By Jeffrey B. Johnson, FCIS Business & Marketing Manager, MAPEI
If you know anything about MAPEI then you know we have just about every jobsite condition and flooring type covered in terms of subfloor preparation, moisture mitigation, and bonding. But knowing that, how do you pick the best adhesive for your project? It all starts off with some really good questions:
- What is my substrate and what is the condition of that substrate?
- What is the working environment of my jobsite?
- What is the time frame available for installation?
- What is the nature and performance of the flooring you are planning to install?
Your substrate is usually a concrete base for most commercial projects and possible wood or gypsum underlayment for residential. For concrete substrates, the big question is what its moisture levels are, hold old it is, and whether or not you know if there is an under-slab moisture barrier in place for slabs on or below grade. Once you know the answers to these conditions, you can begin the process of selecting an adhesive that meets or exceeds those numbers. For wood or gypsum substrates you also need to know if it is dry, solid, and intact.
Jobsite conditions are also very important and ideally, we would like the flooring contractor to be working in HVAC controlled environments at 72F and 50% RH, but we know that is not always the case. If you know you are going to be installing LVT in working environments that are above or below the “normal” temperature range, you will need to select an adhesive that works better at controlling dimensional stability. The reason for this is because we all know that this flooring material does grow or shrink with changes in temperature.
In terms of installation compression, a lot of jobs have very narrow windows of opportunity to get the job done. This will drive decisions on adhesive selection to those that are fast drying, fast setting, and quicker to get on with full traffic.
The flooring type and understanding its known performance properties will also drive adhesive selection. If you know you are working with a product with known dimensional stability issues you had better select adhesives that are harder setting and capable of reducing changes in the dimensions of the flooring. If you have a dimensionally stable product, selecting adhesives that might be softer but a lot more aggressive in tack might be a good solution.
Bottom line, MAPEI has products that match all these conditions and are optimized to give you the best installation within the time frame and budget available. For example, MAPEI’s latest introduction, Ultrabond ECO 399 Heavy-Duty, Pressure-Sensitive, Multi-Flooring Adhesive has been designed to help you install LVT in “suspect” conditions or handle flooring products that might be on the hairy-edge of stability. Ultrabond ECO 399 has been designed to reduce gapping on normal LVT which is important when you can’t always control the installation environment. For example, if you were to install LVT when the room was unacclimated and the temperature was close to 90F you should know that the operating temperature of that room will eventually be 70-73F so everything is going to cool down by 20 degrees. That temperature drop will cause the LVT to shrink. Ultrabond ECO 399 is designed to help reduce that shrinkage and provide a secure bond that will last a lifetime.
Considering the installation conditions, the modern floor covering installer faces every day, MAPEI believes that Ultrabond ECO 399 is the best adhesive choice for all these conditions.
For more information about Ultrabond ECO 399, visit https://www.mapei.com/us/en-us/products-and-solutions/in-the-spotlight/ultrabond-eco-399 or call 1-800-992-6273.