Floor Finishes

Paul Ireland posted this on 2 Feb 2017

Can I use quarry tiles, porcelain tiles etc. ?

Yes absolutely. Make sure you finish your slab flat enough to lay the tiles by floating it up during the installation process. Tiles should be laid on full beds of adhesive rather than dot and dab. You can use glazed tiles even if they are not vapour permeable as when correctly installed the top of the limecrete will always stay dry and vapour will not be transferred through the full 100mm slab. 

You should consult the tile manufacturer for their recommendations regarding recommended adhesives and/or suitability of lime mortars as an adhesive or call us to discuss.

Are there any special adhesives & grouts we should consider? The bedding would depend on the dimensions of the tile/slab used. For laying stones and tiles we have a variety of solutions depending on their size and thickness:-

  • 10mm thick tiles/natural stone laid on a level screed with Adhere Cal – full bed (coverage 6m2 per bag @ 6mm combed bed)
  • >20mm thick tiles/natural stone laid with NHL3.5/NHL5 and Ty-Mawr Cumbrian aggregate – full bed

Tips - if the backs of tiles/stones are very smooth/polished then we recommend these are physically keyed before laying. Very absorbent tiles/stones will require wetting down before laying.

Can I use timber flooring as a finish? Yes,  wood flooring, can be used without a problem, bearing in mind you are putting a material with poor conductivity over a heat source, so efficiency will be compromised (there can be as much difference as 10 degrees between the heating pipes below the timber and the surface temperature of the floor), you should put in position loose and leave unfixed to give it time to 'settle in' before fixing,  the floor can be fixed to battens on the floor, there is also a  simple plastic support system that the battens sit on to aid levelling, alternatively the boards can adhere directly to the floor, both systems have been used with great success

Whatever system you chose it is obviously vital that the slab is allowed to dry completely before laying the timber. The moisture content should not exceed 2-3% which can be checked with a moisture meter over several areas. Alternatively, tape several clear polythene sheets each 1m2 in the area in various places across the floor and leave for 24 hours. If there is no moisture present under them then wood flooring can be laid. Timber should have a moisture content of 6-9% and the building should be dry – this includes walls as well as floors. Take advice from your floorboard supplier.                    

Can I use stone or slate flags to finish the floor? Yes - our limecrete floor system was originally designed as a floor slab for installation below a finished surface made from flagstones, slate tiles etc. We would usually bed using a rich lime mortar, this can be finished with a vapour permeable sealer if required to prevent staining from liquids, such as Surfapore M. 

Can I just put carpet down? Yes – floating the slab to a level surface or the addition of a screed enables floor coverings such as carpet to be used. We would suggest using hessian or jute underlays. 

Can I use linoleum on a limecrete floor? - Yes, just make sure the slab is completely dry.  Use real natural linoleum (linseed oil, pine rosin, cork etc.). There is an ‘eyemats’ floor with a knitted polyester surface laid onto the historic tiled floor of the chapel at the National Trust’s Tyntesfield House and it works well to protect the original floor while not causing any problems with moisture retention/sweating etc.

Categories: FAQs