Processing advice TFD Floor Tile PVC strips and tiles.

Checking and pre-treating the subfloor

Checking the subfloor
The subfloor must be permanently dry, smooth and clean, as described in DIN 18365. It must also be pressure- and tensile-resistant. If the subfloor does not meet these requirements, please contact an expert institution or Mr. R.A. Toonen of TFD Floor Tile BV (his telephone number is: +31-(0)6-26900345).
Common defects or points of attention with regard to subfloors are:
•  A very uneven surface.
•  Cracks in the floor.
•  Insufficient tensile resistance.
•  A surface that is too porous.
•  The presence of contraction joints – this means you may have to apply special profiles and to make the floor coverings meet.
•  The presence of serious floor contamination, e.g. traces of oil, wax,  varnish, adhesive or paint etc.
•  Undesirable level differences between the room in question and adjoining rooms.
•  Temperature and humidity conditions in the area(s) in which you will be working that do not comply with the norms.
•  If there is floor heating, please make sure there are clear directions as to activating the heating and find out whether these directions have been followed thus far. Having the wrong floor temperature may have far-reaching consequences.
•  The subfloor may or may not be suspended, but lacking (sufficient) ventilation.
•  Non-suspended floors at ground level or below.
•  Non-suspended floors below ground level and in sub-soil water.
•  Suspended floors, lacking (sufficient) ventilation.

The subfloor
If the floor is permanently dry, free of cracks, clean, tensile- and pressure -resistant and smooth, you can go to work confidently. Use a hard, sharp object to check how hard the floor’s top layer is beforehand. To do so, cover a surface of approx. 100 cm² with horizontal and vertical scratches approx. every 1 cm. If the top surface within this grid of 1 cm² squares remains undamaged, you may assume the floor is hard enough.
Always place a PE foil with a minimum thickness of 150 Mu beneath any MDF or other floating wooden subfloor (e.g. Jumpax).
Company floors are not suitable for bonding until they have had special pre-treatment (e.g. sizing and levelling). Obtain advice on this from your supplier of adhesive and levelling compounds.

Floor moisture
All floors, with the exception of sheet asphalt, have a limit value for moisture.
All subfloors need to dry for some time after pouring – if they do not, you may have trouble processing the floor covering. The drying time depends on the thickness of the construction, weather conditions, availability of heating, ventilation etc. If the subfloor moisture content exceeds the limit value, the subfloor is unsuitable for installing a vapour-proof floor covering.
Please always make sure you know what situation you’re dealing with. For instance, is there a vapour-proof foil between the construction and the screed floor? It is vital that the moisture content is within acceptable norms and even more vital to make sure that the moisture content will always remain within the norms.
Floor heating constructions must be made in such a way as to preclude the possibility of moisture being transported upwards from beneath the floor or from adjoining rooms.
Always measure the floor’s moisture content and make sure it suits the kind of subfloor you’re using before processing.  In case of doubt, consult an expert.

A reliable tool for measuring the moisture content is the CM-Gerät. The measurement values must be confirmed to the client in writing.

Note: floors with floor heating may not be subjected to moisture measurement techniques that involve making holes in the floor (such as the CM-Gerät) in view of the risk of damaging the heating installation. If floor heating has been installed, there will usually be instructions or a so-called “heating protocol”. If you adhere to this protocol, moisture measurements will not be necessary.

The consistency of the subfloor
The limit value for moisture in processing PFC flooring, measured with the CM-Gerät:
< 2,5%
0,3 á 0,5%
< 0,3%
Cold bitumen
< 2%

Pre-treating the screed floor
In principle, all types of screed floors must be SIZED AND LEVELLED, as the slightest unevenness in the subfloor, should you neglect to level it, will show.
If necessary, consult your supplier of adhesive and levelling compounds. Sizing and levelling compounds must be applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. They must be applied in such a way that they will permanently bond with the surface, not develop cracks and be sufficiently pressure-resistant. The minimum levelling thickness for rolling pressure is 2 mm. Impermeable, non-absorbent surfaces must be levelled at a thickness of at least 2mm if dispersion glues are to be used.
After levelling, cut off the edging along the walls and junctions. Do the same with any insulation materials or protective foil still sticking out.

