4 min read
26th Sep 23
1. When considering a rubber floor, it’s advisable to firstly check its suitability for the space you’re planning to use it in. For instance, rubber floors are extremely durable (as evidenced by their extensive commercial use in high traffic areas, trains, hospitals) and soft underfoot. However, this softer surface also means rubber floors can be less resilient than harder flooring surfaces such as LVT or ceramic tiles so it’s worth bearing in mind.
2. The subfloor onto which the rubber flooring tiles will be fitted must be smooth, clean, level and permanently free of damp. It’s also important to check that the tiles themselves are in good condition before you start laying them.
3. Acclimatising the flooring to the room conditions is really important; make sure that before you start installing, your flooring has been stored flat and in dry conditions in the room at a stable temperature somewhere between 18-27°C for at least 48 hours prior to fitting. This is to ensure that the tiles are stable and in harmony with the room conditions before being fitted.
4. Underfloor heating must be turned off 48 hours before installing your rubber flooring and remain off during the fitting process and for a further 72 hours after the tiles have been installed; this is to allow the adhesive to fully cure and fix your rubber flooring firmly in place. The surface temperature should be regulated to a maximum of 27°C which is the British Standard for underfloor heating. The heating should then be gradually returned to full working temperature over the following seven days.
5. It’s important to maintain a steady room temperature between minimum 18°C and maximum 27°C, before, during and for 72 hours after fitting, and to prevent fluctuations within these limits of more than 3°C at any time. Take measures to ensure a constant temperature throughout, such as shading the room from direct sunlight and preventing night-time temperature drop.
6. Subfloor preparation is key when laying rubber flooring. Use either a latex screed over a solid, concrete floor, or flooring grade plywood, with a minimum of 6mm. If needed, you can smooth over plywood with a suitable fibre reinforced smoothing compound, which may be required over uneven joints, known as ‘feathering’. The floor must be permanently free of moisture; if you have any doubts, a trained fitter should test moisture levels using professional equipment before the flooring is laid.
7. Ensure you’ve agreed on your laying plan before you start to lay your rubber flooring. It’s usually best to start laying from the centre of the room so that the edge cuts can be similar size at the edges. It’s usually best to dry-lay first and to adjust the starting point as necessary before laying the first tile.
8. Using the correct adhesive when fitting your rubber flooring is important. You can purchase our own recommended rubber flooring adhesive here. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions using the correct trowel to apply the right amount of adhesive, and prime the surface first if necessary, especially with more porous surfaces and in warmer conditions to increase the working time of the adhesive.
9. When you start to lay the tiles, make sure you follow the arrows printed on the reverse of each tile. Apply even pressure with a hand roller from the centre of the tile to exclude air pockets as you bed the tiles into the adhesive, wiping away any residue with a clean, damp cloth as you go, rolling larger areas with a heavy roller straight after. Spread only smaller areas of adhesive at a time to ensure it is fresh when receiving the tile. After laying, it’s important to leave it for at least 24 hours before use, and to take precautions for a further 48 hours as the adhesive fully dries.
10. Caring for and cleaning your rubber flooring will reward you with a long-lasting, great looking floor; regularly sweep with a soft broom and mop your rubber floor to prevent the build up of dirt and scuffs, and any spillages should be removed as quickly as possible to prevent the risk of staining. In busier homes and commercial spaces it’s a good idea to seal the floor to reduce the maintenance and to protect the surface of the floor from mishaps. You can read more about cleaning and care for your rubber floor in this guide. It’s also advisable to use good entrance mats if you’re installing rubber flooring in any room where there’s direct access to the outside. With rubber floors being softer than most other floor coverings, it is particularly important to follow the recommended cleaning and care regime to ensure you can keep enjoying your fabulous rubber well into the future!
Full information for the installation of rubber floors is available here.