Fast-setting flooring installation systems offer timely solutions.
By Adam Abell, Senior Market Manager, Tile & Surface Preparation Installation Systems, Consumer & Construction Business Unit, Bostik, Inc.
Whether you’re in Midtown Manhattan or Moss Point, Mississippi, you’re most likely hearing and feeling the following exclamation more than ever: “Everybody’s in such a time crunch!” This has become a reality. And in great part, because the digital age has expedited so much of just about everything.
An even more ubiquitous phrase today, the “Need for Speed” (NFS) has become an expression spoken, heard and read everywhere. So much, in fact, that if one Google’s it, in roughly 1.16 seconds, over two billion NFS links will pop up. Regarding accelerating processes within the construction sector, it has become more than evident, especially for those closely monitoring timelines, that professionally managed scheduling ultimately satisfies so much for so many.
A large new urban multi-level healthcare facility project is about to break ground; the overall construction schedule begins. Think about how many different skilled trades must perform at the same jobsite from groundbreaking to grand opening. Ideally, when each of these trades is finished with their respective assignment, the next contractor “in line for that area,” is immediately alerted to be “up,” and their people promptly begin. If this regimen is adhered to, ultimately everyone is pleased (in particular, the building’s owner).
Generally speaking, what must be considered in expediting this NFS?
- New user-friendly products must be accepted by established contractors. This can happen when a trusted, old-school “feel” is combined with new-school technology and, of course, understanding and embracing the NFS.”
- Educating contractors more today than yesterday is imperative! For example, knowing how long it took to build-out structures the past… and imparting how much speedier the processes can be now… is absolutely essential.
- Financial risk is unacceptable. Today’s marketplace will not allow for financial sacrifice. Owners/developers cannot and will not tolerate build-out setbacks that slow construction… resulting in financial risk.
- Labor Shortages must be acknowledged. With a tight labor market tackling demanding projects, an obvious solution is the need for higher-performing/faster to install materials.
- Compression of the construction timeline. Everyone must be on the same page. Product innovations that aid scheduling practices are needed now, more than ever, mandating one trade to begin either concurrently or in a very short timeframe after another completes their task and have left the jobsite.
- Pursuit of perfection. A mindset of “no room for mistakes” by any of the trades must be agreed upon across the boards. This ultimately will affect the overall scheduling process for all, in a very positive way.
- The need for “material change.” This includes new surfacing installation products such as high-performance, easy-to-install gauged porcelain panel adhesive systems that greatly save labor time, offer self-leveling, sound-dampening… and, much more.
- The new reality is, because fast-track projects have left their mark, the growing trend within the flooring industry is to offer rapid setting solutions.
“Clearly, we acknowledge and embrace the importance of this new reality,” stated Lenel Brown, Bostik’s marketing communications manager. “Bostik has not only made the commitment to provide the marketplace with high-technology solutions for every stage of surfacing installation (surface preparation, applying mortar, grouting and sealing). Our installation products also must cure as fast or faster than ever before. This, of course, expedites the process, allowing tile contractors the luxury of ‘confidently leaving early.’ “And,” continued Brown, “also, making it possible for the next trade in line to begin their magic ahead of the initial schedule. Everyone involved benefits.”
Bostik’s focus is to continually come up with high-tech chemical formulations that offer needed solutions. “We like to call this ‘the ‘intersection of method improvement via chemical advancement,’” added Brown.
In June of 2019, Bostik introduced its state-of-the-art floor prep material, SL-Rapid™, a rapid-setting, cement-based, self-leveling underlayment. “When there’s a time crunch relative to floor prep materials being installed, this product provides many solutions,” stated Kevin Ray, Bostik’s product specialist.
According to Brian Kelley, Bostik’s regional sales manager, “Fast track construction has become the norm. Whether its retail, hospitals, schools or other buildings, they all want to open ASAP for the obvious reasons.
“Floorcovering is usually last item coming in behind ceilings, millwork, walls etc.,” Kelley continued. “It makes it extremely difficult to work (maneuver) and takes longer, costing more money. The industry therefore needs products and tools that can adapt to these work situations.”
Like it or not, we all must accept that NFS (Need for Speed) today is not only a reality… it is a necessity. And, within the commercial construction sector, the NFRFI (Need for Rapid Flooring Installation) has been addressed by forward-thinking companies.
Brown summed it all up by stating, “We’re all businesspeople. And because of that, we know that time is money. We want our contractors to be successful in not only continuously providing impeccable flooring installations… but also, to be successful financially. That’s why Bostik offers to and trains them on our world-class, rapid-setting flooring installations. These materials, many which are offered with a lifetime warranty, have been proven to reduce costs absorbed by the end-user. By correctly utilizing state-of-the-art installation systems that address today’s NFS, each and every project ends up being successful… and ultimately, everybody involved wins!”