On 27th June 2012, Standards Australia released AS 1884-2012- Floor coverings-resilient sheet and tiles- installation practices.
AS 1884-2012 introduces several significant new changes, requirements, and test methods etc, than what was required under the previous version AS 1884-1985.
The most significant change affecting purchasers of resilient floor coverings is the new requirement that the purchaser is to provide specific sub floor information, inclusive of sub floor moisture and pH test results to the flooring contractor prior to installation of floor coverings.
Guardian Commercial Flooring Consultants have developed a floor coverings sub floor pre installation report style format to encapsulate the required sub floor information, inclusive of sub floor moisture and pH test results.
This unbiased, third party report, provides the necessary information for purchasers and potential flooring contractors to determine the suitability of the sub floor, together with ensure that the correct procedures are followed in order to preserve product manufacturers warranties.
The sub floor pre installation report is provided to all flooring contractors as part of the tender package, or alternatively, provided to the flooring contractor prior to the commencement of the flooring installation.
Upon completion, the sub floor pre installation report should be kept on file with any other warranty documents, and will be required to be produced in the event of a flooring failure and or warranty claim.
These new requirements affect the obligations of purchasers of resilient floor coverings, adhesives, and or preparation materials such as cementitious underlay’s, levelling compounds, hardboard underlay, etc whereby the manufacturer refers to AS 1884 as per product installation requirements and or instructions.
Common materials used in the floor coverings industry whereas manufactures often refer to the AS 1884 standard may include: PVC Vinyl, Vinyl tiles, Linoleum, Rubber, Floor levelling and or patching compounds, underlay’s, adhesives, sealers and primers.
Purchasers of floor coverings other than resilient, such as carpet and or carpet tiles, timber, laminates etc, should be aware that although the majority of these floor covering products may not refer to AS 1884-2012, as per installation instructions, some of the materials and or components used in the installation, such as adhesives, levelling compounds etc, may refer to the requirements of AS 1884-2012.
This requirement was introduced to minimise the potential risk of floor covering failures, premature replacement, and warranty claims.
The unbiased, third party sub floor report provides advantages such as:
a) In the event of a floor coverings failure and or warranty claim, the floor coverings sub floor pre installation report will be unbiased, therefore, investigating and determining if the contributing factors are due to a manufacturing problem, or an installation problem, is much less time consuming and cost effective.
b) Floor covering contractors can no longer control and or manipulate the sub floor moisture test equipment and results, in order to delay the project to suit the availability of installation labour and or resources, or to overlook critical procedures and or take unnecessary risks due to under pricing, underestimating, and or time constraints.
c) The third party report will prevent floor coverings contractors from claiming variations based on potentially biased sub floor moisture and or ph test results.
d) Project planning and delivery times will be better programmed and less likely to be delayed due to last minute findings of adverse sub floor conditions.
e) All potential flooring contractors will be made aware of the sub floor conditions as per AS 1884-2012, prior to submitting quotations.
AS 1884-2012 includes the requirement to now follow two ASTM methods:
* ASTM F2170-11- Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity in Concrete Floor Slabs Using in situ Probes.
* ASTM F2420-05 (2011)- Standard Test Method for Determining Relative Humidity on the Surface of Concrete Floor Slabs Using Relative Humidity probe Measurement and Insulated Hood.
Sub floor moisture testing is carried out in order to determine if the sub floor moisture content is suitable for the installation of resilient floor coverings. The sub floor shall be considered sufficiently dry when Relative humidity levels do not exceed AS 1884-2012 and or manufacturer’s permissible levels.
AS 1884-2012 2.1.1 “The flooring contractor shall obtain the site information on the sub floor, outlined in Appendix C, from the purchaser”.
AS 1884-2012 C2 “In addition for Concrete sub floors, the contractor shall request the purchaser to supply the following information”.
Appendix C 1 General:
a) Location of power cables and water pipes.
b) Nature of additives, curing compounds, parting compounds, surface treatments or similar.
c) Particulars and location of damp course.
d) If the sub floor is sufficiently dry when assessed in accordance with Appendix A, & in accordance with referenced ASTM F2170, ASTM F2420, as per requirements.
e) Location and type of air conditioning / heating.
f) Position and depth of any other structural elements which may affect the works.
g) Assurance that the sub floor is clear of other tools and goods of other trades.
h) Assurance that site meets OHS requirements.
C2 Concrete Sub floors:
a) Position, type, and depth of heating elements / water pipes.
b) Particulars of sub floor ventilation.
c) Concrete sub floor specifications, inclusive of thickness and compression strength of the concrete.
d) Concrete completion date.
e) Whether the sub floor is plane, smooth and sound.
Appendix A4: Test report
“Written records of moisture testing results”
Appendix A3: Test report
“Written records of pH testing results”
“This standard sets out procedures for the preparation, laying and fixing of resilient sheet and tile floor coverings in all forms including flexible PVC, semi-rigid PVC, linoleum, and rubber. It also applies to self adhesive tiles.
It gives details of the work necessary to prepare subfloor surfaces, together with procedures to be adopted for laying the resilient covering.
It does not apply to the laying of synthetic or natural fibre carpet, carpet tiles, timber products or cork”.
Thomas Marshall of Guardian Commercial Flooring Consultants, is a certified hard surface flooring inspector, certified (distinction) tradesman in both, Hard & Soft floors, experienced consultant, former project manager & estimator in commercial floor coverings, coatings, and sub floor preparation. Thomas possesses the knowledge, technical training, skill & experience required in order to competently undertake site assessment, moisture & pH testing and compile the written reports required to satisfy AS 1884-2012, sub floor test results.
Disclaimer: This is a brief informative guide to changes in the newly released AS 1884-2012, when compared to the prior version AS 1884-1985. It is not an all-encompassing report, and or assessment. It is a reasonable attempt to inform our clients of the more significant changes apparent at the time of reading. A licensed copy of AS 1884-2012 can be purchased at www.saiglobal.com. Any party intending to use any information contained in our summary, agree to firstly purchase a licensed copy of AS 1884-2012 and satisfy themselves that the information and or conclusion, is accurate and true before relying on any such information.
© 2012 Guardian Commercial Flooring Consultants