Step-by-Step Application Guide

Application Instructions for Tufflex & Flexstone coatings

**For easy to understand application instructions download the" how2apply.PDF" file in the box called Downloads to the right**

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to apply Tufflex to any surface that you wish to waterproof, be it a sundeck, walkway, garage floor, boat deck or the like. This instruction manual will guide you through surface preparation (for new / old plywood, concrete and old membranes), base-coat application and finish coats.

For a complete list of equipment requirements, please consult the equipment page found in the Tech section or download "equipment_checklist.pdf" from the documentation section.

You can jump to any section of the How-To Guide by clicking on the corresponding link from the following menu.

Surface Preparation

Perimeter Application

Mixing and Tufflex Base-Coat Application

Top-Coat Application

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Surface Preparation

Surface Preparation Warnings - READ THIS BEFORE STARTING!!!

The Tufflex base will adhere to almost any surface including wood, concrete, metal, old vinyl, tile and fiberglass.

Tufflex DOES NOT, however, adhere to smooth plastics and IS NOT recommended for over asphalt-based coatings. #2 Primer/Sealer can be used in above situations.

When in doubt, test the product on a small area for adhesion.

For a simplified set of Application Instructions go to "Techs & Specs" top menu and download the PDF file called "how2apply.PDF" in the box that says DOWNLOADS.

Cleaning / Priming

The first step is to prepare the surface in order to ensure a strong bond.

1) Make sure that the surface is clean and free of debris. Vacuum the debris from between any cracks or gaps on the deck.

2) The surface must also be dry.

New surfaces like plywood and concrete do not require any priming.

If the surface is contaminated (damp, dirty or weathered), or smooth concrete, or PTD plywod you should use our #2 primer/sealer gor maximum adhesion and also to block any contaminates or moisture from seeping upwards..

Old Membranes / Existing Coatings

When applying Tufflex over a pre-existing coating or covering such as vinyl, fiberglass or ceramic tile, special precautions must be taken.

1) Ensure that the existing covering is not lifting in any areas. Tap with a wood pole to see any any areas sound hollow and use some small ring nails like you use for drywall and flatten out these areas prior to Tufflex base application.

2) Remove or staple down any Vinyl areas peeling up.

3) It may be advisable to, cut out old vinyl around the walls and posts where vinyl has a tendency to shrink and let go. Same applies to over top of old drip flashings.


1) Use foam backer rod to fill any large gaps between the deck and the wall.

Cant strips are not needed since Tufflex is extremely pliable and can comfortably bend 90 degrees up walls or posts. If cant strips exist just go over top.


1) Where water drains off the edge of the deck, nail down a 2" x 2" metal drip-edge.

2) Use small flat-head galvanized nails to secure the flashing. Keep the nails 6" apart and close to the inside edge so that there is no need for seam tape.

3) Rough up the top of the drip-edge with sand paper to ensure a strong adhesion with the Tufflex Base.

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Perimeter Application

After the surface has been prepped and the flashing installed, the next step is to mix a small amount of Tufflex Base to apply around the perimeter of the deck - filling in imperfections, sealing walls / posts and covering seams.

Mixing a Small Amount of Tufflex Base

1) Pour a small amount of raw Tufflex base into a pail.

2) Add 1 part water for every 4 parts of raw Tufflex Base.

3) Stir the mixture until it feels thick and consistent.
It is not advisable to mix more than 2 gals of base at a time as it sets up quickly and you need to move fast to trowel it out before it starts to set up and thicken.

Surface Imperfections

1) Fill any imperfections in the surface such as knot holes, splinters and deep screw holes with a small amount of mixed Tufflex base. A generic 1-part polyurethane caulking may also be used.

Walls and Posts

1) Seal 2-3" around any posts and up exterior walls where there is no stucco or siding. If it is a permit job inspectors want it up the walls 8" and using our seam tape as wall reinforcement is also something inspectors like to see.

For vertical application higher than 8", Tufflex can be thickened by adding our fine powdered black rubber filler a fine 20-30 silica sand into the mix. In this case, slowly add small amounts into a small batch of mixed base and stir with a stick until you can feel it thickening You are turning it into a vertical grade this way.


Unless "Tongue and Groove" plywood is used, there should be a 1/16" expansion gap between square edge plywood.

DO NOT allow any liiquid or caulking into the plywood expansion gaps.

1) Cover these gaps with seam tape keeping the liquid above the gaps as in moist climates the plywood can swell and gaps will close pusing up the liquid and you may see a small ridge (just a cosmetic thing).

2) Secure the seam tape with a thin coat of mixed Tufflex base.

3) Use a brush or trowel to smooth and flatten the top surface of the tape so it is very thin and should not show through the thick base coat.

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Mixing and Tufflex Base-Coat Application

After the perimeter of the deck has been sealed and any imperfections have been addressed, the deck is now ready for field application of the Tufflex Base.
"It's not a good idea to mix more than 2 gals of base at at time as it needs to maintain its self-level mode so trowel marks disappear as it sets up."


Mixing Warnings - READ THIS BEFORE MIXING!!!

Start with a small amount. Once water is added, move fast. The base will begin to set immediately after water is introduced into the mixture. You want to maintain a wet edge to flow into so you need as much time as possible to apply the base.

Always use a new or extremely clean pail for mixing a new batch the Tufflex base.
Use 3 5 gal pails: 1 for water and 2 for mixing the base into.

With the flat edges of the Trowel scrape out the residual base and put it upside down on the next area to be coated and use the other pail for the next mix. Thjis way you can alternate the pails and avoid chunks from the pervious..

