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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs – Installation

All installation needs to be performed in accordance to AS 1884:2021 Floor coverings – Resilient sheet and tiles – Installation practices.

Subfloor Preparation

Should I use an adhesive remover to remove adhesive residue from a subfloor before installing a new floor?

Many adhesive removal products contain solvents that leave a residue within the subfloor. This residue can negatively affect the new adhesive and bleed through the new floor covering. Floor covering warranties do not cover instances where existing subfloor conditions cause damage to the flooring or installation failure.

Can I install an Armstrong floor on a radiant-heated substrate?

Armstrong flooring may be installed over radiant-heated subfloors as long as the surface temperature does not exceed 28 °C. Temperatures above 28°C will cause the flooring to soften and increase the risk of irreversible indentation.

Why does Armstrong recommend not smoothing true expansion joints with any type of underlayment product?

True expansion joints are those placed between separate pours of concrete. These joints are designed to absorb the movement of the concrete and are normally filled with elastomeric fillers which absorb the movement of the separate pieces of concrete. If an underlayment is placed across or in these joints, the movement of the concrete will cause them to break up or will push them out of the joint. Additionally, any flooring placed across these joints will break with the movement of the concrete. Expansion joint covers, which are designed to span these joints, should be used in these areas.

Why can't you install flooring directly over paint or other coatings on a subfloor?

The bond of the flooring to the subfloor is only as good as what you bond to. If you bond to old paint, sealers, polish, or other foreign matter, you are dependent upon the bond of that material to the subfloor to hold the flooring in place. Since we cannot determine how strong that bond may be, it is best to bond directly to the substrate.

What board underlayment products should I put in place before installing resilient floor products?

Underlayments for resilient floors should be structurally sound and designed for resilient flooring underlayment purposes, with a minimum thickness of 5.5mm.The panels should be smooth enough so that the texture or graining will not show through the finished flooring. They should also resist dents and punctures from concentrated loads. The panels should not contain any substance that may stain vinyl such as edge patching compounds, marking inks, paints, solvents, adhesives, asphalt, dye, etc. Check with your supplier or panel manufacturer. Install the underlayment in strict accordance with the board manufacturer's recommendations.

Can Armstrong floors be installed directly over strip wood, board, plank-type or tongue-and- groove type subflooring?

These subfloors must meet structural requirements. Regardless of whether the subfloor is single- or double-layer, Armstrong recommends subfloor is covered with a resilient flooring underlayment. Install the underlayment in strict accordance with the board manufacturer’s recommendations.


How important is the use of the recommended trowel?

Most flooring adhesives are applied with a notched trowel. The size of the notching is important because it controls the amount of adhesive applied. Notches which are too large spread too much adhesive. This can cause excessive indentations to show through sheet goods and trowel mark show-through or bleeding at tile joints.

 Why must I use the recommended trowel for spreading adhesive?

Trowels are chosen for the amount of adhesive they place on the substrate. A trowel is chosen to place just the proper amount of adhesive where it is needed. If the notches are too large, they place too much adhesive which can lead to trowel-mark show through and bleeding with tile and excessive indentations with sheet goods. If the trowel notches are too small, the adhesive will not hold the flooring down. If the trowel notches are too far apart, they reduce the amount of adhesive which may not hold the flooring down and can lead to trowel-mark show through.

What is meant by open time?

Open time is the amount of time recommended for the adhesive to set before it is covered with the flooring. Open time is affected by temperature, humidity, and porosity of the subfloor. Placing sheet flooring into the adhesive too soon may cause the flooring to bubble. Placing tile into the adhesive too soon may cause the tile to move and adhesive to ooze up between the tile joints.

What is meant by working time?

Working time for tile is the amount of time from when the adhesive is set until the tile will no longer bond. Working time for sheet flooring is the amount of time from when the flooring is laid in place until all cutting and fitting must be completed. Working time is affected by temperature, humidity and porosity of the subfloor. Placing flooring into the adhesive after the working time has passed will result in a failed installation as the flooring will not bond.

What does "dry to the touch" mean?

Dry to the touch means when you place your fingertips lightly on the adhesive ridges, no adhesive transfers to them. Most Armstrong resilient tile adhesives require the adhesive be dry to the touch before installation may begin.

I spread the adhesive 2 hours ago, and the recommendations say open time is 1 hour or until dry to the touch. The adhesive is still wet. Why?

