How important is it to use the exact trowel recommended by glue companies?

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

  1. Kevreh

    Kevreh Member

    The glue I bought with my floor is Shaw 200. They recommend 1/16"x1/32"x1/32" U notch trowel. Ironically, after all the deliberation of deciding on floating vs glue down, then picking a LVP, and ordering, and waiting, it turns out the whole process may be held up finding the right trowel. Can't seem to find this size locally.

    Sure I could probably order it but it will take another week. Could I use something close, size wise. Something that has 1/16" notches? Closest I could find at Home Depot was this: "1/16 in. x 1/16 in. x 3/32 in. U-Notch Pro Trowel with Wood Handle".

  2. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    If my memory is right on how the notches are you would be putting down twice as much glue as needed. You would probably have glue all over the place seeping up between joints what have you. When they give notch sizes it is best to go with it. They are the ones that have done the testing.


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  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Agreed, it is a tiny notch, sometimes you can use a 3/8” nap roller. Try to put down amount of footage per gallon. You can use similar notch to spread it, then roll it, not too thick, you can kind of cover the floor with adhesive and get a feel for how much to put on by the way the roller glides.
  4. Chris 45

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

    Do a google search for a flooring supply shop in your area. Maybe even a local flooring store might have a that trowel size on a shelf in the back. The recommended trowel size is a common notch so it would most likely be in stock.
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Chris, I couldn’t find that trowel near me. Or on Daytona side for that matter. Maybe today, but two years ago it wasn’t prevalent. T4F is where I ordered mine(versablade)from. I believe Macklanburg Duncan was another manufacturer, maybe on Amazon.
  6. Chris 45

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

    Wow. I’m kinda surprised but then again I had to get my air sleds from Charlotte. Figured I was in a big enough city that they would just stock them but I guess not. Luckily they do have the versa blades here.
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Yea, displays of them on the counter in Ocala and Holly Hill, but not that notch, I couldn’t even nudge them to carry it. Then when I went back to Ocala I asked where the guy was that was bringing in all sorts of tools for display they fired him. “What was —- not doing?” His Job they replied.
  8. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Here: M-D 20051 1/16 Have it shipped overnight.
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  9. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

  10. Elmer Fudd

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

    In non-technical terms, a trowel is a metering device, to apply the correct amount of adhesive to the floor. With all due respect, the manufacturer spends big bucks to determine the correct amount of adhesive to hold your floor down, not have telegraphing, or adhesive coming up at the seams, etc. I have never understood why guys think ANY old trowel will work, OK it puts glue on the floor! But then all the liability goes on them if there is a glue related failure. Just get the correct one and YOU are covered.
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  11. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member


    Digging deeper maybe it was 3/16” nap roller and not 3/8”, its been awhile but that was after the correct notch was used. I liked backrolling as to me it got rid of ridges, dried faster as it spread the adhesive flatter(more flat) MD trowels are top “notch” but the small teeth wear quickly for large areas. I can’t remember the average footage that it would wear down before I’d flip the blade for a new side on versablade trowels. The 1/16” square I preferred to backroll, the 1/32” I didn’t as I felt it would not eventually show thru.
  12. Kevreh

    Kevreh Member

    Thanks guys, you guys are so helpful. I didn't know it was as precise as Mr. Fudd mentioned. I'll check around this weekend, or worse case order from amazon. Thanks for the links mike and jim!
  13. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Flooring supply houses usually close at 11-12 Saturday afternoon.
  14. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Our flooring supply shuts down early on Friday and isn't open on the weekend so you better be on it.
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  15. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    Quite often, manufacturer's instructions state the trowel must be replaced after xxx square feet. This is because the trowel will wear as it is used and change the depth of the notch. Would be a good idea to read the adhesive instructions again, just to check.
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  16. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    So true, but if you'e ever watched other installers spread adhesive, that metering device is subject to the angle to the subfloor that the installer holds it at during application. Lay it over too much, and you're at half the recommended adhesive, Like Mike I prefer to roll out the adhesive as I trowel it on, or have the helper roll while I spread.

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