The Setcrete range of subfloor preparations products are supported by extensive training provision for the trades.
Setcrete’s range of products are formulated to be as easy to use as possible to create a super smooth, flawless base onto which a floor-covering can be installed. If the products are used correctly a perfect result is virtually guaranteed. The company also provides training to builders who want to take advantage of it and is able to provide tailored training (free of charge) to builders relevant to their level of experience.
Setcrete has its own purpose-built training facility at its Staffordshire manufacturing headquarters and also provides training and product demonstrations at builders’ merchants around the country. While training courses have understandably been on hold for the majority of this year, because of Covid-19, the company will restart them as soon as it is confident that they can be safely delivered.
In addition, the company’s training centre is currently undergoing an extensive redesign and fit out to create a more hands on learning space, with training courses offering more practical content.
Saving time and money
Much of the training provided is focused on the preparation work required on a job, as much as the actual application of the products. At the same time, it is intended to inform attendees how to get the best out of Setcrete products and save time and money when undertaking floor-covering installations.
An aspect of this is preventing simple and easily avoidable mistakes from spoiling a job and, in serious cases, threatening the integrity of the entire project. For example, the number one cause of floor failure is damage due to damp in the subfloor. But it is the failure to check for the presence of moisture in the subfloor and/or not installing a suitable moisture barrier that causes problems.Subfloor moisture can be the result of rising damp (normally in refurbishment projects) or because a recently laid concrete subfloor is still drying out (it takes around a day per millimetre of concrete to dry). Excess subfloor moisture must be supressed by the use of a suitable DPM treatment.
The importance of priming is another key topic covered in the training. When installing levelling compounds priming is important for two reasons. The first is to optimise the bond between the levelling compound and the subfloor. Secondly, if the subfloor is very absorbent, it can lead to unacceptably rapid drying of the levelling compound, which can compromise its strength.
An absorbent subfloor can also lead to ‘pinholing’; the formation of tiny ‘craters’ on the surface of the levelling compound created by air bubbles rising through the compound and bursting when they reach the surface, resulting in small, but very visible pinholes. This not only looks unsightly, but again threatens the integrity of the levelling compound.
While Setcrete products are designed to allow a degree of tolerance in their use and are fairly forgiving if not used in a textbook manner, certain product benefits depend on following preparation and mixing recommendations correctly.
For example, using only the prescribed amount of water in water-mix products, so that the levelling compound doesn’t take too long to dry (critical for Rapid Set 30; a 30 minute-setting compound) or, in Deep Base applications, where excess water could cause the material’s constituent parts to separate out. The correct mix is equally important to enable a liquid consistency that flows easily, but has the required viscosity to manage an even thickness across the floor.
Setcrete training also focuses on product selection, which equips builders with the knowledge to use the best product for the job; either for specific performance benefits – such as using a flexible levelling compound over a plywood subfloor – or to minimise the time to complete a job without taking unnecessary and risky shortcuts.
It’s also useful for builders to refresh this knowledge as ongoing product development means new products and enhancements to existing products will offer further ways of making a job faster, easier or more cost effective.
Correct application of products is, of course, part of Setcrete’s structured training, covering tools and tips for achieving a perfect result.
In addition to in person training, Setcrete has produced individual product installation videos to explain how a product should be used; highlighting the critical points that relate to the product’s preparation or application. These online resources are freely accessible on the Setcrete website www.setcrete.co.uk/. Further one-to-one technical support is also available over the phone or by video call to address specific installation advice.
For further information on the Setcrete range visit www.setcrete.co.uk/products/