Best Adhesive for Vinyl Flooring on Concrete: Vinyl flooring has become an increasingly popular flooring option in homes and businesses over the past few decades. Compared to alternatives like laminate, hardwood and tile, vinyl is affordable, durable, and easy to install and maintain.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to pick the ideal adhesive for your vinyl floor installation or repair job. We’ll cover the different types of vinyl flooring, adhesive options, application tips, and provide useful recommendations for top-rated adhesives for different vinyl flooring applications.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring comes in four main types: sheets, tiles, planks, and luxury vinyl. The type you are working with will impact the adhesives you can use. Here’s an overview:
|Vinyl Sheets||Vinyl sheet flooring comes in wide rolls, usually 6 or 12 feet wide. The sheets are flexible and often come with a backing. Vinyl sheets need to be fully adhered to the subfloor.|
|Vinyl Tiles||Vinyl tiles are sold in squares, typically 12”x12” or 18”x18”. They have a rigid construction and interlocking edges. Tiles may be glued down fully or just at the perimeter.|
|Vinyl Planks||Vinyl planks mimic hardwood with their narrow, rectangular shape. Many vinyl planks click or lock together without needing adhesive. But full-spread adhesives provide a more secure installation.|
|Luxury Vinyl||Luxury vinyl has a rigid composite core covered by a vinyl layer. It comes in planks or tiles. Most types are installed as floating floors without adhesive.|
Choosing the Right Adhesive for Vinyl Floors
With the different types of vinyl in mind, let’s go over the important factors to consider when selecting an adhesive:
Flooring Material Compatibility
Be sure to choose an adhesive specifically formulated for vinyl flooring. General purpose adhesives may not provide the right bond. The adhesive packaging should indicate compatibility with vinyl plank, vinyl tile, and vinyl sheet flooring.
Permanent vs. Release Bond
Permanent adhesive creates a long-lasting bond, while release adhesives allow the flooring to be removed later without damage. If you want the option of replacing the flooring down the road, use a release adhesive like a pressure sensitive acrylic.
Vinyl flooring can be sensitive to moisture from below. Use an adhesive that is moisture resistant to prevent bond failure. Epoxy adhesives provide maximum moisture protection.
The adhesive should be easy to spread evenly across the floor to properly bond the vinyl. Trowelable adhesives are the most spreadable. Spray adhesives can lead to an uneven coat.
Floor Preparation Needs
Some adhesives require more floor prep than others. Multi-surface epoxy adhesives don’t require priming or sanding like some acrylic adhesives. This saves time and effort.
Open time is how long the adhesive can sit before the flooring is laid down. Long open times are more forgiving for DIY installations. Open times range from just a few minutes for some spray adhesives to over an hour for epoxy.
Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) adhesives are safer for indoor air quality. As a bonus, low VOC adhesives often have low odor as well. Green guard certified adhesives have the lowest VOCs.
Adhesives that clean up with just water and soap are the most convenient to work with. versus chemical cleaners. This includes most acrylic and epoxy adhesives.
Best Adhesive for Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring mimics the look of hardwood with an easier installation thanks to the click and lock edges that join the planks together. While floating plank floors are common, full-spread adhesive creates a firmer, more stable floor.
We recommend Mapei Ultrabond ECO 360 adhesive for vinyl plank flooring. It offers:
- Strong, durable adhesive power
- Moisture control up to 10 lbs MVER
- Antimicrobial technology to prevent mold and bacteria growth
- Low VOCs for healthy indoor air
- Long open time up to 3 hours
- Easy soap and water cleanup
Mapei Ultrabond is suitable for use over concrete, plywood, OSB, and radiant heat flooring. For the best bond strength, use a 1/16” square notch trowel to apply the adhesive and be sure to press planks firmly into place before the adhesive skins over.
Best Adhesive for Vinyl Tile Flooring
Vinyl tile flooring comes in both solid and perforated styles. Perforated tiles have holes across their surface for better permeability. The best adhesive choice depends on the tile style.
For solid vinyl tiles, we recommend Forbo Sustain 885m adhesive. The high tack formula bonds well and resists moisture and plasticizer migration. It has very low VOCs and cleans up easily with water.
For perforated vinyl tiles that need more moisture vapor transmission, Mapei Ultrabond ECO 360 is a great pick. The adhesive allows moisture to pass through while maintaining a strong grip on the tiles.
Be sure to use a 1/16” V-notch trowel to get full adhesive transfer to the back of the tiles.
Best Adhesive for Vinyl Sheet Flooring
Vinyl sheet flooring comes in wide rolls that are flexible and often have a pre-attached cushion backing. Getting full adhesive transfer is crucial to prevent bubbling, wrinkling, or premature loosening.
Henry 587 Vinyl-Flex Flooring Adhesive is specially designed for adhering vinyl sheet goods. It spreads easily with a short nap paint roller and remains permanently flexible when cured for a long-lasting bond. The adhesive is non-flammable and water-resistant as well.
For problematic subfloors that are very porous or moisture prone, Armstrong S-515 epoxy adhesive is a great solution. It resists moisture and alkalinity and bonds tightly to create a perfectly smooth vinyl sheet installation.
