Adhesives for vertical flooring accessories


Flooring contractors once had a limited choice of adhesives for installing vertical flooring accessories. Now, thanks to technological advancements, there are new alternatives to traditional solutions, explains John Green, technical service officer at F. Ball and Co. Ltd.


Contact adhesives, tapes and aerosols were once the only adhesive systems available for installing vertical flooring accessories, such as skirting, capping and coving. Now, thanks to technological advancements, products are available that provide advantages over these solutions in many situations.

Such knowledge has enabled the development of new adhesives with added features, including wider compatibility with different floorcovering types and greater ease of use. As a result, contractors can now use certain vinyl floorcovering adhesives or a go-to flexible tube adhesive.


Traditional options

Contact adhesives have long been a popular choice for installing vertical flooring accessories. They are applied to both the flooring accessory and the surface it is to be applied to and allowed to become touch-dry. Coated surfaces bond on contact, which is helped by pressing or rolling. The immediate bond formed by these types of adhesive means that accessories can’t be removed and repositioned at this stage.

Tapes and aerosol contact adhesives are also available for the installation of vertical flooring accessories. A downside of these solutions is that polymers used within these products mean that they can sometimes offer poor resistance to plasticisers – chemicals added to PVC materials that are released by the material over time. These can cause delamination of the flooring accessory from the substrate. Plasticiser resistance is key to making adhesives suitable for installing PVC skirting, capping and coving.


New developments

This knowledge has enabled manufacturers to reformulate existing high-performance adhesives so that they now offer an alternative to contact adhesives.

This is the case with the rapid-curing, flexible tube adhesive, Stycco Flex, which is 100% compatible with PVC flooring accessories as a result of high dimensional stability and excellent plasticiser resistance.

The high strength build-up and fast curing time of the adhesive means it can also secure stair nosings and trims, without the need for mechanical fixings, in as little as 60 minutes. These properties restrict the movement of PVC accessories that occurs as a result of plasticiser migration, as well as temperature changes, eliminating the problem of gapping at joints.


Widening applications

Recent advancements in adhesive technology have allowed the formulation of hybrid vinyl adhesives with revolutionary combinations of properties, which make them suitable for installing both vinyl flooring and vertical flooring accessories.

For example, temperature tolerant, pressure sensitive Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS vinyl adhesive has been approved for the installation of skirting, coving and capping. The pressure sensitive nature of the adhesive means it delivers instant grab, which is essential when installing vertical PVC flooring accessories, and also makes it ideal for installing luxury vinyl tiles and planks where intricate designs and patterns are being created.


Floorcovering compatibility

It is always recommended that flooring contractors check the compatibility of a particular adhesive with a chosen floorcovering. For this purpose, it’s recommended to check the industry-leading Recommended Adhesives Guide (RAG®), which contains over 6,000 adhesive recommendations for floorcoverings from over 200 international manufacturers and can be accessed here.