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Flooring by Henton News

  • How is our Rubber Flooring made, and what is it made from?

    The main difference between natural rubber and synthetic rubber is that natural rubber is a natural biosynthesis polymer obtained from a plant called Hevea brasiliensis, whereas synthetic rubbers are man-made polymers under controlled conditions.

    Virgin rubber is made from the milky latex found inside the rubber tree.  This latex is made up from a large number of flexible molecular chains.  If these chains are linked together to prevent the molecules moving apart, then the rubber can take on its elastic quality.  This process is called vulcanisation, and is done by heating the latex with sulphur, the mixture is heated to 150oc and then vulcanised in moulds that are compressed by a hydraulic press.

    This process gives increased strength, elasticity and resistance to changes in temperature.  It renders the rubber impermeable to gas and resistant to heat, chemical action and abrasion.

    Sustainability has being raised on the word wild agenda dramatically in the last few years.  Scientists have confirmed what environmental campaigners have being telling us for years; that we cannot carry on as we have being if we want to protect the planet and its resources.  This has led to governments bring in new legislation for greener design and construction methods, in particular, in the property sector.

    It has to be conceded, that the rubber flooring industry has historically not being the greenest on the market.  Rubber is very hardwearing, recyclable and has high insulating properties, but it’s in derived in part from by products of petrochemical processing.

    Natural Rubber is produced by bleeding the rubber tree for there latex, to be turned into rubber.  Although this does not destroy the tree it is not as environmentally friendly as you may first think.  Huge areas of forest have to be cut down; in places like china, to make room for the huge plantations of rubber trees.  The tree’s are so sensitive that a frost can wipe them all out, which means replanting again.  Turning this come into the finished rubber can also produce large amounts of co2, which of course is just as damaging to the environment, and after all this natural rubber is to soft to produce a durable surface.

    Standards for making rubber flooring in the UK are highly commendable as they are in Europe, but unfortunately there is little production in the UK.  European manufactures generally take there obligations seriously, but standards are often lower in cheap labour area’s such as India and China.

    At the rubber floor store, by ensuring our rubber flooring is produced inside Europe, using recyclable packaging, and offsetting delivery costs, we ensure that our products and as a company, we are being as green as possible.


    Tiles can be installed onto any floor that is clean, level and firm - It is better to install when the temperature is between 16 – 24C°.

    Before Installation

    • Tiles must be placed in the room where they are to be fitted for 24 hours prior to installation
    • This allows the tiles to acclimatise to their environment
    • Brush the existing floor to make sure the floor is clean of dust and dirt.

    Tools you will need:

    • A sharp knife fitted with a heavy duty blade
    • Rubber Mallet
    • Chalk or Pencil
    • Cutting board
    • Tape Measure

     Tips on cutting:

    • Cutting should be done with a sharp blade.
    • Several light cuts are better than one heavy cut.
    • Always cut away from yourself from front to back
    • Use a cutting board to prevent damage to the subfloor.

    Let’s begin

    1. Measure the length & width of the room and divide the dimensions in two.
    2. Locate & mark the centre of the room – This is the approximate starting point for the installation
    3. Check the number of tiles required to reach the walls in each direction. Remember you can cut the tiles to fit.
    4. Draw a chalk-line through the start point parallel to the longest dimension. This is to act as a guide for keeping tiles parallel to the walls. To ensure the line is parallel to the walls, measure out from the wall near each end of the room, mark the points on the floor and draw the chalk-line between the points.
    5. Starting from the middle of the room begin to lay the tiles. – It is advisable to set the tiles down first – lay them out on the floor before you proceed to fit them together.
    6. If there are to be large areas of different coloured tiles, the order of installing is still from the centre outwards and not all of one colour then all of another colour.
    7. Using the rubber mallet, tap the tiles together starting from the corners of the tile and working out.
    8. It is very important to leave approximately 5mm expansion gap between the tiles and the walls or any fixed point – this is for expansion. Sometimes for larger areas a bigger gap is required.
    9. Once all the full tiles have been laid it is advisable to wait approximately 24 hours before finishing the edge sections.

    Finishing Off The 5mm gap between the tiles and fixed points can be sealed with an acrylic putty or silicone sealant from a hand gun. Please wipe off excess sealant immediately with a damp cloth.


    In doorways, a threshold strip can be used if tiles are to meet a different floor covering. If the tiles are to continue through a doorway no threshold strip is required but the tiles in the doorway should be adhered.

    Cleaning and Maintenance

    Tiles can be cleaned and maintained easily using a damp mop. We recommend that excess water is not used. Tiles are resistant to most chemicals however all spillages should be removed without delay


    Indoor use only


    Interlocking Slate has a unique hidden join which requires special attention when installing all of the above instructions apply however when initially putting down slate tiles you have to insure:

    1. The interlocks are lined up correctly (because they are a hidden join you cannot see them therefore care needs to be taken before the mallet is used)
    2. Using your thumb press the interlocks lightly together until you hear a click
    3. Once this has been done you can continue to secure the interlocks with the rubber mallet making the joins tighter and completing the process

  • Installation of Rubber tiles – indoor use only

    Tools you will need:

    • A sharp knife fitted with a heavy duty blade
    • A2 Notched trowel
    • Chalk or Pencil
    • Cutting board
    • Tape Measure

    Before installation.

