F. Ball looks at how innovations in adhesives technology mean that contractors no longer need to make the choice between adhesives with pressure sensitive and heat-tolerant qualities.

As the quality and variety of luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) has increased, so has their popularity. When installing these types of floorcovering, it is useful to have the benefits of pressure sensitive adhesives, which afford high initial tack and a long open time. However, in the past, contractors also requiring the advantages of other types of adhesive, such as those temperature tolerant characteristics, could not find these in combination. Now, thanks to innovations in adhesives technology, pressure sensitive adhesives are available with a range of additional features.

Pressure sensitive adhesives are ideal for the installation of LVT because they form an instant grab upon contact, so, once positioned, tiles or planks won’t move about as contractors work. They also offer an extended open time, reducing the risk of late placement and making them ideal for where more complex designs or patterns are being created.

Such adhesives are typically allowed to dry to a permanent tack before placing floorcoverings. They are designed to give strong initial tack and high bond strength, which increases as it is trafficked. The contractor can go over the adhesive with a roller while still wet to reduce the incidence of trowel serrations shadowing through thin vinyl flooring.


REQUIREMENTS High temperatures or extreme temperature fluctuations can cause floorcoverings to expand and contract significantly. This can be the case in conservatories or rooms with floor- to-ceiling windows, which are subject to ‘solar gain’, and can lead to unsightly tenting or gapping in the floorcoverings, in particular LVT.

When installing floorcoverings in such areas, contractors should select a temperature tolerant adhesive. These develop the high bond strength required to hold floorcoverings securely in place when subject to extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations.

However, temperature tolerant adhesives have traditionally been ‘wet-lay’, and contractors requiring this type of adhesive have had to forgo the advantages of pressure sensitive adhesives.

HYBRID ADHESIVES In recent years, advancements in hybrid polymer adhesives enabled F. Ball to create Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS, a high performance vinyl adhesive that combines both pressure sensitive and temperature tolerant characteristics.

Styccobond F49 is a water-based vinyl adhesive that develops the extremely high bond strength and dimensional stability required to hold vinyl floorcoverings firmly in place in areas exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations (from -20°C to +60°C). Whilst providing high initial tack, the adhesive allows contractors to lift and reposition floorcoverings in the initial stages of drying, making it a great choice for installing tiles and planks, intricate patterns and bespoke designs that need precise alignment.

Since its launch, Styccobond F49 has also been approved for installing vertical flooring accessories, such as skirting, capping and coving. This means it offers an alternative to contact adhesives and allows contractors to use one adhesive to install both floorcoverings and flooring accessories. Unlike contact adhesives, the hybrid adhesive only needs to be applied to one surface and the same properties that make it ideal for creating intricate designs allow for the repositioning of vertical flooring accessories during the early stages of drying. Styccobond F49 is also resistant to water, allowing it to be used in areas subject to water and high humidity, including wet rooms.


COMPATIBILITY It’s always advisable to check the compatibility of particular floorcoverings and adhesives. To do this, flooring contractors can consult F. Ball’s industry-leading recommended adhesives guide (RAG), which lists adhesives recommended for use with over 6,000 floorcoverings, produced by over 200 manufacturers. A continually-updated version of this guide is available on F. Ball’s website or as a free app. It is also available as an A5 printed booklet. Alternatively, F. Ball’s technical service department is on hand Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm, to answer your questions about F. Ball products and how to use them. Contractors can also consult floorcovering manufacturers for advice. FLOOR TILES | 39

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