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Installation: Floor layers ‘stick’ to their favorite adhesives

July 8/15, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 2

By Lindsay Baillie


Ask any flooring installer what makes a successful installation, and he or she will likely tell you it all depends on what is used to secure the flooring material to the substrate.

Flooring adhesives come in all shapes and sizes—many of which are created and used for specific types of flooring. To use the incorrect adhesive is to risk the entire job and potentially anger the customer, experts say.

FCNews spoke with several installers to find out what types of adhesives they prefer to use. Following are some of their recommendations.

Adhesive tape systems.Mark Olsen, flooring instructor, Carpenters Training Institute, has found great success using adhesive tape systems. The main reason? The flooring can be installed immediately after using the tape. “All the required ASTM testing must be done prior to using the adhesive tape system,” Olsen explained. “And the substrate needs to be properly cleaned—cleaned so well you can eat off the substrate.”

Pressure-sensitive adhesives. A key selling point for many installers is many pressure-sensitive adhesives are moisture resistant up to 95% relative humidity. “A pressure-sensitive adhesive is typically used for carpet tile, and it must be completely dry to the touch for the material to be installed,” explained David Gross, instructor, INSTALL. “Pressure-sensitive adhesives take the guess- work out of the equation. The fact that it can be rolled on or troweled on as opposed to any singular method of application is key.”

Carpet adhesives. When he was a younger installer, Dave Garden, owner and operator, Installation Services of Michigan, used only one manufacturer’s adhesive for almost every carpet installation he completed. These days, he tries to use adhesives made by the manufacturer that produced the flooring he is installing.

“I really began to understand adhesives differently when I started installing specialty carpets,” Garden explained. “I learned to always request an adhesive made by the manufacturer for the product I was installing. I understand many do not actually make their own adhesives. However, I know using their labeled products will make any claim I might have simpler to deal with. When installing carpet today, I will switch adhesives at times when I am working with patterns. I will use a contract grade is I need more open time to correct patterns.”

Ceramic adhesives. When using adhesives for a ceramic installation, Garden looks for products that mix well and “give a crisp install.” He also looks for adhesives that have simple instructions on the label, which makes it easier for Garden to find what he needs based on the tile he is setting.

Clear-spread VCT adhesive. According to Gross, clear-spread VCT adhesive is a similar product across all manufacturers. The main reason he looks to use this type of adhesive is because the product is user friendly. “You can spread the adhesive and then you let it rest until it’s completely dried and there is no mistake when to apply the flooring material,” he explained. “It is very user friendly when it comes to knowing when the adhesive is properly set up to install the flooring. That’s what makes it so attractive. There is no gray area of ‘Is the adhesive tacky enough? Is it ready enough? Has it been open enough? Has it been spread long enough?’ It’s completely dry to the touch.”

LVT, sheet vinyl adhesives. When installing LVT or homogenous sheet vinyl, Dave Ansbro Jr., vice president, Aldrich Rugg Interiors, Bradenton, Fla., looks for adhesives that are installer friendly, have great workability, are low-VOC and meet the projects’ needs. What’s more, he looks to partner with adhesive manufacturers that stand behind their products.

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Schönox enters radiant heating market with ComfortSafe

July 8/15, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 2


FLORENCE, ALA.—HPS Schönox, known for its innovative spirit in bringing subfloor solutions to the flooring industry, has entered a new frontier with the introduction of the ComfortSafe electric radiant full-surface floor heating system.

“ComfortSafe is just another example of the innovative products offered HPS Schönox,” Thomas Trissl, HPS Schönox principal, told FCNews.

ComfortSafe can be installed on its own or as a system with Schönox underlayment products. The end result, the company said, is a comfortable and environmentally friendly underfloor heating system. The company said ComfortSafe is appropriate for both residential and commercial settings, providing luxury for residents at home while enhancing safety and comfort in commercial building. In addition, the system will lower construction and operating costs.

Regarding commercial applications, Schönox ComfortSafe electric radiant floor heating system will provide added value for industrial loss-prevention departments who may utilize ComfortSafe to address moisture from buildup of water, ice and slush commonly associated with building entryways. When embedded in Schönox AP Self-Leveling compound, the ComfortSafe system offers a clear, efficient, continuous and easy-to-use heat source for more rapid moister evaporation, thus reducing opportunities for claim-generating slip and fall incidents, according to Trissl.

Schönox ComfortSafe also guarantees fast, direct surface heating of areas. This heating system operates at maximum steady stated temperatures by using a programmable on/off control power switch. It should also be noted that for larger areas, more than one system can be employed.

For residential applications, Schönox ComfortSafe electric radiant floor heating system can be used in conjunction with the Schönox AP Self-Leveling compound in common areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, walk-in closets and dressing rooms. Because it is a radiant design, the ComfortSafe system maximizes energy savings by minimizing heat loss. It comes with a residential kit to provide warmth and comfort underfoot, which is ideal when walking on

bathroom floors during the winter. The company said many homeowners are seeking these floor heating systems as the newer technology provides a more cost-effective level of comfort compared with older systems.

