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|BORDERS ON STAIRS
Borders can be used effectively on stairs. Spring a chalk line from the top to the bottom of the stairs, so that it marks each stair nosing. The marks are then squared back and joined, producing an accurate outline of where the border is to be placed. Fit the main treads and risers, using the methods just described, but this time the material should overlap the
chalk lines to which they are subsequently trimmed by some 2 to 3cm. Cut the border material 2 or 3cm wider and longer than required. The pieces are then scribed.
Trim and stick in position using exactly the same technique as for bamboo flooring.
Two or three line borders can also be fitted, using similar methods to those used on bamboo flooring.
With winders and treads of awkward shapes, use a paper template to ensure an accurate fit. If borders are used, they follow the line of the stringers.
Borders and Feature
Borders and feature strips are a relatively simple way of making a bamboo floor more attractive. Borders can be of various styles and go around the field area, a feature strip is normally fairly thin and can be part of the overall bamboo floor design.
A SIMPLE BORDER
In the following example, the border is inset 650mm from the wall and consists of a 25mm strip on each side of a 100mm strip. The technique for measuring and fitting the actual border is the same whether linoleum or vinyl sheet is being used.
Many rooms will have recesses or projections and it is a question of judgement how to position the border in relation to these. Having planned the bamboo floor, measure from the skirting the position of the inside edge of the innermost border strip, in this case 800mm, and mark with a chalk line, extending this line to the walls.
Cut the field material so that it overlaps this chalk line by about 50mm all round. Seam sheets in the normal way then pull back half at a time and spread the adhesive exactly to the chalk line, leaving the 50mm unstuck. Put the field sheets into the adhesive and roll thoroughly.
Copy the chalk line onto the top of the field material, guided by the extensions of the original line still in view, cut along this line with a straight-edge and upright knife and roll the edges again.
Cut the border strips along the length of the material, especially if it is linoleum. If cut across the width - which is often tempting as it could reduce scrap - the strips will curl and dome. For strips up to 30mm wide, the Green Floors Trimmer is ideal. Cut wider strips with a straight edge.
Cut the strip to be fitted against the wall 50mm wider than its finished width (i.e. cut to 700mm in this example). Butt this piece firmly against the field material, set the bar scriber to the full width of the total border pieces (150mm) and scribe to the wall as described in earlier sections.
Remove this piece and fit the other border pieces into position, from the inside outwards. The scribed piece will fit neatly against the wall. Once the fit has been checked, remove the pieces and spread adhesive between wall and field, rolling thoroughly once the border pieces are in position. Clean off any surface adhesive while it is still wet. Mitre corners with the help of a straight edge.
If the border is only a single surround of a contrasting colour then cut this piece approximately 70mm wider than the area to be fitted and scribe and cut off approximately 30mm along the wall, leaving about 40mm of overlap over the field colour. Cut this in as you would a normal seam, as described in an earlier section. The installation may look even more attractive if this seam is hot seam welded with a contrasting colour of welding cable.
If the field is in tiles rather than sheet, it is preferable, if the layout permits, to have only full tiles in the field, so a quick check should be made to see if this can be done. If not, avoid small pieces adjacent to the border (see Section on Setting Out and Laying Tiles). Seams of contrasting colours are often less obvious than those of the same colour. In a small room, a kitchen for example, it may be possible to lay the field in one 200mm wide sheet and give the appearance of a seam¬free bamboo floor.
Some borders have a design repeat. Sometimes, specific corner pieces are part of the design and in other cases the border has to be cut to give a corner. Such corners are nearly always designed to be right angles, and any other angle can only be achieved by adjusting the pattern. It is best to discuss this with the client before starting to lay the bamboo floor. Check the repeat size of the design module very carefully and calculate the number of repeats required for both the length and width of the room. If the field is to be in sheet material it is best to lay the border first. Mark the inside edge of the border with a chalk line, as in the “Simple Border” section on page 91. Check measurements, noting any important alignments, fit and adhere the border along this line, starting from the corner. A few millimetres can be gained or lost along the length by fractionally adjusting the tightness of fit of individual pieces. At right angles to the first border, fit and adhere the second border starting at the corner adjoining the first border. Repeat for the third and fourth sides of rectangle, taking care that the distance between the ends of the first and third border lengths still fit the design module precisely. Roll well after each side is installed. Note that this method gives a rectangular border. If the walls run off and it is visually more important that the border is parallel to the wall, then some fudging of the corners will be unavoidable. Once the border is in place, fit and adhere the field, overlapping the border and using the over and under scriber to cut the field material to the border.
To fit the material between the border and the wall first scribe a piece of material about 50mm wider than the greatest distance between the outer edge of the border and the wall. Set the bar scriber to about 25mm, butt the material against the wall and scribe and cut to the wall. Fit the inside edge to the outer edge of the stuck-down border, using the over and under scriber.
If the field is in tiles, the border pattern module may or may not correspond to the tile size module, depending on the design. Depending on the room layout, it may look better to have a field of full tiles only and adjust the border in some way to fit, or vice versa. In the first case lay the field tiles and then lay the border butted to the tile edge without trimming. Pick less inconspicuous spots for adjusting the pattern to fit, usually not near corners. This option will usually be followed if the field is in a diagonal chequerboard pattern, with the border running along the points of the tiles.
