The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of College Planning & Management magazine.

Concrete Slab Configuration Raises Concerns Among Sports Flooring Installers

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL – Concrete slab configuration is very important in the success of a new maple floor installation.  Placing a below-slab vapor barrier directly beneath the concrete slab is proper and typical.  Placing any type of fill material between the below-slab vapor barrier and the concrete slab frequently causes moisture-related problems with the finished maple surface.

The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) requires the general contractor to provide a concrete slab troweled smooth and flat to a tolerance of 1/8 of an inch in a 10-foot radius, subject to the approval of the MFMA wood flooring contractor. By placing sand between the vapor barrier and the slab, a flatter concrete slab with less initial curling can be produced.  However, this configuration allows the sand to act like a sponge—trapping moisture within the sand layer during the concrete pour. Over time, trapped moisture can migrate up through the concrete slab and cause moisture-related difficulties with subfloor components and the finished wood flooring surface.

The only MFMA-recognized method for reading concrete moisture levels within a slab is by testing its relative humidity. Please refer to the instructions of the manufacturer’s relative humidity test kit for complete details on how to administer the test correctly. MFMA recommends the relative humidity level for a concrete slab for a non-glue-down maple floor system be 85 percent or lower and for glue down systems the concrete slab relative humidity level should be 75 percent or lower before installation.For concrete relative humidity conditions above MFMA’s recommendation consult your MFMA Sport Floor Contractor or your MFMA Manufacturer.

For more information regarding variations to MFMA’s recommended concrete slab configuration, please contact MFMA’s technical director at 888/480-9138 or email mfma@maplefloor.org.

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