INSTALLING CONCRETE AND TERRAZZO OVER WOOD SUBFLOORS
Polished concrete, seamless overlays and terrazzo are becoming extremely popular options for flooring. Most contractors and home owners feel like these hard surfaces are not available to them when working with plywood subfloors. With advancements in cementitious technologies over the last 10 years, terrazzo, polished concrete and other seamless floors are now possible without compromise in quality when going over plywood subfloors. Ceramic tile has been installed successfully over wood floors for years, manufacturers specify systems to facilitate tile installations that come with warranties, these are not yet available for seamless terrazzo and concrete installations, however they can be done without cracking with proper care and consideration.
Uncoupled membranes protect solid surface materials because they allow a small degree of movement differential between the substrate and floor covering. Now a universal standard with tile installations, these systems can now be part of the cracking puzzle when considering finished concrete and terrazzo floors. Uncoupling membranes absorb any substrate movement, and eliminate the transfer of stress to the layer above, ultimately preventing cracks. In addition to providing uncoupling, they can also serve as a waterproofing layer that protects moisture-sensitive substrates, such as plywood or OSB (oriented strand board), as well as provide heavy load distribution to ensure the finished floor remains durable.
UHPC SUB LAYER
In extreme situations where a client wants concrete or terrazzo floors, but the sub floor is in really pour condition a UHPC sub layer can be installed. Ultra High Performance concrete such as Ductal by Lafarge can be installed over the wood sub floor and then topped with a decorative layer. Ductal utilizes a massive amount of fibre and finely divided cementitious materials to achieve up to 2900 psi flexural strength.
Surfaces over wood sub floors
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