The basic requirements for the ComfortSafe heating system are as follows:
•ComfortSafe film supplied in roll form
•35 inches wide for commercial and industrial building entryways
•30 inches wide for residential flooring
•PowerTrack 3.15 inches wide in roll form
•Power supply 120VAC single phase 3KW
•Electric Time Switch Tork SA399 40A for controlling heaters on/off
•An OJ Electronics thermostat with floor sensor for residential applications
•T4 and T5 crimp connectors
•Installation area 100 square feet

Features and benefits of the ComfortSafe heater system are as follows:
•Easy to install
•Energy efficient due to full surface heating
•Helps abate moisture from flooring surfaces to aid in evaporation
•Helps protect substrate from moisture penetration
•Reduces heat loss to the substrate and improves floor warming response time
•Can be used with all types of flooring materials
•Provides even and consistent warmth in any room
•Provides subfloor thermal insulation (R=0.5)
•Anti-microbial resistance to mold and mildew

The ComfortSafe system will be sold through TMT America in Florence, Ala., as well as through Schönox distribution partners. The system will be available in the middle of the third quarter this year.

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Installation: Underlayments = solutions + add-on opportunities

June 10/17, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 26

By Megan Salzano


Sundry products such as underlayments and subfloor levelers are often overlooked by the consumer but play a vital role in the successful completion of any flooring installation. Furthermore, they also provide the retailer with upselling opportunities.

As such, it is squarely on the shoulders of the retail sales associate to convey the pivotal role these products play when it comes to the final outcome of a project. “The underlayment is a very important add-on sale,” said Jim Wink, vice president of sales and marketing, Foam Products. “It generates much greater profits with high margins over the low profit margins of the actual flooring.”

Current flooring trends have also made room for upselling opportunities. For example, as hard surface flooring has grown in popularity, the importance of underlayments has grown as well. “Many families who have been accustomed to the benefits of carpet with a separate cushion are now finding out their new hard surface floor isn’t as quiet as what they were used to,” said Erik Kempf, president, Leggett & Platt Flooring Products. “For consumers who are making the switch from soft surface to hard surface, the retailer should explain the reasons why a good quality underlayment is needed. Carpet has an obvious companion product, which provides a profit center. When you move to hard surface flooring, not only are you taking a customer out of the market for a longer period of time but oftentimes no underlayment is used. That is a tremendous profit opportunity for the retailer.”

In order to land that add-on sale, retail owners and their sales associates should first be well informed on the benefits underlayments provide and then relay those benefits to suit the needs of the customer. “It is always essential to assist customers in researching what best fits the needs of any particular installation,” said Wade Verble, vice president of business development – underlayment division, DriTac Flooring Products. “If sound control is the primary concern, the focus should be abatement qualities. If moisture control proves most important, research the moisture mitigation attributes of the underlayment.”

Adam Abell, market manager, tile and stone installation systems, consumer and construction business unit, Bostik, agrees retailers must embrace their role as industry experts. “Stay savvy and educate your customer with the proper techniques, the reasons why conformance with our industry requirements will result in longevity and quality of the completed project.”

However, offering underlayment is not only about making a sale. It can also help add value to a retailer’s customer relationships. “When retailers use underlayments to address subfloor issues, they then become a solution provider—not just a salesperson,” said Shane Jenkins, senior technical coordinator, Schönox, HPS North America. “This is the greatest opportunity for retailers to gain the trust of the consumer as an expert. This added trust can lead to a successful sale without lowering the cost or compromising on the quality of the project.”

For some sales associates, adding underlayments to the final cost can be daunting. However, manufacturers agreed, oftentimes the opportunity to upgrade the customer with an underlayment sale naturally presents itself. “In many situations there is an obvious need for a solution, and just pointing out that there are underlayments that offer a remedy is a path to a better installation for the customer and higher profits for the dealer,” said Ann Wicander, president, We Cork. “So often the dealer rep is afraid to add more cost to a project estimate—they miss the opportunity to upgrade the customer to a better situation.”

Other industry experts agree. Jack Boesch, director of marketing, MP Global, said adding a premium acoustic underlayment is as easy as a fast food restaurant asking if you want to “super-size” your drink. “Consumers look for guidance from sales staff on what to purchase. When the customer service rep explains the benefits of a premium underlayment, the additional cost doesn’t seem unreasonable.”

Manufacturers, likewise, agree that profitable opportunities in today’s market should never be overlooked or underutilized. “There are financial benefits to promoting and upgrading your customer,” Bostik’s Abell said. “If you omit this discussion with said customer you are leaving an opportunity untapped and, in today’s marketplace, your savvy competitors won’t likely pass on similar opportunities they encounter.”

