Page 8 - ProInstaller May-June 2021
P. 8


        Rubber Tile is Strong,

        Here’s How to Make an Easy Install

        By Ray Thompson, Jr.

          n the world of resilient floor covering, I doubt there is   allowable reading shall be 3 lbs./1,000 s/f /24 hrs or
          anything product material tougher than rubber tile.   manufacturers recommendations.
        IRubber tile is slip retardant, durable, self-polishing,
        burn resistant, chemical resistant, and resistant to cuts   Subfloor Preparation
        and scratches and can withstand significantly heavier   Concrete subfloors should conform to ASTM F-710
        static and dynamic loads than vinyl.                (Standard Practice for Preparing Concrete Floors to
                                                            Receive Resilient Flooring) and be clean, dry, free from
        The installation of rubber tile is also considerably   any scaling, smooth to within 1/8” in 10 feet (ACI FF 35),
        different than vinyl. Rubber tile does not tend to shrink   and free from any sealer, drying agent, curing compound,
        or have a memory as vinyl. Rubber does want to slightly   or parting compound. The ideal texture for concrete is
        expand after installation and any sharp bend or flexing   to have a slight texture like 150 grit sandpaper. If the
        will leave rubber tile wanting to stay in that position. Like   concrete is too smooth or there is a residual compound
        homogeneous or heterogeneous vinyl products, rubber   on the surface it must be removed by sanding, grinding,
        products cannot withstand much moisture.            or shot blasting. Any filling of the concrete is to be done
                                                            with Portland cement-based filler. All grease and oil must
        Pre-Job Planning                                    be completely removed as they will prevent the adhesive
        Take the time to plan the installation of rubber tile.   from achieving a good mechanical bond. The concrete
        About 10 days before the installation, the tile should be   slab movement should be stabilized by a constant
        stored at the installation site or in a similar environment   maintained room temperature.
        to acclimate to the ambient room temperature and
        humidity. A pallet of tile can take 4 to 8 days to   Adhesive residue must be completely removed. The
        acclimate to the 68ºF ± 5º F ambient temperature    epoxy and/or urethane adhesives used for rubber tile
        that is necessary for installation. At that time, the job   must achieve a ridged bond to the substrate because
        conditions can be discussed with the job superintendent   the rubber is so resilient it will shear an adhesive at
        regarding temperature, lighting and subfloor preparation   the juncture of an existing adhesive. Asphalt (cutback)
        requirements. Moisture testing should be conducted   adhesives must be completely removed when using
        when the rubber tile is delivered to the jobsite to ensure   epoxy adhesives and removed to a thin residue when
        the concrete is dry enough to receive rubber tile. The   urethane type adhesives are specified for the new
        slab should be examined to be sure it is a closed slab   installation.
        and has a permanent effective vapor retarder with low
        permanence (less than 0.1) with a minimum thickness of   When adhesives residues are encountered, the concrete
        10 mils (ACI 302) placed directly beneath the slab.  is either shot-blasted/scarified to remove the adhesive
                                                            residue, or an alternative is the use of cementitious self-
        Moisture Testing                                    leveling underlayment for the specific type of adhesive
        Rubber tile manufacturers recommend several moisture   residue.
        tests: Humidity Probe and Digital Meter (ASTM
        F-2170 Standard Test Method for Determining Relative   Installation
        Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using in-situ Probes).   After the floor is prepared, it should be stabilized by a
        The maximum allowable reading shall be 75% or       constant maintained room and vacuumed clean, the
        manufacturers recommendations.                      installation process can begin. First, the layout procedure
                                                            is about the same as resilient tile except the tile is a lot   Photos courtesy of Ray Thompson
        Calcium Chloride Test (ASTM F-1869 Standard Test    bigger in size, usually 18”, 20”, 24”, and 36” square as well
        Method for Measuring Vapor emissions Rate of Concrete   as one-quarter and full meter square tile.
        Floors using Anhydrous Calcium Chloride). Maximum
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