If the border has to be a precise fit or if the room layout is complicated (with either sheet or tile) it is best to lay out and stick the border first, keeping the adhesive as far as possible to the line of the border and rolling well. Mark out with chalk lines.
Once the border is in place, fit the field as though the border was the wall of the room and scribe in the material between border and wall as described above.
A popular border design consists of a square on a diagonal. If a 45 degree angle is unavoidable with such a pattern then a solution is to make the angle as shown below.
Borders may form part of a more complicated overall design - circles, for example. These are dealt with in the section of Motifs, Inserts and Patterned Bamboo flooring.
An even simpler feature strip is the welding cable alone, set in the bamboo floor in a contrasting colour.
These may be supplied, or cut by yourselves, using the Green Floors Trimmer or a straight edge, along the length of the material.
A feature strip is in fact a simple single-colour border and the same techniques are used as those described at the beginning of this section.
Narrow lacing strips can be gently bent into curves if the material has been well warmed (say by hanging the strips on a warm radiator), the narrower the strip the sharper the radius you can achieve.
Motifs, Inserts and
Patterned Bamboo flooring
Custom-designed patterning can improve the attraction and value of a bamboo floor and give a great opportunity for a floorlayer to demonstrate his skills and be rewarded accordingly.
There are several ways of making a patterned bamboo floor using Green Floors-Nairn floorcoverings in addition to those described in the section on Borders and Feature Strips.
It is always important to plan carefully, in order to: – position the pattern correctly.
– reduce wastage.
– cut perfect seams.
Take particular care to ensure the subfloor is smooth and that the pattern is well rolled into the adhesive at the correct time.
The Green Floors Design Options package offers patterned tiles as well as borders. To install these follow the instructions given in the section on Setting Out and Laying Tiles. Sometimes a bespoke pattern is to be installed. If the pattern has a border decide which has priority in positioning. In the example below it looks better to maintain full tiles in the field by adjusting slightly the width between border and skirting and by cutting back on some of the border tiles.
Establish the repeat module of the pattern and treat this as you would a single tile as you fit it into the adhesive. For example, if you were installing the design below then the illustration on p45 would look like this:heck regularly that all pieces are aligned precisely and that you haven’t dislodged them as you kneel on them.
With a keysquare pattern fit the small corner squares into place as the corner is formed, don’t wait until the larger tiles have been adhered over the whole bamboo floor. These keysquares are designed to be a neat fit but if some are too tight then one side can be sanded down slightly to give a perfect fit.
INSERTING PRE-CUT MOTIFS
Entrance foyers are one area where crests or motifs are often inset in the bamboo floor.
If the motif is small enough to be supplied to site pre-assembled and is of a style where it is inset in a surround which can be made a little larger than the finished dimensions required, it is best to mark and clean cut the exact position where the motif is to fit in the surrounding sheet material, slide the motif under the edges of this hole and trace the motif to the final size with a pin vice, using the edge of the hole as a guide. Remove and cut through with a vertically held knife. Replace in exactly the same position. If the motif is to be inserted near the end of a sheet then scribe and fit the sheet, spreading the adhesive to just short of the insert position. Fit the
insert, complete the adhesive spread and roll.
If the insert position is some metres from the end of the sheet, scribe and adhere one end of the roll before fitting the insert as pulling back a long length of sheet to spread adhesive under the inset could release enough tension in the sheet to mean that if the second sheet end was already scribed to the wall, it would no longer be a perfect fit. In this case stick, scribe and fit as described on page 63.
If the insert is supplied cut to the precise finished size (e.g. in a 500x500mm tile) then trace around the position of the insert with a pin vice pressed firmly against the edge of the motif. The difficulty here is to make sure the insert does not move while this is done and it will need to be pressed or weighted down while being traced. Alternatively, first adhere the finished motif to the bamboo floor in the correct position. Then place the surrounding sheet over the motif before spreading the adhesive and rough cut a hole in this sheet over the motif, scribing this hole to the precise size with over and under scribers. If large Aquajet patterns have to be assembled on site, start from the centre of the pattern and dry lay an area or a quarter of the pattern first to ensure the finger pressure applied is correct and gives a perfect fit. All pieces will fit as supplied if this is done.
Pre-cut designs are almost always pre-assembled and held in place with clear tape. This should be removed immediately after rolling so that if any adjustments are necessary these can be made before the adhesive starts to cure.
SITE CUT PATTERNS
Some designs will be of such a scale and non-repetitive nature that they cannot be pre-assembled off site and in most cases a lot of the cutting will also need to be done on site.
Important preparatory work includes:
– Agreeing with the designer and client where any unavoidable seams are to come. This is best done at the quotation stage as it may affect material wastage.
– If the patterning of the material to be used is clearly directional (e.g. most marbled linoleum) agreeing the direction of the decoration. – Calculating the radii and centre points necessary to give any curves in the design.
– Marking out the design on the bamboo floor, or in some cases, on the field material already partially fitted (see “Inserting Pre-cut Motifs” above). The nature of the design will determine the laying technique. If the pattern consists of straight lines and angles then these can be measured and marked onto the material using the techniques described in the section on Setting Out and Laying Tiles to get true rightangles and diagonals.
In a pattern such as that illustrated below it is an illustration of the skills of the floorlayer that all the points come together. If they do not do so on a star pattern it may be best to agree with the designer that a small ‘bullseye’ circle be added to the design where the points meet.