When it comes to merchandising techniques, Leggett & Platt’s Kempf said countertop, point-of-purchase units used at key locations in showrooms are useful. They not only showcase the underlayment but they can also illustrate the key reasons why underlayments are used, he said. “The one mistake some make is having too many choices. There are so many flooring options that consumers may get frustrated. Don’t over complicate the underlayment pitch. Keep it simple.”

In the end, establishing your brand as one of quality installation and service is critical in today’s marketplace, and underlayments can help accomplish this. “If retailers begin with a solid foundation, then finished flooring will look and perform as intended,” Schönox’s Jenkins said. “The end goal is to have a completed project all parties can all be proud of, and that starts with a sound and smooth subfloor.”

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Installation: Välinge pushes innovation with latest offerings

June 10/17, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 26

By Ken Ryan


With more than 2,600 patents to its credit and another 5,300 in the pipeline, Välinge Innovation AB continues to burnish its credentials as an R&D company par excellence.

“Innovation is in our DNA,” Lennart Thålin, region manager - North and South America, told FCNews. “Lately we’ve launched a few more groundbreaking innovations.”

Whether it’s the company’s legacy 5G locking system or a new innovation like wood powder technology, Välinge’s objective is to push through any barriers and deliver technological solutions to the market. In many instances, it requires a new way of thinking, Thålin said. Case in point is the company’s wood powder technology—a production and material innovation in which Välinge uses a mix of wood powder that comes from recycled laminate flooring, melamine, aluminum oxide and pigment. “With this powder mix we create two types of flooring: ceramic composite featuring the Nadura surface and hardened wood featuring Woodura surface,” Thålin said. “The former has a ceramic look and feel, and the latter features a wear layer of real wood which is infused with the powder mix and thereby increases the hardness and impact resistance three times compared to the original species.”

According to Thålin, ceramic composite flooring is harder and more scratch resistant compared to normal ceramic or porcelain tiles, but still feels warm and comfortable to walk on due to the wood fiber content. “It also withstands impacts much better and can be installed as a floating floor using our 2G/5G locking system.”

The wood powder technology uses a thinner wood wear layer (0.6mm) that enables production of wider planks at an affordable cost. “You get an automated filling of knots and cracks in the process thanks to the penetration of the powder when heated and compressed in the production cycle,” Thålin explained. “It also withstands impacts much better than similar flooring and can be installed as a floating floor using our 2G/5G locking system.”

Välinge plans to license the wood powder technology as well as set up its own production of flooring.

In recent years Välinge has stepped up its introduction of market innovations, especially as the resilient flooring segment has soared on the strength of LVT, WPC and SPC offerings. The sheer weight of these types of flooring can prove challenging for installers. To remedy this, Välinge created a technology and process called Liteback to remove some of the material from the back without affecting the properties of the floor. By removing material, users can achieve a weight reduction of 15%-20%. As a result, all handling of the product becomes easier and more efficient—from delivery out of the production unit to the time of the purchase and during installation. In addition, the removed material can be recycled, and new flooring can be produced.

How it works: by using a grooving unit, groovers are milled on the backside of the floorboard. The material that is removed in the process is recycled back into the production process, thereby reducing material consumption by up to 20%. Terry Barbree, global director of sourcing, hard surfaces, Shaw Industries, said the company has been using the Välinge locking system for many years. “We appreciate the great technical support and the new features Välinge has brought to the flooring industry. We’re excited to see where the newest innovations like Liteback and powder technology will evolve.”

5G is the well-known Välinge brand for the globally recognized fold-down installation system used by more than 100 flooring companies around the world. The unique feature about this technology is the flexible tongue that enables a much easier and faster installation process. “We have fine-tuned the 5G system so it also works with thin materials (down to 4mm) such as LVT and SPC by using an alternative version of the plastic locking tongue—stepnose—that also makes the installation easier and the locking stronger,” Thålin said.

Anett Nemeth, deputy CEO at Graboplast, a Győr, Hungary-based vinyl flooring manufacturer agreed that the 5G system facilitates and significantly shortens the time of installation, adding, “The prefabricated wood floor with shock absorbing underlay together with 5G fold-down installation system is a perfect match. Our customers like it very much.”

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I4F broadens its scope to cover rigid core platforms

June 10/17, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 26

By Reginald Tucker


Early glueless locking systems mostly targeted laminate and hardwood flooring categories. But with the rising popularity of rigid core platforms, developers of these systems are expanding their portfolio of technologies to offer licensees and manufacturing partners even more options.

To that end, I4F has announced new partner- ship agreements with rigid core flooring manufacturers CFL Flooring and KingdomFlooring.

