vct wont stick to floor [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-20-2004, 04:55 PM
I am trying to install armstrong vinyl tile in my basement .I troweled down the adhesive (henry 430)about a month ago over the old adhesive which looked like tar it was black.It took the henry 430 adhesive about 12 hours to dry . After it dried clear it was tacky I proceeded to lay tiles. Right from the start the tiles did not seem to stick very well the tiles were easily pulled right back up.Now a month later I pulled up those tiles.I skimcoated the floor with henry floor patch #547 with the feather edge additive.Trying only a couple of tiles this time I troweled down the same adhesive which still took 18 hours to dry.and the tiles wont stick to it.Is there a better sort of adhesive for this job?

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05-20-2004, 05:16 PM
Unfortunately,Remart this is more of a ceramic tile site so it may take a while to get someone who knows what the +&%# you're talkin about,unless John is better than even we realize.:eek:

rob 223
05-20-2004, 05:51 PM
The only time I used vct the glue was put down then allowed to get tacky, between a 1/2 to a couple hours(not dried) , then the tiles plopped down. Then I used a heavy roller. Dont know what your products directions are.

05-20-2004, 06:04 PM
It's probably the black stuff causing the problem it's called cutback adhesive. That should probably have been removed first. I'll if I can get a VCT guy who's a member to look at this.

05-20-2004, 06:19 PM
Hi Remart, welcome to the forum. Is that your first name? This is VCT vinyl tile right? 1/8" thick, semi-commercial look? 12hrs & 18hrs seems way too long for 430 to surface dry. Did you follow the manufacturer's directions for temperature (65 deg F for 48hrs before & after install)? It sounds like it was too cold. Even if you turn the heat way up on install day the slab warms up very, very slowly. You really need that 48 hrs.
If you use the recommended trowel notch (wrong notch could also vastly extend the open time) and have the floor & tile heated to 65 or above, then it should only take a hour or so at the most before you can walk across the fresh glue & it's ready to install.
Here's a link ( to the install instructions. Remember that VCT are installed with pressure sensitive adhesive, so don't expect a big gooey sticky glue bond. It has just enough grab to keep them from moving left & right.
If you crank it up to above 70 deg & carefully follow the directions you should have great success. :)

Flatfloor, 430 is approved for over cutback as long as it's smooth without big ridges or puddles.

05-20-2004, 06:31 PM
Thanks Tom. :)

05-20-2004, 07:55 PM
Make sure the shiny side of the VCT faces up too. That is a common mistake a lot of people make.

05-20-2004, 11:25 PM
Can't add much to what Tom said. If the humidity levels are high, like when it is raining, the glue can take a long time to dry as well. Try using a fan to get some air circulation as well. Don't blow it directly on the glue, just get some air moving.

If you used the correct sized notch trowel, temperature was warm enough, and the humidity not high it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours max to dry enough to where you could set them. If all those things are fine and it is still taking that long you may have some bad glue which is very unlikely.

Good luck.

05-21-2004, 06:36 AM
the black stuff on the floor was aspestos from old tile. Nothing sticks to it unless its sanded and roughed up. Thats my .05 worth

05-21-2004, 09:50 AM
You don't want to sand it or rough it up for VCT.
In fact you should never ever sand it :eek:

05-21-2004, 05:03 PM
Sanding is a definite no! no! no! guaranteed to release asbestos into the air. If the stuff is really thick wet it down and use a floor scraper.

05-21-2004, 06:44 PM
that is old cutback adhesive. when ever i do a vct over cutback, i always seal the cutback in with a cement floor patch (ardex). then you can spread your vct adhesive over that. there is merit in removing the old adhesive but usually time constraints and mess determine what i do.

05-21-2004, 07:55 PM
Henry 430 sticks just fine to cutback if it's applied properly. :)

Steven Hauser
05-22-2004, 03:53 AM
Hi there,

Sounds like a humidity issue. Thinspread will work. One thing I don't see mentioned is whether or not you roll the installation withh a 100 lb roller. This is important and necessary.


05-22-2004, 08:08 AM
The problem with asphalt cutback is that , except for reapplying more cutback with a paint roller to re-activate. it's generaly hit and miss getting latex-based adhesives to work, they can go , for some reason, both ways. Temperature and humidity is definitely a factor. I remember one time completely gluing a school gymnasium and having to wait until the following afternoon to set tile, and gluing classrooms while waiting for the gymnasium to dry and be ready in an hour. Probably the best way to get it to dry is having fans continuously moving air across it, combined with AC is the best. One thing for certain, if it's not allowed to dry , if you pulled up a tile 3 years after installing it would still be wet. in other words don't do it. Was doing a Revco drug store in Phoenix years ago, and applyed a clearstick over cutback, and wouldn't dry. They wanted me to have the front of the store done before 8:00 a.m. because they just had to open, couldn't miss out on a dime , and glue had broken down into a milky-looking goop and would take a good 12 hours more to dry. We had a big fight with the big boys in Ohio, IOW the owners, because they insisted we install the tile into the wet glue, NOW and I knew what kind of a nightmare would come of it, but they wouldn't listen, I guess cause they must have thought if they didn't want it to happen it wouldn't, being such Powerful human beings, and all. We went around and around with them , they told me they'd pay me off, and sign off my responsibility so we did it, having to much money into it to lose. By that night when we finished the store there were dark grey-black walkways throughout the store on white tile that will never come off or out of the pores of the unsealed and unwaxed VCT. It never dryed, and mixed up to a dark grey and squished out as people walked on them, to be tracked everywhere. We packed up that night , paycheck in hand and never saw the place again. Try AC & Fans and mucho hours of downtime. Joe

05-22-2004, 09:05 AM
One other question, when you pull the tiles back up does the glue stick to the tile and realease from the substrate or does it stick to the substrate and realease from the tile?

05-22-2004, 09:42 AM
the glue stuck well to the floor but not to the tile

05-22-2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by Steven Hauser
Hi there,

One thing I don't see mentioned is whether or not you roll the installation withh a 100 lb roller. This is important and necessary.


If you followed Steven's advice above on the roller and the proper notch trowel was used, it may very well be the glue.

I don't know if you can find it in your area but I like TEC 715 Clear Thinspread. Very tenacious bond.

05-23-2004, 05:12 PM
I did not use roller but now I will.

05-23-2004, 07:14 PM
Crank up the heat to 100 deg all day before you roll it. You just might save the existing job without a redo. One caveat: if you used way too much glue then the super high heat could reactiveate & possibly cause some squeeze-out of the glue (very nasty situation).

Dave Gobis
05-24-2004, 12:07 PM
Sounds like excessive slab moisture to me.

05-24-2004, 02:42 PM
Thank you for all the input I am still having problems with the adhesive drying I am going to have carpet installed.