If a larger notch trowel than recommended is used, too much adhesive is spread, and this will increase the amount of open time required for the adhesive to be dry to the touch. If there is moisture in the subfloor this too can cause retarded setting of the adhesive. If the controlled climate is not in use in the building where the floor is being installed, and the outdoor temperature and humidity are high, the setup time is greatly increased. This will especially happen on hot, humid summer days or rainy days. When the adhesive is spread on days like this, moisture can condense on the surface of the adhesive, severely slowing the setup.

Why must resilient flooring be rolled?

Rolling pushes the flooring down into the adhesive and flattens the adhesive ridges. This assures contact with the adhesive and assures the adhesive ridges will not show through the finished flooring. Rolling also pushes air out from beneath the flooring between the ridges left by the trowel notches. This assures no trapped air which may cause bubbles in the finished installation.

How can I fix stress whitening in commercial resilient sheet flooring?

When dark coloured materials are over severely bent during installation, they may show a lighter coloured stress mark known as stress whitening. This can be removed by heating the area with a heat gun or hair dryer. Do not use a torch. If the whitening is discovered before the flooring is installed, you can heat both the back and the front of the material which will speed the procedure. Be careful not to hold the heat gun or blow dryer too close to the flooring as scorching may occur.

Why must flooring be conditioned before installation?

All materials expand or contract when atmospheric conditions change. For the flooring to expand or contract with the subfloor, it must be conditioned to the same atmospheric conditions.

I just finished cutting and finishing the seams of a dark-coloured Corlon flooring. The seams appear to be whitened. What is this and how do I fix it?

This is called seam whitening and can occur from cutting and deburring the seam. This seam whitening effect can be easily eliminated by gently rubbing the seam with parafin oil. Remove all excess paraffin oil from surface.

When installing Armstrong resilient vinyl floor cove ring side by side with Linoleum what is the correct seaming method?

Heat welding is the correct seaming method, the Linoleum weld rod should be used.

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FAQs - Maintenance

What is meant by “low maintenance”?

The term “low maintenance” is applied to a floor covering with a factory applied finish designed to reduce the amount of regular maintenance. The factory applied finish replaces the need to apply initial seal coats and finish (polish) coats, reducing the cost in both floor care products and labour. The floor covering will require maintenance in the form of cleaning and buffing with machinery, however the surface of a “low maintenance” floor covering allows this process to be carried out quickly and cheaply.

What causes floor polish to powder off the flooring surface?

Powdering is the partial or total disintegration of the polish film resulting in a fine, light-coloured material. Possible causes are floor not thoroughly rinsed after stripping; dirty mops used to apply polish; surface of polish force-dried; inadequate grit and soil control (no walk-off mats); mismatched polish and machine speed; floor pad too abrasive; room temperature too hot or too cold or humidity too high or too low or excessive alkaline moisture permeating through tile from subfloor. To correct the problem, follow stripping recommendations for the specific flooring.

What causes streaks in floor polish?

Possible causes of streaks can be too much or too little floor polish applied in one coat; dirty mop used to apply polish; inadequate drying time or alkaline residue on the floor. Follow recommendations for stripping or
heavy cleaning, and then follow recommended procedure for preparation for commercial traffic.

What can cause bleeding of brightly coloured vinyl composition tile?

Possible causes are too little floor polish; cleaning/stripping solutions too aggressive or coloured pigments removed by abrasion from coarse stripping or scrubbing pads. Following the recommended maintenance procedures will prevent the problem.

How long after an installation should a floor be protected from rolling loads?

Newly installed commercial flooring should not be exposed to routine rolling load traffic (carts, trolley jacks, etc.) for at least 72 hours after installation to allow setting and drying of adhesives. If rolling loads cannot be avoided, protect the installation for 72 hours after installation by covering with wood panels.

Furniture is sticking to the floor. What can cause this to happen?

Furniture sticking is normally caused by the following conditions: Furniture replaced too soon after polishing; furniture left in place while polish was applied; floor not properly rinsed; sealer/polish not compatible; polish not properly cured/dried (floor temperature too low, high
humidity, recoated too quickly, building closed up with no air circulation, dew point too high, contaminated mops or finishes); slow drying polish formulations; furniture rests have something on them (not clean); excess moisture from damp mopping. Some possible solutions include: Only apply polish when drying conditions are right; use brand-name products; clean furniture
rests as needed; test for dryness. Tip - to release struck furniture, tap the legs near to the floor, hitting firmly in a horizontal direction. Be sure to protect legs to avoid scratching or marring. Do not attempt to lift furniture straight up before loosening.