In the case of CFL, the patent partnership agreement pertains to a new engineered stone, wood veneer composite base flooring board. The breakthrough magnesium oxide, veneer board addresses the disadvantages currently associated with natural wood flooring by reducing moisture intake and flammability on any floor level or room type. The new sound-absorbing board provides a stone-wood composite base that keeps the wood veneer level dry and heat resistant by substantially retaining moisture and heat with-in the stone-wood base.

“We are excited about working with I4F to promote this breakthrough technology,” said Thomas Baert, president, CFL. “This technology, developed by Mondo Pallon, is the beginning of many more to come over the next months and years.”

John Rietveldt, I4F CEO, was equally enthusiastic about the partnership. “This latest partnership with CFL underscores our strategy to seek out and market flooring technologies that have a profound impact on today’s flooring landscape.”

As part of I4F’s recent partnership agreement with KingdomFlooring, I4F receives exclusive sub-licensing rights for KingdomFlooring’s new patented polymer core floor panels enhanced with grout features. The new panels enable aesthetically pleasing, visible joints by introducing a grout-shaped recess close to the surface of the panel on at least one of its edges.

“This new partnership agreement takes our cooperation with KingdomFlooring to the next level and further supports our strategy to partner with innovation-focused manufacturers,” Rietveldt added.

Davord Dai, chairman of KingdomFlooring, echoed those sentiments. “We are excited about the prospect of working with an expert in the field to promote this new design-enhancing floor panel.”

Cost-saving innovations
Beyond innovative locking technologies, I4F is offering a patented technology enabling manufacturers to save up to 10% on materials during the production of rigid polymer boards. The technology also enhances productivity by optimizing the extrusion process during the production of rigid polymer boards, including SPC and expanded polymer core (EPC) panels.

“Sustainable material savings are good for the industry and our planet,” Rietveldt noted. “Manufacturers can now benefit from increased productivity gains during the production of rigid boards and have the opportunity to make significant savings on material costs.”

All this dovetails nicely with I4F’s Patent Cluster Concept (PCC), enabling partners to pick and choose the platform they require. More importantly, PCC also provides full transparency on the composition of license fees to obtain the best return on investment while avoiding unnecessary payments for unused patents.

Clustered patents represented by I4F cover the following:


•Surface finishing

•Materials and panel composition

•Manufacturing processes

•Board/wall panels

I4F’s PCC means manufacturers can select the intellectual property that best suits their business needs. Additionally, they can regularly evaluate which cluster provides them with optimal patent protection.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the world’s leading and most innovative companies to find more exciting innovations that truly make a difference,” Rietveldt noted.

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Installation: Self-levelers smooth over rough subfloors

April 29/May 6, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 24

By Lindsay Baillie

For a consumer to get the most out of her floor, the product must be installed properly. As retailers, installers and contractors know, the success of any installation starts with a properly prepped substrate.

To help installers with this important step, manufacturers are developing new self-levelers to shorten prep time and create better working environments for all on the construction site. Here is an overview of some of the latest products hitting the market.

Ardex – Ardex K13
Ardex K13 has a dual water ratio, allowing installers to choose a high flow or standard flow option for their installation. When choosing the standard flow option, the product can be installed up to 1 1⁄2-inch without aggregate and tapered to meet existing elevations. The high flow option has outstanding fluidity and coverage. It can be installed as thin as 1⁄16-inch but still maintains ideal self- leveling properties in these thin applications.

The Ardex K13 unique dual water ratio allows installers the flexibility to adjust to the jobsite requirements with a single product. The installation crew can change water ratios from job to job or even bag to bag on any install to cater to their preference. The product still maintains a 16-hour dry time at both water ratios for most floor coverings. These features are said to provide reduced cost and rapid turn-around fitting any timeline.

Custom Building Products – CustomTech TechLevel WSF
CustomTech TechLevel WSF is a fiber-reinforced, self-leveling underlayment for wood subfloors. Due to its fiber reinforcement, lath is not required for plywood or OSB substrates. What’s more, WSF is compatible with radiant heating systems and can be used in place of backerboard over most applications. It can also be used over non-wood floors, providing one product for all types of subfloors.

CustomTech’s low-prep technology requires no mechanical prep for suitable substrates. It helps installers save time by eliminating the labor involved in installing a wire lath before leveling. “This is a high-flow formula with excellent handling and exceptional flow retention properties that helps production rates,” said Eric Carr, senior director of product and channel management.

Schon̈ox – Renotex 3D System
Schon̈ox’s new Renotex 3D System is designed to exceed the material standards of new and remodeling projects. This versatile and customizable system combines Renotex 3D, a sound and insulation sheet, Schon̈ox RS 50 foam tape and Schon̈ox AP Rapid Plus to provide a fast and cost-effective subfloor renovation system.

