August 19/26 2013; Volume 27/number 9
By Louis Iannaco
(First of two parts)
In this innovative world of modern day, multi-functional products, there is seemingly nothing the major adhesive players cannot do. Utilizing today’s state-of-the-art technology, companies are now able to offer products that act as more than just glue. These “new glues”—also known as multi-functional adhesives—are acclaimed for their numerous attributes beyond mere adhesion.
Initially, the traditional, multi-purpose adhesives were intended to offer a single adherent that could be used to install various types of flooring. For example, a broadloom carpet adhesive could also be used to install certain types of resilient flooring, and vice versa. “These multi-purpose adhesives generally dealt with only the adhesion of different flooring types to the subfloor,” said Jack Raidy, president, W.F. Taylor.
The newer multi-functional adhesives refer to bonding products that not only glue flooring to subfloors, but also perform other functions such as moisture blockage, sound reduction and crack isolation.
Taylor has long created capable, multi-purpose adhesives that offer a single type of bonding that can be used to install different types of flooring, thus eliminating excessive adhesive SKUs. The company has again taken the lead in the adhesive market by developing products that not only offer excellent flooring adhesion, but also “perform numerous functions previously attained with additional products designed for those specific functions that cost both money and time,” Raidy noted.
As David Clarkson, vice president of marketing for DriTac noted, multi-functional, multi-use adhesives are becoming ever more popular within the industry and are gaining significant market share for obvious reasons. “Whether it is 4-in-1 sound and moisture control flooring adhesive/sealer combination, or premium multi-use, pressure-sensitive flooring adhesive capable of installing several different floor coverings such as luxury vinyl tile and carpet tile, these products allow end users to positively impact their overall bottom line.”
Like Raidy, Clarkson believes multi-functional glues can cut down on the number of products to purchase and stock, as well as save invaluable time and labor onsite by not having to carry and use several different adhesives. “This is all accomplished with easy-to-use, cost-effective and environmentally friendly products that do not sacrifice quality or performance.”
Ralph Richins, regional sales manager for QEP, agrees, explaining that today there are two types of flooring adhesives. “One is a multi-purpose adhesive used to install multiple types of flooring; the other is used for a specific type of flooring but offers multiple benefits.”
According to Brandi Long, product manager and adhesive specialist for Metroflor’s Prevail line, “With today’s advancements, it’s possible to offer products that can be used efficiently, in a wider variety of applications, with less waste and less effort. An installer can work smarter, not harder, and ultimately save time and money.”
Education has always played a key role in getting the word out about what adhesives can and cannot do. Taylor, for example, expends a great deal of time, effort and personnel power to educate not only its existing customers on its advanced technology and multi-functional offerings, but also its potential customers as to the positive attributes of its products. “We don’t look at it as streamlining,” Raidy said, “but rather demonstrating the application of advanced chemistry to expand the capabilities of our products.”
Metroflor conducts training seminars for its customers all over the country, and Prevail adhesives, cleaners and accessories are always a big part of that picture, Long explained. “Education and advertising are great first steps.”
The key, Clarkson concluded, is for the installer to understand quality is not sacrificed with a premium multi-use product. “Not all flooring producers offer a premium product, and the market certainly has its share of less expensive products. We emphasize quality and performance in all our communications with our customers, including articles, advertising campaigns and our distribution network’s efforts, which are immensely important to our messaging.”