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Sticking with tolerance

TEMPERATURE-tolerant adhesives have been developed for installing resilient floorcoverings in areas where temperatures have the potential to rise significantly. Here I’ll provide advice on when you need this kind of adhesive and choosing the right one.

Floorcoverings can expand and contract significantly when exposed to extreme temperatures or temperature fluctuations. This can be the case in conservatories or rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, which are subject to ‘solar gain’.

Over time, this can lead to unsightly tenting and gapping, in particular for vinyl tiles or planks. Once fully cured, temperature tolerant adhesives hold these floorcoverings firmly in place, restricting movement and ensuring the long-lasting performance of installations.

Contractors now have a range of temperature tolerant adhesives to choose from, including ones with extra features, such as pressure sensitive characteristics. F Ball’s technical service department often get questions about which product they should use for a particular project.

Wet-lay adhesives
Wet-lay temperature tolerant adhesives are available for contractors who are installing vinyl floorcoverings in areas that will be exposed to high temperatures. After applying the adhesive evenly over the subfloor with a trowel, the contractor simply allows the adhesive to dry slightly before placing the floorcoverings and then rolling to ensure overall transfer of the adhesive is achieved.

Nowadays, wet-lay temperature tolerant adhesives are available with a range of additional properties.

F Ball’s Styccobond F48 PLUS, for example, is a fibre-reinforced, high temperature grade adhesive for installing a range of vinyl floorcoverings. Fibres in Styccobond F48 PLUS allow it to offer high initial grab to hold floorcoverings securely in place while contractors are working. It’s also fast-drying, and as a one-part solution, there’s no mixing required before application.

Hybrid adhesives
The latest adhesive innovation has enabled the development of high-performance, hybrid adhesives, which combine temperature tolerance with pressure sensitive properties. Ongoing innovation has enabled manufacturers to add new features to these products to make them increasingly versatile.

F Ball’s Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS is a water-based vinyl adhesive with the familiar characteristics of a pressure sensitive adhesive, which develops the extremely high bond strength and dimensional stability required to hold vinyl floorcoverings firmly in place in areas exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations (from -20deg C to +60deg C).

The pressure sensitive characteristics of Styccobond F49 make it a great choice for installing vinyl tiles and planks and creating intricate patterns and bespoke designs that need precise alignment. Whilst providing high initial tack, the adhesive allows contractors to lift and reposition floorcoverings in the initial stages of drying.

Styccobond F49 has also been approved for installing vertical flooring accessories, such as PVC skirting, capping and coving, meaning it offers an alternative to traditional contact adhesives. However, unlike contact adhesives, the hybrid adhesive only needs to be applied to one surface. Styccobond F49 is also resistant to water, allowing it to be used in areas subject to water and high humidity, including wet rooms.

Floorcovering compatibility
Flooring contractors should always check that an adhesive is suitable for use with a particular floorcovering. For these purposes F Ball produces its industry-leading recommended adhesives guide (RAG). The 2021 edition of the guide lists adhesives recommended for use with more than 6,000 floorcoverings, produced by over 200 manufacturers.

A continually-updated version of the guide is available on F Ball’s website and as a free app. It’s also available as an A5 printed booklet.

Alternatively, F Ball’s technical service department is on hand Monday to Friday, between 8.30am – 5.00pm, to answer your questions about F Ball products and how to use them.

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