First, the sound and insulation sheet is cut to size and loosely laid, sheet to sheet, on the wooden substrate. The high density of this underlayment allows for walkability at any time. Any gaps around the perimeter should be closed adhering the RS 50 foam tape to any vertical structure. The Schon̈ox Renotex 3D reinforcement fabric is then cut to shape and flattened lengthwise to overlap approximately 2 inches. Finally, the Schon̈ox AP Rapid Plus self-leveling compound is poured. The system cures in as little as 24 hours to a completely decoupled, floating and self-bearing system.

MAPEI – Polyplan RSL Rapid Self-Leveler
Polyplan RSL is a two-part self-leveling compound. It is provided in a 30 lb. bag of powder and a 1-gallon bag of liquid latex. Due to this configuration, no on-site water is needed other than wash water, and the compound cannot be over or under watered.

Polyplan RSL does not require the use of a primer over non-porous substrates, making it a time saver for installers. It also has a very fast cure time and is ready for the installation of vinyl flooring three hours after application.

“We chose to put Part B of Polyplan RSL in a plastic bag rather than 1-gallon plastic jug,” explained Jeff Johnson, FCIS product manager. “The reason being if you are using Polyplan RSL on a job of any size you would have a mountain of gallon jugs to get rid of. By using a plastic bag, you will reduce the volume of waste generated and it is actually less plastic by weight as compared to a plastic jug.”

Sika – Sika Level-425
Sika Level-425 is a dust-reduced, high-flow, high-strength self-leveler. Sika Level-425’s dust-reduced technology allows for a clean installation in areas such as medical facilities, libraries, domestic properties, industrial environments and cafeterias. It is a very low-shrinkage, smooth self-leveler that allows most floor coverings to be installed in as little as 16 hours. Apply Sika Level-425 from as little as 1⁄16-inch up to 1⁄2-inch.

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Installation: Underlayments put moisture protection to the test

March 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 21

By Megan Salzano


While a seemingly ancillary product, underlayments have become increasingly more important to the flooring industry. Not only do they help boost the bottom line for retailers and contribute to successful installations across product categories, but the segment also provides protection against a growing consumer concern: moisture incursion.

Subfloor moisture that can adversely affect the integrity of a flooring system may have always been a key issue for some consumers, but the evolution of home and product trends has created an increased focus on the issue. The rising popularity of multilayer engineered flooring, for example, is one factor contributing to the increased utilization of underlayments as protective measures, Wade Verble, vice president of business development and underlayment at DriTac Flooring Products, told FCNews.

“The nature of multilayered flooring, particularly
when installed over concrete, demands a
vigilant defense
against potential subfloor moisture damage,” he said. “As the multilayer flooring category continues to grow, underlayments will likely be seen as an increasingly valuable solution.”

More specifically, LVT has exploded onto the scene with new surface visuals that continue to grab consumer attention, and underlayments have become increasingly more important in these applications. “What’s happening in the market is a lot of these LVT planks are coming with pre-attached underlayment,” said Deanna Summers, marketing coordinator, MP Global. “Those products are marketed as waterproof—and the planks may be waterproof, or the products that they’re made from—but you still have to waterproof the substrate.”

Colleen Gormley, sales and marketing, Diversified Industries, added, “Along with the growth of hard surface flooring installations, consumer’s education on the subject has grown as well. Consumers have learned that underlayment is not just for sound abatement, but an integral part of protecting your flooring system’s joints, providing comfort and of course protecting against moisture problems. Consumers want to do an installation job once, the right way, and be supported by their underlayment in all facets.”

Another key factor in the need for underlayments is the growing trend toward con- sumer utilization of basement spaces, a location often plagued by moisture. “More and more people are turning basements into living spaces,” said Steve Sennik, president, DMX Plastics. “They are either creating income properties that help them pay for the mortgage or they want additional living space—they make a gym, study or living area. It’s a much more active area than it was 15 or 20 years ago.”

Following is a curated selection of moisture-mitigating solutions in the market.

MP Global
QuietWalk Plus+ advances the fiber blend technology of the original, featuring more versatile applications with the special attached vapor barrier allowing floating, glue- or nail-down applications. Boasting the same performance characteristics as the original, reducing unwanted traveling noise and superior moisture protection and proper compression to support tongue and groove, QuietWalk Plus+ is the universal underlayment covering all installation applications. This underlayment can be installed over wood or concrete subfloors.

DriTac EnviroTread rubber underlayment and acoustical barrier is ideal for glue-down and floating installations of hardwood, carpet, carpet tile, ceramic tile, ceramic stone and laminate flooring.
It also offers DriTac’s Dual Force, Silent Fuse technology when utilized
with approved DriTac flooring adhesives
in “double-stick” glue-down applications.The resulting Total Sound and Moisture
Reduction System (SRS) features an
enhanced lifetime warranty. Further, when
used with DriTac MCS 7000 two-part, concrete
moisture control system, the SRS offers moisture mitigation up to 25 pounds per ASTM F 1869 and 100% RH per ASTM F2170

Healthier Choice
Being very aware of the need for moisture vapor mitigation, Healthier Choice has offered solutions for the issue for over 20 years. The company’s Sound Solution Vapor Bloc product, seen here, is extremely effective at handling extreme vapor emissions and is warranted for 10 lbs per 24 hours per the calcium chloride test. In recent years, the company has also developed a similar product called OmniChoice Vapor Bloc that is ideal for floating installations under vinyl floors.

