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Commercial Flooring News

The Adhesive Must Be Right For The Job

Tony Peak on installing wood floors

HENRY FORD was supposed to have said ‘You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black!’ He wasn’t a purveyor of choice obviously. Just imagine if every car was a Ford Fiesta. How would I fit a Bona Belt machine, a DCS vacuum and five boxes of our catalogues in the back?

My Renault Scenic was the right choice for my requirements. So why, when I talk to some contractors about fixing wood flooring with an adhesive, do they often say they ALWAYS use the SAME product when there are hundreds of permutations of wood flooring type, size, and substrate and one adhesive just won’t suit them all!
The reason manufacturers such as Bona offer a choice of adhesives is so contractors can pick one which is just right for the job and gives them the best result – whether they are fitting engineered boards, wood blocks or underfloor heating.

For example, a solid wood floor will need a formulation with a high level of grip to hold a less stable floor in place and prevent tensions to the subfloor.

Ideally in these situations, you should select an adhesive that is able to withhold thrust during expansion and, at the same time, offer good resistance against shrinkage.

This is not such an issue when fitting a more dimensionally stable engineered floor and, in these instances, a softer and often a more economical formulation can be selected.

When laying wood blocks, the contractor needs a formulation that cures quickly so king lines can be laid securely and worked against straight away.

With some products curing time can be accelerated further by ‘misting’ with water from a spray bottle on the substrate or on the spread adhesive. This may sound like a strange thing to do with wood flooring, but there is no cause for alarm.

The water is used for the curing of the adhesive. What could be cleaner? Another choice is a two component, PU adhesive, which has the advantage of being a highly effective, solvent free product, but is designed to give the feel of a traditional solvent based formulation which some contractors prefer to work with.

This adhesive is suitable for installing wooden floors onto less common substrates like metal or glazed
ceramic tiles. Adhesives with a lower level of flexibility is useful for installing the very wide solid boards that are now becoming popular with customers.

Such wide boards can show significant shrinkage gaps during periods of low humidity when laid on to an
adhesive that is too flexible. Having a more rigid adhesive results in a
‘calmer’ floor with less potential for movement.

Tony Peak is from Bona

T: 01908 525150

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at