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How to Approach Floor Preparation with a Concrete Base

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hanging a floor covering can be a tedious and challenging process for someone with limited experience and the wrong tools. As with many other restoration and improvement projects, the key to achieving professional looking results is to use the same equipment the pros use. With that said, let’s look at some of the tools and techniques that professionals use to prepare a floor surface.

Remove Existing Floor Coverings
Most jobs start with taking up whatever material is currently covering the concrete floor. If it is covered in vinyl, cork or timber parquetry you might want to use a vinyl lifter as this is suitable for ‘soft’ floor coverings as it uses a wide, flat blade to get between the concrete floor and the floor material. A compact vinyl lifter is also a good choice for tight areas such as in recessed areas under benches or on stair treads.

For ceramic or terracotta tiled areas however, you are going to need something with a lot more oomph behind it and often a jackhammer is used in this setting. A good tile removal package will include the following components at the least:

  • An 11Kg – 15kg jackhammer (Makita is a popular brand used by many professionals).
  • A jackhammer trolley which is used to support the weight of the jackhammer and to ensure a consistent angle of attack.
  • Tile smasher attachment to break the tiles off their adhesive as well as to remove much of the adhesive from the concrete.
  • Tile chisel attachment for more stubborn and / or terracotta tiles.

This combination of equipment will achieve the goal of removing the tiled floor covering and the bulk of the mortar or rubber cement used to adhere the tiles to concrete floor.

If you’re lucky enough not to have to remove a top layer of flooring, then half the work’s already cut out for you, and you simply need to concentrate on the final preparation which may require some grinding work.

Preparing the Concrete Floor
Once the top flooring layer has been removed, in most cases the small bumps and lumps that remain on the concrete slab will need to be removed before the new floor material can be laid. This next step will require the use of concrete grinding equipment.

If there are scattered remnants on the concrete without much build up and the material is reasonably brittle such as a cement based mortar, a low speed floor grinder would be suitable to get the concrete back to smooth surface. If the there is still significant build up of old material, or if the material is difficult to remove such as a rubber based compound and especially if there are uneven levels between adjoining concrete slabs, then a high speed floor grinder such as a meteor floor grinder will be required to smooth the surface.

This meteor floor grinder is widely considered to be an industry standard for concrete grinding. It is also suitable for removing paint and epoxies from concrete as well as for preparing a concrete floor to be sealed with a clear coat. It will even allow for grinding right up to the edge of vertical walls. Finally, there will inevitably be areas which are small and pokey where a floor grinder will not fit. In these cases a small hand held 125mm surface grinder will necessary to finish the job.

Hire the Right Tools for the Job
In order to complete your job in a reasonable time frame with no more effort than is necessary, it’s really important that you use professional-grade equipment such as the items listed above which are all available from Centenary Hire.
If you hire from Centenary Hire, the team on the Hire Desk are available to answer your questions and ensure you have all the information you need to achieve a good quality finish. Once you have the right equipment, all that’s left to do is follow the instructions and use some good old fashioned elbow grease.

Copyright Centenary Hire 2015. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be used without consent from the author. See below for more details.

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Centenary Hire is a Tradesmen & Weekend Warrior’s best friend. Our ever increasing range of hire equipment consists of modern tools, machinery, scaffold, access equipment and site services all of which are aimed at helping you get the job done right – the first time. Our friendly staff can help you to choose the right equipment for your project or you can view & book your equipment online now at www.CentenaryHire.com.au. Drop into our store at Sumner Park or request an equipment delivery as our efficient transport service extends well beyond the limits of Brisbane on a daily basis.

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