Step-by-Step Application Guide
Instructions for Tufflex Installation
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 top-coat application for the standard system. For instructions on how to install the FlexStone textured stone system, please contact your Tufflex distributor.
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.
Mixing and Tufflex Base-Coat Application
- Mixing Warnings
- Mixing Instructions
- Base-Coat Application Warnings
- Base-Coat Application
- Applying Over Large Areas
- Speed Up Curing
- Dealing with Imperfections
- Clean Up
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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 compatible with asphalt-based coatings.
If in doubt, test the product on a small area.
For a complete list of acceptable surfaces, please consult the surfaces page found in the Tech section or download the "surfaces.pdf" from the documentation section.
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), however, be sure to use a urethane-based primer. Alcohol-based primers react poorly with the urethane base.
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.
2) Remove or staple down any areas in question.
3) Also, cut out old vinyl around the walls and posts where vinyl has a tendency to shrink.
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.
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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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.
1) Fill any imperfections in the surface such as screw holes with the mixed Tufflex base. A generic 1-part polyurethane caulking may also be used.
Walls and Posts
1) Seal 2-3" around any posts and 8" up exterior walls where there is no stucco or siding.
For vertical application higher than 8", Tufflex can be thickened by adding a 20-30 silica sand fine rubber powder to the mix. In this case, add a cup of the rubber or the sand and increase it incrementally until the desired thickness is obtained.
Unless "Tongue and Groove" plywood is used, there should be a 1/16" expansion gap between square edge plywood.
DO NOT allow any Tufflex to fill the gaps between plywood.
1) Cover these gaps with seam tape.
2) Secure the seam tape with a thin coat of mixed Tufflex base.
3) Use a brush or trowel to smooth the surface of the tape.
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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. This involves mixing a larger amount of the Tufflex Base, applying the base and allowing it to cure, followed by the application of either the Standard or Flexstone systems.
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. Try to maintain a wet edge to flow into.
Always use a new or extremely clean pail for mixing a new batch the Tufflex base.
If the pail is to be re-used, trowel out the residual base and clean the pail thoroughly before mixing a new batch.
Any base leftover in the pail will cause the new mixture to turn "chunky" and result in a poor finish.
1) After opening the pail of raw Tufflex base, stir the base in order to reconstitute any product that might have settled during storage.
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 and paddle to stir the mixture.
5) Keep the paddle deep in the pail and draw the material from the bottom in order to avoid mixing air into the solution. DO NOT "bounce" the paddle up and down. Trapped air may cause the cured product to blister.
6) Stir the mixture slowly and consistently.
Once the mixture feels thick and consistent, begin your field application immediately.
Base-Coat Application Warnings - READ THIS BEFORE APPLYING THE BASE-COAT!!!
Rough surfaces and old membranes may need more base membrane than usual.
When using the trowel, DO NOT interrupt the self-leveling process by "playing" with the base.
DO NOT worry about ridges or defects. After the product cures, any defects can be grinded out with a slow speed drill and grinding stone.
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" or 3/8" V-notch trowel. After the self-leveling process, this will result in a base-coat thickness of approximately 3/16" on new plywood, concrete or similar surface.
3) Keep the trowel straight and spread the base with a minimal number of passes.
4) Stop 1/2" from the edge of the flashing. (The top coat will be applied to the edge.)
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 such large areas, use a notched squeegee instead of a trowel.
Maintain consistent pressure on the squeegee to obtain the desired thickness.
1) Allow to cure overnight. Under optimum conditions, the Tufflex base-coat will cure in 6-8 hours.
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.
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 mineral spirits or Toulene.
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 System or Flexstone System.
Standard System (Flat Colour)
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 (over two days), wipe the surface with a small amount of Xylene to ensure that the surface is clear of contaminants.
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.
FlexStone System (Textured Stone)
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.