Successful adhesive applications

by Darren
FloorworX Adhesive Application Jnl 5 14

Adhesives play a prominent role in ensuring the success of a specific floor type, with certain products uniquely designed for certain floorcoverings.

As part of its commitment to offering a complete flooring solution, FloorworX offers a variety of adhesives to suit the various products it sells. These are specifically developed for FloorworX products, but are also geared for multi-purpose use.

For example, its No.62 Acrylic Adhesive was explicitly developed for general use when installing vinyl tiles and sheeting, but is now also suited for use on its new carpet range, Renaissance Carpet Tiles. It is also suitable when using flocked flooring such as in the Flotex range.

On the topic of vinyl, it is advised that FloorworX adhesive be left to cure for 72 hours after application, before any stripping and sealing commences. This is due to the fact that, should the adhesive not have cured properly, the water will seep through the tile joints and reactivate the adhesive causing it to emulsify.

According to Roy Sinclair, FloorworX Technical Adviser, it is crucial to use the correct adhesive per floor type, always keeping the application area in mind. “The subfloor also plays an important part in the successful adhesion of a floor,” he says. “If the subfloor has not adequately dried (i.e. the level of moisture is too high), the adhesive could re-emulsify (become milky) and subsequently lose its grip. Most adhesives have a flash-off time, but other adhesives are applied wet, meaning the material is laid onto the wet adhesive and, as such, is laid before the adhesive flashes off (no waiting 10 – 15 min).”

The flash-off time of an adhesive is when it becomes tacky enough to lay the floorcovering in. This can be determined by a simple finger test, using the index finger to scrape off some of the adhesive. Test between thumb and finger if the adhesive is sticky. This is usually carried out 10-15 minutes after application of the adhesive, depending on climatic conditions.

Roy adds that another key consideration is using the correct notched trowel. “Suppliers are urged to know what works with their specific product,” he highlights. “The notches on a trowel determine the amount of adhesive that will be applied. It is advised to roll the adhesive with a hard paint roller to spread adhesive evenly. Rolling the floorcovering with an articulated 68kg metal floor roller directly after installation ensures a smooth finish and secure bond.”

Roy concludes by emphasising temperature’s role when applying an adhesive. If the temperature isn’t ideal, it will affect flash-off time. FloorworX recommends a temperature range of 15-20°C. “If it’s too cold, the water component in the adhesive will crystallise and won’t flash-off at all; it will just harden,” Roy explains. “In turn, if it’s too hot and humid (whether subfloor or atmospheric heat), the adhesive will stay wet and become milky, or cause the flash-off process to occur too quickly.”

All these critical factors could ensure either the success or failure of an installation and are exceptionally important. When turning to FloorworX, take advantage of its Technical Department Advisers, who are always on stand-by to provide further data and to assist with specific projects and/or special applications.

For more information please contact Roy Sinclair on 082 823 4844.

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