membranes—all at a competitive price, according to Cooper. “We can sell to anybody because we make it, so that makes us different. We can customize our products.”

Guru’s Water-Stop waterproofing membrane, which touts both strength and flexibility, can be used with polymer-modified thinsets in steam showers and as a crack isolation membrane. How it works: The membrane is applied to both the walls and floors using thinset, and the tile is joined directly to the membrane. According to Cooper, these products surpass the ANSI 118.12 and the ANSI 118.10 specifications for crack isolation and load bearing, respectively.

Cooper identified a few standout products such as Guru’s Evolux Linear and square drains, which are made with marine-grade 316 stainless steel and known for its high-quality properties. The manufacturer’s innovative open set drain flashing system also allows the contractor to install the drain over remaining floor tile, which helps cut demolition costs.

“Our open set drain system is patented; it has an up-and-down movement, so it can adjust to any height over any shower floor,” Cooper explained.

Guru’s high-performance membranes not only exceed specifications, according to Cooper, but they are also priced competitively. This allows retailers to earn higher margins on their installation projects. “When I look at all the other membranes out there, our performance and quality is on the top level. But our pricing is not; it’s more on the mid-level. So that is something we bring to the table.”