Rubber Flooring Installation
Rubber flooring looks best when laid on a beautifully smooth sub-floor, which is easily achieved with the right preparation work. (No underlay required!) If you are looking for an experienced fitter, we can help – just email us your postcode. We have a list of fitters who have done a lot of work for our customers and who we have found to be reliable – though please note these are independent tradespeople and as such we cannot take responsibility for their work or any arrangement you make with them. See the Conditions of Use page for more details.
Below are guidelines for laying our rubber flooring. Every endeavour has been made to ensure the information given here is true and reliable. It is given only for the guidance of our customers and for use with our recommended tools/adhesives. We cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage that may result from the use of this information, due to the possibility of variations of processing or working conditions and/or workmanship beyond our control. Users are advised to conduct their own tests for a particular application.
Rubber flooring can be installed in most domestic and commercial areas, except in saunas, wetrooms and permanently wet areas. If subjected to strong sunlight, eg in rooms with bifold doors, glass-roofed side-returns, south facing windows and conservatories, the protective top coating (PU layer) may deteriorate over time and you should be prepared to remove and reapply it as part of a maintenance programme. This will not affect the longevity of the rubber itself. Please note the PU layer is not covered by our warranty. These floors are suitable for indoor use only. Check if the subfloor and site conditions are in accordance with the specifications described within these instructions.
PREPARING YOUR SUBFLOOR
Make sure the floor on to which your flooring is being laid is smooth, flat and rigid. Ensure there are no cracks or gaps and that it is free of dust, grease, wax, paint and any other dirt, stains or contaminants. Obviously the cleaner and smoother you sub-floor, the better your flooring will look. There is no need to use an underlay with our rubber flooring. If your sub floor is uneven we recommend you use a good-quality latex self-levelling compound, alternatively smaller uneven spots of more than 3mm can be filled with a rapid-drying deep-fill compound. For all subfloors, we recommend a final skim of Ardex Feather Finish to ensure the smoothest possible finish, applied according to the manufacturer's instructions. The total build-up of the floor is approximately 3mm of latex self-levelling compound, a negligible skim of Ardex Feather Finish and 1mm of adhesive.
If you are laying on wood, for best results we recommend you remove all existing floor coverings, secure all loose boards and hammer down any protruding nails. Cover the floor area with either a 4mm or 6mm plywood - the thickness selected should be determined by the quality of the surface being covered. Ply should be of suitable quality, eg SP101.
Wood should be fixed using screws, twisted shank or ring shank nails, serrated or divergent staples. All fixings should be finished flush with the surface. Panels should be acclimatised to the site conditions before fixing as recommended by the supplier. Sand down any high spots. We recommend the use of an appropriate smoothing compound such as Ardex Feather Finish to level out depressions and fill gaps between boards. If your wooden subfloor is particularly uneven, apply a good-quality latex self-levelling compound before the Feather Finish.
Flooring grade chipboard may be used instead of ply if there is no movement between boards and extra care is taken in smoothing the surface.
On existing tiles
For best results with our flooring we recommend removing all existing floorcoverings. If this is impractical, however, it is possible to install on top of existing tiles, so long as they are securely fixed and in a good state of repair. Thoroughly clean and prime first, fill any holes and gaps with a suitable repair compound and then use an appropriate self-levelling compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Skim with Ardex Feather Finish.
If you are laying on a concrete floor, the moisture level should not exceed 75%RH when tested with a hygrometer in compliance with BS8203-4; 2001. If readings above 75%RH are recorded, it must contain an effective damp proof membrane. Please bear in mind that if you are laying on new concrete it can take up to six months to dry out completely. If in doubt, consult your builder. Do not lay over expansion joints.
We recommend you then use a good-quality latex self-levelling compound, and a final skim of Ardex Feather Finish to ensure the smoothest possible finish.
Over underfloor heating
Your flooring is suitable for use with underfloor heating, as long as the temperature of the subfloor does not exceed 27°C. Check with your underfloor heating manufacturer for the recommended subfloor for use with rubber flooring. The heating elements will need to be fully embedded in a well-bonded and appropriate levelling compound. Underfloor heating should ideally be switched on for at least four days before fitting and then switched off 24 hours before commencement of the work. Wait 48 hours after laying your new floor before switching it on again and raise the temperature steadily until it reaches its normal temperature again over approximately 5 days.
On delivery of your rubber flooring, please allow it to acclimatise in the room that it is due to be laid in for 48 hours before installation. It is recommended that your flooring should be kept out of direct sunlight and at a temperature of 18°C-22°C and 40%-60% ambient relative humidity for 48 hours before, during and 72 hours after the installation.
Before cutting or installing your flooring, inspect it to ensure there are no visible defects and that all rolls are the colour and size you want, as we can't take items back once they have been used or fitted (see Conditions of Use and Sale).