Schönox SDG Plus is a rapid drying, ready-mixed acrylic moisture mitigation system suitable on cement-based substrates with residual moisture up to 96% RH or 18 lbs per 1,000 square feet per 24 hours in interior areas before applying Schönox underlayment.

DMX Plastics
DMX 1-Step underlayment is available for a variety of flooring types, including carpet (seen here), area rugs, LVT and laminate and engineered hardwood. DMX 1-Step Carpet is designed for areas where moisture is a problem, such as basement installations. It features a unique dimple design that allows air to flow under the floor so vapor moisture can evaporate. This process prevents mold and mildew from building up under the floor. The dimples are also encapsulated in a closed-cell foam, which is waterproof and keeps floors warm. It has a compressive strength of 6,000 lbs per square foot to help support comfort underfoot.

As part of Diversified’s Premium collection, FloorMuffler LVT Encore is ideal for most
direct attach LVT/P flooring installations.
It can also be used in floating installations and is available with and without
the UltraSeal self-sealing lip and tape
system. It features a built-in moisture
barrier that exceeds industry standards
with no additional films required. It also features superior acoustic protection, comfort and durability. It is fully recyclable, mold and mildew resistant and surpasses indoor air quality emissions requirements for CA Section 01350.

Foam Products
All of Foam Products’ underlayments have a moisture mitigation film to help prevent fluids from reaching the flooring planks. Eco Ultimate Silencer, for example, is ideal for laminates and wood flooring. It has a polyester film bonded directly to the premium acoustical polyurethane foam during the manufacturing process. This process eliminates any potential delamination from the foam so there is a 100% moisture vapor film coverage on the subfloor to prevent the moisture from reaching the actual installed flooring and the above surface. The same technology is available in the company’s Silencer LVT, which is ideal for all LVT, WPC and SPC installations.

The Hydro Ban cementitious waterproofing membrane is a single-component, polymer-fortified cement-based waterproofing material for both interior and exterior applications that requires only water for mixing. It is formulated to be Greenguard certified and LEED compliant for sustainable building, equipped with anti-microbial technology and is solvent-free and non-flammable.

Silently+, a two-in-one product, offers a vapor barrier and sound control under floating floors, including engi- neered wood, laminates and LVT. Silently+ is a low-pro- file, easy-to-install rubber cork product with attached moisture barrier, which offers superior and economi- cal sound control in a 2mm thickness. Its high density provides a solid but resilient underlayment, which absorbs footfall sounds in the room while preventing moisture issues commonly found in basements and on-grade structures.

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Installation: Molding intros tout form and function

March 4/11, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 20

By Megan Salzano


Consumers can sometimes forget the finishing touches necessary to complete a new flooring installation. Accessory items, such as trim and molding, not only help to create a flawless installation but also add to a retailer’s overall project sale.

At this year’s International Surfaces Event, held in Las Vegas in January, trim and molding manufacturers showcased innovative new products meant to help retailers grow sales while also supporting a flawless installation that will keep customers happy. Some suppliers focused on rounding out existing collections in an effort to help retail offer a one-stop solution and account for multiple design trends. Others tapped current floor trends, such as waterproof designs, in an effort to better service the market.

Whether looking to add new SKUs to existing trim and molding offerings or break into the category to help boost the final sale, retailers should keep these accessories top of mind when discussing new projects with their customers. Following is a curated selection of some of those new trim and molding innovations.

Seneca Millwork
Seneca is adding to its SignatureEdge collection with three new stair tread edge profiles. Its eased edge tread has a 3⁄16-inch slightly rounded top front edge; its chamfered edge design showcases a 1⁄4-inch angled top front edge; and the double chamfered design features the 1⁄4-inch angled edges on the top and bottom of the tread.

“Currently, a consumer has basically two stair tread design choices—a bullnose or square front,” said Mark Pacacha, national sales manager. “We feel that adding three additional edge options brings pizzazz and an important variety to our SignatureEdge collection. The eased edge is similar to the square edge but with a smoother, more rounded appearance. The chamfered edge and double-chamfered edge profiles are perfect for an ultra-modern appearance on consumers’ staircases.”

Pacacha noted that by adding more edge designs, the company now has a complete stair package selection for both traditional and modern looks. “Change is happening so quickly in the trim and molding business, and with all the homework a consumer does before making purchases our SignatureEdge collection gives our partners an ‘Edge’ for their customers.”

