Problem with VCT adhesive.

Discussion in 'Floorcovering Installation & Maintenance Tips' started by thedudeabides80, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. thedudeabides80

    thedudeabides80 Pro Member

    Hello all. I'm currently working maintenance at a goverment housing complex and Ive recently been flooded at work with removing carpet and installing VCT down in apartments. Now most of the time this isnt a problem, Ive always kind of enjoyed working with VCT but the last apartment I did I had a huge problem that turned into a big mess (thanks to the boss hurrying the job up so a new tenant can move in). My usual process is spread the glue (Roberts 2057) down the day before and come back in the morning and start laying, problem is the glue even after sitting from 12:00 pm one day to 9:00 am the next morning wasnt set up properly which Ive never really encountered before. Its summer time so the apartments are a bit humid inside so I'm wondering if thats the problem. So question is, any tips on insuring this stuff is set up by morning? Run the a/c? Run the furnace? Use fans all night? Dehumidifier? I need it to be ready the next day to appease the boss. Ive used fans before to speed things up but the "head maintenance" goon doesnt want fans running all night in a empty apartment, which I kind of understand. Anyway any tips would be greatly appreciated. This is my first post so hopefully its in the right place, and hope everyone has a great weekend, Thanks!
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Define "a bit humid." What size are your trowel notches? Have you taken a moisture test? What's the substrate; plywood, slab, lightweight concrete, old flooring?
  3. thedudeabides80

    thedudeabides80 Pro Member

    Honestly I cant remember trowel notch size, told the boss to look on the pail of glue for the right size as I usually cant remember off the top of my head, Most of the time I have to make due with what junk they have to work with,, Im working on a clean cement floor after removing glue down carpet. Im very meticulous about cleaning the floor beforhand. Well as far as the temp goes its been in the 80's here so with a shutup apartment its stuffy for sure, and no moisture test nope.
  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    What do you clean the floor with when you remove the glue?
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  5. thedudeabides80

    thedudeabides80 Pro Member

    a little hand scraper, takes forever to do it. Although I have been successful at installing right over old carpet glue that was stuck down once, just dont like to chance it.
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    It's the Humidity, I think all buckets of anything should contain percentage of water, I half assed googled content of water in paint, couldn't find it. Jim was probably thinking you mopped the floor with water to clean slab, then add adhesive.

    I like the fact where it's 24 hour working time, I prefer better quality adhesives, like Mapei 711, or anything other than generics.

    So I got to condo the other day, walked in, too humid, I instantly tell my wife without looking at gauge. Thermostat set at 80, temperature is somewhat irrelevant when room doesn't heat up enough to click on A/C to condense humidity. Level should not exceed 60% or a system should be trying to control it.

    Top number is Humidity, get one of these, knowing numbers is critical.

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  7. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    The notches are obviously WAY too heavy.

    No VCT manufacturer these days wants anything heavier than a 1/32" deep. The only minor discrepency is the shape of the notch and the spacing between the notch.

    You're not a pro so let me make this clear. NO F'n way you spread up a room of VCT adhesive CORRECTLY the night before and came in the next day and the glue was still sloppy wet.

    NO F'N WAY.


    No how


    Humidity? I don't care if you closed all the windows and left the shower running with hot water the whole time. VCT glue, properly applied take MINUTES to dry--------not hours.

  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Could be concrete sealer on floor also, some moisture from adhesive goes into slab. So as we see, we'll need more and more detail if we can't agree and make basic assumptions.

    Reading a bit more, 24 hours drying time, 6-10,and 10-14 hours, the notches on vct to me are too big with most adhesives where after all is settled I see trowel lines through the product forever after.

    So here's Mapei 711, which we use, about 1/2 the size trowel notch, not much waiting BS, spreading and waiting next day sounds counterproductive, we sometimes didn't finish LVT, so extended times worked well the next day.

    So if you want to step it up a notch, step it down a notch and get into the professional methods and adhesives where time is critical for non hourlys.

    Armstrong has a foolish notch as well.

    And I could go as far to say, with the adhesive height and the vct tile on top it's not set at maximum stability. The ridges keep it somewhat raised off of the substrate allowing vertical movement. The adhesive transfer is minimal and being raised the reduced holding power will allow it to shrink versus setting solidly on slab with more holding power, minimal yet sufficient adhesive in between.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  9. Elmer Fudd

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

  10. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Even doubling or tripling the trowel notch size, it shouldn't be wet in the morning.
  11. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member


    Exactly, similar to all adhesive manufacturers or thinset for example, its way too much. Adhesive is strongest when there's a thin film of adhesive in between two surfaces filling the pores with complete coverage. The rest is filler.

    For ceramic say the ridges should be collapsed to allow the thinset to cover more surface area, if not, it's usually 50% bonded. I told a retailer slab is not flat, he says my guys use 3/4" notch, more filler for low areas.

    The vct is not placed solidly against substrate, I assume when there are ridge lines in which all of the installers see, part of the vct is lower to substrate and the higher portions are contouring to the adhesive. With the Armstrong recommended notch trowel, there are wider gaps and more pronounced ridge lines.

    I like troweling the adhesive to gauge the amount, then using a roller, it gets rid of lines and allows adhesive to dry much faster since its flattening the adhesive (knocking down the height and dispersing it sideways to all the gaps. I just don't like the texture left,?kinda like stalacmites.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

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