Installation conditions
•  Ambient temperature minimum 18° C.
•  Subfloor temperature minimum 15° C.
•  Relative humidity maximum 70 %.
•  Not only should the ambient temperature be at least 18° C, so should the temperature of the floor covering itself, as well as that of the sizing and adhesive products.
•  When measuring the moisture content, check whether the floor thickness is the same everywhere – thicker floor sections require more drying time.
•  Provide optimal drying conditions.
•  Apply sizing materials with a roller, not with a wiper.

General suggestions for processing TFD Floor Tile PVC floor covering

Checking the subfloor
Always check whether the subfloor is permanently dry, free of cracks, clean, tensile- and pressure-resistant and smooth.

Make sure the material is always placed on a flat surface. If the material is not stored on a flat surface, you may have problems processing it.

Checking the material to be processed
Before leaving the factory, the floor covering is carefully checked. In this respect a high quality standard can be guaranteed. However, we cannot guarantee our materials are 100 % free of defects. We therefore recommend that you always submit the material to a visual inspection prior to processing. We can only respond to complaints filed before processing has begun. Complaints foiled after processing can only be dealt with if they result from defects that were initially invisible. The details on our invoice – such as invoice and order number – are indispensable for the processing of complaints.

Laying plan
To achieve optimal distribution and minimal cutting loss, draw a chalk line adjusted to the format of the strips and tiles to be processed. We recommend you draw a plan first, outlining how you will place the strips/tiles in the space to be processed.

Allowing the material to settle and climate conditions during processing

To allow the material to settle properly, you must leave the strips / tiles in the destination room for at least 24 hours,  so that they can adapt to its environment and temperature. The ideal processing temperature is approx. 18° C, while air humidity must not exceed 70%. Failing to comply with these requirements will have consequences during processing, as the material adapts to the temperature of the space in which it is being processed. Suboptimal temperatures and/or excessive air humidity will make the material more difficult to process and hinder the adhesive from setting properly. Direct sunlight should be avoided, at least until the adhesive has set completely.
If the material is to be processed on an MDF or another floating wooden subfloor (e.g. Jumpax), this subfloor must be laid at least 24 hours before you begin to process / glue the TFD Floor Tile’s PVC floor covering.

Prevent colour differences
In each individual room, you must exclusively use material from the same charge.

As an adhesive, we recommend you use a variety specially developed for PVC. Please contact your adhesive supplier for details. We prefer the 540 of Eurocol, or our own TFD adhesive.

Floor heating
Make sure the floor heating is turned off at least 24 hours before you begin to place the floor covering or to take the necessary preliminary steps. At least 24 hours after the floor covering has been placed, the floor heating can gradually be reactivated by raising the temperature by 5°C each day. At the entrance and in spaces in which temperature and/or moisture levels are likely to be higher, we recommend using a polyurethane adhesive (moisture- and temperature-resistant).

Apply the adhesive using the prescribed A-2 notch size.

Install the floor covering after an open time of 15 to 20 minutes, depending on temperature and relative air humidity. Do not walk or crawl on the bonded floor covering during the bonding process, as it may slide out of position, due to the fact that the adhesive is not yet dry. After approx. 20 minutes, roll the floor covering carefully; repeat after approx. 30 minutes.

When placing the strips/tiles on MDF or other floating wooden subfloors (e.g. Jumpax), keep them free from the skirting. If you’re working with MDF or other floating wooden subfloors (e.g. Jumpax), we recommend working with 2 people to ensure that the strips/tiles are placed on the adhesive layer across the entire floor at the right moment.

Remember to take note of the climatic circumstances and temperature in the room in which you’re working. The instructions are based on average conditions. The adhesive power is at its height when you have established that the adhesive has touched approx. 80 % of the bottom of the floor covering.

The edges of the TFD Floor Tile’s PVC floor covering are routed, depending on what sort and type they are. The seams cannot be welded.

Never use solvents for removing glue stains. Rather, remove stains immediately with a wet cloth. Dried glue stains can be removed with water and soap, if necessary with a scouring pad.

