There are many different types of adhesives for the installation of floor coverings on the market today. How do you select the right one for your next broadloom carpet project?
the non-vinyl backed broadloom carpets require a SBR based adhesive. SBR is an
acronym for Styrene Butadiene Rubber. This rubber gives “legs” or early green
strength to the adhesive which allows stretching of the carpet to match the
patterns. This occurs primarily through the evaporation of the water, and holds
the carpet to the floor during the installation. There are many ingredients other than rubber
(SBR) and water used to make SBR adhesive such as resins, oils, fillers,
thickeners, and other chemicals to allow all of these to properly mix, stay
blended, become freeze-thaw stable, balance the pH.
the right blend of resins, oils, fillers, rubbers and water to have a great
adhesive and this starts with the quality and quantity of chemicals. Too much filler will cause the adhesive to be
dry and brittle when cured and too much oil will soften the adhesive. Too
little rubber will mean less “legs” and will result in low resiliency. Too much water will lower the solids content. Manufacturers can modify their adhesive
formulas to have specific working properties for the geographical
conditions: fast setting adhesives in
regions with cold, humid weather; slower drying adhesives in hot & dry
areas; premium high-solids adhesives for high traffic areas or contract grade
low-solids adhesives for constant turnovers of carpet, such as apartment
One of the
biggest problems we see is when the installer uses a contract grade adhesive
(usually lower in cost) where a premium adhesive should have been used. Worse
yet, adhesives are often applied using the wrong notch trowel. A smaller notch trowel puts out less adhesive
and the lower solids adhesive, when cured, has perhaps 20% less adhesive
properties than a premium product. This lethal combination causes failure in
many installations. Adhesive is part of the chain link of a successful
installation and failure will occur at the weakest link. You must have enough adhesive to bond to the
substrate, enough adhesive to reach the recessed areas of the carpet backing,
and enough adhesive in the middle to form a good lasting bond.
your best chance of success? Make the
right selection of adhesive and trowel size according to the type of backed
carpet being installed and the specific installation requirements.