A critical choice for a successful installation
By John Monaghan UK Resilient Product Manager Mapei UK LTD.
WHILE often overlooked and generally left to the flooring contractor to provide the adhesive for bonding the required floorcovering, the choice of adhesives is absolutely critical to ensure a succsessful installation.
When selecting any adhesive for a particular project the following must be considered:
- Type of floorcovering being installed
- Subfloor type and if heated/unheated
- Environment in which the floorcovering is to be installed
- Adhesive ‘green credentials’, VOC emissions
There are many different types of adhesives available in the market place and as such it’s important to select the correct one, taking the aforementioned points into consideration.
Water-based solvent-free acrylic adhesives can be used for a wide range of different floor resilient covering types, in several environments.
HT (high temperature) acrylic adhesives
As with standard water-based solvent-free acrylic adhesives, HT acrylic adhesives can also be used for a wide range of floorcoverings in many environments. They’re also designed to be used in areas such as conservatories and where large windows are present etc to prevent expansion/contraction of the chosen floorcoverings (particularly rubber and vinyl tiles) through extreme temperature fluctuations, preventing ‘gapping’ or ‘tenting’.
As a general preference, most installers will use a pressure-sensitive type acrylic-based adhesive. These adhesives are designed to offer a non-permanent bond. The advantage of this type of adhesive to the installer is the ‘open’ or working time is much longer than ‘permanent’ adhesives and therefore larger areas can be applied.
Some pressure sensitive adhesives can be used as a pressure sensitive adhesive, or if laid into while still wet, as a permanent adhesive.
When considering installing resilient products to areas subject to water, for example wet-rooms and shower areas, a two-part epoxy based adhesive would generally be required. These types of adhesives can also be used externally.
MS polymer-based adhesives
Owing to the advanaces in adhesive technology there’s now an option for wet areas such as showers, wet rooms etc. MS polymer adhesives offer all of the advantages of two-part adhesives, but in a single part.
This adhesive is a modified silicon which has a very high bond strength, and can be used in wet areas and areas where high temperature fluctuations occur such as conservatories and shop window fronts. Being a single-part adhesive, any unused adhesive can be used for the next project.
This type of adhesive dries to a permanently tacky film which prevents any movement of the applied carpet tiles but still allows for them to be uplifted and removed or replaced if required.
Gone are the so called ‘good old days’ where flooring adhesives contained high levels of solvents, or were spirit- or even bitumen-based.
With advances in adhesive technology most modern-day adhesives are solvent-free water-based acrylic or MS polymer-based with low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and are classified to GEV Emicode – EC1, EC1 Plus, EC1R Plus should be specified.
With an ever-increasing emphasis on environmental impact and the green credentials of a product, it’s important to consider a product lifecycle. An analysis of the lifecycle of a product, is an evaluation of the environmental impact of the product during all the various phases of its life – from the extraction of raw materials that make up the formula through to end user safety and the final disposal.
Mapei has dedicated years of research and development into the production of green products, adopting a green operational ethos: from installing motion sensor lighting in warehouses, to creating environmental product declarations (EPD) for products.
A product EPD assesses and evaluates the environmental impact of a product, applying the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method to evaluate the energy and environmental inputs of a product throughout its entire lifecycle, from the extraction of the raw materials to disposal of waste products.
This assessment also takes into account production processes and distribution through to final use. By implementing this method, Mapei can evaluate how a product and its lifecycle can be modified to reduce environmental impact.