All treads are manufactured in the USA and are available unfinished or prefinished. Seneca can stain and finish stair treads to match thousands of flooring brands and colors. This includes specialty finishes such as sculpted, wire brushed and glazed. Seneca’s solid wood treads are built to last with only two to three glue lines per tread, and they are coated with a durable, water-based, phthalate-free formulated polyurethane topcoat finish.

Artistic Finishes
Artistic Finishes has added a new look to its Enduracor Stair Nose line of molding. Profile 340 has a square-edged design and fits 5mm to 7mm floors. With this new profile, the company’s Enduracor waterproof line now offers 17 profiles for floors ranging from 2.5mm to 15mm.

“There is always a demand for flush stair nosing when it comes to molding for multi-layer floors. This fits 5mm to 7mm thick floors, which is the largest thickness option in the multi-layer flooring industry and fulfills that need where it’s often found lacking,” said Bill Treiber, technical sales and education manager. “This square-edged nosing gives our customers another option of stair nosing in our Enduracor waterproof core collection with a modern twist. The squared look of the bullnose is the latest trend our customers are requesting to give their staircase a fresh, bold look.”

Selling is about options and staying current with the trends in the industry, Treiber explained. “This sleek new profile is a unique design while still creating durability. It gives our retailers and dealers the flush nosing option their customers need and want for multi-layer floors at a cost-effective price.”

This new profile will be available in April.

Pennwood Products
This year, Pennwood has grown its White Goods assortment of molding products—painted and primed molding in baseboard, quarter round and shoe. “Retailers, builders and consumers are looking for molding that have universal usage and at the same time give a great visual appearance as well as good value,” said Steve Cratch, business development. “The retailers and consumer think white molding actually make the floors contrast better. The retailer controls and turns their inventory better and the installer likes the fixed lengths. Builders like that it is available already painted or primed. Everyone is a winner.”

In addition, Cratch noted it was important to offer retailers a molding line that works with all flooring types, including ceramic, hardwood, vinyl and LVT. “Distributors and retailers today are always looking for items that turn well and help their bottom line. Painted and primed molding help consolidate where necessary and at the same time offer a product that saves time in installation.”

Currently offered in a 12-foot fixed length, the company is set to launch an 8-foot fixed length in the second quarter.

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Adhesive: Suppliers up the ante with latest innovations

February 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 19

By Ken Ryan


Leading adhesives manufacturers are coming to market with new products that claim to be faster, stronger and safer than previous iterations. Indeed, many of the new offerings boast enhanced eco-friendly properties, are able to cure underwater and be installed in higher relative humidity (RH) conditions.

Following are some recent introductions from those manufacturers:

The new Henry 647 PlumPro was engineered for today’s fast-track installations and remodels. The fast-track, roll-apply vinyl adhesive is said to be moisture resistant up to 95% RH and pressure-sensitive in minutes. Approved for use on all substrates, Henry 647 can be used with commercial and residential installation of LVT, LVP and fiberglass-encapsulated sheet vinyl.

The company has also released Henry 695, a high RH vinyl flooring adhesive. It is a pressure-sensitive or wet-set adhesive for the installation of LVT, LVP and vinyl-backed sheet flooring. It is also moisture resistant up to 95% RH and has a four-hour working time. Its versatility and overall performance make it suitable for all formats and sizes of vinyl-backed flooring.

DriTac is venturing into spray adhesives with the introduction of DriTac SprayTac 2500 (SG), 2600 (LVT-CT) and 2700 (VCT). According to David Clarkson, DriTac’s vice president of strategic development, this line of resilient flooring spray adhesives is suited for the installation of approved sheet goods, luxury vinyl tile, carpet tile and vinyl composition tile in both commercial and residential applications. Clarkson said SprayTac requires less adhesive than traditional troweled adhesives, allows immediate traffic and is easy to clean up while wet. In addition, SprayTac affords the green community a spray adhesive with zero VOCs, no offensive odors and non-flammability. The water-based, highly moisture-resistant (up to eight pounds and 95% RH) and pH-resistant adhesive is available in 22-ounce aerosol cans.

Laticrete has introduced MultiMax Lite, a one-step, non-sag, large and heavy tile mortar for interior and exterior installations of ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass tile and stone. Boasting superior bond strength and adhesion, the company said, the adhesive exceeds ANSI 118.15, an industry standard for cementitious-based adhesive mortar. A 25-pound bag provides the same coverage as a 50-pound bag of standard mortar, the company said. Additionally, the adhesive contains no silica sand, which benefits workers on the jobsite with reduced exposure to respirable silica, the company said.

