Is my terrace subfloor suitable for rubber granulate tiles?

What is a good subfloor for rubber floor tiles? Any flat and load-bearing subfloor is suitable.

Our clients very often ask us if their existing terrace subfloor is suitable for the installation of WARCO terrace tiles.

It is a valid question; first, it is important to bear in mind that our tiles are elastic, so they adjust to the subfloor, and they are porous, which means rain water goes through them.

So, your subfloor should fulfill these 3 conditions:

– it should be permanently load-bearing,
– it should be quite flat,
– in case of balconies and roof terraces – it should be waterproof.

As regards the first condition, it is quite self-explanatory. The weight of the outdoor tiles varies from 14 kg /sq.m. (18 mm balcony tiles) to 22 kg / sq.m. (30 mm terrace tiles) and 28 kg /sq.m. in case of 40 mm tiles.

Secondly, uneven surface will be reflected in the elastic flooring which adapts itself to the subfloor. Obviously, the thicker the tile, the less it will be seen. Therefore, we recommend 18 mm tiles only for completely flat surfaces, while for roof terraces with plastic foil on them and small irregularities caused by the overlapping of the sheets – 30 – 45 mm tile. If the bumps are too big, use another layer of sheeting in between the bumps to reduce the unevenness. For winter gardens or terraces in garden, when the tiles are installed directly on soil or grass, or on compacted grit/gravel subfloor, we strongly recommend 40 mm tiles (and thicker).

Thirdly, our outdoor flooring is water-permeable, so rain water will go through the tile onto your existing subfloor. In case of a balcony or roof terrace, the subfloor needs to be waterproof. Any reasonably flat material is appropriate under rubber granulate tiles: concrete, old tiles, asphalt, roofing felt, roof foil, bituminous sheeting, fiberglass, etc. Most flat roof coverings should be suitable for our tiles – they are placed directly over the sheeting. WARCO recommends installation of the tiles on EPDM foil, while membranes which are made of PVC or FPO should not lay directly under the rubber flooring. In this case, a separating layer is required. If your terrace doesn’t have incline, don’t worry that water will accumulate under the tiles. Thanks to the capillary action, water will disperse through the tile and evaporate.

In case of installations on grit bedding or directly on soil, water will drain into the ground so no special drainage system is required. This is an ecological solution, as the ground is not sealed.

In most cases there is no need to prepare the subfloor, WARCO exterior tiles should be placed directly on the existing one. If you, however, need to build or prepare it, do it carefully, as firm and flat subfloor is a guarantee for the longevity of rubber tile surface. This particularly applies to installations around the house, in the backyard or garden. It is much easier to place the tiles directly on soil or grass, but this won’t last for years – the tiles will start shifting at some point, or soil or sand will get into the joints. Another convenient solution that might strengthen our subfloor is applying a stabilising plastic grid. Such an installation perhaps requires more effort but we are sure you’ll be satisfied with the result – a garden terrace which lasts for years and survives all weather conditions.

See also:
Carrelage terrasse et carrelage balcon

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