The most important question first:
Floating vinyl flooring or better to glue?

On the basis of our relevant experience, we advise against a floating installation of vinyl flooring in almost all cases.

A floating vinyl floor that has deformed due to temperature fluctuations
A floating vinyl floor that has deformed due to temperature fluctuations 😀

Many manufacturers of vinyl floors write in their installation guidelines that the floor must not be installed under windows with strong light incidence or rooms with high temperatures.

What has this fact to do with the question “floating or glued installation“?

Most (click) vinyl floors for floating installation are made of solid vinyl, which can deform even at summer temperatures. Under windows with a lot of light, this happens particularly quickly.

This manifests itself in the formation of “hills” (convex deformation) and can push the ground upwards in the middle of the room.

This can cause doors to no longer open (!) or the floor to become irreversibly deformed. In our experience, therefore, in almost all cases floating installation is to be avoided.

If one also considers the Prices for vinyl floors, incl. Laying coststhe floating installation offers no price advantage compared to the much higher quality and more durable glued version.

Laying vinyl floor floating: advantages

  • fast installation
  • also feasible for laymen
  • very cheap for self-publishers

Floating installation of vinyl flooring: disadvantages

  • High susceptibility to heat
  • Danger of jointing
  • Danger of setting up the individual elements
  • No price advantage over a (much higher-quality) bonded installation by a service provider

The glue vinyl flooring is not the easiest, but the best way to obtain a stable and durable floor covering. However, the preparatory work must be carried out very precisely so that the vinyl flooring can be perfectly glued to the substrate.

The following methods are available:

  1. a full-surface bonding by means of adhesive and tooth filler
  2. gluing with a self-adhesive covering

You can find out right away how vinyl flooring works and what the differences are between the two methods.

Floating vinyl floor piles up
Another floating vinyl floor that would have been better glued 🙂

Prerequisites for successful bonding

Certain conditions must be met in order to glue a vinyl floor in such a way that it lies evenly on the floor without leaving any marks. This includes a clean, cementitiously filled and smoothly sanded substrate. You can find out how to prepare the substrate perfectly here.

If the subfloor is not perfectly levelled and sanded, the vinyl floor may, in the worst case, have dents or waves after gluing.

Then all the effort was in vain… 🙁

The different types of bonding

1. Full-surface bonding

For full-surface bonding, is applied to the well-prepared substrate with a toothed trowel dispersion adhesive (a wet adhesive), on which the 2 to 4 millimetre thick vinyl planks are then laid.

With the so-called “full-surface gluing“, work is always carried out in paths that correspond to a multiple of the width of a plank. What exactly is meant by this, you can see in the following video.

For this purpose, the wet adhesive is applied to the substrate over a large area over the entire width with precision using a notched trowel and, after allowing the adhesive to flash off briefly, placed in the adhesive bed. When gluing full-surface vinyl flooring, work must be carried out quickly, as the wet adhesive no longer adheres properly after 30 to 40 minutes.

How much adhesive apply?

In addition, neither too much nor too little adhesive should be applied to the substrate to achieve optimum adhesion. If you glue a vinyl floor, you do this with a so-called toothed spatula. These are available in different versions. Depending on the size of the “teeth”, different amounts of adhesive are applied. You can find out exactly which tooth size you need from the manufacturer/dealer of your vinyl floor.

The advantages of a glued vinyl floor

Glued vinyl flooring offers numerous advantages, namely this:

  • Solid vinyl is firmly bonded to the substrate, making the floor covering very stable and resistant. This is also the reason why it is used in the shop building as well as in the fair– and event area, among others.
  • Even in the case of underfloor heating, the adhesive vinyl flooring is the best solution, as the low installation height and the firm connection of the floor covering to the substrate enable a direct heat transfer.
  • A glued vinyl floor satisfies the highest demands and offers good room acoustics.

If you want to have a vinyl floor glued as a tenant, you should first obtain the permission of the landlord in order to be legally on the safe side.

2. Vinyl floor with self-adhesive underside

When bonded with a self-adhesive coating, the back of a module or plank is already prepared with adhesive, which is protected by a film. This is simply removed when the vinyl floor is glued, and the vinyl plank is applied to the previously primed underbody.

This technique, which is used for the vinyl floor ingeste, is popular with do-it-yourselfers, as it requires no skill with adhesive and tooth spatula. Nevertheless, extreme precision is required, o.g. when creating the first rows.

In order to lay a self-adhesive vinyl floor in a first-class manner , not only manual skill is required. It also takes a lot of time. Trained craftsmen can do the work very quickly. You will find one of our craftsman’s workshops also in your vicinity.

Laying of self-adhesive vinyl flooring

Before the vinyl floor can be glued to the already prepared substrate, it should acclimatize around 24 hours before bonding in the publishing room, so that it can adapt to the indoor climate.