In addition, 125 Tri Max is a soon-to-be-released, three-in-one adhesive, sound-control and crack-isolation product that is designed to eliminate the need for sound and anti-fracture mats. Because of the versatility and lightweight nature of this product, 125 Tri Max is said to save construction professionals money on storage, freight and logistics. The product contains 36% post-consumer recycled materials to contribute to LEED points and is GreenGuard certified.

Mapei recently launched Ultrabond ECO 811, a mint-colored adhesive designed to provide an enhanced, aggressive tack for installing all types of carpet tile and has releasable properties for easy removal of flooring. The adhesive is said to provide a secure adhesive base for standard PVC-backed carpet tile as well as non-PVC-, polyolefin-, felt- and bituminous-backed carpet tile. This universal carpet tile adhesive can also be used to bond fiberglass-reinforced vinyl sheet flooring. In addition, the adhesive is specially designed to provide the option of a permanent or releasable base, accommodating the remodeling cycles typical in residential homes, office buildings, hospitality settings and institutional locations.

Mapei also introduced Ultrabond ECO 977, a fast-setting, 100% solids, one component, moisture-cured urethane adhesive specifically designed for domestic solid and engineered wood flooring.

Mohawk Group now offers a patented, waterproof flooring installation system with the addition of Aquaflex M100Plus. Aquaflex is a system of products developed specifically for commercial customers designing, upgrading or repairing installations based on concrete subfloors. “Aquaflex M100Plus represents the type of disruptive technology that will move the industry forward, providing a solution that will set severe moisture issues aside without the extreme cost of mitigation,” said David Thoresen, senior vice president of commercial hard surface.

The system consists of Aquaflex M100Plus adhesive, a waterproof solution with the ability to cure underwater; Aquaflex M100Plus Patch & Skim Mix, a silica-free concrete repair mix; and Aquaflex M100Plus Adhesive Remover.

Roll and Go is Schönox’s most popular green adhesives designed for luxury vinyl tiles. Roll and Go can be applied from a standing position, resulting in a faster, cleaner, easier job for the installer. LVT installation can begin just 15 minutes after application. Tiles are bound and can bear loads immediately, the company said.

The easy-apply acrylic adhesive can contribute up to five points in a LEED v4 project, according to the company. Schönox Roll and Go contributes to low-emitting materials, environmental product declaration and material ingredients. It has been recognized as an EC 1PLUS Regulated product yielding very low emissions.


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Laticrete looks to pull out all the stops at TISE 2019

November 26/December 3, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 12

By Nicole Murray


Laticrete is preparing to showcase its breadth of products at The International Surface Event (TISE) 2019 in Las Vegas. Following is a preview:

Laticrete Strata_Heat is an electric radiant floor heating system designed to go under tile and stone flooring. The system uses thermal diffusion technology to uniformly distribute heat through the adhesive, which results in an evenly heated flooring surface. The system also transfers heat quickly, saving both energy and cost. What’s more, the Strata_Heat package includes a high-performance floor heating wire, an uncoupling mat and can be controlled using a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat.

“We recommend Strata_Heat to anyone in need of floor warming,” said Joel Tully, founder, Trends in Tile, Bridgeton, Miss. “The electric radiant floor heating system offers customers design flexibility and completely eliminates cold spots, making it easier for the floor to reach a specific temperature faster.”

Laticrete will also showcase its Hydro Ban Board, a lightweight, easy-to-install wallboard suitable for bonded tile or stone installations. This ready-to-tile product is made with a waterproof membrane on both sides and contains a high-density, waterproof polystyrene core to help protect against water and vapor. The Hydro Ban Board is included in Laticrete’s Pre-Formed Shower System, which contains an expansive line of pre-sloped and linear shower pans, niches, seats and benches as well as linear and square drains in multiple sizes and finishes. “Laticrete’s Hydro Ban line performs extremely well and requires beginner-level skills to successfully install,” Tully said. “This is a huge added benefit as older methods require more skilled workers for the same high-quality result.”

Next up is Laticrete’s Permacolor Select, a high-performance, crack-resistant cement grout designed to withstand extreme environments and is suitable for residential and commercial installations. Permacolor Select is a fast-setting, color-consistent cement grout that only needs to be mixed with water and can be placed in as little as three hours.

“I highly recommend Permacolor Select because it reduces inventory levels and waste for my customers, thus resulting in more satisfied and return buyers,” Tully explained. “There are hundreds of colors available, and the non-sanded version can even be reused.”

Then there is Laticrete’s 257 Titanium, a silica sand-free, thin-set mortar best used when installing gauged porcelain tile, gauged porcelain tile panels and slabs as well as porcelain tile and stone.

“We recently used 257 Titanium for a thin panel installation at Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pa., and this product helped my team easily install Crossville Laminam Panels over existing block walls because the product was so easy to spread,” said Kevin Killian, president, ProFast Commercial Flooring, Monrovia, Md. “The non-sag performance of the thin set was a big help because the panels were held 6 inches off the existing terrazzo floor.”