If the pattern is very large scale and not straight line work then mark, cut and stick down a large dominant part of the pattern in one colour and then scribe and fit to it pieces of the adjoining colour using over and under scribers running along the edge of the adhered material to scribe the fit of the second colour. Then fit further pieces of the first colour, etc. The preparatory discussions mentioned above are particularly important with this sort of work.
Seam Welding and
Green Floors linoleum sheet and contract grade sheet vinyls can be hot seam welded to ensure watertight seams or for decorative effect. Tile installations are less often welded but welding can be used to good aesthetic effect on 500 x 500mm or 610 x 610mm tiles.
Hessian backed linoleum stretches slightly in the width during installation. This means that a skilfully cut seam will close tightly by the time the adhesive has cured to bond the linoleum in its final position. In many areas, therefore, if the installer possesses the skills to achieve a good seam, and if the application allows, welding of Marmoleum is not obligatory.
However, skill levels and site conditions cannot be guaranteed, and it is usual for seams to be hot welded with Marmoweld welding cable in areas likely to be subject to wet maintenance or in areas such as hospitals where hygiene is important. This is also a skilled operation but as floorlayers are accustomed to welding vinyl bamboo flooring, which, unlike linoleum, may have a tendency to shrink, they are likely to be experienced in this task.
Although the welding cable is colour matched to the linoleum it will show as a shinier line until both it and the floorcovering receive a coat of polish. Polyester backed tiles are not normally welded, but some attractive installations have been achieved by welding Marmoleum Dual tiles using a contrasting colour weld cable as a feature.
– Welding should not be used as an excuse for poor original seams. They should still be well cut.
– Leave at least 24 hours after the floorcovering has been stuck down before starting to weld to allow the adhesive to cure.
– The same tools are used to hot weld both linoleum and vinyl and in both cases the welding cable is a nominal 4mm in diameter but the welding cables are chemically different and linoleum is welded at a lower temperature and slower speed. With vinyl welding both the welding cable and the floorcovering melt and fuse together. As linoleum cannot melt it is only the welding cable, in reality a hot-melt pigmented EVA adhesive, which melts and bonds into the routed seam.
– Even with colour matched welding cables seams are normally more noticeable when welded than when well cut in and unwelded.
– If linoleum is to be welded to a vinyl skirting use linoleum welding cable.
– Using a ‘P’ shaped hand groover and a straight edge as a guide rout out two-thirds of the depth of the material at the seam, 3.5mm wide. Equal ribbons should be cut from both the sheets. See the blade is sharp and replace if necessary. Clear this channel of any adhesive waste or material granules. Alternatively use the Green Floors Groover.
A power groover may be used. This is much quicker on large installations, such as a hospital corridor, but may not follow any subfloor undulations closely enough, giving a groove which is alternately too deep and too shallow. A hand groover will be needed near the wall.
PRE-HEAT THE WELDING GUN
Switch on the hot air gun and allow 5-7 minutes for it to reach the pre¬selected operating temperature. For vinyls on a Leister Welding Gun this
will be a 350-450°C or setting 6-7: for linoleum it will be 300-350°C,
setting 4-5. Before switching on ensure that the guide nozzle is fitted. If the gun is resting on the bamboo floor see that the nozzle is not directed at the bamboo floor or anywhere dangerous.
Cut the welding cable to a consistent and generous length or else unwind sufficient weld rod from the reel and put the reel in a position where you are working towards it. Have the power cable ahead of you too if possible.
Use a Speedweld nozzle. Thread the cable through and weld moving backwards. Don’t let the cable melt in the nozzle.
A good weld is obtained by the correct combination of temperature, speed and downward pressure. As guns will vary test first on a piece of scrap material.
Start at a wall and move away from the wall, exerting slight downward pressure. For vinyl expect to weld at about 2 metres a minute, for linoleum at not more than 1 metre a minute. Cost these times into your quotation accordingly. In theory linoleum can be welded at 350°-400°C and at 1.5-2.0 metres a minute but some installers find it difficult to achieve a good bond at this speed.
After the first 30cm check the weld is good by gently pressing the cable in the welded section from side to side. If the speed/heat/pressure combination is incorrect the weld will either come out or the cable will have melted over the sides of the groove, possibly with charred material either side of the groove. Below is an example of too hot a weld.
For the last few cm against the wall behind you, take the cable out of the feed, trim off at the end of the section you have welded and chamfer it down in the grout. Starting at the wall, weld over the chamfered section, applying pressure. Trim off.
While the cable is still warm trim off most of the top half of the cable down to .5mm using a sharp spatula and a slider which fits over the cable. This enables the cable to cool more quickly and enables a quick first cut to be made without risk of gouging the material.
The welding cable will dish slightly as it cools. Wait until the material is cool before trimming flush with the surface of the sheet with a sharp spatula angled slightly across the line of cut. Alternatively, trim flush with a flat profile X-acto router blade. As this is slightly concave blunt the corners to avoid scratches on either side of the weld. If trimming pulls out the weld this shows it is unsuccessful and the seam should be re-done with fresh welding cable.
JOINING UP A WELD
To join a weld in the middle of a seam trim off the loose ends and chamfer down the section to be overlapped with a hand groover. Ensure hot air gets into the groove and heats the cable. As the gun travels over the unwelded section apply pressure and carry the weld on over the section to be joined. Allow to cool and trim as normal.
