Floating laminate vs glue down vinyl and water resistance

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Kevreh, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Kevreh

    Kevreh Member

    Trying to pick a floor for our rec room, which will be in the basement of our split level. The concrete is sound, dry, and painted (no peeling). Since there's a laundry room, kitchen, and other plumbing above the basement its possible there will be some kind of leak or flood. Its happened once in the 14 years we've been in the house. Maybe it will or won't happen again.

    I was going to get a floating laminate then learned water will destroy (?) Even the hpf ones. Then found some waterproof ones at Floor & Decor which are more resistant. If there's a leak I would tear out the floor, let it dry, and re-install. Not the worse, but could be a pain.

    Then I thought that glue down laminate vinyl was the way to go, but the guy at Floor and Decor said water can get under the vinyl and loosen the glue and make a mess. However, makes me wonder if thats after 1 hour of sitting water, 24 hours, 2days, etc... Reasonably I would be able to address leaks within 24-48 hours. He also said that glue down in a basement could be an issue with trapping moisture due to lack of thermal break between vinyl and the slab.

    I like the idea of the solid, not at all hollow sound, of a glue down. Is he overstating the water issues with glue down? I also like the ease of installation of a floating (avid diy'r), but have done plenty of tile jobs so not afraid of glue down.

    Also, do those high density fiberboard based laminates fall apart when wet, like other mdf type material?

    Last, if I wanted a thermal break and a little more softness could I put down (glue?) A 1/8" layer of cork first, then glue down the vinyl?

    Lot of questions, but the whole laminate and vinyl product field is complicated and full of different materials and technologies.

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Once you add glue to the mix, nothing is water proof (kinda untrue, but mostly)
    Wood + glue + water = Bad times

    That being what it is, it is hard to say how much water will truly negatively affect a floor covering, sure we all say any water is bad but there is always a small tolerance.

    You seem to refer to the word laminate and then add vinyl to the mix. Are we referring to Click Vinyl Planks, or Solid Vinyl Plank?? Or are we referring to conventional Laminate? OR engineered wood, I am mildly confused, which for me is common :)

    As for a cork underlay, that part i know for certain and the answer is yes. Double glue installation is not uncommon at all. Just verify with the manufacturer that it is an approved installation method for their material.
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Paint should be removed for adhesive, yet still there could be a moisture vapor issue. The paint is still permeable so it's allowing moisture vapor to pass thru. It's probably a lower amount and not causing the paint to bubble and peel.

    For water from a pipe burst, gluedown would be better because I think. Or enough liquid water and dwell time would dissolve prior to being extracted.

    Cork? It's mildew resistant but I'm not sure about it being an underlayment if the moisture vapor RH is unknown. Stephanie at Canadian Cork, the cork expert could clarify.
  4. Kevreh

    Kevreh Member

    Hi...this is one floor were looking at; Nucore White Plank with Cork Back - 6.5mm - 100402577 | Floor and Decor

    And here's a click lock laminate from costco, at 1/3 the price but not waterproof; Costco Wholesale (wonder how long that hdf would last when wet before turning to mush)

    I realize I started that paragraph saying glue down laminate, then switched to vinyl. Meant glue down vinyl.
  5. The Nucore is an off-brand product that's in a newer class of luxury vinyl called WPC (Water Proof Core). It's a similar product to USFloors Coretec, Mannington Adura Max, and Armstrong Luxe with Rigid Core. It's most likely a private labeled product that Floor & Décor is importing themselves from Asia.

    The concept behind the WPC category is that it combines the best attributes of a laminate (Rigid product - helps with subfloor imperfections) with the best attributes of a luxury vinyl plank or tile (waterproof construction). Both are known for ease of maintenance, scratch resistance, and a broad range of attractive style and design. So, essentially a merging of the two product categories.

    I no nothing about the product from Costco, but without even looking it up I would bet it's what we in the trade would call a "builder grade product". These types of products as well as many of those you find in the box stores like HD, Lowes, and Menards are items targeted at price conscious buyers who don't understand the nuances between the "grades" of products in the marketplace. They typically don't have as long of a warranty, they typically don't have all the bells and whistles like micro-beveled edges, silicone impregnated cores for moisture resistance, they typically don't have quite as good of a wear layer, etc. etc. They're basic flooring when you just need something down on the floor.

    If I were going to put something in my own home today and was looking at the same options you've given, I would go with the WPC product over the laminate. Personally, I'm not a big fan of buying flooring online so I hope you would strongly consider shopping at a local specialty flooring dealer who can offer their experience and service to help guide you to the best option for you. There's an article that I've written here:

    Buying Flooring Off The Internet | The Floor Pro Community

    that talks about the problems and hidden costs that are associated with purchasing flooring online.

    I wish you well and hope your floor turns out awesome whatever you decide!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Kevreh

    Kevreh Member

    Thanks for the very in depth info! I probably wont go internet since its too easy to get local. Just for the fun of it I'm going to pickup a box of that laminate at costco and do a water test vs the WPC one from Floor and Decor.

    I would still like to hear your take and glue down vinyl and durability during a water leak.

  7. It depends on how long the water is exposed to the product and how well it's cleaned up. I have a pretty old laminate (so old it's glued together rather than the current click systems) that's been flooded from plumbing leaks twice. We cleaned it immediately after stopping the leak and ran dehumidifiers for about two-three days afterwards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that floor.

    I have commercial installations of over 4,000,000 square feet of glue down LVT with transitional pressure-sensitive adhesive that once it cures out is actually warranted as water-proof, not water resistant like many on the market. It's not a cheap adhesive but you get what you pay for. I've never had a topical water related failure since we've had the adhesive. This particular adhesive is private labeled by our main vendor for their flooring, but is also available as a 3rd party adhesive. I do not carry it under the 3rd party branded name only the private label product so I'm not trying to sell you something here. The product is Taylor Adhesives 2091 and I've simply found no better product with regard to moisture and we sell three other competitive adhesive lines with similar products.

    We also use this same glue under our commercial sheet vinyl products and I have tens of thousands of square yards right outside of commercial shower installations in fitness centers, nursing homes, and hospitals also with no moisture related failures. Prior to this adhesive, we did have issues and our only option was to go to a two-part urethane or a two-part epoxy adhesive. Neither of those options is something conducive to a DIY install. They're incredibly tricky to work with even for pros and require strict adherence to the written instructions to work properly.

    My point in that is that it is possible for adhesives to withstand large amounts of topical moisture for extended periods of time. Now if we're talking days and weeks like in Houston vs. hours of exposure then I would have to say all bets are off.

    Just an FYI on the evolution of adhesives...Taylor has also been playing around with Silane based adhesives for the past couple of years. Silane is the main component in super-glue. From what I understand that chemistry will actually out-perform the moisture resistance of the 2091. I haven't personally had an opportunity to put my hands on this newer type of glue but the people I have spoken with that have are long time manufacturing tech guys and they've been impressed. The only draw back I've heard is that it's incredibly expensive compared to the other standard adhesives, but again, you get what you pay for.
    • Winner Winner x 1

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.