In commercial and residential construction, as well as remodeling, there’s a lot going on. Tradespeople – electricians, plumbers, tilers, etc. — are walking around and moving supplies and equipment, possibly on new or redone flooring. Potentially, they’re tracking mud, debris, and paint or worse, causing scratches that need floors to be redone.
With tight deadlines and budgets, anything you can do to minimize or eliminate cost overruns toward the end of the project can be valuable. General contractors and even individual tradespeople know that protecting existing finished work can speed up other phases of the job as well as minimize rework and liabilities. After all, these can catch up at end of the project impacting the bottom line.
Here are a few tips and products that can help mitigate some of these problems.
Maintain a clean jobsite
Depending on the project, maintaining a clean jobsite can mean many things. Containing debris and dust can drastically improve the health and safety of the tradespeople and those using the environment. Clean jobsites can also improve efficiency so workers can move around in the space without tripping. It also ensures finished work areas are protected from debris generated by work that has yet to be done.
Protecting the finished floors
There are a few things to consider when choosing flooring protection. Some of the most important questions include:
- How much traffic is going to be going in and out of the space?
- What kinds of debris or equipment will in contact with the floor?
- Will the flooring be exposed to water, mud, snow, paint, or other wet conditions?
- How long will the protection need to last — a day, weeks, or months?
All these are important questions to take into account when choosing appropriate flooring or surface protection.
Below are some guidelines and even some of our proven flooring protection products for the jobsite.
Paper is often the most inexpensive and widely used surface protection product. It comes in several varieties — from the standard, lightweight brown to a thicker red rosin paper. These offer protection for light traffic and even provide a minor amount of moisture barrier.
Recommendation: Trimaco X-Paper offers 1-½ times the thickness of traditional builder papers at an affordable price. It‘s also breathable, enabling floors to continue to cure or off-gas after initial installation. It’s also 100% recycled material.
Builder Board (cardboard)
If you need added protection and durability, pressed fiber or builder board might be your best bet. These products can offer heavy duty protection, standing up to even forklift traffic. Heavier and thicker than paper, but still lightweight, it’s easy to install. Products in this range are popular on commercial jobsites where extended time periods for continuous protection is needed. These products can even include custom printing, protecting surfaces as well as providing inexpensive advertising or brand recognition.
Recommendation: Trimaco FloorShell is five times thicker than builder paper, capable of handling forklift traffic. It has spill–block technology to prevent water, mud, and paints from penetrating the surface. It’s 100% recycled and economical to use. Breathable, it off gasses without causing strong odors. It also has scored edges for easy baseboard or wall protection.
By far the most versatile and durable are the many forms of reusable flooring protection. These products are typically made of various plastics or polymers to resist damage from extreme environments. Generally, these are the thickest and heaviest products, offering maximum floor protection from all kinds of hazards — chemical spills, slips extreme moisture, and sharp objects. Even with the higher initial cost, the main benefit is they are washable and reusable. Just roll it up and take it to the next jobsite! The longer life means it can actually cost less over time to use.
Recommendation: Trimaco Aqua-Shield comes in a few different varieties and thicknesses for different types of protection. Some options are even flame retardant to prevent the occasional burn from torches or sparks. Washable and durable, these protectors can be reused time and time again.
Don’t forget tape
With all the flooring protection options and varying protection levels, you’ll need some way to join them together. You need a tape that can stand up to the wear and tear the protection material provides. That is where a durable, flexible, moisture-resistant tape comes in. The tape also should be hand tear-able for ease of application without having to use a utility knife to cut and apply the tape.
Recommendation: Intertape Polymer Group PE7 Polyethylene Tape is a high-performance, durable, moisture-resistant sealing tape. Designed to adhere to many different substrates. It works well even in dusty conditions adhering to contaminated areas. IPG PE7 also features a clean removal when the job is done as well as being repositionable if needed. It has the versatility that contractors demand. This tape pairs perfectly with all the flooring protection solutions above.
Protect your jobsite
Take your jobsite surface protection seriously. It can lower your overall cost and liability as well as keep the job running smoothly without fear of re-works. Lane Supply Company carries a variety of types of tape to compliment these surface protection products as well as all the floor protection above.
Contact us to see what other products we have to help you protect your hard work.