Flooring adhesive is a strong, permanent glue designed for securing your wood floors to the subfloor.  There are several types of adhesive, and the adhesive you should use depends on your situation.  Keep reading to learn more.

The Important Factors

When you’re choosing an adhesive for your flooring project, there are four factors that should influence your decision:

  • What’s Your Subfloor?

What material is underneath your wood floor?  This has the most significant impact on your choice of adhesive.  For instance, the glue that will work well on a wooden subfloor may not be suitable for a concrete subfloor.  Also, other considerations such as radiant heating systems may require specialty adhesives recommended by their manufacturers.

  • Who’s Doing the Job?

Are you planning to do the job yourself or hire a professional?  This question is important because some types of wood floor adhesive are suitable for anyone to use, while others may require specialized protective equipment, tools or training to use.

  • When Will It Be Done?

Every adhesive will remain workable for a certain amount of time after it’s spread on the subfloor.  This determines how much time you have to install the flooring.  With a two-part adhesive, the working time determines how much adhesive you can mix at a time.  The curing time of adhesive is another consideration.  This is the time between installation and being able to walk on the floor.

  • How Will You Clean up Afterwards?

Cleanup is an important part of any job, and the adhesive you use can have a serious impact.  Water-based glues are often easier to clean up after.  Solvent-based adhesives may require harsh cleaners or other chemicals to remove, making them unsuitable for do-it-yourself installations.

Types of Adhesive

Now that you know which factors are important to your decision, let’s talk about the two major types of adhesive.

  • Urethane Adhesive

Most of the wood floor glues on the market are urethane-based.  This glue forms a flexible, water-resistant barrier once it cures.  Years ago, the EPA banned many types of urethane-based glues because of the toxic chemicals they contain.  Today, manufacturers have made these glues more environmentally friendly.  Most manufacturers of wood flooring will recommend a specific brand of urethane-based adhesive and many wood floor providers offer an in-house brand.

  • Water-Based Adhesive

Water-based adhesives are particularly popular with do-it-yourselfers.  Because they’re made with fewer volatile chemicals, most people can use these chemicals without wearing a respirator or other protective equipment.  In addition, water-based adhesives are easier on the environment.  They’re easy to work with and easy to clean up, but they are less resistant to moisture making them unsuitable for certain applications.

No matter what type of adhesive is right for your flooring project, glue-down wood floor can help make your home a beautiful place that you can enjoy for many years to come.