What is antioxidant staining in vinyl floors?

Armstrong's vinyl floors have been formulated to be very stain
resistant to most reagents and traffic. Certain compounds added to rubber can discolour a vinyl floor when in contact with it. These chemical compounds, referred to as antioxidants, are formulated into rubber materials to extend the life of the rubber and prevent brittleness. Some antioxidants react chemically with
ingredients (plasticisers) in flexible vinyl to produce a yellowish stain. This is referred to in the vinyl industry as "antioxidant staining." Any source of rubber containing these antioxidants in contact with the floor could produce this staining. Certain types of rubber mats, rubber-backed rugs, and rubber wheels on carts, can cause this discoloration. To avoid this problem, ensure that the mats and wheels which will be in contact with the vinyl floor are of the "non-staining" type of rubber.

FAQs - Technical Product Data / Standards

What international standards does Armstrong Commercial flooring meet?

Globally there are many other consensus organizations developing standards. These include but are not limited to: Standards Association of Australia/New Zealand, American Society of Testing and Materials, British Standards Institution, Japanese Standards Association, European Committee for Standardization, Deutsches Institute fur Normung. Armstrong tests their commercial flooring materials to meet standards of the respective countries in which these materials are sold. Please consult the Armstrong sales representative for details on applicable specifications.

What is AS ISO 9239.1 – Reaction to fire tests for floorings?

This test method is used to determine the burning behaviour using a radiant heat source. Two key measurements from this test are Critical Radiant Flux and smoke development rate. The test provides a basis for estimating one aspect of fire exposure behaviour of floorings where it simulates thermal radiation levels likely to impinge on the floor of a corridor whose surfaces are heated during the early stages of a developing fire.

How do resilient floors affect the impact-sound generated?

The sounds of floor traffic and dropped objects are important when considering types of flooring materials. The cushioning of impacts reduces the generation of airborne sound within the room and the level of sound that can be transmitted to adjacent areas. It also minimises the transmission of impact-generated, structure- borne noises throughout the building. In multifamily dwellings the transmission of impact-generated noise is of primary concern. Resilient flooring, in general, "gives" under the impact of footsteps, dropped objects and rolling loads. The resilience helps to reduce traffic noise. In comparison with other hard-surfaced flooring (wood, marble, ceramic, concrete, metal), resilient floors are low noise producers.

Performance Criteria

What is resilience?

Resilience is a property involving the elastic energy in a material, which causes it to regain its original shape, after having been indented by a high-pressure load.

What types of loads affect resilient flooring?

Impact loads are those momentary indentations like those produced from walking traffic. These impact pressures are high (often as much as several thousand kilos per square centimeter), and the smaller (or sharper) the impact area, the more damaging the indentation. Static loads are any load remaining in a stationary position for long periods of time. Static load limit values have been established to aid in the selection and protection of resilient flooring for use under these conditions.

Newly installed floors should not be exposed to routine rolling loads (carts, trolley jacks, etc.) for at least 72 hrs. after installation to allow setting and drying of adhesives. The bearing surface area of wheels is deceptively small, resulting in higher compressive forces than may be anticipated. Therefore, when moving heavy fixtures or appliances over resilient flooring on casters or dollies, the flooring should be protected with 1/4" or thicker plywood, hardboard or other underlayment panels.

How can you determine the durability of resilient floors?

To determine the durability of resilient flooring as related to traffic wear, it is necessary to take many factors into consideration. These factors should include abrasion resistance, resistance to gouging, punctures, cuts, and impacts, as well as, rolling and sliding (dynamic) loads and standing (static) loads. Armstrong commercial resilient flooring is manufactured in a variety of durable, long wearing structures. Each structure offers its own unique design and performance characteristics.

Are Armstrong's vinyl floors affected by UV (ultraviolet) light?

Armstrong's vinyl floors are formulated for light resistance. However, exposing vinyl floors to high intensity UV light through large windows or doors can cause UV degradation. Armstrong resilient floors are not recommended for outdoor installations.

Installation Information

Why should I use Armstrong Installation Products to install Armstrong floors instead of some other brand?