Determining the direction of installation

Since the door is the main line of sight into the room, the laying process starts from here. The first step is the most important one, as it determines that the first row and the rows following it are laid exactly.

On the back of the plank there is (usually) an arrow indicating the installation direction.

This direction must be adhered to for all planks. The back slide is pulled off a bit and the first plank is placed exactly at the guide.

Then the rest of the film is removed and the plank is pressed to the floor.

Planks that need to be resized are scored with a sharp knife scored and then bent off. The second row of planks is then arranged at least one third offset from the first row.

For solid vinyl, usually no vinyl cutter or similar tool is necessary.

The holes required for the heating pipes are ideally made with a Forstner drill bit (for floating laid vinyl)

With glued solid vinyl, it is possible to square the holes with a cutter, or carpet knife, and break out. At the end, the skirting boards are screwed to the wall.

This is what we need to glue to the vinyl floor:

  • An adhesive spatula
  • Adhesive
  • A sharp cutter knife or a floor laying knife with trapezoidal blade
  • A bevel/angle or metal ruler
  • A line strike/chalk line or alternatively a line laser

Measuring the room before sticking

Before laying the vinyl floor, we have to think carefully about where we want to place our first 3-5 rows.

Typically, this is e.g. an exterior wall, which covers the entire length/width of the room.

We should also measure whether our wall of choice is at least reasonably parallel to the opposite wall. If this is not the case, the end result may be that you need to make diagonal cuts that do not look very nice.

In case of doubt, it is better to measure and average a little more.

Cut vinyl floor properly for installation

Vinyl floors can be cut with e.g. a large pair of scissors or a carpet knife. Professionals only scratch the surface with a sharp knife and break off the vinyl plank. This is the fastest way to install vinyl flooring.

Do not apply too much glue

The adhesive has a limited time in which it receives its adhesive strength.

If you wait too long, the adhesive must be laboriously scraped off the floor. It is therefore recommended to mark exactly beforehand how far the adhesive should be applied.

Example:

We want to relocate 5 rows at the same time. Let’s assume a plank has a width of exactly 17 cm. So we draw a marker that is 17 cm x 5 wide (85 cm).

So we apply the adhesive to a track of exactly 85 cm width.

We then lay our first 5 rows of the vinyl floor on the adhesive bed. Then we draw the next 85 cm and so on.

Bonus Tip #1:

After each track that was laid, the flooring should be pressed again.

For this purpose there are, for example, special metal rollers, which are also used for laying carpets. Such rollers can usually be rented from any hardware store.

Alternatively, a board can be wrapped with a towel, with which you can then rub the freshly laid vinyl floor “along“.

Bonus Tip #2:

Even professionals it happens during installation that some adhesive gets onto the vinyl floor.

However, instead of washing it off immediately, it is better to wait until the adhesive has dried.

When washed off, the adhesive only spreads more and is difficult to remove from the joints later. If, on the other hand, it is left to dry, it can usually be removed easily after the vinyl floor has been laid .

Bonus Tip #3

If you need to interrupt the vinyl floor laying for several hours or days, remove excess adhesive from the substrate.

To do this, it is best to take a wooden board with a straight edge and press the excess adhesive flattened on the floor.

This is particularly important in the area of the edges of the vinyl that has already been laid. Otherwise, the glue must be scraped off with a scraper the next day.

Many of our customers are concerned about the question of whether vinyl soils contain harmful substances, which could harm health in the long term.

Vinyl flooring, for example, is suspected of being a heavy burden on the environment already during production or of containing harmful plasticizers.

This article explains:

  • how the different types of flooring are produced,
  • what they consist of,
  • which substances are actually contained
  • and for what reasons vinyl floors are generally harmless to health

Environmentally friendly vinyl floor without pollutants

Especially the European vinyl flooring manufacturers have faced up to their responsibility in recent years and put a lot of development work into the production of environmentally friendly vinyl floors.

The objectives were, among other things, to make the coatings as climate neutral as possible and to equip them in such a way that they do not harm the environment during disposal.

Today, there is a huge selection of hard-wearing, extremely easy-care vinyl floors that do not contain any plasticizers that are harmful to health, such as phthalates contained in conventional PVC.

The development has now even progressed so far that some producers offer so-called organic soils with softening components from rapeseed oil that meet the strictest EU specifications.

Vinyl Floor: Health & Pollutants
Vinyl floors made of full vinyl are harmless to health. So harmless that you can eat on it.

Features of easy-care vinyl flooring in terms of health

As early as the 1980s, the testing procedures of independent and state institutions were tightened and the production processes of modern PVC floors were drastically improved.

Since then, not only have the properties of vinyl soil improved with respect to health and the environment, but also its properties have improved. Due to their composition and surface structure, advanced vinyl floors are extremely hard-wearing, slip-resistant, footfall sound absorbing, hygienic, anti-allergic and easy to clean.

