Quite often we are asked about installing resilient flooring over existing or problem subfloors. It may be a heritage listed floor, old asbestos tiles, cracked concrete, to be used purely as a temporary installation or for increased acoustics performance between floors. One solution that has proven to work well is the QuickFit subfloor system. The QuickFit system is a floating MDF substrate that is not bonded to the subfloor or the foam underlay and provides a smooth and flat surface for resilient flooring installation while mitigating issues beneath.
The first part of the process is into install the Forbo polypropylene foam that is covered by a metallised foil, the foam side points to the subfloor. The Forbo foam (4.5mm) is provided with a self-sticking foil overlap of 20cm, creating a suitable moisture barrier for damp and old problem subfloors. Once the foam is down and ready, it is time to unwrap the QuickFit packs which contain equal panels in 3mm and 4mm thickness and make up 3.67m2 per pack. The 3mm MDF boards are first placed directly on the foam in a brick pattern. The 4mm thick panels are then overlapped on top of the 3mm panels avoiding the joins creating a strong, smooth and stable floor.
Installing and overlapping of the QuickFit panels is rapid as they are provided with a self-sticking contact adhesive on one side. Pre-printed installation cross marks on the panels allow installers to work fast. The panel edges of the boards are clean and tight and minimises the need for serious abrasive or filling corrections after installation. The panels are also easy to score and snap to size without specialist tools required. As the system is floating and not adhered to the subfloor, expansion gaps of 6mm must be left around all sides and every 10m in width or 100m2 an expansion gap applied for both the subfloor and floorcovering is needed. Once installed a fine sand of the surface and feather finish of any irregular joins creates the perfect base ready for the resilient floor. The system is no different to a floating timber floor. The individual panels don’t move because of the adhesive and the foam does not move due to the weight of the panels. At the end of its use short or long term the floors and panels can be lifted, cut up and moved with ease.
Excellent acoustics – QuickFit can solve impact sound reduction challenges in multilevel projects. A recent example in an old 70’s brick unit block where the bare floor measured L’nT,w of 75 (NCC newbuild requires a minimum of 65) QuickFit by itself improved the rating to an L’nT,w of 48 (the lower number the better) solving the issue and that was before an acoustic resilient was installed on top.
Coving QuickFit with Forbo Marmoleum and vinyls
Coving is often required in health, labs or childcare applications. We do not recommend QuickFit for constant wet rooms, however, QuickFit can work with coving in the following way. Install the QuickFit as per the standard installation recommendations above, leaving a 6mm expansion gap around all perimeter walls, protrusions and door jambs. At the door jambs and protrusion expansion gaps, fill the gaps flush to the surface of the QuickFit with neutral cure, non-staining flexible filler; this is done to avoid the floorcovering slumping into the open expansion gap. Next fit a cove former fillet to the cove area. Use only a large radius 32mm or 38mm cove former as this will straddle the 6 mm expansion gap and give more flexibility for expansion at that point. Only glue the side of the cove former that is bonding to the wall. The other none glued side of the cove form must be installed on the QuickFit; this is done to give any expansion of the QuickFit a slip joint effect. Marmoleum must be installed with separate cove boarders. Reducing the cove to doorways. If the room has doorways without architraves (or has very thin architraves), taper the last 200 mm of cove former so that there is no gap at the end of the sheet material.
Note: where the pointed end of the cove former is installed the expansion gap must be filled with a flexible filler to avoid the cove former end slumping into the expansion gap.
Where applicable all QuickFit installations must follow the usual recommendations of Australian Standard 1884 – 2012.
CASE STUDY: Historic Masonic Hotel NZ
In 2012 the iconic and heritage listed Art Deco Masonic Hotel in Napier New Zealand built in 1932 went through a massive refurbishment which included replacing the original linoleum which had been laid in 1932, while standing the test of time well, it had begun to wear.
When the linoleum was removed from the concrete subfloor, the slab underneath was found to be in a very bad state although structurally sound. The subfloor had many wide cracks and spalling of the concrete due to moisture. Because the concrete subfloor was heritage listed minimal preparatory work could be done to bring the slab up to an acceptable level for the installation of a new Marmoleum tile floor. The other factor in selecting and using the QuickFit system in this case was the lack of down town when installing it and hotel clientele could still access the main entrance foyer because the installation could be completed in sections therefore through traffic was not affected.
QuickFit installations are printed on the plastic packaging and a leaflet is within each pack. Further information can be sourced at Further information can be sourced at www.forbo-flooring.com.au/quickfit