Glue-down vinyl tiles have many advantages. Maybe that’s what has made them so popular for decades. They can be the perfect addition to any high-traffic area of your home where water-resistance is also in demand, like a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen.
Of course, with today’s technology, vinyl tiles aren’t what you remember from your parents’ homes. Maybe that’s why there is increasing interest in this viable flooring choice.
However, once you’ve decided to install vinyl floor, you can quickly become confused about the best way to install the. One of the reasons homeowners choose vinyl tile is because it’s perfect for the do-it-yourself project. But once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you’ll also have to decide the best way to install: floating or glue-down.
The reason both ways are still on the marketplace should clue you in that there are advantages to both. It’s important to consider your options carefully before you make your final decision.
First, let’s discuss glue-down vs floating
Before you weigh your options and make a decision, it’s important to understand the makeup of each product.
Glue-down is considered to be a permanent flooring. Because it adheres directly to the subfloor, it adds to the strength to increase scratch resistance, impact, and spills. Being permanent means you won’t be replacing it regularly, and are looking at longevity rather than replacement convenience.
Floating vinyl planks lay over the subfloor. They usually feature a click-and-lock system that makes this easy for do-it-yourselfers to install a floor in a weekend.
Glue-down vinyl tiles are easy to replace. Simply peel up a tile and replace it with a new one. Or easily life sections at a time. While floating tiles are easy to replace, they take a little more work because of the click system.
Glue-down is suitable for any room where high-traffic and water-resistance is standard. That makes glue-down vinyl great in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and entryways. It works well, no matter how large or small the room.
Floating tiles work similarly, however, they don’t work as well in larger rooms. You’ll have better results with glue-down over time.
The cost of glue-down is also more economical than floating tiles in most cases.
Settled in on glue-down vinyl tiles? What about the glue?
If you’re moving forward with installing glue-down vinyl tiles, they come with two different types of adhesive: a separate adhesive that is spread onto the floor using a trowel, and those that have adhesive covering the back with a peel-and-stick system.
While it can seem daunting to use a separate adhesive you’ll have to spread across the floor, it’s actually easier than it sounds. Plus, it has some benefits that may make it worth your time.
Self-adhesive tiles are very sticky. That makes them hard to reposition once they touch the subfloor. While many homeowners purchase vinyl tiles because they are easy to work with, this factor can negate ease. Many homeowners have become “frustrated” by how permanent these tiles become even with just a basic touch.
By contrast, if you work with floor tile adhesive you spread across the floor, it takes time for the glue to set. This gives you a chance to reposition the tile, look at the results, and change the layout again. It usually takes up to a full day for the adhesive to set, giving you plenty of time to ensure you have it right.
Self-adhesive tile is also more prone to curling. If you don’t get the installation right, self-adhesive tiles can curl up at the edges weeks or months after installation. Compare that to vinyl tiles that are installed with adhesive; they rarely loosen and curl by themselves. This can be especially important in high-traffic areas where risk is higher to catch edges.
Self-adhesive vinyl tiles also require a smoother, more perfect subfloor. Because they are thin with a standard peel-and-stick system to hold them in place, you’ll have to ensure your subfloor is free of imperfections before you lay it into place. Even small bumps or uneven areas can quickly cause problems down the road.
Compare that to installing with separate adhesive, you’ll find these glue-down tiles are easier to hide minor imperfections. Because you control the amount of adhesive, it’s easier to apply these tiles to areas with less than perfect subfloors.
Misconceptions about tile adhesive
There are three reasons people are a little apprehensive about choosing glue-down vinyl tiles before they do their research:
- They assume the process is messy
- They assume the odor will linger
- They assume the adhesive is toxic
Who wants to bring all of that into your home, especially when you’re trying to make your home cleaner, and your life healthier?
In reality, those are nothing but myths about using glue-down vinyl tile. There are many different types of adhesives to choose from, some of which are latex-based, water-soluble, low or zero VOC. That means the smell isn’t very strong, and easily goes away in a short period of time. Because it’s water-soluble, it makes clean up a snap.
What’s even better is the cost. Glue-down tiles are, in general, less expensive than the peel-and-stick. You can get a gallon of adhesive for low cost, which will cover up to 400 square feet per gallon. That gives glue-down vinyl tile the advantage – and the perfect choice for the rooms you’re thinking of taking on yourself.
Which should you choose?
The reason there are so many choices on the market today is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Instead, it depends on your needs and your desires.
Start with your living styles. What would make the most sense for the way you live? Combine that with your personal choices, and you’re sure to find the perfect flooring for you.
If you have questions, that’s where it helps to stop by and speak with one of our flooring representatives. Our goal is to ensure you have the right flooring for your needs, and that you’ll be happy with it for years to come.
If glue-down vinyl tile is the right choice for you, you’ll love all of the colors, styles, and patterns we have in stock. Whether you’re taking on a do-it-yourself project, or are hiring a professional to handle the job, we’ll help you make the right choice.