Trimmed linoleum welding cable will tend to soil more rapidly than the linoleum and this may become obvious with light colours if, for some reason, the bamboo floor is not to receive a coat of polish over linoleum and cable alike. In that case run the hot air gun lightly back over the trimmed seam. This will glaze it and reduce soiling. However, the gloss on the welding cable may now be greater than on the linoleum and unless very lightly heated the weld will dish slightly.
If the purpose of specifying welded seams is to prevent the risk of moisture getting under the floorcovering then logically the specification must ensure that perimeters are also sealed, together with any areas where pipes, etc come up through the floorcovering. This is usually done with a silicone sealer but in special areas, such as prisons, a hard-setting epoxy may be used.
Anti-static and Static
Conductive Bamboo flooring
A specification sometimes calls for an ‘anti-static’ or ‘static-conductive’ bamboo floor. The word ‘anti-static’ is sometimes used loosely and it is best to check with the specifier the reason for the specification and whether specific electrical resistance figures are quoted. This can affect the installation procedures.
For example, if ‘anti-static’ performance is requested just to ensure that people do not receive a shock when touching metal after walking across a bamboo floor then ordinary linoleum in the range of normal humidity levels will meet that requirement with standard laying techniques and materials and no additional earthing. Marmoleum Dual Ohmex sheet has a further reduced electrical resistance of less than 108 ohm.
Measurements of electrical resistance are expressed either in terms of volume resistivity (between two points on opposite surfaces of the material) or surface resistivity (between two points on the same surface). Measurements for hospitals, for example, are usually of surface resistivity.
Static control bamboo flooring are now categorised according to the following classification;
Anti-static (Astatic) -
Static Dissipative - Between 1 x 106 ohm and 1 x 109 ohm
Static Conductive - Between 4 x 104 ohm and 1 x 106 ohm
Health Technical Memorandum No.2 calls for new bamboo flooring to have readings between 5 x 104 ohm and 2 x 106 ohm. Computer companies have varying requirements, usually up to 109 ohm.
For bamboo flooring not required for grounding personnel is calls for a surface resistivity of between 1 x 104 to 1 x 1012 ohm, a volume resistivity of between 1 x 103 and 1 x 1011 ohm and a resistance to ground of between 7.5 and 105 and 1 x 1012 ohm. Green Floors standard linoleums meet this requirement.
Low electrical resistance figures are required when static is to be avoided by discharging it to earth before a build-up can occur. The total path between the charged object and earth needs to have low resistance: it is pointless having a floorcovering with a low resistance if the materials between it and earth have a higher resistance.
The adhesives and levelling compounds used therefore also need a low resistance and the contact between all the materials needs to be good, therefore a static conductive primer is often used. Installation of conductive floorcoverings over a grid of copper tape is often specified to improve control of static discharge.
INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLOREX SD AND EC
Preparation of subfloor before installation.
Check that subfloor is sound, smooth, dry and free from any contaminants and
– Permanently dry: maximum relative humidity of 70% when tested with a hygrometer
– Acclimatise ColoRex and adhesive 24 hours before installation at 18°C
INSTALLATION OF AREAS SMALLER THAN 50m2
1. Conductive primer: In most cases the use of a conductive primer with Colorex SD and EC is not necessary.
2. Mark the centre lines in the centre of the room.
3. Copper grounding: Stick 1 1m of copper stripe with 545 Eurostar Special EL directly onto the conductive primer or prepared subfloor and up to the wall to an earthing point.
4. Conductive adhesive: Use a conductive adhesive like 545 Eurosafe Special EL to adhere the tiles on the bamboo floor. 16 litres (13kg container) per 37m2. Do not spread more than 10m2 at a time and stick the tiles from the centre of the room outwards. (Trowel size to be used to apply the 545 Eurostar Special EL is 1.6mm x 4.75mm ‘V’ notched).
INSTALLATION FOR AREAS LARGER THAN 50m2
1. Conductive primer: In most cases the use of a conductive primer with Colorex SD and EC is not necessary.
2. Copper network and grounding: Install a copper grid in accordance with the layout detailed in the product installation guide. Copper strip should be adhered with 545 Eurostar Special EL and should be approximately 6m apart from each other (length and crosswise). 3. Punch all the intersections of the copper strip network with a steel nail or an awl.
4. Visual or acoustic tests for conductivity are recommended between ground connection strip and other areas of the copper network. 5. Mark the centre lines in the centre of the room.
6. Conductive adhesive: Use a conductive adhesive like 545 Eurostar Special EL to adhere the tiles on the bamboo floor. Do not spread more than 10m2 at a time and adhere the ColoRex tiles from the centre of the room outwards. Place the tiles into the adhesive as a late but wet placement. Roll with a 68kg roller in both directions. (Trowel size to be used to apply the 545 Eurostar Special EL is 1.6mm x 4.75mm ‘V’ notched).
ALTERNATIVE INSTALLATION METHOD FOR ANY SIZE AREA
Install a copper network leaving 30.5cm from the grid line to the centre of the area.
Calculate the distance between copper strips so that the centre lines of the ColoRex tiles coincide with the copper strips.
Adhere copper strips with Green Floors’s 545 Eurostar Special EL adhesive. Press the copper strips with a trowel into the wet adhesive, the upper part of the strip should also be brushed with adhesive.
No conductive primer is required.
