Proper surface preparation is an extremely important factor in the immediate and long-term successful performance of any flooring system.
The reality of the construction process is that issues arise around the condition and acceptability of the sub-floor’s suitability for floor coverings and this is particularly the case whenever a sub-floor does not meet the minimum Australian Standard requirements (AS 2455.1:2007).
In some cases, the surface of the subfloor is suitable for a floor covering to be placed directly on top. However, where the surface is rough or has other imperfections in it, an underlay or underlayment is placed in between the subfloor and the covering to provide an acceptable surface to accept floor coverings. MK Floors extensive experience means that we are ideally placed to advise and manage the preparation of the subfloor.
Often a concrete floor can be smooth and clean (as specified in the standard), though it is not plane and level as required or may be too moist or “green” to accept floor coverings without voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.
Underlay is used to provide a smooth even surface for the floor covering to lay on. It sits on top of the subfloor and can be made from either a soft cushioning material or a board product (e.g. Masonite/plywood). When the floor covering is a carpet or other textile materials, a soft underlay is used, such as sponge rubber or foam. For vinyl and other resilient floor coverings, a hard underlay is generally better, made from hardboard, plywood, MDF or fibre cement.
Underlayment performs the same job as underlay, but consists of a variety of smoothing compounds or cement-based levelling compounds that are cast over the top of a concrete substrate to provide a consistent, even and level surface to lay floor coverings