Neither toxic ingredients nor dangerous plasticizers endanger health, so a vinyl flooring without harmful substances can be laid without hesitation in living rooms, bathrooms, children’s rooms, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and other public facilities. In addition, the diverse designs leave plenty of room for the various design options.

Homogeneous or heterogeneous: Which vinyl floor is better for health?

Homogeneous Vinyl Floor & Health

Homogeneous floor coverings made of solid vinyl are usually produced as sheet material. Because they consist of only one material composition throughout, experts often speak of so-called single-layer coverings. A single-layer vinyl floor without pollutants consists of about 55 % PVC, fillers, additives and pigments. In a special mixing process, the components are mixed together and then formed into webs by means of rollers under the influence of strong heat.

Heterogeneous Vinyl Flooring & Health

In comparison, heterogeneous coverings consist of several layers, mostly bottom support layers such as HDF or MDF and an upper wear layer. The upper layer consists of the components already mentioned and is mainly responsible for the useful life. The carrier layers are enriched with chalks, fillers, additives, stabilizers, sometimes also with formaldehyde.

Vinyl Floor Health & Pollutants
Vinyl floors are perfect for children’s rooms: durable, robust and harmless to health.

Conclusion regarding health and the environment:

Although a floor with a carrier layer such as click vinyl may contain formaldehyde, for example, neither a homogeneous nor a heterogeneous constructed vinyl floor has a detrimental effect on health. In addition, a vinyl floor produced in the EU contains so few pollutants in permissible quantities according to the directive that it does not pose a problem for the environment either during production or disposal.

Full vinyl without pollutants vs. vinyl floor with carrier layer

Other major advantages and disadvantages

Although a heterogeneous vinyl flooring does not pose a risk to health any more than sheet material, it is clearly inferior to homogeneous floorings in terms of durability and water resistance .

That is why so-called (mostly heterogeneous) click vinyl floors are mainly used in the private sector or in less stressed rooms. By contrast, homogeneous vinyl floors made of solid vinyl are extremely hard-wearing and, in the case of professional vinyl flooring, are laid using adhesive absolute waterproof. This makes them the ideal choice for highly frequented private rooms, kitchens, wet areas such as showers and baths as well as for public facilities such as schools, doctors’ surgeries or hospitals.

Vinyl floor without pollutants: recognition features

Vinyl floors manufactured in the EU are subject to strict legal requirements.

Plasticizers in the vinyl flooring that could be potentially hazardous to health, such as phthalates or other harmful additives are prohibited. Well-known manufacturers guarantee that their vinyl flooring is harmless to health and the environment with the corresponding packaging information, data sheets and test seals.

In addition, it is recommended to purchase the floor covering from a certified manufacturer in an authorised specialist trade or from a specialist installation company that is familiar with all the properties.

Vinyl Floor: Health & Pollutants
Full vinyl is bonded with solvent-free adhesive and is harmless to health.

High-quality, durable vinyl flooring for health and environment

Customers who want a durable, long-lasting hygienic vinyl flooring should opt for solid vinyl and commission a specialist company to carry out the professional laying using the wet adhesive method.

The main reasons are:

  • Vinyl floor without pollutants, in accordance with strict EU directive.
  • Solid vinyl is guaranteed to contain no formaldehyde, which is why a professionally installed, homogeneous vinyl floor is more beneficial to health than a click floor with HDF/MDF backing.
  • As a rule, vinyl planks are glued together. A specialist company uses solvent-free adhesives in accordance with EU regulations. If, in special cases, the use of a different adhesive should nevertheless be necessary, the installation company will explicitly point this out to the customer or suggest an alternative.
  • On request detailed on-site sampling.
  • A professionally laid vinyl floor meets the building regulations.
  • Fast, clean installation including careful site cleaning and cleaning.
  • Extensive warranty claims.
  • From consultation to planning, punctual delivery and professional installation: Everything from one source at a fair price-performance ratio.

Professionally laid vinyl flooring: a plus for health and money

Due to their properties and the low installation height vinyl floors are ideal for renovations.

A vinyl floor without danger to health can also be laid on underfloor heating.

Whether private premises, business premises, medical facilities or public areas: A laying specialist company is very familiar with the peculiarities of every laying situation and is therefore the ideal contact partner when it comes to attractive floor coverings without pollutants.

Due to many years of experience and continuous further training, our professionals not only have a trained eye for the optimal design, they also dispose of your old flooring if necessary, prepare the substrate optimally and use the adhesive suitable for the installation situation.

Properly laid vinyl flooring means health and lifelong service

With their professional service, the experts always guarantee a professional execution as well as an optically perfect, long-lasting result. And even after installation, the friendly staff competent contact persons remain available to answer all your questions about your vinyl floor, its health, care or necessary repairs.