Project Karndean

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by schroedm, 21 Aug 2021.

  1. schroedm

    schroedm

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    Evening all, first post here so please bear with me if I don’t do something right and apologies in advance if so!

    Basically, we have our heart set on Karndean flooring but, realistically, the only way that’s going to happen is the DIY route. I’m pretty DIY savvy and have laid several types of flooring before. The only exception being a glue down product like Karndean. I’ve seen it laid several times and have a good idea of what’s required.

    To my project….we have a new build house (5 years old) which has a concrete screed ground floor which I assume has thoroughly dried out now. There has never been anything spilled on it and the only thing laid on it has been some click vinyl so the floor has never been glued to or damaged nor will it be when the current floor is lifted. It is also extremely flat - there is zero sign of the existing floor not looking anything other than perfectly flat…no falling away in corners or any high or low spots across a large space.

    This means I’m expecting the subfloor to be as good as I can expect to start with. My hope is that I could ensure there were no lumps/bumps and then glue the Karndean directly to the subfloor. Is that possible? Is there a glue that would allow that. If so, which one?

    Or, do I HAVE to lay a self levelling compound (I think a water based product would be ok and easiest). If I HAVE to, which is the best product in your opinion.

    I understand the whole ‘warranty’ situation but as I’m laying this myself I’m not bothered by that. It’s my work and as long as it’s glued down and can withstand 3-5years of slipper shuffling rather than 20years of retail footfall I’ll be happy

    Hoping you can help me out.

    Thanks
    Mark
     
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  3. crazydaze

    crazydaze

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    You must prepare the subfloor properly with a self levelling screed, something like Arditex NA would be perfect.

    As for adhesive, order the Karndean adhesive and suitable trowel when you order the flooring. If there is underfloor heating or any area that takes plenty of sunlight, get the UFH Adhesive as 'belt and braces'

    If you have UFH be very careful about using rugs over areas, they can result in discolouration of the floor from heat build up etc. Always use felt pads under all furniture.

    LVT prep and fitting is one of the most skilled products to install correctly.
     
  4. dazlight

    dazlight

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    Yes a water smoothing compound would be best for you.
    ardex K39 I’d the best I’ve used.
    You be best going to a local flooring shop and ask them what smoothing compounds they use.
     
  5. SpecialK

    SpecialK

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    Have you seen Karndean Looselay? Not sure how good it is, might be fitting it at mine...
     
  6. schroedm

    schroedm

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    Hi SpecialK, yes I’ve seen that and also watched a couple of videos and there were a couple of little signs of the planks not being perfectly level with each other and I think that would do my head in. If I’m doing Karndean then I think I need to do it ‘properly’. I just need to make sure I approach it right and use the right products.

    @dazlight, thanks for the tip re Ardex. That’s actually the job that I fear the most. Laying the floor I think I’ll be fine with. It’s floating the compound perfectly and getting the consistent thickness that worries me the most. I can’t face a wonky self levelling compound and having to chip it all up (then again I’m hoping it’s pretty hard to not get self levelling compound to self level ) Is it?

    rgds
    Mark
     
  7. SpecialK

    SpecialK

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    I have not seen a looselay floor in person yet, not sure why the planks would not line up if the floor was flat? A worry of mine is that expansion of the planks could cause them to bulge in the middle where the sun hits the floor at doors etc.
    Out of interest what is the reason for getting rid of the click vinyl?

    Laying levelling compound is all in the prep. You need to seal any gaps it could escape from, prime the floor and have buckets, mixers and water ready to go so you can get it all down fast.
    A spiked roller may also be a good idea to get the bubbles out.

    Do you know what floor was laid in the house? If it was an anhydrite floor it may need sanding first to get rid of the laitance layer if not done already?
    Liquid screed floors are pretty flat, thats what I have just had poured. Im hoping once its sanded it will be flat enough for karndean...

     
  8. schroedm

    schroedm

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    I’m not sure what floor was laid. It’s a “concrete screed”, that’s as far as I know. I’ve seen Karndean and anticipate laid in new builds of the last 10years and never seen a screed sanded. Just the levelling compound going down!

    I guess the looselay is always going to be at the mercy of any unevenness. I also don’t remember seeing a tackifier being used on the video. Maybe that would have helped.

    Thanks re the compound info. I’ve seen the main pointers are indeed those you’ve raised…one person mixing, another pouring and no escape routes. The spiked rollers seem to be a tool of choice as well.

    if I have an entire ground floor to do I’m assuming I’ll have to stop at some point. Is it easy to level the compound up to stuff that’s already been poured and set? I’m worried about lips/edges forming at the joints. Or is this just the downside of not finishing in one go and will need sanding back if present?

    As for why not click vinyl, the glue down products offer a lot more options in terms of plank sizes and styles as well as borders etc.
     
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