Before we dive into the guide to Temporary Floor Protection, let briefly look at some terminologies of constructions.
The construction process is made up of assembling of infrastructure or building. Construction Project has to do with all the material and work necessary to finished structure for occupancy by the end-users. It involves site preparation, mechanical work, foundations laying, electrical work, and any other work necessary to complete the project.
The different types of construction projects are;
#1. Residential construction projects: This includes apartments, townhouses, cottages, condominiums, houses, subdivisions, and single-unit dwellings. The construction project is executed by builders who may hire subcontractors for structural, electrical, mechanical and other specialty work.
#2. Building construction: This is the most popular type of construction project. It involves adding structure to real property. They are mainly room additions and small renovations including the installation of utilities and equipment, construction of sheltered enclosures with walk-in access for the purpose of housing people, equipment, machinery or supplies.
#3. Commercial building and Institution: This construction project covers different areas of construction project types and sizes such as hospitals or large clinics, big shopping centers, retail chain stores, schools and universities, sports facilities, stadiums, light manufacturing plants, warehouses, hotels and skyscrapers for offices.
#4. Industrial construction: This is a small part of the whole construction industry and it is a very important part of the industry. They are owned by big industrial corporations such as medicine, petroleum, manufacturing, power generation, etc.
#5. Specialized Industrial Construction: This is a very large scale project and a high degree of technological complexity is involve e.g nuclear power plants, steel mills, oil and gas refineries, and chemical processing plants.
We also have Highway construction projects, Heavy construction projects, etc. Now let’s dive into the main subject; Floor Protection!
Temporary Floor Protection
Floor protection is a great way to save money and is very helpful. You need to first plan how you can protect your floor during new construction when undergoing remodeling, moving heavy furniture or equipment, and during other events beyond day-to-day use. So many activities can cause damage to your floor including a spill of paint, a scratch from heavy furniture, the drop of a hammer, etc can cost thousands of dollars in replacing and repairing if damaged.
In this article, surface protection products for floors was described so that you can make informed choices on the best product to use for your needs.
Types of Floor Protection Packaging:
There are two major ways in which Floor protection products are commonly packaged and they are:
- Products by the roll
- Products by the sheet
Products by the roll – this type of floor protection package are made up of common adhesive films, rolled textile protection and rolled paper products. Floor Protective materials purchased by the roll are commonly measured in thickness by mils (e.g., 2.5 mils thick up to 48 mils thick).
Another packaging methods is Products by the sheet – this type of floor protection package includes corrugated plastic, masonite, and other rigid protection. This material is measured through their thickness in inch (e.g., 1/4-inch thick) and normally come as 4 by 8 feet.
Type of Temporary Flooring Protection
Whether your floor has carpet, wood, tile, or another hard surface, there is a specific temporary floor protection product that will work best for you.
Paper flooring protection is suitable for all hard and resilient surfaces but it does not work well to protect carpets because it easily tears when flexing under footsteps. Paper flooring products are breathable in others for the glue fumes and cement curing vapors to escape. Its disadvantage is that they require tapes to secure them to flooring and tapes can often leave adhesive residue when removed. Example of paper protection products are:
- Ramboard™ – Ramboard is made from recycled paper. It is a coated compressed paper board 38 mils thick that is breathable and water-resistant.
- Kraft paper is inexpensive and does not afford any impact protection and can easily tear. It is a lightweight brown paper.
- Scrim paper is improved papers that last longer than regular kraft paper and rosin paper. It incorporates coatings or reinforcements to make them water-resistant as well as scrim threads to reinforce the paper and prevent tearing. However, they are very thin and can not offer much impact protection.
- Rosin paper is a recycled, felt paper that ranges from 9.0 to 11.5 mils thick. The disadvantage of using Rosin’s paper is that it may cause a permanent stain if the paper gets wet. It can also rip easily therefore it is not normally recommended for use.
Corrugated cardboard rolls or sheets can also be used to protect flooring. Corrugate provides impact protection however it is not coated with a water-resistant finish and should be kept dry at all times so that it does not disintegrate. Cardboard products are also available as single-, double-, and triple-walled corrugated cardboard sheets or as a fan-folded stack.
Polyethylene (PE) films is another flooring protection usually sold as self-adhesive rolled films. It varies from 2.0 to 3.5 mils in thickness. Polyethylene (PE) film flooring protection can trap any moisture from escaping so they should not be used on any floors that are curing. There are two great benefits of polyethylene films that flex and contour so they can be used on carpets as well as hard surfaces. These types of flooring protection films do not offer any impact protection and are normally rated for short term use of 30 to 90 days only. They (Polyethylene films) are designed for one-time use and do not use recycled materials making them a poor choice in sustainable protection. Flooring protection films are available in a variety of adhesion “tack”.
Plywood and Masonite are commonly used as flooring protection on commercial projects where there is a lot of foot traffic. Masonite flooring protection is a product made from wood fibers, unlike plywood which is an actual sheet of thin wood. Both plywood and Masonite are sold using the standard 4 by 8 feet and are more expensive per square foot than paper or polyethylene products. Masonite is commonly 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick. Plywood is commonly 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch thick. They both provide impact protection for different floor types and provide adequate protection against heavy equipment use or furniture moving. They are both breathable and reusable though they are very bulky to carry and store. This type of wood sheets should be used on top of softer protection such as a rolled textile as they easily scratch flooring. These sheets work effectively in floor protection and it can protect carpet since they prevent wrinkles when rolling heavy loads over the carpet. These wood products (Plywood and Masonite) do not offer moisture protection and it is hard to cut into size compared to other floor protection types.
Textile floor protection products are produced from recycled cloth and it has additional benefits such as skid-resistant backings or breathable plastic liners. If the floor is a wooden floor, rolls are highly recommended because they are breathable, skid-resistant, reusable, often leak-proof and easy to cut to size.
Clean & Safe™ this textile product is produced when cloth remnants that have a leak-proof on the back are recycled. It can be used on existing floors since it does not breathe. The product is reusable and can be used underneath plywood and masonite to prevent scratching
Surface Pro™ is the Clean and Safe made from the same manufacturer but is the breathable version. It has skid resistance, thick, White in color, and 40 mil textile product. It is commonly used as a protection in model homes that has a wood floor.
Surface Liner Vapor™ – this is both breathable and leakproof and is the newest textile product to market. Microscopic pores are present in the plastic liner, this allows vapor to escape but too small for common liquids to penetrate. This plastic top can be swept daily to keep it looking good and it is easy to keep it clean.
EZ Cover™ is used to protect cement slabs or decorative cement while curing. EZ Cover™ has both soft felt bottom and compressed paper backing which allows the floor to breathe. It is mainly used in both commercial and residential purpose and it is easily re-size as needed.
Applying for floor Surface Protection
The benefits of using surface protection as temporary floor protection are vast, but it required proper application. The floors should be clean (vacuumed or swept) prior to covering with the protection products. The right protection step should be followed to avoid moisture been trapped on floors that are still curing. Trapped moisture can result in product failure and the wood floor manufacturer’s warranty will be invalidated. Several protection layers would be needed if there are heavy traffic or loads.
In conclusion, there are different temporary floor protection in existence, always make sure you choose a floor protection product when you consider the cost, duration, breathability and potential to reuse the product. Good floor protection also includes proper installation and preparation of the floor. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for use so that adhesive transfer is avoided. Protecting valuable floors is a wise investment in time and money. We have Surface protection experts who can help you choose the best floor protection for your needs.