Glue down is an installation method suited to both solid and engineered wood flooring and relies on a well-applied, good quality adhesive for its success. Wood flooring glue works by creating a bond between the flooring and the subfloor. The bond between the two surfaces is created thanks to a chemical reaction that effectively changes the adhesive from a liquid to a solid state. There are any number of branded and unbranded adhesive options on the market and which you choose will depend on your project. In every instance, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice before making your choice.
Some of the main types of flooring adhesive you are likely to come across are water-based, polymer and solvent based. The two main types of adhesive that harden by drying in order to create a bond, are solvent based adhesives and polymer dispersion adhesives, which are also often called emulsion adhesives.
A polymer based adhesive, or polymer dispersion adhesive is a milky white coloured mixture that is based on polyvinyl acetate (PVA). Widely recognised as one of the most efficient ways of bonding woods, these adhesive types are extensively used across the board in wood working projects of every nature. Many polymer adhesives are dispersed in water and are suitable for use with both solid and engineered wood flooring.
Solvent based adhesives are considered suitable for a particularly broad range of uses as well, but not all. Like polymer based adhesives, solvent based adhesives known to contain solvents, which is a concern for some people, albeit the level of solvents present are considered to be non hazardous and also disappear after a few weeks. This type of adhesive is made up of a mixture of two parts. These parts are polymers and a solvent. Effectively what happens is that, the solvent element in the mixture evaporates over time, enabling the adhesive to harden and create the required bond. Solvent based adhesives are recognised as working well with many materials, but not all, so it is well worth seeking advice.
How do you decide which adhesive will work best for your project?
It’s really important when planning your new floor installation that you select the best products your budget will allow. If you are planning a glue down installation for your flooring project, it is essential to choose the best adhesive for the type of flooring you plan to lay. Things like flexibility, ease of application, ease of removal should your adhesive spill over on to the surface of your floor and price are just a few of the things you should consider.
When it comes to making the right choices, your wood flooring supplier will help you choose the best option, but the core things you should be looking out for are: a strong bond; durability and compatibility with the flooring you have chosen. Not every type of adhesive will bond with every type of floor and subfloor, so it is important to be very specific when making your choice, so if necessary, don’t be afraid to seek advice.