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Last edited 07 Feb 2021
Mastic asphalt flooring
The term ‘flooring’ refers to the lower enclosing surface of spaces within buildings. This may be part of the floor structure, such as the upper surface of a concrete slab or floor boards, but typically it is a permanent covering laid over the floor. There are many types of flooring materials available. For more information see Types of flooring.
Resilient flooring is loosely defined as flooring manufactured from elastic materials. Products made out of these materials share certain characteristics - they are durable and firm, but they also offer a degree of 'bounce' or resilience. For more information see Resilient flooring.
Mastic asphalt was introduced in the 1900s and became widely used as a type of resilient flooring up until the 1950s. It has experienced an increase in popularity due to useful characteristics inherent in its composition, application and durability.
Mastic asphalt is a mixture of fine and coarse limestone and dolomite aggregate and synthetic bitumens. Some grades may also contain natural asphalts, polymer modified bitumens and pigments to create different design effects (such as terrazzo) and colours.
To apply mastic asphalt, the mixture is poured while still hot so it can be distributed evenly. It is then smoothed and left to cool and cure, which takes approximately two to three hours (depending on the temperature in the surrounding environment). This can be an advantage in situations where speed is required.
While mastic asphalt flooring is not common compared to other types of flooring, it does have advantages in both commercial (in particular industrial, education and healthcare) and domestic applications, especially when water protection is a priority. Due to its water resistant nature, mastic asphalt flooring can be used as a protective layer under carpet, wood and other types of flooring.
In laboratories or manufacturing environments where chemicals and acids (other than solvents) are present and spark resistance is a factor (it has a non-flammable classification of Bfl-s1, under to EN 13501-1) mastic asphalt can also be a suitable flooring option. Warehouses and shop floors that experience regular traffic from equipment such as forklifts and pneumatic trolleys are suitable for mastic flooring.
However, if the surface will have to support heavy, permanent equipment, a mastic asphalt floor may become misshapen from the weight of the load. Therefore, it is important to select Type F1076 mastic asphalt for flooring that is graded according to usage, as follows:
- Grade I - Special hard flooring.
- Grade II - Light duty flooring.
- Grade III - Medium duty flooring.
- Grade IV - Heavy duty flooring.
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