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Floor preparations over bitumen - guest post

Our British wood flooring Association colleague Matt Bourne brings you the following advice when faced with bitumen on your underfloor or subfloor:

Question: "Is there any way we can screed over bitumen when we want to glue a wooden floor down?"

Matty's advice:

Shotblast1 The bitumen should always be removed and not screeded over. The subfloor SHOULD be shot blasted to remove all bitumen and glue residue.

I prime with a neoprime primer use acrylic leveling compound over the top ONLY if the Bitumen is well stuck down and very thin. This will give you a good flat base. You can then use a epoxy dpm paint to deal with any moister problems.

Now please remember that this is NOT a recommended method by the product manufacturers. You are relying on how well the bitumen paint is stuck to the subfloor!

Do not use a latex flooring smoothing compound! These compounds are good for nothing and normally used by people who have no idea. ( 95% of builders ) They will stick to anything you put them over but have very little strength, so basically you can NOT use a epoxy compound or any sort of glue over the top!

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mr davey

hi im installing a reclaimed oak parquet floor on to a newly screeded base but the blocks have bitiman on the bottem what adhesive do you reccommend regards mr davey

Karin H.

Welcome Mr Davey

It is always recommended to remove as much bitumen of the blocks as possible. Any residue will have a negative effect on the bonding time of modern adhesives.

F.Ball B91 Styccobond works rather well, but be aware of longer bonding times.

Wood You Like Ltd


Hi, I am also installing a reclaimed floor that has bitumen on the back. it has been cleaned, but not complitely. the floor is a concrete floor with a very very thin layer of bitumen as well.shall i use bitumen again and is it the tipe they use on the roofs.where would i find to hire the materials/tools. or may be can i use a modern adhesive....
Many thaks for any advise

Wood You Like Ltd

Hi Sandra

Officially you are not allowed to use bitumen inside the home any longer (toxic). It is always best to remove as much bitumen from blocks and underfloor as possible. If only a small layer (1 - 2mm maximum) is left behind you can use any modern adhesive, like F.Ball B91 / B92 or Mapei P990 and correct notched trowel to glue down the floor.
Be aware that bitumen residue will effect the bonding time.

Hope this helps

Wood You Like Ltd


As you post mentions you must ensure that the products are compatible as this may cause a reaction with the screeding. If you are in doubt make sure and ask you floor screeding contractor if there is a potential problem.

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