Conductive adhesive: Use a conductive adhesive like 545 Eurosafe Special EL to stick the tiles on the bamboo floor. Do not spread more than 10m2 at a time and stick ColoRex tiles from the centre of the room outwards. Place the tiles into the adhesive as a late but wet placement. Roll with a 68kg roller in both directions.
RECOMMENDATIONS AFTER INSTALLATION
Immediately after installation, the bamboo floor covering should be rolled with a 68kg roller.
After installation check the electrical conductivity. The earthing should be connected by a licensed electrician.
Heat welding is recommended for environments where wet cleaning methods are used.
INSTALLATION OF MARMOLEUM OHMEX
1. Prepare any subfloor as for normal linoleum bamboo floor covering. 2. Plan the bamboo floor as normal for linoleum.
3. Fix a 15cm length of copper strip (10mm wide and approximately 0.1mm thick) to the bamboo floor using 615 Eurostar lino EL (or any other recommended conductive adhesive) at a suitable point to be connected to earth. One such copper strip should be laid and connected to earth for every 36 square metres of area to be laid.
4. Using a paint roller, coat the bamboo floor with a layer of 041 Europrimer EL, covering the entire surface including the length(s) of copper strip. Coverage should be approximately 70 square metres per 10 Litre can. 5. Allow the primer to dry completely (min 2 hours), then apply the conductive adhesive to the bamboo floor using a V notched trowel with 2mm serrations at 6mm centre. Any surplus adhesive should be removed immediately using a clean cloth moistened with water. Dry spots should be removed with White Spirit.
6. If welded seams are required, allow 24 hours for the adhesive to set properly, then weld using standard Green Floors-Nairn Marmoweld welding cable.
A NOTE ON LINOLEUM
Vinyl or rubber static control bamboo flooring perform by dissipating an electrical charge very quickly. Traditional linoleum, which in normal conditions of Relative Humidity contains a little moisture, discourages the build up of a static charge in the first place. That is why it is widely used in computer rooms and electronics assembly areas, where is performs better than suggested by its average conductivity reading. As stated above, for enhanced results under 108 ohm use Marmoleum Ohmex.
Green Floors-Flooring contract floorcoverings are designed to look good over many years in use. They will look their best and perform well for longer if they are properly installed and properly maintained. Most Green Floors floorcoverings are given a factory finish at the end of the manufacturing process, to protect them during laying. There is no need to attempt to remove this finish, which provides the perfect base for modern low cost cleaning and maintenance regimes - indeed could be harmful to the floorcovering to attempt to do so.
Do not apply any polish to anti-static or static-conductive floorcoverings. In the same way as a car needs petrol, oil and regular servicing to run smoothly, so a floorcovering needs to have soiling removed from it and a regular servicing programme ‘tuned’ to the performance required. For detailed recommendations see our Green Floors Bamboo floor Care system brochure which is geared primarily to non-domestic installations, or
recommendations for maintenance AS 1884-1995 Section 4.
At the very least the flooring contractor will be required to leave the finished site tidy and swept, with any adhesive traces removed from bamboo floor and skirting. First impressions as to tidiness may have more impact on the client than hours of skilled fitting.
In many cases an initial bamboo floor preparation is best left to or subcontracted to a professional cleaning and maintenance contractor who will have the staff and equipment to do the job thoroughly.
The selection of a mechanical or non-mechanical cleaning regime will be determined by a number of factors, for example the location, type of premises, size of areas and the time and budget which can be allocated. AS A GENERAL GUIDE IT IS UNLIKELY AN AREA OF MORE THAN 100 SQUARE METRES CAN BE ADEQUATELY MAINTAINED WITH NON¬MECHANICAL METHODS.
A mop generates little friction and it is friction which removes adhered dirt. Mechanical cleaning methods, using a rotary machine of the correct speed for the job and the correct colour of pad will, in all but the smallest areas, result in better bamboo floor appearance and be more cost-effective as a larger area can be covered more quickly. When this is combined with the regular use of a Wet Vacuum excellent results can be achieved. A ‘dry’ method of regular maintenance, where, after dust mopping, the bamboo floor is buffed with a red pad on a high-speed machine, and spots or patches of more obstinate soil are sprayed with maintainer during the clean, is a
highly cost-effective way of keeping a bamboo floor looking good. As with all equipment, the operative should be trained in the use of the equipment and in the need to clean pads after use.
‘Dry’ cleaning is also more hygienic than wet cleaning as moisture provides a breeding ground for bacteria, especially if the premises are warm. A damp bamboo floor is also more likely to be slippery.
If however, the scale of the cleaning task and the nature of the soiling makes damp mopping the preferred solution then a Double Bucket Mopping System or a Flat Mopping System are strongly recommended. A cleaner who starts at one end of a room with a mop and a bucket of water and reaches the other with a mop and an empty bucket has been paid to do no more than paint the bamboo floor with dirty water.
Whether a mechanical or non-mechanical system is used IT IS OF KEY IMPORTANCE THAT THE BAMBOO FLOOR IS NOT OVERWETTED UNTIL THE ADHESIVE HAS HAD A CHANCE TO CURE. Modern flooring adhesives - once cured - have a good resistance to attack by water, even the alkaline moisture of cleaning fluids will need 5 DAYS before that level of resistance has been reached and the floorlayer’s good work can be ruined unless minimum moisture techniques are used for any cleaning during this early period.