    On arrival at site, the tiles should be stored, together with the adhesive, at a minimum temperature of 18ºC for at least 24 hours
    before laying.
    To achieve best results, site conditions should be a working temperature of between 18ºC and 26ºC for 24 hours prior to, and during, the laying period and for 24 hours afterwards.
    Conditioning areas and laying areas should be of similar temperature, to prevent thermally induced dimensional changes.
    In installations where under floor heating is used, this should be switched off from 48 hours prior to installation until 48 hours
    afterwards. It should then be brought slowly back up to the working temperature, a maximum of 27ºC.
    The work area should now be prepared to receive the rubber tiles. Ensure all other trades have completed their work and removed all their equipment and materials. Remove all debris and sweep or vacuum the whole floor area. Check the condition of the subfloor and make good as necessary. Remove any surface contaminants that may affect adhesion. Sweep or vacuum again prior to laying. Good lighting is essential.
    It is important to note that commencement of work is deemed by many as acceptance of the site conditions as being suitable for laying floor coverings.


    If the subfloor is concrete than a latex smoothing compound needs to be laid and left to dry before the tiles can be laid. The latex needs to at least 3mm thick, and applied so that it is perfectly smooth.


    If the subfloor is wood, then Ply board needs to be laid to the full floor area, and must be secured using staples. It is recommended to use a 4mm marine ply board.


    The layout of the tiles can be critical to the success of the installation. Working from the centre of the room and loose lay the tiles to check the layout will make the final appearance correct from any viewpoint. This is especially important where a geometric design is incorporated into the floor.


    • Measure the room to be laid in both directions, including any alcoves etc.
    • Mark a chalk centreline A-B ensuring that it is square to the wall with the doorway.
    • Loose lay tiles away from the centreline A-B and check that no small strips will have to be
      laid at the perimeter of the room. If small strips do result, move the centreline in either direction,
      keeping it parallel to the line A-B, so that the perimeter tiles will only require a small piece cutting off.
    • Mark a chalk centreline C-D, ensuring that it is square to the line A-B. Check squareness with a
      large square, trammels or geometrically.
    • Loose lay tiles away from the centreline C-D and check that no small strips will have to be laid. Adjust centreline C-D as described for A-B.


    The amount of adhesive that can be spread at any one time depends upon the prevailing site conditions, such as temperature, humidity and through flow of air – all of which affect the open time of the adhesive. Adhesive manufacturers provide details of the open time, and their instructions should be followed. Ideally, the floor area should be divided into workable sections, leaving the perimeter tile areas unadhered until the main body of the floor has been laid. The trowel used for spreading the adhesive must have a maximum of 2mm teeth for spreading adhesive to the correct level.


    Ensure the backs of the tiles are free from dust prior to laying. This can be done whilst waiting for the adhesive to “go off”. Once the adhesive is ready to accept the tiles, place the first tile at the starting point, which is the intersection of the two centrelines. Press well down in the centre of the tile and then run a thumb around the edge, ensuring all air is expelled. Place the next tile in position, alternating the colour if necessary, and proceed down the centreline, laying two tiles wide i.e. one tile either side of the centreline. It is essential to keep the tiles exactly on the centreline.
    Repeat the sequence along the centreline at right angles to the first. Then, working from the completed centrelines, finish the section taking care that tile bond is maintained throughout. Any excess adhesive should be removed as work proceeds.


    Two techniques are commonly used for cutting perimeter tiles. The choice is mainly dependent upon the run out of the wall.

    5.1 Overlapping Method

    Used when there is little or no run out of the abutting wall.

    • Place the tile to be cut exactly over the last tile laid, ensuring the colour is correct.
    • Place another full tile on top of the tile to be cut, with its “top edge” against the wall
    • Scribe a line onto the tile to be cut, using the “bottom edge” of the top tile as a guide.
    • Cut the tile to the scribed line, loose lay into position and check the fit. Repeat along the whole wall.

    5.2 Scriber Method

    Used when the wall run out is quite severe or when the wall profile cannot be picked up using a straight edge.

    • Place the tile to be cut exactly over the last tile laid ensuring the colour is correct.
    • Set the bar scriber to the size of the tile being laid.
    • Trace the profile of the wall onto the tile to be cut, ensuring the bar scriber is kept upright and square to the edge of the tile. Cut the tile to the scribed line, loose lay into position and check the fit. Repeat along the whole wall.

    Note: Both the overlapping and scriber methods can be used to fit around projections such as door frames. Similarly, a template can be made or templating guide containing movable pins used for awkward shapes.

    7.6 ADHERING THE PERIMETER TILES Once a wall edge has been fitted and loose laid; turn all the tiles inward so as not to lose their position. Spread the adhesive right up to the edges. When the adhesive has lost sufficient moisture, lay the perimeter tiles. Wipe up excess adhesive as work progresses.

  • Mr and Mrs Steel

    I had to email to say how thrilled we are with our new floors! The floor is a far superior quality than we have had previously and we are so glad we opted for this material. We have decided we would definitely like the same on the next two floors and will soon be in touch. Many thanks again for a superb and stress free project.

  • Mr Kelly

    I love my new bathroom rubber flooring tiles, thanks again and looking forward to doing the kitchen in the same colour now!

  • Mr and Mrs Sharpe

    Chris and I are very pleased with the rubber flooring, thanks for your help, fast delivery and great products.

  • Mrs Batt

    We are delighted with our flooring and standard of the finish. Thank you for your expert advice and help, it was very reassuring to have someone who was knowledgeable and practical.

  • Bright Sparks Kindergarten

    Thanks for all your help, the floor looks beautiful and bright, a fab job!

  • Mrs Fuller

    I would like to thank Richard for his help and advice in selecting my new bathroom floor. I feel your firm gave me an excellent service and would not hesitate to recommend you in the future.

  • Mr and Mrs Coleman

    Thank you for your help and advice about the flooring for our property, we are very pleased with how the flooring looks. I am hopeful that we will return to get further flooring from you in the near future.

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