Adore Touch Installation
Click here to download Adore Touch Installation Instructions.
BS 8203:2001 and A1:2009 Code of Practice for Installation of resilient floor coverings should always be read and followed with the addition of Adore specific instruction below which supersede the standard.
- Install in indoor climate-controlled locations with a steady temperature between 18°-27° C (65° - 81° F). It should NEVER be installed outdoors.
- The floorcovering and room should be kept close to the temperature the room will be used at with a +/- 3° C 48 hours before, during and 48 hours after installation. If you have any questions, please contact your distributor.
- Acclimatise the tiles in the installation room for a minimum of 48 hours before starting installation. Acclimatising is quicker if the tiles are removed from the box as the box can act as an insulator. Storage and transporting at less than 10° C will increase the acclimatising period. Store the tiles flat at no more than 5 packs high and away from direct sunlight and not against radiators or tight against walls. If underfloor heating is present store the packages off the floor (on battens providing the packs are fully supported) this will reduce the bottom packs from heating up to a higher degree than those at the top of the pile.
- Only deliver and install after the jobsite has been cleaned and cleared of debris that could potentially damage the tiles.
- Mix and install planks from several different cartons to minimise shade / design variation. The installer has the final decision to the overall finished appearance.
- Do not install on floors that are not level. A deviation of 3° could result in pressure on the header joins resulting in a failure.
- The tiles are manufactured to high quality standards and are carefully inspected prior to leaving our facility. Occasionally, however, defects are not detected. If you notice a visible defect with the tiles you are installing discard the affected tile or use for a cut removing the offending fault. If you find a number of defects stop the installation and contact your distributor for assistance.
2. Check the suitability of the area to be installed
Prior inspection of the areas is vital to the longevity of the product!
Main points to consider during the inspection:
1. The flatness of the sub-floor.
Uneven sub-floors will mirror through the tiles and spoil the overall appearance of the installation particularly where low light strikes across the floor. British and European Standards and Adore state the sub-floor should be measured using a 2m straight edge placed in contact with the sub-floor and measuring any gaps underneath which should be less than 3mm. Isolated ridges or dips should also be considered. Ridges and undulations can increase the angle on a long and a header join (short join) that could with normal walking patterns open the join. Any undulations should be smoothed out using an appropriate compound. Ridges should be ground off. Always consult the smoothing compound manufacturer for a specification. See section 11 for wood sub-floors.
2. Cracks in the sub-floor
There are many reasons for cracks including stress and settlement. All cracks must be attended to prior to applying a smoothing compound and they must be investigated to ensure the movement has not fractured the membrane under the screed. Just filling the cracks could lead to longer-term problems. If in doubt seek professional advice.
3. Dry sub-floor
· Sub-floors solid or wood need to be dry. The flooring should not be laid until a hygrometer test carried out in accordance with BS 8201:1987, A,1, gives a reading of not more than 75% relative humidity. Adore tiles are not affected by moisture but trapped moisture could develop into mold and create smells. There are many manufacturers of moisture testing equipment such as Tramex and Protimeter whose instruments can be used to identify areas for further testing using hygrometry. These instruments can also be used to check the relative humidity to British and European Standards. The duration of the test will depend on the sub-straight. Sand and cement and Anhydrite (calcium sulphate) will normally require 2 to 3 days, power floated screeds will require at least 7 days. Never test floors with underfloor heating or artificial drying aids (de-humidifiers) switched on. Switch off for at least 4 days prior to setting the hygrometer and they should remain off during the test period. Power floated screeds would benefit from sanding the surface area of the test.
• As a guide a new sand and cement screed will dry at a rate of 1mm per day for the first 75mm and 0.5mm per day up to 100mm. Thickness greater than 100mm can take considerably longer (150mm up to and over 1 year) given ideal drying conditions. Anhydrite screeds dry at a similar rate providing the surface laitance has been sanded off to allow evaporation or treat as power floated screed.
• Some types of (not all) sub-floors can be coated with a liquid damp proof membrane to prevent excess moisture. Always consult the DPM manufacturer for suitability. Note: do not use a DPM on Ahydrite (calcium sulphate) screeds, as these are prone to rehydration. Magnesite should be removed.
• Rooms below ground level are particularly vulnerable to high moisture and humidity levels see section 9 below.
