Subfloor Preparation

To ensure your LVT installation lasts a lifetime, the preparation is crucial.

Abstract LVT Subfloor Preparation

As part of the Amtico installation process, subfloor preparation is paramount. Amtico installed onto a poorly or incorrectly prepared subfloor can result in costly repairs, unsightly trowel marks, or ply lines visible through the Amtico, or even the need for the entire floor to be removed and start again. The subfloor needs correct preparation as Amtico/LVT are glued down. This ensures a clean, crack-free, dust-free, and dry surface for the Amtico/LVT to adhere to.

What is a subfloor?

A subfloor is the structural component of the floor that lies beneath your existing floor covering. It is the starting point for preparing to lay Amtico/LVT flooring. Most homes in the UK will have either wooden floorboards, caber boards, concrete or sand-cement screed, quarry tiles, terrazzo, asphalt, or an anhydrite/gypsum-based flowing screed. Sometimes, there will be a mixture of these surfaces. This depends on the age of the building, whether it has been previously extended, or is presently undergoing an extension.

Subfloor preparation requirements

Different types of subfloors require different preparation techniques to achieve the final flat, smooth, and seamless finish necessary for installing Amtico/LVT. When multiple subfloor types are present, there are often multiple layers of materials used. These include flooring-grade plywood, primers, and leveling compounds. These layers cover floorboards, bridge gaps, fill holes, control damp issues, make levels even, and finally, apply a smoothing compound ready to receive the Amtico/LVT flooring.

Damp-proof coursing

It is important to note that older buildings constructed prior to 1975 may not have a Damp Proof Membrane installed underneath the concrete subfloor. In fact, the requirement for Damp-Proof Coursing only became mandatory in 1975, and many DPCs that were laid during this period may now be ineffective due to imperfect installation. The original DPCs used slate or lead barriers which were incorporated into the walls to prevent rising damp.

Moisture and LVT installation

When installing Amtico/LVT flooring onto recently laid concrete, sand/cement screeds, or anhydrite/gypsum-based flow screeds, it is important to acknowledge that they may still contain residual moisture for some time after pouring/application. In order to ensure the longevity of the installation, our subfloor preparation process may involve the application of a moisture suppressant/DPM. Amtico/LVT flooring is impervious, meaning that any trapped moisture below the flooring can result in future problems. Our team utilises a range of techniques and equipment to conduct thorough moisture tests before beginning subfloor preparation, in order to determine if a moisture suppressant/DPM is necessary.

Timber subfloors

Timber subfloors, such as floorboards or Caber boards, require the installation of a minimum 6mm flooring grade plywood. Lay at a 90-degree angle to the floorboards, staggered, and fixed at 6-inch centers. We would then recommend applying a flexible, fiber-reinforced leveling compound. This reduces the chances of the plywood joints showing through the Amtico/LVT flooring.

Helping you understand

We will provide a detailed and comprehensive explanation of all the subfloor preparation required for your project. This will help you understand everything involved in getting your subfloor to the level required to receive your Amtico or LVT floor covering.
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