Because Armstrong provides a system of installation products, seam sealing products and maintenance products that have been completely and thoroughly tested to work with the floor structure. Believe it or not, there is a well-advance d science in the study of resilient floor covering performance dynamics which drive the development of installation, seam treatment and maintenance products. Each product has its own unique performance characteristics. Therefore, you need an adhesive that has been specifically designed to overcome those performance attributes. To use an adhesive that has not been designed specifically for these types of floors creates the opportunity for catastrophic failures.

What is meant by pot life?

Pot life is the amount of time a product, which must be mixed, remains workable in the original mixing container. This is generally applicable to two-part epoxies and polyurethanes.

What is the minimum acceptable temperature for the storage of flooring and installation materials?

Store all materials in a dry area out of direct sunlight, rolled face out on a core and standing upright. If it becomes necessary, he rolls may be stored on end in an unheated warehouse at temperatures between -1°C and 29°C as long as they are protected from the weather, the area is dry and out of direct sun light, and free of internal combustion (exposure to exhaust from gas or oil combustion in the form oxides of nitrogen can lead to warehouse yellowing especially in residential flooring). Allow all flooring materials and adhesives to condition to the room temperature before starting the installation. Materials should be allowed to acclimatise to job climatic conditions between 15°C to 28°C for minimum 24 hours.

How long after an installation should a floor be protected from rolling loads?

Newly installed commercial flooring should not be exposed to routine rolling load traffic (carts, trolley jacks, etc.) for at least 72 hours after installation to allow setting and drying of adhesives. If rolling loads cannot be avoided, protect the installation for 72 hours after installation by covering with wood panels.

Subfloor Preparation

What type of moisture conditions exist that can cause problems in resilient flooring installations?

Concrete Floor Moisture -- Concrete floors directly in contact with the ground are never completely dry. Also, the moisture content of new concrete is high, regardless of grade levels. Resilient floors may be seriously affected when installed directly over concrete which is not sufficiently dry.

Wood Floor Moisture – Wherever a wood floor is constructed over an inadequately ventilated crawl space, resilient floors are not recommended. Crawl spaces must be at least 450mm high and cross ventilated. Wood floors constructed on sleepers directly over on-grade or below-grade slabs are susceptible to ground moisture penetration. Such moisture is trapped under the
resilient flooring, resulting in deterioration of wood fiber. For this reason, resilient floors are not recommended for installation over this type of subfloor.

Surface Moisture -- Resilient floors may be installed in areas where excessive moisture may be spilled on the floor. Providing that the correct adhesive has been used and the floor has minimal seams, there will be no damage to the floor. However, water should be mopped up immediately, and the floor should never be intentionally flooded.

What is meant by porous and nonporous in relation to subfloors?

A porous substrate is one that is capable of absorbing water or liquid, such as concrete or wood. Liquid beads up on the surface of nonporous floors. These are typically existing resilient flooring. If there is any doubt as to porosity of the substrate, it can be checked easily by placing a few drops of water on the surface. If the water is quickly absorbed, the substrate is porous. If the water beads up and remains on the surface, the substrate is nonporous.

What is meant by grade level?

Grade level, when speaking of resilient flooring, is where the
flooring will be installed in relation to the ground around the building. A suspended or above-grade subfloor is one that has a minimum of 450mm of well-ventilated air space beneath it. This could be over the basement, but in some homes, this could be over a crawlspace. An on-grade subfloor is one that is in direct contact with the ground or over a fill that is in direct contact with the ground. A below-grade subfloor is one which is partially or completely below the ground surrounding the building and is in direct contact with the ground or over fill which is in direct contact with the ground.

What is the most common moisture test method?

The primary test method for concrete subfloors is the in-situ probe test. Concrete subfloors shall be considered suitable for installation of resilient floorcoverings when measurements taken in accordance with ASTM F2170 do not exceed 80% relative humidity.

How can you remove curing agents from a concrete slab?

Terrazzo or concrete grinder, drum sander or a polishing machine equipped with a heavy-duty wire brush.

What is a good paint remover for concrete subfloors?

A good paint remover for concrete subfloors is a solution of
trisodium phosphate and hot water. Paints with a chlorinated rubber or resin base that cannot be removed by trisodium phosphate may be removed by grinding with a concrete or terrazzo grinder. Armstrong does not recommend the use of solvents to remove paints or old adhesive residues because the solvents can remain in the concrete and negatively affect the new installation.

Is staining from a construction adhesive covered under the Armstrong warranty?

No. Stains of this nature are not covered under any Armstrong Warranty.