Best Adhesive for Vinyl Flooring on Concrete
Concrete makes an excellent subfloor for vinyl plank, tile, and sheet goods thanks to its hardness and durability. But concrete comes with higher moisture and alkalinity risks that can break down typical vinyl adhesives over time.
For this application, we recommend Forbo Sustain 1195 adhesive. This two-part epoxy adhesive provides superior resistance to moisture, alkalinity, and plasticizer migration issues. Yet it still applies easily with great grab and bonding power. Forbo Sustain 1195 will last the lifetime of the flooring.
If you need a lower cost option, Armstrong S-315 acrylic adhesive works well on concrete too. Just be sure to test concrete subfloors for moisture first and address any issues prior to installing the vinyl flooring.
Best Adhesive for Vinyl Flooring Repairs
Sadly, vinyl floors can become damaged over time and require repairs. Cracks, gaps, loose tiles, or holes in vinyl floors should be fixed right away before more extensive repairs are needed.
For quick vinyl floor patch jobs, turn to products like Roberts 70-80 Vinyl Floor Repair Adhesive or Henry Vinyl Tile Repair Adhesive. Both adhesives come in easy squeeze bottles and dry fast to fill gaps and bond down loose vinyl pieces.
More extensive vinyl floor repairs may call for a spreading adhesive like Taylor 2062 MMA Vinyl Floor Repair Adhesive. It works on vinyl planks, tiles, and sheets to permanently re-adhere flooring.
Tips for Applying Vinyl Flooring Adhesive
Once you’ve selected the right adhesive for your vinyl flooring project, proper application is key to success. Keep these tips in mind:
- Carefully follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for setup, spread rate, open time, and working time.
- Only apply as much adhesive as you can cover within the working time to prevent dry spots.
- Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and properly prepped before adhesive application.
- Maintain temperature and humidity in the recommended ranges for the adhesive.
- Spread adhesive evenly using the recommended trowel size and type.
- For sheets, use an adhesive spreader tool instead of a trowel.
- Press flooring firmly into the adhesive and roll the floor with a 100 lb roller to ensure full contact.
- Roll the floor 5-10 minutes after laying it and again after 30 minutes to maximize adhesive transfer.
- Clean up adhesive residue immediately according to directions to prevent bond interference.
With the right choice in flooring adhesive and proper application, your vinyl flooring installation will turn out perfect. We hope our recommendations here will help simplify your search for the ideal vinyl adhesive. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully from start to finish. Your
new vinyl floor will provide many years of durability, low maintenance, and great looks with the right adhesive system.
FAQs about Vinyl Flooring Adhesives
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about installing and repairing vinyl floors using adhesives:
Q: What is the best glue for vinyl plank flooring?
A: The best all-around adhesive for vinyl plank flooring is Mapei Ultrabond ECO 360. It creates a super strong yet flexible bond and resists moisture.
Q: Can you use liquid nails to install vinyl flooring?
A: Liquid nails adhesives are not designed for vinyl flooring. They lack the flexibility, moisture resistance, and grab needed for vinyl tiles or planks. Always use a recommended vinyl flooring adhesive.
Q: Is peel and stick vinyl flooring durable?
A: Peel-and-stick vinyl relies on a pre-attached adhesive. This bonds less tightly than a full spread vinyl flooring adhesive. Peel-and-stick floors are prone to loose planks and tiles over time.
Q: What adhesive is best for vinyl sheet flooring?
A: Vinyl sheet flooring requires an adhesive that remains permanently flexible like Henry 587 Vinyl-Flex. This compensates for the natural movement of the vinyl material.
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Q: How do you fix gaps in vinyl plank flooring?
A: Gaps in vinyl plank flooring can be filled using an adhesive made for vinyl repairs, like Roberts 70-80. Apply the adhesive to the underside of the gap, clamp it tight, and wipe away excess.
Q: Does vinyl plank flooring need underlayment?
A: Quality underlayment helps smooth minor subfloor imperfections, adds insulation, and reduces noise. It’s a recommended best practice for vinyl plank installations. Just be sure the underlayment is compatible with your adhesive.
Q: How long does vinyl flooring adhesive take to dry?
A: Drying times range widely for vinyl floor adhesives. Water-based acrylics can dry in as little as 30 minutes. Two-part epoxies take 8-12 hours to fully cure. Check the adhesive directions.
Q: Can you install vinyl flooring over laminate?
A: It is not recommended to install vinyl flooring directly over laminate. The textured surface prevents proper adhesive bonding. Remove laminate first or install plywood on top before adding vinyl flooring.
Q: Does vinyl flooring need expansion gaps?
A: Vinyl expands and contracts slightly with temperature changes. Leave a small 1/4” gap around the perimeter of a vinyl floor during installation to allow room for expansion.
Q: Does vinyl plank flooring need acclimation?
A: Letting vinyl plank flooring acclimate to the temperature and humidity levels of the install environment helps prevent issues. Acclimate boxes of planks for 24-48 hours before installation.