Installing Durabella Floating Floors
The Durabella acoustic cradle and batten flooring system is designed to reduce sound transmission through concrete and timber floors. It allows for levelling of uneven floors and the installation of services beneath the floor if required. The system can also be used with under floor heating. It is an easy to install system that is suitable for new build and refurbishment projects in the domestic, commercial, leisure and sports industries. The system can be used to meet the sound insulation requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations as amended 2004. The system can be laid with an overall depth of 55mm up to 500mm.
Site Preparation & Storage
The building should be dry and weather tight. If screed has been applied with must be fully cured. Block and beam or concrete plank floors should be fully grouted at all joints and perimeters. The floor where the cradle and batten flooring is to be installed should be dry, reasonably smooth and free of debris. All components of the cradle & batten flooring should be stored inside, under cover in dry conditions. They should be stored in the location where they are to be used at least 48 hours prior to installation. Adhesives should be stored within recommended temperature limits as defined by the manufacturer.
Installation will require the use of:
- Laser level
- Chalk string line
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- Utility knife
- Battery Drill
- Countersink bit
Damp proof membrane
On ground floor slabs and new concrete bases above ground level a damp proof membrane with a minimum 1000 gauge is recommended. Joints should be lapped by a minimum of 150mm, Joints should be taped and sealed with a waterproof adhesive tape. The edges should be upturned at the perimeter wall to the same height as the overlay boards.
Services should be installed between the battens before the flooring is fixed. Services at the perimeter wall must be a kept at minimum of 150mm from the wall to allow for the perimeter batten and should not be grouped wider than the available batten spacing. Where services penetrate through the floor the hole should be larger than the service pipe, To prevent airborne sound transmission the hole should be sealed with an acoustic sealant.
Note: Different batten spacing can be adopted to accommodate existing services, additional header support battens and cradles may be required where the ends of the board fall short of the main batten structure.
Acoustic or thermal insulation
Acoustic or thermal insulation quilt can be laid between the battens, if required.
Cradle & batten spacings
The information in the chart below indicates the recommended cradle and batten spacings and the finished floor heights.
When using stone, marble or ceramic tiled finishes it is recommended that plywood is used as the overlay board and that a modern flexible adhesive and grout is used.
In areas which are likely to be subject to heavy loading such as kitchens and bathrooms and communal areas such corridors, hallways and landings in apartment buildings, hotels, schools etc. the spacing of the acoustic cradles should be reduced to 300mm.
Where services are installed beneath the flooring and access is required removable access panels can be fitted to form duct runs. Noggins should be inserted which are supported by additional cradles so that all the edges of the removable panel are supported and the panel should be secured using screws. If there is a requirement for frequent access, panel fixings suitable for frequent access are available from Durabella DesignADeck.
Internal masonry walls should be built from the concrete base prior to the installation of the Durabella acoustic cradle and batten flooring.
Where lightweight timber or metal stud partitions are used, these may be built off the floating floor providing the battens are at 400mm centres and the acoustic cradles are at 600mm centres.
To provide additional support at door thresholds, a support batten on acoustic cradles should be laid across the threshold.
Laying the acoustic cradles & battens
Cradles and battens should be laid in accordance with the centres recommended in the table above. Commence in corridors and proceed into rooms to ensure a consistent level.
Start by measuring and marking out the perimeter batten round the edges of the room leaving a 10-12mm gap between the wall and the cradle and batten.
Then measure the batten centres from the furthest point from the doorway. Mark out every center e.g. every 400mm for the batten at 400mm centres. From the opposite side of the room mark out the same spacings then use a chalk string line, ping or mark between the matching marked points.
Measure the cradle centers along the marked-out batten runs at the required cradle spacing and mark or ping a chalk line to create a grid between the corresponding points.
Position the cradles around the perimeter at all the marked points and at every chalk intersection.
Use a laser level to establish the highest datum point of the floor. From the highest point work out the difference between every cradle and the datum point and write this on the floor next to every cradle.
Make height adjustments by inserting the appropriate combination of cradle packers (shimms) into the cradle equal to the height difference. For example, the height difference is 9mm – insert 1 x 5mm and 2 x 2mm packers. Height adjustments of up to 15mm can be achieved using the cradle packers. For height differences of more than 15mm, macro cradle base packers can be used beneath the cradle to elevate the cradle up to a maximum height of 140mm. These are available in 10mm, 15mm and 20mm.
Battens should be laid in a staggered formation ensuring all battens join within a cradle. Staring at the perimeter insert the battens into the cradles. Then insert the battens along the original marked lines. Batten ends must not come into contact with the perimeter wall.
Lay acoustic or thermal insulation quilt between the battens if required.
Laying the overlay board
Starting at the perimeter edge apply the Durabella adhesive to the top of the battens and lay the boards at 90°to the battens maintaining the 10mm gap at the perimeter. Boards should be secured to the batten using countersunk wood screws. Perimeter fixings on the long edge of the boards should not excel 600mm. Apply adhesive to the tongue and groove of the boards as they are laid. Boards should be installed in a brick/staggered pattern across the entire floor.
Boards should be laid so the ends of the boards in one row are at least 400mm from the ends of the boards in the adjoining row.
Edges on the short side of the boards must join on a batten or be supported with intermediate cradles and batten. Screw down the boards at 300mm along the battens and at 150mm from the long edge perimeter. Where short edges meet, these should be screwed down both sides of the join. Expansion joints will be required where the flooring exceeds 5m in length such as in long corridors. A 2mm gap should be allowed for each metre of flooring.
The Durabella resilient flanking strip should be inserted into the perimeter gap around the walls between the flooring and the walls. Once the skirting has been fitted, any excess flanking strip can be neatly trimmed with a utility knife.
Durabella uses 50% recycled plastic in the production of the cradle and packers and 100% recycled rubber crumb in the acoustic isolation pads. Cradle plates and rubber pads are supplied as two separate components. Assembly is made by placing the cradle plate on top of the rubber base between the 5mm downturn flanges. When 10, 15 or 20mm macro base packers are used, they are placed on top of the rubber bases prior to the cradle plate.
All Durabella battens are 46mm wide and 2400mm long. Battens are available in a range of sizes to meet your flooring height requirements.
Please refer to www.durabella.com for more information on Durabella flooring systems or call us on 01274 533311.