**TIP: Don't add water to the next mix until the prior mix has been troweled out**

Mixing Instructions

1) After opening the pail of raw Tufflex base, stir the base in order to reconstitute any resins and polymers that could have settled during storage. It's a good idea to mix all the pails you will be using at the start of the job so you don't waste time when using a new pail.

2) Pour the raw Tufflex base into a clean bucket.

3) Add 1 part water to every 4 parts of raw Tufflex base.

4) Use a slow speed drill (to avoid bubbles) and paddle to stir the mixture.

5) Keep the paddle deep in the pail and move up and down slowly to draw the material from the bottom trying to avoid mixing air into the solution.
Trapped air or bubbles may cause the cured product to blister.

6) Stir the mixture slowly and consistently for 3-5 mins.

Once the mixture feels thick and consistent, begin your field application immediately.

Base-Coat Application Warnings

Try to avoid installing the base on really hot surfaces as this speeds up the curing. It is best to coat early in the day or later when the surface has cooled down. The base sets up fast and hot temperatures speeds this process up even more.

Rough surfaces and old membranes may need more base membrane than usual. Normally on plywood you should get 150-160 sq ft per pail. Putting it on thicker is just wasting product as the base coat is incredibly strong even if it is a bit thin.

When using the trowel, DO NOT interrupt the self-leveling process by "playing" with the base. This slows down the installation so just keep the trowel moving.

DO NOT worry about ridges or defects. After the product cures and hardens, any defects can be grinded out with a slow speed drill and grinding stone.

Base-Coat Application

1) Pour the mixed Tufflex base over an area of the surface no larger than the expanse of your reach.

2) Spread the mixed Tufflex base with a 1/4" x 3/16" (V-depth) V-notch trowel. After the self-leveling process, this will result in a base-coat thickness of approximately 64 mils or 1/16" on new plywood, concrete or similar surface.

3) Keep the trowel straight and spread the base with a minimal number of passes.


Applying Over Large Areas

When applying Tufflex over a large area, it is recommended to have at least two people present - one dedicated to mixing the product while the other(s) applies the product over the surface area.

For large areas you can use a special Wired gauge rake and in some cases a notched squeegee can be used. Tufflex distributor sells the Gauge rakes.

Adjust the height of the Gauge rake bar to be 1/16" above the surface and using a long pole attached to the rake you can spread the base coat standing up.


1) Allow to cure overnight. Depending on the temperature the Base coat should cure in on full day. If you can walk on it you can apply the finish coats even if the base coat is a bit tacky.

Speed Up Curing

In special cases, such as applying Tufflex in cold weather, it may be ideal to speed up the curing time.

To speed the curing time, use warm water and/or add a vial of RBC accelerator into the mixture. Use a maximum of 2 vials of RBC per 5 gallon pail of base.

Using these measures, the Tufflex base-coat can cure within 4-6 hours in warm weather.

This step is recommended for experience applicators only.

DO NOT add or lessen the water content of the mixture in order to affect the curing time. Tufflex is water-catalyzed and requires the exact proportions specified in the mixing instructions to cure properly (1-part water to 4-parts raw Tufflex base). Adding or subtracting water will adversely affect the curing process.

Dealing with Imperfections

1) After the product has fully cured, grind out any defects with a grinding stone.

2) Ensure that the edges of the base layer are tapered. Any lips or raised areas can prevent water from flowing over the drip-edge and will cause water to pool.

Clean Up

1) Wipe away any wayward product with a rag as soon as possible.

2) If the base has partially set, use a small amount of Xylene on your rag to help dissolve the base.

3) Clean your tools with Xylene. Discard used brushes and roller sleeves.

If Xylene is not available, use Acetone,Toulene or mineral spirits may work.

4) Allow leftover base to set in the bucket and peel it out after it has set.

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Top Coat Application

Now that the Tufflex Base-Coat has been applied, we have the option of applying either the Standard Colour coat Finish or the Flexstone Textured Stonefinish.


The Standard System consists of: a colour top-coat that protects the base from UV damage and provides an attractive colour finish; and granules interlaced within the top-coat to provide traction.

Before applying the colour top-coat, make sure that the base has fully cured.

If the base has not cured properly, the top-coat may blotch or separate.

1) If the base-coat has been exposed for a prolonged period of time in a hot climate it may be advisable to wipe the surface with a small amount of Xylene. This will soften the surface a bit to ensure you attain good adhesion of the top coat.
Check with the distributor if in doubt or do a test patch.

2) Always stir the pail of AL Colour Top-Coat before use.

3) Pour a small amount of AL Colour Top-Coat into the roller tray.

4) Roll on a thin layer of AL Colour Top-Coat with a thick nap roller.

5) Broadcast silica sand (20-30 Grit) across the surface – akin to feeding chickens. The amount of silica sand depends on the desired texture of the deck. Proceed with caution. Too much silica sand may cause the top-coat to "fish-eye."

6) Roll over the silica sand with another layer of top-coat.

One layer of top-coat is sufficient to protect residential projects. For heavy traffic areas, use two coats.

7) Allow to cure. At room temperature, the top-coat takes 1-2 days to fully cure.

8) Pour leftover top-coat into a air-tight plastic pail to save for future use. Keep used top-coat in a cold-dry place.


The FlexStone System consists of: a colour coat that protects the base from UV damage and provides a wet substrate for adhesion with the colour flakes; colour flakes that give the surface a luxurious aggregate look; and a clear multi-glaze coat that protects the colour flakes from wear and tear.

For instructions on how to install the Flexstone System, please contact your Tufflex distributor.


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