As urban construction products continue to move skyward, the development of skyscraper living has created a need for better soundproofing building materials. The Maxxon company, which specializes in flooring materials, has developed a product called Gypcrete underlayment as an answer to this problem. In addition to industry leading sound rating scores, this product is also improving safety in public buildings by setting the standard for the next generation of building products with regard to fire ratings.
The self-leveling Gypcrete is designed to be installed directly over wooden sub floors. Taking the place of traditional cement backer boards, Gypcrete creates a solid, smooth surface that is ready to receive any number of hard surface flooring materials. Ceramic, stone, laminates, and even industrial flooring applications can be applied directly over the cured Gypcrete.
As the name states, Gypcrete underlayment is a liquid solution that is made up of a special formula of gypsum and concrete. The solution is poured out onto the floor in the same way that leveler would be and must be allowed to cure. One of the biggest benefits is the sound proofing quality that Gypcrete brings.
With the hardness and bonding abilities of concrete, the gypsum in the mix serves to deaden sound and absorb any echoes that would be transmitted through the floor. If you have ever lived in an old apartment building where you could clearly hear every footstep that the upstairs neighbors took, then you understand the inherent value of this quality.
Radiant Flooring Underlayment
Gypcrete underlayment is also ideal for use with radiant heat flooring. The Gypcrete can be poured directly over the water pipes that supply the heat for the flooring. and this can be done at a minimal thickness.
If the Gypcrete does need to be thicker than normal to meet depth requirements, then you can use a wire mesh just as you would with any concrete pour to add stability to the floor.
By adding the mesh, you prevent the possibility of break up later on down the road, and protect the fire rating of the floor as well. If the floor were to ever crack, then the fire rating would be reduced dramatically.
If you are planning on installing hardwood flooring over the Gypcrete underlayment, then you will need to install strips of wood into the pour so that you have something to nail the flooring too. These strips of wood are laid down on the wooden subfloor before the Gypcrete.
Once the Gypcrete is poured, it should be leveled of with the top of the sleeper boards to create a smooth and level surface. Now you have a fully functional Gypcrete floor with nailing strips built right in. This is by far the easiest way to install hardwood over a concrete or Gypcrete floor.