Bruce Natural Choice/Reflections over slab on grade

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by chuckd, May 21, 2019.

  1. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    I am purchasing Bruce Natural Choice (Natural Reflections depending on the retailer). It is 5/16" hardwood and best matches the hardwood in my house now (from 1940) both in color and width.

    This is replacing carpet in the den and tile in the kitchen. The slab looks pretty rough. Lots of patches (pictured). The kitchen still has thinset on the slab from the tile. I plan to clean it up with a hammer drill chisel.

    The plan is to glue it down. Instructions say to use "Armstrong EverLAST Premium Urethane Adhesive".

    I've read this product may have cupping problems with moisture. Instructions say to use Armstrong VapArrest S-135 or "an inexpensive sheet vinyl or “slip-sheet” (felt-backed with vinyl wear layer)" as a vapor barrier. Armstrong VapArrest S-135 doesn't seem to be for sale anymore. Any other recommendations?

    Plan is:
    1. Remove thinset.
    2. Apply vapor barrier.
    3. Use Armstrong EverLAST Premium Urethane Adhesive with 1/4″ x 1/2″ x 3/16″ V-Notch trowel per instructions.
    4. Lay down hardwood.

    Attached Files:

  2. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Are doing the install or hiring out? I would remove the tile and grind the slab clean, in do an In situ moisture (humidity) test. I have the test kit, (though its best to have a 3d party do the test) and see where you are MC wise first. Depending on the outcome, you may be able to one of the moisture resistant adhesives. We used to use an inexpensive vinyl for as a barrier, but with the advent of better barrier's it hasn't been used for about a decade, at least at out shop. I prefer to use Taylor MS-Plus, good for 10lbs or 90% humidity. 10 year warranty. With a urethane, a dried smear is tough to remove, not so with the Taylor. You can't help but get the adhesive on your hands, and the floor, so ease of clean up is important to me.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    You got a lot of prep to do on that floor. You should remove the baseboard carefully first. It will save you a lot of aggravation and probably time too.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    Thank you for the responses. Looks like I'll be renting a concrete grinder.
  5. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    Do I need to fill the slab cracks with anything?
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I use to say no, but termites in florida get through them if termiticide is breached.
  7. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  8. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    If you want a full warranty, use the manufacturers adhesive with the trowel they require. Use generic adhesive and non-specified trowel and you are on your own!
  9. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    I cannot source the adhesive from the manufacture's instructions. Lowes called Armstrong/Bruce and they say they don't make it anymore.
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    In the instructions it should say coverage on the wood. It may say 100%

    I can assure you 1/4 V ain’t gonna do it.
    If you’re using as a moisture inhibitor they want full coverage.

    Are you prepared to use way more adhesive? If it’s urethane do not let any dry on surface of wood, after a day it is almost permanent.
  11. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    The Bostik adhesive/moisture barrier instructions suggest a
    1/4" x 1/4" V-Notch or
    1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4" Square Notch

    "to maximize coverage of adhesive. Periodically lift a board to ensure the following conditions are being met: 100% coverage of concrete substrate and 100% transfer to the back of the flooring product."
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Here in reality in my area slabs are not flat enough for that to happen. I’ve heard 2 processes were recommended. First the slab moisture inhibitor was applied, then the adhesive to ensure there were no voids where excessive moisture could get by. We did not do too much of the moisture inhibitor but full coverage was usually only achieved with 3/16 “ square. Think about the 3/16” wide steel that rides the slab, the groove of adhesive will have to fill that void.

    3/16” at an angle (trowel at 45) ends up filling @ 3/32” inch continuous.
  13. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    They are basically saying that a 1/4” V notch is the smallest notch that you can use and still have things turn out acceptable if all conditions are ideal. Boards have a bow in them, subfloor isn’t quite perfect? Now you will need a bigger notch. Most guys have multiple trowels with different notch sizes to match whatever conditions they run into. I recommend you get at least a couple different trowels just in case. If you don’t use them, you can take them back but at least you have options when you’re in the middle of laying your floor.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    That is simply NOT true! Armstrong has three wood adhesives 1. Summit
    2. ProConnect 3. Equalizer.
    Lowe's makes more profit on their own brand and so will not sell Armstrong adhesive. Go to a REAL flooring store and order the correct adhesive! I buy NOTHING at Lowe's if I can help it.
    • Winner Winner x 3
  15. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I missed the 1/4” Square you posted. There are so many trowel notches in buckets that the stores do not carry. Very annoying.

    I’m not sure Armstrong “makes” wood adhesive, Lowe’s certainly does not “yet”, but continued support and they may. I shop Lowes a lot, love my local one for the better deals than any other Lowe’s I go to. The 10% military discount for personal use keeps me from going to Home Depot. 90% of the time. Rural king is pulling me for their deals.

    Your hardwood is only 5/16” thick? What species?
  16. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I am "certain" that they sell Armstrong branded wood adhesive, I listed the 3 names.
  17. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    It usually can be “special ordered” as well any flooring product should be. The associates usually have to jump through many hoops in order to get some products. I hear some stories from long term associates and the big corporate machine.
  18. chuckd

    chuckd Member


    I could not find a 1/4 x 1/4" V-notched in store. I ordered one on amazon.

    Lowes does carry a 1/4 x 1/4" square. Would that be better? It seems a "V" would distribute the product better since it is a gradual slope rather than a "step change."
  19. chuckd

    chuckd Member

    The Lowes flooring specialist called Armstrong and could not order it.

    I'd like to use a moisture barrier anyway. That's why I chose the Bostik 2 in 1.

    Unless you can put down 6 mil plastic to the slab and glue the wood to the plastic?
  20. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    1/4” Square notch will leave twice as much adhesive as a 1/4” V notch. That’s a big jump. Your specific products will call for a general spread rate that will get the job done. You may need to step it up or even be able to scale it back depending on what’s going on with your specific job site conditions. If the product says 1/4” V notch is the bare minimum, or starting point, you will want to go up from there if you need more adhesive.

    Gander at the trowel sizes and their corresponding spread rates. Looks like you have a few choices to choose from for hardwood.

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