General guidelines for floor heating:
The floor heating system must be installed according to the instructions provided by the supplier. An incorrectly installed floor heating system may cause the screed to come undone or the floor covering to deform.
The applicator of the floor covering and his suppliers cannot be held responsible for damage to the floor covering and/or the pipes of the floor heating due to incorrect installation causing the finishing layer to be insufficiently covered, or not covered at all.
At least 28 days after applying the screed, begin to gradually heat up the water in the floor heating system by a maximum of 5° C each day.
Following this, the floor heating must remain on without interruption for a period of 14 days. This will enable the floor to settle properly, while the remaining residual moisture will evaporate more quickly.
Turn off the heating at least 24 hours before applying the levelling compound/ floor covering.
Turn on the floor heating at least 24 hours after applying the levelling compound/ floor covering and gradually raise the water temperature by a maximum of 5° C each day.

The above guidelines also apply to situations in which the floor construction has been provided with a concrete core activation (CCA) system and the temperature regulation is outdoor temperature-dependent. In these situations, the temperature will vary from 17° C to 28° C. An alternative is to provide a consistent temperature of 22° C; in these cases, no further precautions are necessary.

CCA stands for Concrete Core Activation and is an innovative climate system that can be used both to heat and to cool office buildings. Flexible pipes are installed at the heart of the concrete floors. Water is pumped through the pipes at a consistent temperature. The energy is drawn primarily from the ground. In the summer, relatively cool groundwater is pumped through the pipes and/or to the air treatment installation, the water is heated by the warmth of the floor, after which at another point in the system it goes back into the ground. In the winter, this water is pumped up again, after which it is heated by a heat pump and pumped through the pipes to heat the building.
EN12667:2001 norm is used for our TFD floors.
The value for the 2mm is 0,021KW
The value for the 3mm is 0,041KW

Firing and cooling protocol
This firing and cooling protocol should preferably be performed several times before a floor covering or finishing (synthetic floors, tiles, flagstones, parquet, laminate, marmoleum etc.) is placed.

The term floor heating in this protocol refers to a warm water pipe placed under the floor. The floor above such a pipe must be at least 25 mm thick.

Screed floors in which floor heating has been integrated can begin to tear as a result of thermal expansion. In order to reduce this risk, it is important to heat the floor heating slowly and regularly. It is recommended to use the below firing and cooling protocol for this purpose.

A firing and cooling protocol for floor heating is based on the water temperature in the heating installation and not on a possible thermostat temperature in the room in question. It is a good idea to continue with the process until the water has reached a maximum temperature of 40 °C. It is a general rule of thumb that the water temperature should not exceed 40 °C. Installers often suggest a maximum temperature of 55 °C, however, this significantly increases the risk of tearing and peeling. Unless a temperature of 55 °C is absolutely necessary, it is recommended to adjust the firing protocol to a maximum temperature of 40 °C. Definitely do not let the temperature rise above 55 °C, as this will hugely increase the risk of damage! It is also important that the screed has more or less reached its full strength. Cement-based screed flooring, preferably, should not be heated within 28 days. Calcium sulphate-based screeds can be heated sooner if necessary, depending on the quality of the mortar, as calcium sulphate has a higher internal resistance to bending. How much sooner cannot be specified and depends entirely on the conditions in which the floor has been left to dry. As a general rule of thumb it can be said that calcium sulphate-based screeds should have a moisture content of no more than 3 per cent. The content can be measured by means of a calcium carbide test.

Tearing does not usually occur in the firing phase, but rather in the cooling phase. Basically, the latter phase is therefore even more important than the former and it is vital to maintain the right pace of cooling.

·      Begin with a water temperature that is 5 °C above the ambient temperature in the room in question. The water temperature must be read on the heating installation.
·      Raise the water temperature by 5 °C every 24 hours (or less frequently), until the maximum water temperature of 40 °C has been reached (see comments above).
·      Keep the maximum water temperature stable at 40 °C for at least 24 hours.
·      Reduce the water temperature by 5 °C every 24 hours, until the commencement temperature has been reached. More and more floor heating installations also offer cooling capacity. In such cases, it is important (especially in the summer when temperatures are high) that the cooling cycle continues until the minimum temperature in the heating and cooling unit is 15 °C.
·      If there is enough time, repeat this cycle several times.
·      It is advisable to give this firing/cooling protocol to the end user/consumer for normal use after delivery, as the protocol must also be followed when the floor heating has been switched off for a long period of time.

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