• Wood sub-floor moisture also needs to be checked. This can be done using the equipment described above with spike attachment. These work by pressing the spikes into the wood with the spikes (2) in line with the grain. The maximum moisture level is 15% although ideally 13% should be considered. Moisture levels above 17% need to be investigated to prevent rot. High levels could be caused by poor ventilation under the suspended sub-floor.
4. Contaminated sub-floors for example, oil, wax, varnish, adhesive, paint etc.
All contamination should be removed prior to applying damp proof membranes or smoothing compounds. Some preparation manufacturers have products that will adhere to small amounts of adhesive residues but please check with them for suitability. Oil is a serious problem that may require the removal of the screed or to use an isolating floating membrane. Floating click system tiles can be laid on an isolating membrane. Contaminates will also affect the stability of the tiles particularly old adhesive residues and oils.
5. Building movement join(s)
Movement joins are required to be left clear and should be bridged over with a suitable cover strip (not the tiles!). These can affect the aesthetics of the floorcovering but with prior consideration they can be designed into the floorcovering. Although this is a floating floor building movement can affect the stability of the tiles.
6. Stable temperature and humidity within acceptable limits
• A stable atmosphere prevents stress to the floorcovering. An ideal atmosphere is ambient temperature between 18º C (65° F) to 27º C (81º F) and relative humidity maximum 70%. Quick and large changes of temperature should be avoided, as this will negatively affect the tiles.
•The sub-floor temperature is also important and should be at a minimum 15º C (59º F) maximum 27º C (81º F).
• Sunlight can affect the temperature in a room particularly in conservatories and rooms with south facing windows. In such instances the sunlight needs to be controlled. This can be achieved with blinds or special films applied to the glass.
• Other areas to consider regarding heat is in front of open fires and wood burning fires. Always check the temperature of the floor in front of these and if they achieve greater temperatures than 27º C (81º F) consideration should be give to controlling the temperatures. If in doubt consult Adore Technical services. The contact details can be found on our web sitewww.adorefloors.com/uk.
7. Underfloor heating suitability
The tiles can be installed over underfloor heating providing the sub-floor surface is controlled to a maximum of 27º C (81º F). Temperatures should only be increased by a maximum of 3º C (37º F) each 12 hours. It is suggested that the sub-floor surface temperature is set at a minimum 15º C (59º F) maximum 27º C (81º F). Note: some systems need to be set at a maximum 25º C due to when switched off they can peak up to and over 27º C (81º F) before dropping.
8. Structurally sound sub-floor (i.e. minimal vertical movement and firm screed)
• Excess vertical movement can cause stress to the tile joins. Measuring this is not easy but as a guide, place a straight edge across the floor and walk next to the straight edge. If the sub-floor dips by more than 5mm you should consider strengthening. Also if you walk with one foot either side of a join in the sub-floor and the joins move independently this will transmit into the tiles. In this instance and with most wood sub-floors it is recommended to overlay with plywood of at least 6mm thickness and should be laid at right angles to the run of the board long joins. If in doubt seek expert advice.
• Laitance can be present on new screeds particularly Anhydrite screeds and should be removed by sanding or grinding. Note: this may not cause a problem with a floating floor but if the laitance breaks up underneath the tiles you will feel and hear a crunching sound which will inevitably affect the surface of the tile. To check for laitance or friable surface of a screed, scratch the surface with a hard sharp object such as a nail, awl or similar (a "tear" device guarantees a constant pressure when scratching the screed). Scratch two lines approximately 10mm apart horizontally and vertically crossing each other. The appearance of the edges (for example, jagged or clean) provides a hint about the surface firmness of the screed as does the de-lamination of the surface between the lines. Be careful with Anhydrite screeds as laitance can form to a hard finish if not sanded within two to four weeks of laying the screed. This surface may appear firm but may delaminate with time and usage.
9. Below ground level areas
• Ensure these areas are suitably ventilated to prevent a build up of humidity and to reduce the risk of condensation.
• Moisture can penetrate the walls as well as the sub-floor. Always check the moisture level using a suitable instrument or seek expert help.
10. Existing floorcoverings
- The tiles can be installed over most existing hard–surface floor coverings provided the existing floor surface is smooth and securely fixed to the sub-floor.
- Ceramic tile grout lines should be made smooth / level by applying a suitable smoothing compound or repair mortar. Always follow the manufacturers instructions.
- For existing resilient floorcovering, consider any ridges that are present in their design or some cushioned vinyl floors, as these may not be suitable to install over. If in doubt remove them. Remember excess vertical movement or ridges will apply stress to the tile join and could cause a breakdown.
