Fluctuating temperatures require temperature-tolerant adhesives

‘Extreme temperatures or temperature fluctuations can cause floorcoverings to expand and contract significantly. This is frequently the case in heavily glazed areas that are subject to solar gain during the day, such as conservatories, which then rapidly cool at night. Over time, this can lead to unsightly tenting and gapping at the edges of floorcoverings, particularly between adjacent vinyl tiles or planks. Once fully cured, temperature- tolerant adhesives hold floorcoverings firmly in place, restricting these movements and ensuring that flooring installations maintain their aesthetic appearance for years to come,’ says Andy Mees, F Ball technical service officer.

There is sometimes confusion about why a temperature-tolerant adhesive is required to install LVTs in conservatories but not over underfloor heating. This is because temperature fluctuations as a result of underfloor heating systems are much more gradual and less extreme than changes from solar gain, which can result in swings of 60degC. To meet British Standard guidelines of resilient and textile floorcoverings, underfloor heating systems should not exceed 27degC at the bond line. Temperature- tolerant adhesives are only always necessary where there are heavily glazed areas, including conservatories, and where there are floor-to-ceiling windows, such as extensions fitted with bi-fold doors.

Where a temperature-tolerant adhesive is required, there are a number of options. Wet-lay temperature-tolerant adhesives are available for installing vinyl in areas that will be exposed to high temperatures and are available with a range of additional properties.

‘F Ball’s Styccobond F48 PLUS, for example, is a fibre-reinforced, high-temperature grade adhesive for installing a range of vinyl floorcoverings. The fibres allow it to offer high initial grab to hold the flooring securely in place while fitters are working. It is also fast drying, and as a one-part solution there’s no mixing required before application,’ says Mees.

‘When installing vinyl tiles and planks, it is useful to have the benefits of pressure-sensitive adhesives, which form an instant grab upon contact, ideal for installing flooring featuring intricate patterns and bespoke designs that need precise alignment. They also offer a long open time, reducing the risk of late placement. Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS is a water-based vinyl adhesive with the familiar characteristics of a pressure- sensitive adhesive, which develops the high bond strength and dimensional stability required to hold vinyl firmly in place in areas exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations: from minus 20degC to 60degC. While providing high initial tack, the adhesive allows the flooring to be lifted and repositioned in the initial stages of drying.

‘Styccobond F49 has also been approved for installing vertical flooring accessories, such as PVC skirting, capping and coving, meaning it offers an alternative to traditional contact adhesives. However, unlike contact adhesives, the hybrid adhesive only needs to be applied to one surface. It is also water resistant, allowing it to be used to install floorcoverings in damp and humid environments such as kitchens and bathrooms.’

F Ball’s Recommended Adhesives Guide (RAG) lists adhesives recommended for use with more than 6,000 floorcoverings, produced by over 200 manufacturers. A continually updated version can be found on F Ball’s website and as a free app. It is also available as an A5 booklet.

laying laminate flooring

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