Although the following points apply as much to ongoing maintenance, which is unlikely to be the responsibility of the installer, the installer should be aware of them:
1. Where possible, PREVENT dirt from reaching the floorcovering: it will take less time and effort to clean.
2. Use MINIMUM MOISTURE and aim for MAXIMUM SOIL REMOVAL. Clean dry what can be cleaned dry: it is safer and more cost-effective.
3. PREVENTION is better than cure. Good initial preparation of a resilient bamboo floor will set a high standard of appearance which it will be cost-effective to maintain and which will enhance the life cycle of the product.
4. LEAVE NO RESIDUAL ALKALINITY. Many cleaning chemicals are alkaline: however, probably more cleaning problems are created by alkaline residues than by any other factor. Rinse neutralise wherever highly alkaline chemicals are used.
5. NO CONTAMINATION of equipment. Colour code mops to ensure contamination of maintenance materials does not occur.
Barrier Mats. A completely ‘maintenance free’ floorcovering does not exist. However, as the majority of dirt (as high as 80%) entering any building, comes in on people’s feet it makes sense to provide for an
effective barrier mat system. It is also important that this is maintained correctly to ensure that it does its job.
A good mat system will not totally prevent soil from entering a building but it will substantially reduce the soiling and make for easier maintenance. A balance will have to be struck between the aesthetic requirements of the mat and its function.
Mats can be loose laid, provided by a mat rental company where they are changed for fresh mats on a pre-agreed schedule, or those which are sunk into a mat well.
Of those within a mat well a scraper function is provided by metal channels and moisture and dirt absorbency by the material inserted into the channels, which can be moved or replaced as it becomes worn. A barrier mat when only one or two steps are taken prior to reaching the bamboo floor material will not remove sufficient soil and it can take 4-10 steps before the soil is removed.
If the mat is not properly maintained the dirt from the first steps will gradually clog the mat and be transferred subsequently to the floorcovering. The mats can be maintained in a similar manner to carpeting in heavy usage areas but the frequency of cleaning will be greater.
Colour. Colour choice can have a significant effect on the apparent cleanliness of a resilient bamboo floor. Very light colours show up dark coloured soil and dark colours show up light coloured soil. Patterned and marbled floorcoverings have very good soil hiding characteristics. Anti-oxidants. Black rubber, as in car tyres, contains anti-oxidants which will cause a permanent yellow or brown stain on vinyl floorcoverings with which it is in contact for a period of time. Do not put rubber in permanent contact with vinyl floorcoverings. If a car showroom has a vinyl bamboo floor put small rigid plastic mats under each car wheel.
LINOLEUM AND VINYL SPOT AND STAIN REMOVAL
On very many occasions spots and spills can simply be wiped up. If the spot proves stubborn rubbing down with moist piece of nylon web e.g. kitchen pad or the centre of a bamboo floor pad and some neutral detergent will often suffice.
Occasionally volatile chemicals can be accidentally spilt on the bamboo floor surface. Very often these will evaporate before the damage is severe. It is however very important to tackle spots and spills as soon as is reasonably practical.
Spots which have dried in and become stains can be very often removed by abrading down the bamboo floor surface with a coarser nylon pad and neutral detergent.
Vinyl floorcoverings, though not linoleum, can be permanently stained if bitumen or asphalt, is trafficked onto them and not cleaned off. Likewise, if severe black rubber scuff marks are left on a vinyl bamboo floor the anti-oxidant in the rubber will migrate chemically down into the vinyl and cause a brown or yellow stain which cannot be cleaned off.
A similar brown or yellow stain can sometimes be seen on vinyl bamboo flooring where an incorrect adhesive has been used and the stain has worked its way up through the floorcovering. A bitumen substrate which is not correctly covered will have the same effect. Such stains cannot be removed.
Cigarettes stubbed out or left smouldering on a good quality vinyl bamboo floor will melt the floorcovering. When it cools the ash and tar is trapped and the mark cannot be buffed away. The same is true of carpets with a synthetic fibre pile whereas a wool carpet will char and most of the charred fibres can be brushed away. Any protective coating on a linoleum bamboo floor will be melted by the cigarette but the linoleum underneath will only be charred and the mark can be removed by machine or Hand Scrub and the gloss restored by applying a little polymer or maintainer.