Do not sand, dry scrape, bead blast or mechanically pulverize existing resilient flooring, backing or lining felt. These products may contain asbestos fibres that are not readily identifiable. The procedures described above can create asbestos dust. The inhalation of asbestos dust may cause asbestoses or other serious bodily harm.
11. Wood based sub-floors
Floorboards, chipboard and OSB need to be flat. Ideally overlay with plywood of at least 6mm in thickness, which should conform to a suitable standard, which should include the following.
- Exterior quality complying with BS EN 314-1:2004 Class 3 (formerly referred to as WBP).
- Have a smooth, fully sanded face so the graining or texturing will not show through.
- Be resistant to both static and impact indentation.
- Be free of any surface components that may cause staining such as fillers, marking inks, sealers, etc.
- Be of uniform density and thickness.
- Have a written warranty for suitability and performance from the panel manufacturer or have a history of proven performance.
- Plywood should be securely fixed to the sub-floor by either mechanically fixing using a suitable fixing such as ring shank nails, screws, serrated staples, divergent staples set at maximum 100mm intervals 12mm in from the edge and maximum 150mm centres in the main area of the panel or by full adhesion using a suitable adhesive. All joins should be sanded and or feather finished to smooth out any variation in the panels. Note: Always acclimatise the plywood prior to installation and check the moisture level which should be within 3% of the sub-floor moisture level.
Setting out / planning the area
- Base mouldings (quadrants / Scotia) and or skirting boards can be removed and doorframes undercut for ease of fitting although not essential.
- Determine how you want the flooring to run. Typically planks run the length of the room. There may be exceptions since it is all a matter of preference. Running planks across small width areas (less than two plank lengths) can weaken the installation and should be avoided.
- Plan the area to ensure you have at least half a width of plank against the wall opposite the start wall. The length is not so critical, but try to avoid small cuts of less than 200mm in length.
- Lay the first row starting in the left hand corner with the tongues (shorter profile) facing towards the walls. Scribe / cut the first short end to the left hand wall using a suitable sharp knife. Cutting is achieved by running the knife along the edge of a straight edge or by free hand if experienced cutting through the clear wear layer and then snapping downwards. Continue to lay the first row interlocking the short end by inserting the tongue into the groove at an approximate angle of 20°. Tip: Do not lift the tile too high as this can open up the tongue reducing the effectiveness of the click. (See picture 1 and 1a) Scribe / cut the last plank to the right hand wall. The tile should fit loosely against the wall, never cut too tight that you have to force the tile into position. Safety: always protect your eyes and hands. Check the row is straight using a straight edge or string line and then scribe / cut to the long wall adjusting accordingly to achieve half or more plank width at the opposite wall.
- Start the second row with the off cut from the first row providing it is at least 200mm long and is at least 300mm away from the short join on the first row. Lay the plank next to the first row and scribe / cut to the left hand wall. Locate the long edge tongue into the groove of the first row at an approximate angle of 20°c and drop flat. Tip: A slight tap against the tile can help to locate the click. Continue to lay the second row locking the short join first with the long join close to and overlapping the groove section of the first row. (See picture 2) Lift the plank to an approximate angle of 20° pushing the plank into the groove. Tip: Hold the end of the short join with your finger and thumb of your left hand whilst pushing the long join together. You will have to slightly lift the plank to the left to enable the lock to lock in. (see picture 3) Continue laying the planks scribing / cutting to the right hand wall and use the off cut to start the next row. Tip: Ensure you achieve a random appearance of the short joins to give the best aesthetic appearance. Avoid repetitive joins that line up across the floor and avoid a staircase effect on adjacent joins.
Tip: To fit the last row scribe / cut to the wall and then locate the tongue into the groove. To keep the tension against the join until locked into place use an off cut of a tile or a spatula placed against the wall and push the last tile down pulling the tile spatula against the wall out.
In the unlikely event that a plank is damaged for whatever reason, the simplest method is to disconnect the planks carefully (protecting the tongue and groove edges) until the damaged plank can be removed. Then replace the damaged plank with a new one and reassemble the disconnected planks. Changing a plank normally only requires a maximum of a quarter of the floor area to be removed even if the damage is in the middle of the room. Alternatively a middle plank can be removed and replaced. Read about this method on our web site under changing a single middle tile.