As with all rubber flooring, there are small variations in colour between manufacturing batches. Therefore, it is essential that all the material required for installing sheet rubber and square tiles is ordered in one batch to ensure a perfect colour match. Our triangular tiles are a handmade product with slight natural variation in colour between each one. This may be worth taking into consideration when planning your layout.
INSTALLATING SHEET RUBBER
Vacuum the entire prepared area. Measure the room and mark the centrelines, planning the laying in a way to reduce cuts and scraps. Loose lay the rolls (without adhesive) following the marked lines and allow to relax. Flooring should be laid with the smoother, shinier side facing upwards, and in the direction of the arrows on the underside of the floorcovering. Where no arrows are visible, the direction of the frosting on the surface should be followed.
Roughly cut the sheets to the required lengths, with a small excess so you can trim to fit exactly later. Place them into the correct position.
All seams should have a minimum 30mm overlap and should be double-cut using either a seam cutter or a concave-bladed knife. Then cut or trim in the sides and ends of the area using a hook-bladed knife.
When laying rubber flooring, great care should be taken not to 'pinch' it, ie to fold it too tightly on itself, as this can cause indents or even cracking.
GLUING SHEET RUBBER
For small, low-traffic areas (3qm or under) it is possible to simply adhere the perimeter of your floor using a suitable contact spray adhesive (eg Everbuild Stick 2), otherwise we recommend that you fully adhere the entire floorcovering to the sub floor using Ball F58 applied evenly according to the manufacturer’s instructions with an A2 notched trowel.
Fold back the sheet to just over half its length. Spread the adhesive using a notched trowel. Once the adhesive is ready to accept the flooring (still workable, but not too wet - see manufacturer’s instructions for more details), roll the sheet back into place, taking care not to twist the roll or to trap air bubbles, which will eventually have to be expelled through massaging.
Repeat the operation on the other half of the roll.
Excess adhesive should be removed as work progresses and it is still wet, using a cloth with neutral detergent (in the case of acrylic adhesive), or with alcohol for two-component adhesives.
Avoid making concentrated pressure on the floor during the installation with hands, elbows or knees, to prevent the formation of permanent indents. Do not walk on the floor for 24 hours after installation.
SEAM-SEALING SHEET RUBBER
The seams on our rubber flooring do not need to be sealed because there is no shrinkage after installation. However they can be sealed in settings such as hospitals and laboratories or areas with specific hygienic requirements.
For details of welding products, please contact us.
To heat seal seams, allow 24 hours after sticking the floor to the subfloor. Groove the required seam with either a mechanical joint cutter or hand-grooving tool — ensure all grooves are clean. The depth of the groove should be approximately 2/3 the thickness of the flooring, and the width of the groove approximately 3.5mm.
Place the sealing rod into the speedweld aperture, press the rod down into the groove and proceed at the right speed, keeping the speedweld toe parallel to the rubber surface.
Using a sharp spatula knife placed on a trimming guide, trim off the first part of excess sealing rod. Heating the knife with the sealing gun may help the trimming.
When the rod has cooled to room temperature, the remaining excess should be trimmed using the spatula knife without the guide, keeping a shallow angle between the blade and floor to avoid "digging in". Please note the colour of the rod cannot be exactly the same colour as the floor.
COVING YOUR FLOOR
Our rubber flooring is suitable for coving. In order to make site.formed cove skirting, draw a line on the wall to mark the height the coving will reach and fit the capping strip to the wall using contact adhesive. Attach the cove-former in a similar way: using a brush, apply contact adhesive to the back of the cove-former and the wall, up to the capping strip, and leave both to dry. When completely dry, firmly push the rubber with the cove-former into place and tuck the top edge into the capping strip
INSTALLING RUBBER TILES
Vacuum the entire prepared area. Measure the room and mark the centrelines, planning the laying in a way to reduce cuts and scraps. Draw further guide lines as required, using a chalk line and dry fit the flooring (without adhesive). Tiles should be installed one row at a time, and getting the first row right is vital to the subsequent lay. Once you are satisfied with the layout, begin gluing the tiles into position one row at a time and cutting in the perimeter tiles as you go.
GLUING RUBBER TILES
We recommend that you adhere the tiles to the sub floor using Ball F58 applied evenly according to the manufacturer’s instructions with an A2 notched trowel.
Avoid traffic on the sub-floor during the laying process. Apply adhesive in small areas, allowing yourself time to fit carefully while the glue is still workable, but not too wet (see manufacturer’s instructions for more details). Fit your tiles one row at a time, lowering them into position rather than sliding, and butt up tightly. Press them down to ensure all air is expelled and the tile is in full contact with the subfloor. Take special care to ensure accurate alignment and the minimum gap between tiles. After fitting, use a roller according to adhesive manufacturer’s instructions. Do not walk on the floor for 24 hours after installation.