By following these five simple steps, you are sure to end up with flawless flooring for your building.

Start It

vivarium flooring

It is always the best practice to involve your Sika Flooring professional and their authorized installer early on in the project so that everyone connected with it understands your environment, budget and expectations. Turn this understanding into a set of accurately documented project specifications that are agreed to by all parties. Also, certify that the flooring applicator has the proper vivarium experience and credentials to install the flooring system.

Prove It

flooring and wall system in research lab

The absolute best way to start off a flawless Sika Floor installation is to insist that the applicator create a small mockup of the flooring system. This will not only demonstrate the attributes of the system but will validate the applicator’s installation skills. Furthermore, it presents an excellent opportunity to match your vision to the installation environment. Most applicators will urge you to create a mockup area, regardless of the facility’s size, because it level-sets expectations and allows an opportunity to tweak the floor chemistries to match the environment. All top-notch applicators use a mockup to benchmark the rest of the floor installation.

You will want to select a mockup space that not only has similar environment conditions but also contains many of the architectural details – coves, door frames, drains, etc. – that will be found in most of the facility. Be sure that it is well lit, closed off to traffic and will not get wet. A preset time schedule for the mockup install should be established to give a completion context to the overall project.

Once the mockup is complete, take plenty of time to examine the flooring thoroughly to ensure it matches your stated requirements for skid resistance, color, gloss, cove/wall transitions and overall consistency. Remember, this may be your last chance to change any of the floor’s characteristics.

Control It

flooring to research lab entrance

Climate change is bad – especially during the installation of any resinous floor. You must take every precaution to control the environment before, during and immediately after the floor has been applied. While some Sika Floors are designed to be installed in extreme conditions, a typical floor should be laid down between 60° and 80°F. Fluctuations in moisture and humidity can also affect the appearance of a finished floor, so it is important to try to keep the ambient temperature at least 5°F above the dew point through-out the entire installation. Also, prior to the floor application, it is important that the concrete substrate remains dry. Remoistened concrete can take twice as long to dry as its initial cure.

Manage It

As coach John Wooden, renowned NCAA basketball coach and creator of the Pyramid of Success, said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

The typical thinking is that once the floor is installed you are ready to throw open the doors. Not quite. Your new Sika Floor needs a little time to cure properly. Consult your Sika Flooring professional or the System Data Sheet for your floor type to anticipate when it can be open to traffic. All data sheets will have estimated cure times. However, cure times can be greatly affected by ambient influences such as relative humidity and temperature. Your involvement in effectively managing the work zone during the cure time is vitally important. Trying to shave off a few hours to get the area open could very well ruin a few days of flooring work.

Wait For It

vivarium/ kettle flooring

In an ideal world, the flooring contractor would be the last craftsmen working in the building and the HVAC and lighting would all be running perfectly. We know it’s not a perfect world, so precautions must be taken to protect the flooring work area. All it takes is one dropped wrench on a non-cured floor and the entire area must be reapplied. Likewise, drywallers, plasterers and other finish trades create fine dust that will contaminate the uncured floor.

While moving in heavy objects and equipment take care not to drag or scrape the floor and be cautious of spilling any hydraulic fluids or oils. Coordinating all the tradesmen may seem as difficult as herding cats, but it is well worth the effort to do so.

The Wrap Up

In every aspect of the flooring project – the planning, mockups, installation and cure time – the common ingredient of success is your involvement. To get the very most out of your Sika Flooring investment, you must become part of the process; insist on mockups and deftly manage the installation environment.