Commercial Flooring: Under-floor Surfaces for Natural Stone Carpets
A Natural Stone Carpet gets its unique decorative character from individual, 2- to 3- millimeter natural river gravel. These stones are dredged from river beds throughout Europe and are screened multiple times for size, shape and quality to create a mix that provides a balance for application, aesthetics and maintenance. The gravel is dyed in over two hundred shades of colour and any colour can be achieved using the RAL system. In this article we have tried to explain the procedures of applying natural stone carpets to different sunder-floor surfaces.
Natural Stone Carpets are specially designed for application to any type of fixed under-floor. This should, however, be dry and free of dust. Any old adhesives must first be removed. The floor temperature should be at least 12NC.
Concrete and Cement-Bonded Floors
Laying a Natural Stone Carpet on a concrete or cement-bonded floor is usually not a problem for trained personnel provided the floor is up to the quality standard required. Which means it must be even and free of chips. To prevent any contraction/expansion of the under-floor it is advised the incorporation of shrink netting, 6-150mm diameter in the sand/cement layer. You can usually arrange this in advance with the contractor.
Where sand/cement floor is already in place, a flexible membrane can be used to compensate for any contraction in the under-floor and prevent cracking. The under-floor will be sufficiently hardened and dried after 28 days for the Natural Stone Carpet to be laid. Depending on the under-floor, the primer may be applied and the Natural Stone Carpet laid in one or two days.
Tiled and Flagged Floors
Tiles and flagged flooring does not usually have to be removed. Loose tiles or joints should however be removed. On the first day of laying, a special tile primer need to be applied to ensure maximum adhesion. Any unevenness in the tiled floor will be leveled out on the second day when the Natural Gravel Floor is being laid. Bear in mind that tiled and flagged floors always require an additional quantity of the Natural material.
These floors must always be sanded beforehand. An anhydrite floor must be given a layer of special epoxy primer.
In the case of timber floors, the movement of the under-floor must be halted. This is done by fixing watertight adhesive panels, laid flat side by side with a gap between of 3mm and screwed at 25cm intervals. If desired, you can lay this under-floor yourself. Next a so-called ‘scape’ layer to the timber under floor needs to be applied to obtain maximum adhesion for your Natural Stone Carpet.
Floor heating is not strictly necessary. Natural Stone Carpets feel much less cold than a tiled floor, for example. For maximum comfort, however, floor heating can certainly be installed in combination with Natural Stone Carpets in a flexible finish. The floor heating should be kept separate from the concrete underneath. It is advisable that an insulation layer or builder’s foil are applied over the concrete. The wires are clipped to netting surrounded by edging to compensate for any expansion of the sand/cement layer.
The sand/cement layer must be at least 5 cm thick and incorporate shrink netting for the wiring. Cutting into the sand/cement layer will weaken the under-floor and render it liable to cracking. In this case a flexible membrane may be used on the sand/cement layer to reduce the risk of cracks. In order to avoid cuts in the sand/cement layer, an EP electrical heating system of very fine elements could be a good idea.
Natural Stone Carpets’ Advantages for Commercial Flooring
Natural stone carpet is attractive natural flooring that is rapidly becoming popular worldwide. It has advantages over other floorings and comes in a huge variety of colours. It is especially suitable for public or commercial use for several reasons: It has a projected life of over 20 years, is stain resistant and is easy to maintain and clean. Other benefits of the natural stone carpet floor are its soundproofing properties and its capacity to stop fire spreading between separate areas. The surface is resilient and the anti-slip floors texture proves extremely valuable for public building where safety could be a legal matter. It is also suitable non slip flooring for sauna and swimming pool surround areas.
Natural Stone Carpets Ltd. provides both Home flooring and Commercial flooring, itis currently market leader in Ireland in the area of Sales, Supply and the application of Natural Stone Carpet in the private and project markets.