The Best Types of Wood Floor Adhesives for Professionals 

The Best Types of Wood Floor Adhesives for Professionals

When you’re gearing up for a new project, whether it’s the installation and finishing of new hardwood floors for a residential client, or restoring, refinishing, or repairing floors for a commercial client, you’ll need to have a solid, comprehensive toolkit to get the job done. This includes machines like sanders, vacuums, floor edgers or floor buffers, as well as accessories like sanding belts, sanding papers, discs, cleaning and prep products, and last but not least, wood floor adhesives

There are different types of flooring adhesives, or wood glue, that you can use, depending on the type of flooring you’re working with – hardwood or engineered, as well as the type of subfloor and the overall environment. Your choice of flooring adhesive might also depend on the client’s preference; if they’re determined to go the environmentally-friendly route, you’ll need to use the right non-toxic adhesive to satisfy their request. 

Hardwood floor adhesives basically create a bond between the substrate, or subfloor, and the floor planks, through a chemical reaction that turns the adhesive from a liquid state to a solid state. Once the adhesive dries, the bond is sealed and secure, providing stability and durability to the flooring. Still, different types of adhesives work in different ways, and as a professional, you need to know your adhesives like the back of your hand. 

The main types of wood flooring adhesives 

There are three main types of wood floor adhesives: water-based, acrylic, and polyurethane/urethane-based. Depending on the type of flooring you’re working with, as well as the type of subflooring, you will need to pick the best option to deliver quality, durable results. You can browse our collection of adhesives on the First Atlanta Flooring online shop if you already have a product in mind. In the meantime, let’s go into the details.

Polyurethane-based floor adhesives

Poly-based adhesives are probably the most commonly used adhesives when it comes to wood flooring applications. The polyurethane creates a strong, durable bond with the cells and fibers in the wood, as well as the subfloor. Although the bond this type of adhesive creates is incredibly strong and durable, it’s also flexible, and moves with the wood over the years. 

Once cured, urethane-based and polyurethane-based adhesives are also moisture-proof, so water infiltrations and mold won’t be a concern. Poly-based wood floor adhesives contain solvents, but are low-VOC, and they also create a strong bond with the polyurethane finish applied on top of the hardwood floor. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly clean the hardwood planks and smooth out any imperfection before beginning the installation process. An added advantage of poly-based adhesives is that they can dampen sound and help with soundproofing the space. Poly-based adhesives are commonly used when installing hardwood floors on top of concrete, but if you need to install wood floors above heated subfloors, water-based adhesives might be a better option to go for. 

Acrylic flooring adhesives 

If your project involves working with tile, stone, or vinyl surfaces, then acrylic floor adhesives are your best bet. They are resin-based, and resistant to extreme temperature changes and sunlight. However, they are more susceptible to dilution from water or water vapor compared to water-based or poly-based flooring adhesives. 

Acrylic adhesives work great with engineered wood flooring, and the good news is that they have a rebonding capacity. They contain solvents and are low-VOC. If you’re installing vinyl or engineered wood flooring for a commercial or a residential client, acrylic flooring adhesives might be a great, effective, and durable option. 

Water-based flooring adhesives 

If your client’s preference is to use environmentally-friendly materials, or if they don’t want to wait too long for the flooring adhesive to cure before they can use the space, then water-based adhesives are the way to go. These types of adhesives are low-VOC and a lot more friendly with the environment. They’re also very easy to clean once the project is completed, and easy and safe to apply. The only downside is that, being a water-based adhesive, it is more susceptible to moisture damage. Too much moisture or water vapors can cause the bond in water-based adhesives to become weak, thus impacting its durability. 

Other must-have flooring adhesives for professionals

One of the biggest decisions to make when installing hardwood floors or engineered wood floors, or replacing flooring in a space, will be which type of flooring adhesive to use. As we’ve already discussed, that choice will depend on various factors, like the type of flooring, the type of subfloor, the climate and environment, and the client’s preference. 

But besides that, the wood flooring installation process will require several other steps, and other types of adhesives that you should always have in your professional toolkit. For instance, you might need a trim glue spray, like the Spray Trim Adhesive from 3M, or you might require a tongue and groove adhesive, like this one from Dritac. The 8100 Tongue & Groove Flooring Adhesive is a premium wood adhesive that works on all types of laminate and floating wood floors, and can also be used on radiant heat systems. The product is white in color, so it’s easy to clean up, and it’s also non flammable and non-toxic, so it’s great for the environment. 

For exterior use, you might want to use something like the Franklin Titebond II Premium Wood Glue, which is water-resistant, heat-resistant, and easy to sand and finish. It’s also FDA-approved for indirect food contact, so it’s safe to use around children and pets. If you’re installing new floors over a concrete subfloor, you can use the Liquid Nails Subfloor adhesive, which is great for both indoor and outdoor use, as it’s weatherproof-grade. It can be used on wet, frozen, and treated lumber, and is ideal if you need to bond common building materials to concrete. 

Check out our complete offering of wood floor adhesives at First Atlanta Flooring, and contact us if you require more information on our products or need help with your order.