Contractors once had limited choice of adhesives for installing vertical flooring accessories. Now, thanks to technological advancements, there are new alternatives to traditional solutions, explains John Green.
CONTACT adhesives, tapes, and aerosols were once the only adhesive systems available for installing vertical flooring accessories, such as skirting, capping, and coving. Now, thanks to technological advancements, products are available that provide advantages over these solutions in many situations.
Such knowledge has enabled the development of new adhesives with added features, including wider compatibility with different floorcovering types and greater ease of use. As a result, contractors can now use certain vinyl floorcovering adhesives or a go-to flexible tube adhesive.
Contact adhesives have long been a popular choice for installing vertical flooring accessories. They are applied to both the flooring accessory and the surface it is to be applied to and allowed to become touch-dry. Coated surfaces bond on contact, which is helped by pressing or rolling. The immediate bond formed by these types of adhesive means accessories can’t be removed and repositioned at this stage.
Tapes and aerosol contact adhesives are also available for the installation of vertical flooring accessories. A downside of these solutions is that polymers used within these products mean that they can sometimes offer poor resistance to plasticisers – chemicals added to PVC materials that are released by the material over time. These can cause delamination of the flooring accessory from the substrate. Plasticiser resistance is key to making adhesives suitable for installing PVC skirting, capping, and coving.
This knowledge has enabled manufacturers to reformulate existing high-performance adhesives so that they now offer an alternative to contact adhesives.
This is the case with F Ball’s rapid-curing, flexible tube adhesive, Stycco Flex, which is 100% compatible with PVC flooring accessories as a result of high dimensional stability and excellent plasticiser resistance.
The high-strength build-up and fast curing time of the adhesive means it can also secure stair nosings and trims, without the need for mechanical fixings, in as little as 60 minutes. These properties restrict the movement of PVC accessories that occurs as a result of plasticiser migration, as well as temperature changes, eliminating the problem of gapping at joints.
Stycco Flex is easy to gun out and offers excellent nip-off qualities. It can be applied to vertical substrates without any slipping or sliding when using it to bond accessories in these types of situations. An extra advantage is that the excellent gap-filling qualities of Stycco Flex make it ideal for installing vertical flooring accessories on rough surfaces.
Recent advancements in adhesive technology have allowed the formulation of hybrid vinyl adhesives with revolutionary combinations of properties, which make them suitable for installing both vinyl flooring and vertical flooring accessories.
For example, F Ball’s temperature tolerant, pressure sensitive Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS vinyl adhesive has been approved for the installation of skirting, coving-and-capping. The pressure sensitive nature of the adhesive means it delivers instant grab, which is essential when installing vertical PVC flooring accessories, and also makes it ideal for installing luxury vinyl tiles and planks where intricate designs and patterns are being created.
The adhesive continues to build up strength following initial application and, when fully cured, develops the extremely high bond strength required to maintain its performance when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations (as low as -20deg C and up to +60deg C).
The bond formed between Styccobond F49 and vinyl floorcoverings and flooring accessories is also water resistant, making the adhesive ideal for use in damp and humid environments, such as wet-rooms.
Unlike contact adhesives, Styccobond F49 only needs to be applied to one surface to achieve a high bond strength and, with a working time of up to four hours, skirting, coving, and capping can be easily repositioned if initial alignment isn’t correct.
As always, it’s recommended contractors check the compatibility of particular floorcoverings and adhesives. For these purposes, F Ball produces its recommended adhesives guide (RAG), which lists adhesives recommended for use with over 6,000 floorcoverings, produced by over 200 floorcovering manufacturers.
It’s available on the F Ball website and as a free app, as well as a printed booklet. Alternatively, F Ball’s technical service department are on hand Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm, to answer your questions about F Ball’s products and how to use them. Contractors can also consult floorcovering manufacturers for advice.
John Green is technical service officer
at F Ball and Co