Linoleum belongs to the budget and versatile varieties of flooring. Choosing among a variety of types of linoleum and proceeding directly to laying, many are faced with the problem of determining the method of laying the flooring on the floor - with or without a substrate. To make the right choice, you need to know what a substrate is and what it is for.
Features of the
A substrate is a special material in the form of sheets or rolls, which is laid directly on the floor. In this way, the subfloor separates the subfloor from the clean linoleum layer.
The intermediate layer must be laid on a surface that meets the following characteristics:
- it should not have any traces of old paint or dried glue, greasy and oily stains;
- the base for linoleum must be solid, even and strong enough;
- in order to avoid the appearance of mold and damage to the upper layer of the floor covering, the intermediate layer should be laid absolutely dry and moisture should not be allowed to enter in the future.
The use of an insulating layer between the concrete floor and linoleum significantly extends the service life of the latter, which saves money on repairs.
The base, laid under linoleum, has the following functionality:
- most types of flooring must be laid on a perfectly flat surface. In the presence of even minor irregularities, the coating, especially if the choice fell on thin varieties of linoleum, can deform over time and even break. The substrate is a kind of buffer layer between the floor and linoleum, hiding minor defects in the concrete base and protecting the top layer from damage and deformation;
- all existing types of intermediate lining material are capable of absorbing extraneous sounds to varying degrees. Soundproofing will save you from the noise coming from the apartment from below, moreover, it is able to soften the sound of footsteps in the apartment;
- in addition to noise insulation, the linoleum substrate is capable of retaining heat. Thermal insulation is especially relevant for owners of apartments on the ground floors above basements or non-residential premises, as well as for owners of houses on the ground. In such rooms, the floor is usually very cold and needs additional insulation.
Do you need it?
The feasibility of using a linoleum substrate on a concrete floor follows from its main functions, listed above. Therefore, the use of an intermediate layer when laying the floor covering is necessary in the following cases:
- a cold floor is one of the most common reasons for choosing linoleum flooring on a substrate. This simple detail will prevent cold penetration from the lower unheated rooms. With this problem, flooring experts advise using substrates made from a combination of natural ingredients such as wool, jute and linen, which are best suited to keep the floor warm;
- Another popular reason for using underlays is uneven floors. Today hardly anyone can find a perfectly flat concrete floor. Therefore, with the help of an intermediate layer, you can hide small irregularities and cracks in the concrete floor screed, which will also protect against premature damage to linoleum;
- the use of underlay material becomes a must when choosing linoleum without a base. Thin linoleum does not hide the flaws of the concrete floor and is not able to provide thermal insulation, therefore it needs an additional intermediate layer.
Other situations allow you to start laying the flooring without using a backing.
Linoleum can be laid directly on the old floor, or even better if it belongs to the modern varieties of flooring with a foam or jute base.
In building materials stores, the intermediate layer for laying flooring is presented in several types. The basis in the form of raw materials for their manufacture gave each species its own name.
The jute interlayer is of natural origin. It is made from the plant of the same name, which has been used for a long time for the production of products with a rough texture - bags, ropes, furniture fabrics, carpets or ropes. The positive properties of this variety include the ability to absorb moisture and gradually remove it without leaving it inside.
To protect the jute material from fire, mold or parasite attacks, it is subjected to special treatment with chemicals. Such material has a rather high cost, therefore it is not very popular.
The linoleum base made of cork or bark in a crushed form is also a product of natural origin. The cork material has high levels of sound and heat insulation, which affects its cost.
The disadvantages of this type of substrate include its susceptibility to deformation. If the installation of heavy furniture is planned in the intermediate layer equipped with a cork layer, then such an arrangement should be unchanged until the next repair with the replacement of linoleum. Otherwise, heavy objects will leave unattractive indentations on cork base floors.
Linen backing is also a completely natural material. Due to its excellent ventilation properties, the linen backing layer does not allow moisture to accumulate and form mold. Like jute material, flax is treated with special insect repellents.
The intermediate layer of a combined material, which contains equal proportions of jute and linen, and sometimes felt, is very dense and durable. By combining several materials with different functions a composite underlay is an excellent option for thermal insulation.
Combined types of substrates include the combination of cork chips with bitumen or rubber. This combination increases the hydrophobic properties of the material and allows the intermediate layer to be installed without waterproofing.
New in the construction industry is the newly developed wood fiber material. Such a substrate is also called coniferous, since it is produced from compressed sawdust of coniferous trees. The material is distinguished by the highest indicators of heat and sound insulation, for which many have fallen in love.
Artificial intermediate layers include foam backings, which are usually made of polyethylene foam and polystyrene foam. These materials are made using different technologies, but they do not transmit heat equally well.
Foamed fabrics are very popular due to their relatively low cost. but floors with such a backing are too soft and easily deform, which leads to a rapid loss of the appearance of the floor.
Sometimes, in the production of foamed substrates, a foil layer is added to them, due to which the thermal insulation properties of the material increase by 5-7%.
Which one to choose?
Today, cork is considered the best material that can be placed under linoleum.Due to its cellular structure, the cork substrate behaves well in operation.