SUBSTANCE VISUAL EFFECT PHYSICAL EFFECT OTHER COMMENTS
None Slight Severe None Slight Severe
Water * * Water spillage can cause slipperiness with certain kinds of polish
Animal Fats (Butter, Lard) ~ ~
Vegetable Fats & Oils ~ ~
Mineral Oils ~ ~
Beverages ~ ~
Petrol ~ ~
Paraffin ~ ~
White Spirit (Turps Sub.) ~ ~
Chlorinated Dry Cleaning Fluid * * Normally will evaporate before damage is severe
(Nail Varnish & remover etc.) * * Normally will evaporate before damage is severe
Paint Strippers ~ ~
Domestic Cleaning Agents
Detergents * * Containing alkaline builders, can cause softening on prolonged contact
Liquid Bleaches (Domestos) * * Some colours may be lightened
Solid Cleaners (Harpic) * * Some colours may be lightened
Washing Soda (dilute soln.) ~ ~
Washing Soda (strong soln.) * * * * May produce pronounced softening and surface pitting
Oven Cleaners * * * * May produce pronounced softening and surface pitting
Dilute Mineral Acids ~ ~
Strong Mineral Acids ~ ~
Caustic Soda ~ ~
Caustic Soda (strong) ~ ~
Photographic Chemicals ~ ~
Hair Preparations ~ ~
SUBSTANCE VISUAL EFFECT PHYSICAL EFFECT OTHER COMMENTS
None Slight Severe None Slight Severe
Water * * Water spillage will increase the slip risk
Animal Fats (Butter, Lard) * * Water spillage will increase the slip risk
Vegetable Fats & Oils * * Water spillage will increase the slip risk
Mineral Oils * * Water spillage will increase the slip risk
Beverages * * * * Cordials may cause staining to different degrees. Tea, Coffee no effect
Petrol ~ ~
Paraffin ~ ~
White Spirit (Turps Sub.) * * Normally will evaporate without causing damage
Chlorinated Dry Cleaning Fluid * * Normally will evaporate without causing damage
(Nail Varnish & remover etc.) * * Normally will evaporate without causing damage
Paint Strippers * * * * Allow to evaporate - mopping will increase damage
Domestic Cleaning Agents
Detergents ~ ~
Liquid Bleaches (Domestos) ~ ~
Solid Cleaners (Harpic) ~ ~
Washing Soda (dilute soln.) ~ ~
Washing Soda (strong soln.) ~ ~
Oven Cleaners ~ ~
Shoe Polishes ~ ~ ~
Dilute Mineral Acids ~ ~
Strong Mineral Acids ~ ~
Caustic Soda ~ ~
Caustic Soda (strong) ~
Photographic Chemicals ~ ~
Hair Preparations ~ ~
Covering Desks and
Because of their durability and attractive appearance retention many floorcoverings, notably linoleum, can also be used to surface desks, bar tops, counters and check-out points or on walls, or as facing materials.
LINOLEUM OR VINYL ON DESK OR TABLES
This can be a specialised product, such as Green Floors DeskTop Linoleum, where the hessian backing of this plain linoleum has been replaced by an impregnated paper felt to ensure that the surface is totally smooth, or a standard flooring material.
Material should be stored vertically in a dry and frost-free environment. Cut the material oversize and lay the panels horizontally for 24 hours at a minimum of 17°C to enable them to acclimatize. If possible, the material, the adhesive and the surface on which the material will be stuck should be acclimatized in the same room.
Before sticking, ensure all the materials are perfectly clean and free from dust, oil, grease, stains and any irregularities.
For flat horizontal surfaces an acrylic emulsion adhesive can be used for vinyls or DeskTop Linoleum. ForboFix 638/414 can be used for Desk Top Linoleum or hessian backed linoleums on an absorbent base. For curved surfaces a double stick technique or contact adhesive is recommended. For industrial installation of DeskTop or hessian backed linoleum a spray adhesive such as a PVA used in joinery is recommended. If the furniture manufacturer uses other solvent free systems they will usually prove suitable but should be tested first. Industrially, DeskTop Linoleum can be cold pressed or hot pressed (up to 100°C) with pressures between 75 and 150 bar. Pressing time will vary between 2 and 15 minutes depending on the type of adhesive.
BACKING AND COUNTERBALANCING
Glueing two different materials together creates tensions. To prevent the risk or warping or distortion both sides of the central material should be covered by a material which is subject to the same kind of dimensional change. This is especially important for suspended objects or objects which are not firmly supported. The larger of the surface to be covered the more important the choice of the type of backing (which acts as a
counterbalance) and the thickness, symetrical construction and rigidity of the total construction. The best results are achieved when both sides are covered by the same material at the same time, applied in the same direction. A variety of materials can be used as backing if the Desk Top or flooring material is not being used on both surfaces but as individual installations will vary so much the safest solution for any surface considered to present a risk is to do a trial first.
MANUAL CUTTING AND FITTING TO A COUNTERSUNK SURFACE FIRST METHOD
1. Cut the surface to size.
2. Fix the rim to the edge of the surface.
3. Sand and lacquer the rim.
4. Cut the acclimatized surfacing material to an oversize of about 2cm. 5. Apply the adhesive with an appropriate toothed spreader. For all
except hessian backed linoleums then spread the adhesive out thinly
and evenly with a paint roller.
6. Place the material into the wet adhesive with an overlap of 0.5cm or more on all sides.
7. Scribe off excess material with an over-and-under scriber.
8. Cut the material with a slight undercut along the scribe line, using a hooked blade.
9. Press the edges of the material into the adhesive. Note that with ForboFix 696 adhesive the maximum time to this stage from spreading the adhesive is 10 minutes.
10. Roll the whole surface thoroughly with a clean hand roller.
11. Remove any fresh adhesive stains with water. Dried stains of ForboFix 696 adhesive can be removed with white spirit.
N.B. When very long lengths are being fitted, fit the long edges first and stick the material to within 500 cm of the ends. Then scribe, cut and stick the ends. This eliminates any creep in the lengths.
1. Cut the acclimatized material with an oversize all round of about 0.5cm.
2. Adhere the material as in 5 above with this slight overlap.
3. Saw, mill or plane this construction to size using sharp tools. 4. Stick the rim on and mill it to the desired height.
5. Before sanding and lacquering the rim, cover the strip of material
which is butted to the rim with masking tape. Remove the tape
immediately after the lacquer has been applied.
