After spreading adhesive, allow it to flash off to a tacky consistency and begin laying tile.


Always chalk a straight line to work from, starting at an open doorway; work forward in a pyramid pattern across the floor.
As listed by the FCICA in their most recently published FIT reference manual, resilient flooring is linoleum, cork, asphalt tile, vinyl asbestos tile/VAT, vinyl tile and sheet goods, and rubber flooring. As stated in their manual, asphalt tile and VAT are no longer being manufactured; however, these two types of resilient flooring may still be in use and subsequently, must still be addressed during a re-installation or renovation. This manual is an excellent cumulation of individual manufacturer's reference materials. It is interesting to note that some in our industry believe that the flooring and adhesive manufacturers do not provide enough information regarding installation. This is certainly not true when it comes to the resilient sector. This industry provides a great wealth of information. The knowledge is there if you want it! The internet has now made this information available in a computer minute. Searching "resilient flooring" on the internet provided me with over 10,000 hits.

As an adhesive manufacturer, we must follow each product sector very closely to stay ahead of the curve. Since there are no specific standards on adhesives, I have always followed the private labels that are sometimes sold by the floor covering manufacturer. Even though none of these manufacturers manufacture their own adhesives, they do set an indirect standard. In fact, it's always best to have an open dialogue with all the flooring manufacturers as they introduce new products. The resilient industry moved away from just manufacturing flooring years ago; they have become very specialized, e.g. ecological non-PVC tile, safety flooring, multi-colored rubber, cork with special resins to reduce thickness, etc. To offer one adhesive for all resilient flooring is unrealistic and doesn't take into consideration all the unique characteristics of each resilient product in the market.

Lay tile in place; do not attempt to slide them into place, or lapping will occur.

In fact, at APAC we have 3 different VCT adhesives that are very different. One has outstanding initial shear strength (tile slip resistance) and fast dry for quick turn around applications; one adhesive has long residual for 24-48 hour installations; one is ecological, not just VOC compliant. Specialization within a product type is now becoming the norm, rather than the exception. Throw in price, geographic location differences, system approaches, substrate differences (porous vs. non-porous) and individual customer preferences, you will quickly see that one size doesn't fit all! The need for adhesive specialization is here to stay.

For the installation of felt backed vinyl sheet goods, I recommend that a sheet goods adhesive be used. These adhesives are designed specifically for this type flooring. Good green strength, extended open time, antimicrobial protection and non staining are a must with any adhesive for this category. Fit the adhesive with the specific flooring. Some companies have even introduced a Good, Better, Best line for this specific type of flooring. The builder market may not need quite the long term performance of a premium adhesive if replacement will occur within two years. Use a VCT adhesive for VCT.

Press tile down, and roll the finished floor with a heavy resilient roller. Roll north to south, and east to west. Be sure tile are rolled within the adhesive manufacturer's time frame.

For the installation of vinyl backed products, the need for a specific type of adhesive is critical. You cannot use a multi-purpose adhesive for this type product. Acrylic based adhesives that have outstanding plasticizer resistance, high initial shear and peel strength must be used. When installing this type floor covering over a porous substrate, a hard setting acrylic based adhesive is preferred. These adhesives are installed wet, meaning spread the adhesive and install the flooring before the adhesive dries. When installing a vinyl backed floor covering over a non porous substrate, these wet set adhesives cannot be used. How will the water in the adhesive escape when caught between two non porous substrates. Bubbling will result if tried. Pressure sensitive type adhesives that can be used/installed dry are the adhesives of choice here; however, these adhesives do not dry as hard as the wet set types. Subsequently, pressure sensitive adhesives may not be able to hold any dimensional instability of the sheet vinyl or tile.

Conducting a bond test is a good idea for all resilient installations, especially if there is any question about the suitability of the substrate.

The good news is that the technology is fast emerging to provide the customer with one adhesive to be used both wet or dry and still keep the floor covering in place long term.

For the installation of cork, it is best to again specialize. Cork underlayment adhesives are typically carpet/ multi-purpose type adhesives that have been modified for this specific application...aggressive tack with long term performance and outstanding water resistance. Using the same adhesive under and over the cork if used as an underlayment may prevent any fight between two different adhesive types. Cork tile adhesives are typically firm setting, acrylic based adhesives to hold down any end curl or dimensional instability that may result long term e.g glass patio doors, areas of direct heat, etc.

For the installation of rubber flooring, it appears that epoxy adhesives are king; however, acrylic based adhesives are quickly moving into this market as an alternative. Acrylics are installer friendly and more cost effective ( an adhesive term for less expensive) but not "cheap".

Like any flooring material, proper adhesive and proper application methods are critical for cork floors.

Polyurethane adhesives are also being used as an alternative to epoxies when a true waterproof adhesive is spec'd.

It is clear to me that one must look at the specific application for the specific flooring to be able to determine the specific adhesive to use.

Most adhesives that are recommended for a tacky “dry installation” are leg forming, and softer setting, at least until they are thoroughly cured.

Find an adhesive company that offers you diversity and choice in your adhesive selection. Companies that are focused on adhesives can best assist you in the proper selection of adhesives. The age of specialization is here to stay.