The air formed between the cells makes it possible to evenly distribute the load from the furniture installed on the floor over the entire surface of the covering. Also, many buyers note that the cork intermediate layer perfectly isolates extraneous sounds from the lower floors, and in the cold season, linoleum on a cork base is quite warm and comfortable even without shoes.
How to insulate?
In addition to the substrates listed above, which are able to keep the floor in an apartment warm, there are other heaters for linoleum on a concrete floor.
Floor insulation with a warm floor system is an innovation in the construction market. Such a system assumes that a heater or a special heating element is placed under the linoleum. There are several types of underfloor heating:
- film roll insulation consists of several layers. The optimal power of such a heater is 150 W / m2. It is able to maintain a temperature of 30 ° C sufficient for heat and will not allow the floor covering to melt;
- infrared warm floor is versatile and suitable for any type of linoleum. This variety is not afraid of moisture and fire, therefore it is ideal for laying on a balcony or loggia;
- cable insulation consists of a heating cable that is powered from the mains. Suitable for most floor coverings, it is quite durable, however, a screed is required for this type;
- heating mats or thermomats are a fiberglass mesh cloth with heating cables attached to it. Unlike the previous type, it can be mounted without a screed;
- underfloor heating involves the use of a pipe system through which the coolant circulates. Due to the large number of pipes, this type of insulation is most suitable for installation in a private house. In an apartment of an old house, such a heating system is unlikely to be officially installed, but in many new buildings a warm water floor was provided at the stage of building a house.
When choosing a company that produces substrates for linoleum, you should first of all pay attention to domestic manufacturers. LLC "Technotex" - one of the most popular Russian firms for the production of insulation and other materials for linoleum offers a wide variety of textures. Jute backing has different thicknesses and densities. The company also offers combined models from natural materials with the same parameters. Linen backing can be ordered according to individual parameters.
According to customer reviews, the highest quality linoleum or laminate substrates can be purchased from Portuguese or Spanish firms. Cork intermediate layers of the firm Vintage Floor from Portugal have an expensive cost, but do an excellent job with their functions. Many buyers in their reviews value the environmental friendliness of materials, although the thickness of 3 mm is not able to hide too obvious flaws in the concrete floor.
The excellent quality of substrates made of natural materials is noted by the German brand Steicowhich has existed for more than half a century. Constant experimentation with combinations of wood species allows the creation of new intermediate materials with the best characteristics. However, not everyone can afford the cost of branded products.
Among the artificial intermediate layers, domestic products should again be noted. Company Petroform produces polyethylene material 5 mm thick, which is ideal for leveling the floor.
Despite its low cost, the material has good vapor barrier and heat retention, does not rot and does not absorb moisture.
Styling process: tips
The technology of laying linoleum with a substrate on concrete has several stages.
The first thing to do is to prepare the concrete base or the so-called overlap for laying the flooring. It is necessary to clean the surface of the floor from dirt and dust, to seal the gaps between the wall and the floor with cement or polyurethane foam. In the same way, significant irregularities in the floor can be repaired.
Then a waterproofing layer should be laid on top. Often, overlapping polyethylene strips are used for these purposes.
The next step is to screed or level the floor. This stage can be performed in three ways:
- a wet screed involves the use of various liquid compositions - concrete, cement or a self-leveling mixture, which allow you to level the surface of the subfloor before laying the substrate and linoleum on it;
- dry floor screed is performed with bulk materials, which are poured into a thick layer on the base of the floor. Sand, expanded clay waste or fine-grained slags can act as a dry screed, on top of which sheets of gypsum fiber board or plywood should be laid. Unlike a wet screed, the use of the dry method will allow you not to waste time on drying, to carry out the screed at low temperatures, however, the cost of the material for a dry screed is 1.5 times more than for a wet one;
- semi-dry floor screed involves the use of a mixture of sand and cement. The drying time of such a screed is less than that of a wet one, and the prices are quite reasonable. Therefore, this method is often chosen when repairing with the involvement of a working team.
It should be noted that floor screed can be made both on a concrete base and on wooden floor boards. After the screed is completely dry, you can start laying the substrate. To do this, it is necessary to spread the prepared material over the entire floor area. If time permits, it is better to leave the substrate unfolded for several days. Then all possible irregularities of the material will straighten and form an even coating.
Excess material can be carefully removed with a knife. If the substrate consists of several layers, then they should be connected together with mounting tape. Then you can move on to laying the linoleum. If possible, he also needs to be allowed to rest and straighten out for several days. It is necessary to lay linoleum from the corner in which the furniture will be least of all.
Do not forget about the direction of the pattern on the linoleum surface.
If the linoleum spreads in more than one piece, then the individual parts of the material must be joined and glued together. In this case, when calculating the dimensions, in addition to the perimeter allowances, take into account joint allowances of about 10 cm.
After laying linoleum, you should remove the excess around the edges, left in reserve. It is especially important to do this first in the corners of the room, and then around the entire perimeter. After that, you should wait another day until the laid material is completely unfolded and, if necessary, trim the excess. When the linoleum with the backing has settled down, you can proceed to the installation of the baseboards, which will be the final stage of laying the floor covering.
You will learn more about how to choose a substrate for linoleum on a concrete floor in the following video.