RUBBER floorcoverings are a popular choice for heavy-duty flooring installations, including in outdoor and transitional areas, such as entranceways, because they’re durable and won’t be damaged by water. Traditionally, flooring contractors installing floorcoverings in these environments would require a polyurethane or epoxy-based adhesive.
Once cured, such heavy-duty products are resistant to water, oil, and grease. Conventional flooring adhesives, on the other hand, may break down and soften when they come into contact with water, potentially causing floorcoverings to bubble or de-bond.
Now, advancements in adhesives technology have enabled the development of one-part, moisture-curing alternatives for heavy-duty installations, meaning contractors can now benefit from products which, apart from not requiring mixing, resulting in less waste, are also easier to apply than traditional options.
For example, F Ball & Co has recently developed Styccobond F73 PLUS, a one-part adhesive for internal and external heavy-duty environments, which is also reportedly solvent- and isocyanate-free. The product is said to develop the high bond strength to hold in place a range of textile and resilient floorcoverings, including vinyl, linoleum and rubber in areas that’ll be subject to heavy loads and high foot traffic, as well as surface water.
Says the company: The heavy-duty adhesive is also fibre-reinforced, limiting the lateral movement of floorcoverings when placed into the adhesive, an advantage when installing vinyl tiles or planks over large areas.’
Styccobond F73 PLUS can be trowel-applied to a wide variety of sound, smooth subfloors, including concrete and sand/cement screeds, as well as Stopgap levelling compounds. It’s also said to be faster curing than traditional alternatives, requiring as little as 90 minutes to secure floorcoverings. Its fast-setting properties allow welding of sheet floorcoverings to take place from as little as two hours.
Case study: Slough Ice Arena
F Ball’s Styccobond F73 PLUS has been used for a rink-side flooring refurbishment at Slough Ice Arena to secure Norament 992 rubber tiles on the walkway that runs around the outside of the ice rink. Its reported resistance to moisture made it an appropriate choice where water deposited by skaters leaving the rink would be common.
The 100sq m flooring area was prepared by removing old loose-lay rubber floorcoverings, and the subfloor was cleared of contaminants, including old adhesive residues. Because a moisture management test found that relative humidity (RH) levels were above 75%, a two-part epoxy damp- proof membrane was then applied, followed by a moisture tolerant levelling compound, to provide a suitably smooth surface for the installation of the floor tiles and guard against the effects of excess subfloor moisture.
Finally, the rubber tiles were installed using Styccobond F73 PLUS. Says the company: ‘The adhesive offers an open time of 20-30 minutes depending on temperature, humidity, and absorbency of the subfloor, and after an initial set time from 90 minutes, cures fully in 24 hours.’
Carl Nicol, chairman at Westcotes Flooring, who carried out the job, commented: ‘Styccobond F73 PLUS was a great adhesive to work with, providing very good initial tack and a long enough working time to be able to lay the material into, and its fast-setting properties helped us finish the project on schedule.’
It’s always recommended flooring contractors check the compatibility of a particular adhesive with a chosen floorcovering. To do this, flooring contractors can consult floorcovering manufacturers’ guidelines.
Says the company: ‘Alternatively, F Ball produces its industry-leading recommended adhesives guide (RAG), which contains over 6,000 adhesive recommendations for floorcoverings from over 200 international manufacturers, for this purpose. The latest guide is available as a printed booklet and features more recommendations than ever before, each the result of stringent testing and endorsed by the individual floorcovering manufacturer.’
A continuously updated version of the RAG is also available as a free app and on the F Ball website.