Today’s professional installers have no shortage of adhesives from which to choose when executing their flooring projects. Some cite a particular product’s “green grab,” while others prefer glues that have a much longer working time. In most cases, though, the floor layer’s choice of glue used boils down to ease of use, familiarity, cost and, of course, dependability.
FCNews rounded up a few installers, contractors and craftsman/craftswomen to identify the adhesive products that help them seal the deal on the job site. Following is a sampling of some of those products:
With large-format tiles trending, especially large slabs of marble in varying shades of stark white to a rich emerald green, finding the right kind of tile mortar for these installations is imperative. Enter Bostik Big Tile & Stone: A polymer-modified, large and heavy tile mortar that can be used for both interior and exterior installations. Whether it’s ceramic, porcelain, granite or marble this product has it covered.
“I’ve been in the flooring and installation industry for over 20 years and Bostik products have always been our go-to,” said Josh Fox of MDG Flooring America in Medina, Ohio. “A majority of our work entails working with 12 x 24 and 24 x 24 tiles and [Bostik Big Tile & Stone] is ideal for that. What I like most about it is its workability, sag and slump resistance…we can work in extreme temperatures and trust that the product will hold its integrity throughout the day.”
Divergent’s 440 Ultra-Premium Multi-Purpose adhesive boasts a solvent-free, non-flammable and freeze-thaw stable formula that covers a wide array of installations. Divergent’s 440-approved substrates include concrete, portland-based underlayment, radiant heated floors and more. It’s moisture resistant up to 95% RH, CRI Green Label Plus certified and features an extended working time—making it ideal for double glue and pattern matching applications, according to the company.
“One of the things I require in a multi-purpose glue is that it has a high solids, meaning less moisture, and this glue does,” said P.J. Arthur, CEO and founder of the Natural Fiber Installer Certification (NFIC.) “The performance of this product has never failed me.”
While Arthur trains and certifies installers, he said he recommends this glue to his installers who take NFIC training and told FCNews he uses it in personal projects as well due to the performance this adhesive lends.
254 Platinum from Laticrete is a one-step, polymer-fortified, thin-set mortar ideal for thin porcelain tiles, thin porcelain tile panels and glass tiles. The smooth formula contains anti-microbial technology to help protect against bacteria like mildew and mold.
It’s the preferred product for craftswomen like Allison Eden, owner of Allison Eden Studios in New York, who has used Laticrete products to create her bold and whimsical high-fashion mosaic art that is skillfully crafted by hand. For each of these one-of-a-kind designs, Eden said she uses 254 Platinum exclusively due to its superior bond and simple mixing process that solely requires water. With its long open time, it allows her and her team to work at their own pace without the pressure of having to rush.
Installers in the market for a reliable adhesive for wood flooring often reach for SikaBond-T55 from Sika/Dritac. This one-component, polyurethane adhesive is fast curing, crack bridging, easy to trowel and can be used with a variety of woods—even beech and bamboo. Best of all, it’s permanently elastic, meaning it allows wood planks to expand and contract without damage to the substrate or adhesive. The product can be used for both solid and engineered wood installations.
“[Sika/Bond-T55] is a nice product to work with and a very flexible product,” said Dan de Paula, owner of Picasso’s Flooring Designer, with multiple locations in the New York Tri-State area. “I’ve been using Sika for the last 15 years [for] all my jobs and I’ve never, ever had any problems. It is the best on the market.”
Newer doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes, it’s the tried-and-true products that remain a favorite for years and years to come. In Stauf’s case, the company’s WFR-930 Solva-Mastic has been used to install more than 1 billion feet of flooring since it was introduced to the market in 1969. This alcohol-based, high-strength formula contains no chlorinated solvents, is ozone and environmentally safe while meeting all VOC and EPA requirements.
“I would say its main benefit is its grabbing power—it grabs pretty well and it sets up quick,” said Steven Donaldson, owner of Hardwood Flooring Specialists in Memphis, Tenn. “It spreads a lot easier than most glues and it’s [an easier] clean up.”
Along with its strong grabbing power and spreadability, there is no flash time required, meaning installation can begin right away.
Taylor provides a wide range of solutions that can be utilized for multiple flooring types. Take, for example, its Signature Line, which includes a pair of adhesives (Agile and Dynamic), which are approved for various kinds of carpet, resilient and wood installations.
Agile’s formula is designed for direct glue-down as well as double-stick applications for carpet, linoleum, sheet and cork underlayments. It boasts a quick grab, high strength bond and an early leg development.
For Robert Varden, veteran installer and former CFI executive director, it’s his go-to product for carpet installations. “I love the spreadability of it, the set-up time and the fact that if I’m dealing with a patterned carpet and I’ve got pattern elongation issues to deal with, it gives me a nice bit of slip time.”
Dynamic, by comparison, is a fully cross-linked adhesive that boasts sturdy bond-strength while temporarily retaining PSA-like surface tack. The firm-set adhesive has a water-resistant bond and ColorReady technology that works with multiple flooring types such as carpet, LVT, LVP, rubber sheet, cork underlayments and more.
“I really like Dynamic because I like the way it spreads—it’s smoother than most glues,” said Anthony Castanon of Castanon Flooring in Dickinson, N.D. “It’s just a better-quality glue.”