Which adhesive is recommended for gluing down a hardwood floor?

Wood flooring has been used for thousands of years. However, glued down floors or stuck down wooden floors are a recent solution. As the wood flooring industry advanced more performant adhesives were needed to keep up the pace.
Posted on07-08-2019 by 30
Which adhesive is recommended for gluing down a hardwood floor?

The beginnings

Wood flooring has been used for thousands of years. However, glued down floors or stuck down wooden floors are a recent solution.

For decades the only glued down floors were parquet blocks using hot tar (bitumen). The cold bitumen adhesives, which followed, have also been used for parquet flooring until recently, and there are still many floors that are in use today, installed in this way.

Unfortunately, bitumen adhesives don’t stand the test of time. As the bitumen ages it becomes brittle and less able to cope with the stresses that are present in a wooden floor.

Timber is a natural material which reacts to changing levels of humidity, expanding during the humid season, and shrinking during winter when the heating system is turned on. Alongside this, a wooden floor is subjected to tensions as the floor is walked over. The adhesive layer in contact with the subfloor has to be able to cope with these stresses in order to avoid failure – the detaching of the timber.

glued down wood floor with bitumen

Glued down wood floor with bitumen

The first adhesives

Lecol 5500

Lecol 5500 adhesive

Adhesive development progressed and the use of solvent-based adhesives replaced the tar. Cheap and simple to use these adhesives became widespread. Although solvent adhesives tend to become hard and seem to quite brittle when cured, they are slightly flexible when under stress. Because of this solvent adhesives are a better solution compared to a completely rigid and brittle tar (bitumen) bonding.

The biggest disadvantage of these adhesives is still the reduced flexibility and added to this, often during the curing process, the adhesive shrinks thus weakening the bond.

One of the mostly used adhesives of this kind is Lecol 5500.

Reactive adhesives

As the wood flooring industry advanced more performant adhesives were needed to keep up the pace. So the new solutions have developed. These adhesives are based on polyurethane or silane (silicone derivatives) and set / cure through a chemical reaction as opposed to the simple evaporation of water or solvent.

This makes them very reliable with less influence from temperature and humidity allowing the installed flooring to be sanded after just 24 hours, in some cases even sooner, depending on the reactivity of the specific adhesive used.

stauf-spu-460

Stauf SPU-460 adhesive

Reactive, silane adhesives have additional benefits compared to PU products. They react with atmospheric water, so require no additional catalyst. Also, they are very clean to use; easily removed from tools, hands, and the surface of pre-finished flooring. The adhesives are free from solvent and water, so there is no impact on the timber in terms of swelling.

Silane adhesives can be formulated to provide different physical properties in terms of their shear strength and flexibility. This has led to the development of adhesives for specific applications, such as for very wide boards, where a high shear strength is needed, and for engineered products where greater elasticity is of benefit.

Reactive adhesives can be used onto ceramic tiles, moisture barriers, glass and metal, and their use has simplified the preparation of a subfloor prior to installation.

In the end, the only way to manufacture high performance adhesives that retain their shear strength and elasticity as they age, is to use high quality ingredients. This may result in a higher cost, but when it comes to a floor which should last a lifetime, is it worth compromising on quality?

We recommend our well tried and tested adhesive Stauf SPU460.

Related articles
How much does it cost to fit a wooden floor?

How much does it cost to fit a wooden floor?

380 18-03-2019
This is a commonly asked question, but it's impossible to answer with an exact figure, as there are so many different...
Reasonable home environment conditions for wooden floors

Reasonable home environment conditions for wooden floors

820 04-01-2017
Most of the materials which surround us will change dimensions in accordance with the ambient temperature variation....
Chipboard or plywood for subfloor

Chipboard or plywood for subfloor

5497 02-01-2017
A long lasting solid hardwood floor is heavily influenced by the quality of the sub-floor. When it comes to types of...
Engineered or solid wood?

Engineered or solid wood?

1875 22-01-2016
When it comes to adding warmth and elegance to a room, nothing beats the beauty of a natural hardwood floor. If...
Hardwood Flooring Installation methods

Hardwood Flooring Installation methods

1449 03-01-2016
Wooden floors are expected to be solid and stable surfaces. Also they are expected to last for decades. At Fin Wood...
Why quality wooden floors?

Why quality wooden floors?

1803 14-12-2015
Always choosing right materials and craftsmanship, is cheaper than any other option. A good advice is to contact a...
Related
(31)

Fitting engineered dark boards: there is an elegant sophistication that engineered dark floors display. Whether it’s the mystery behind the dark colour or it’s the dramatic feeling they bring to interiors, engineered dark boards are well esteemed. Many are thinking that they can make a room feel too gloomy and cold but dark hardwood floors can actually make your home feel brighter...

(1)

Square End Grain Blocks Flooring: the end-grain flooring is made of wooden blocks sawn crosswise to the grain by comparison with traditional wood floor which is made of planks or block sawn lengthwise. Onto the surface are plainly visible the annual rings of the tree. For this reason such wooden floors are unique and special.

(20)

Herringbone parquet flooring: herringbone flooring, also known as parquet block flooring is one of the most distinctive and impressive hardwood floors. Herringbone is one of the first parquet pattern emerged in Europe and also is the most common. Solid wood Parquet is the floor of floors among wooden floors, mainly because of it’s cost and the craftsmanship needed for installation. Also because of the final exceptional look. Herringbone solid parquet battens come in different sizes.

(0)

Stauf VPU-155 S DPM solvent free polyurethane primer: is a ready-to-use, one component polyurethane primer is particularly fast drying. Free from water and free from solvents, this primer allows for a trouble-free installation as no swelling of the wood is to be feared. The VPU-155 S is a versatile primer easy to apply by either trowel or brush because of its thin liquid nature.

Leave a Comment
Leave a Reply
Please login to post a comment.

Menu

QR code

Settings

Settings

Create a free account to save liked items.

Sign in

Create a free account to use wishlists.

Sign in