6. When sanding the rim avoid contact between the sandpaper and the
Desk Top or flooring material.
MANUAL CUTTING AND FITTING TO A CURVED SURFACE
Use a double stick acrylic adhesive or a contact adhesive.
If Desk Top linoleum or vinyls are to be bent round curved chipboard pre¬treat the chipboard the day before with the acrylic used as a primer and lightly sand the dry adhesive.
Desk Top or hessian backed linoleum will bend more easily at the sides than at the end of a piece e.g. with marbled linoleum, it is easier to form it over a butt nosing if the marbling is running along the nosing, not over it. In this direction, Desk Top linoleum, 2.5mm marbled linoleums and most vinyls can be bent round a 40mm diameter.
Always see the material is properly acclimatized and apply at temperatures of at least 17°C , warmer if possible.
Extend the material 3-5cm beyond the end of the curve to ensure it holds and make sure the curve has no sharp edges. Cut the material to shape.
Use a double-stick acrylic or contact adhesive in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply it first to the surface to which the Desk Top or other material is to be applied. Time the application of the adhesive to the second surface in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Bring the two surfaces together.
Start with the horizontal area of the surface and gradually work towards the rounded nose. Hand rub the material towards the sides to prevent any bubble entrapment.
As the curve is reached it is important to bend and rub bit by bit ensuring that each area is evenly bonded before bending the next bit. If necessary use a hand roller to apply sufficient pressure.
Most flooring materials and Desk Top linoleum can be used as facing materials without further treatment. However, if regular future maintenance cannot be assured and coffee cup rings, etc may not be removed immediately then extra surface protection is recommended.This can be a normal floorcovering acrylic or metalised emulsion, applied in two thin coats, or perhaps a polyurethane lacquer. Before applying this, clean the surface of the material and remove and grease from the material with white spirit, neutralizing the surface with water. Furniture manufacturers can apply acid catalyst lacquers to Desk Top or hessian backed linoleums. They should be applied in thin coats - an over¬applied thick coat may cause crazing of the lacquer and even of the surface material.
Walls and Vertical
INSTALLATION OF SHEET MATERIALS ON WALLS AND VERTICAL SURFACES
Linoleums, Bulletin Board and vinyls can be applied to smooth, dry, clean, sound walls of concrete, plaster, hardboard, chipboard, plywood and fibreboard. Board material must be firmly fixed to avoid moving or warping (as only one side is covered) and concrete and plaster must have a relative humidity level of less than 70°RH. The wall surface must be strongly enough bonded to take the weight of the material. Walls of impervious materials such as ceramic tiles should be primed and then levelled with a wall-levelling compound used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Outer walls must be damp-proof unless of good cavity construction. Large areas of material will be heavy and need more than one fitter to handle and present to the adhesive.
Measurements should be taken from the wall and transferred to the material, laid out face upwards on the bamboo floor. Alternatively, a paper template can be made on the wall, being pinned or sellotaped in position and then transferred to the material laid out on the bamboo floor.
For material to dado height, it is possible for two fitters working in tandem to scribe the material while it is held in position against the wall. When cut to shape apply a strip of contact adhesive along the wall at the highest point to be covered. Apply contact adhesive to the corresponding part of the material to be installed. Spread the remainder to the wall to be covered with an appropriate flooring adhesive. Present the material to the wall, keeping the top edge off the wall and steadily the material into position. Once into position carefully bring the two parts of the contact together, ensuring no bubbles are trapped. The contact adhesive will hold the weight of the material until the other adhesive cures. For areas which are not too large, and therefore heavy, and which have the lower edge supported it is possible to use an adhesive which is standard floorcovering adhesive with a good tack.
Templating may be preferred for complicated areas on desk fronts or where a patterned panel is being inset.
This is a heavy material and if stuck to a wall 530 Eurosafe Cork adhesive should be used. Larger pieces may be adhered using contact adhesive to hold the top 150mm in place whilst the remainder of the Bulletin Board is fixed using 530 Eurosafe Cork. Note that Bulletin Board has a Class 1 flame spread material and Fire Regulations should be followed. Bulletin Board can also be mounted on a ply or similar backing and framed to prevent warping and these fitments are then screwed to the wall.
Drying Room Yellowing
The key raw materials of linoleum are natural. During the maturing process in the ovens a yellow tint, caused by the oxidation of the linseed oil, may appear on the surface of the linoleum. This is most noticeable on white, grey or blue colourways. This discolouration is, however, only temporary.
When exposed to light this “oxidation film” disappears, and the linoleum regains its standard colour. This process may take only a few hours in bright sunshine but could take up to several weeks in an area lit only by poor artificial light. The discolouration will disappear even if the linoleum has received a coat of polish. It is the blue part of the light spectrum which removes the tint.
A Quick Test
Cover half a tile and expose the tile to sunlight. After a few hours compare the covered part with the exposed part and you will see that the latter has brightened.
Therefore if you notice a shade difference between linoleum you are about to lay and that laid the day before from the same batch it is probably the effect of this normal and traditional phenomenon, which in no way affects the performance of the product.
See overleaf for illustrations.
Green Floors-Flooring Products
See a current price list for the full range of items available. The following collections will be regularly updated in line with our policy of continuous product improvement.
All 3.2mm and 2.5mm marbled linoleums are suitable for widespread very heavy commercial and institutional use.