Page 8 - Flooring Specialist Winter 2023
P. 8

LVT Installation from the Perspective of the Backseat Driver, continued

        adhesive can soften and, in some cases, re-emulsify causing   Another common misconception is that adhesives solve all
        all sorts of problems.                              the dimensional stability issues of LVT. The problem here
                                                            is most LVT in North America is installed using pressure
        There is another problem with high moisture-resistant   sensitive type adhesives. Pressure sensitive adhesives work
        adhesives. It’s just like the driver of our car racing through a   because they have a property called “cold flow” which means
        heavy rain thinking he’s in total control, cas, since he has high   they move under pressure to improve their bond. Pressure
        performance all-season tires that promise to perform in the   sensitive adhesives therefore get stronger in terms of their
        most difficult conditions. The problem is: you can’t predict   bond strength with the more traffic or pressure you put on
        everything, and you can become overconfident with some   the system. You’ve probably seen this yourself when you
        of the claims made by tire companies as well as adhesive   lightly place a piece of LVT/P on the super sticky adhesive
        manufacturers.                                      bed and find that you can remove it easily to position it
                                                            properly. That same piece of LVT becomes next to impossible
        Yes, high moisture-resistant adhesives work marvelously   to remove once you step on the piece or roll it with a 100
        when the conditions are within a certain range. That range   lb. roller. But PSAs almost always retain some nature of soft
        includes an understanding of the pH of the surface and   stickiness no matter how far they transition from a PSA state
        there are no pre-existing conditions of hydrostatic pressure,   to a tougher condition and as such are going to give way to
        osmotic blistering, or alkali silica reaction. High performance,   strain cause by LVT movement.
        moisture resistant adhesives are no match for high pH,
        osmotic action or hydrostatic pressure. These conditions   So, to be clear, no matter what claims made, PSA adhesives
        will cause that gooey adhesive mess we’ve all seen in horror   are not going to keep a piece of LVT locked in place so it
        stories about glue failures under LVT/P. All I am doing here,   will never shrink or grow. They may control some of that
        as the backseat driver, is urging caution to make sure the   movement but to be clear they are not rigid, structural type
        installer (or driver) observes all the signs and takes some   adhesives. Now if you want rigid and non-moving you need
        time to understand how to use the adhesives properly and   to look into other adhesive types including hard-set, wet-
        not expect them to solve moisture-related problems on their   set adhesives or reactive types. Those adhesives are readily
        own.                                                available but certainly not the preferred installation method
                                                            for North America. Installers like large, wide open, sticky
                                                            surfaces to work with for LVT and do not like working on
             Dimensional stability                          wet adhesive that allows the LVT to move around during
             of resilient floor and                         Lastly, and this is oftentimes the hardest thing to control,

             particularly LVP is                            take your time to install LVT properly and do not try and rush
                                                            through. Our driver can certainly get to the destination point
             usually pretty good                            in a hurry, but the carnage he can create by blasting through
                                                            some of the warning signs and roadblocks is not the desired
             but no matter what                             Again, from the backseat driver’s perspective, I urge flooring
             you read on the                                installers to pay attention to all the signs along the road.
                                                            Read the installation guides, acclimate the flooring and
             specification sheet                            monitor installation temperatures, pay special attention to
                                                            the substrate you are working on and don’t count on the
             for the flooring                               adhesive or the flooring to solve all the problems found
                                                            there. Understand the positives and limitations of the
                                                            adhesives used to install LVT, and do your best to enjoy the
             product itself, you                            scenery while you complete your work.

             need to take that

             information in

             context to how it                              About the Author: Jeff is currently the FCIS & Retail Business
                                                            Marketing Manager at MAPEI Corporation. He has been with MAPEI
             is presented.                                  since 2007 and was previously with QEP and Capitol USA Adhesives
                                                            in vp marketing/sales roles.

   8       Flooring Specialist        Winter 2023
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