From the Floor Up, a Blog for the Flooring Professional From the Floor Up, a Blog for the Flooring Professional

Installing Glass Tile

Monday, December 28, 2009
Glass tile installations have become very popular and are a growing market share. Glass tiles are ecologically sound (many glass tile are made from recycled glass) and offer a wide range of colors.

The key to achieving a good installation is substrate preparation. Substrate preparation is the #1 factor that accounts for the success or failure of an installation. Surfaces need to be clean, level and stable. It is highly recommended to use a waterproofing/crack isolation membrane prior to installing glass tiles to prevent shrinkage or movement in the substrate. We suggest Hydroment Gold, a Latex-Based Anti-Fracture and Waterproofing Membrane.

It is imperative to install all glass tiles with a quality white latex-fortified Portland cement thin set, as this will have the least affect on the color and transparency of the tiles. Some suggestions include Hydroment StoneWall High Performance-Non Sag Mortar or Hydroment ReFlex Ultra Premium Latex-Modified Thin Set Mortar. Never use any multi-purpose or regular thin set mortars or any type of mastic as this will may result in failure. To install the glass tiles, skim coat the substrate with the thin set using the flat side of the trowel then use the proper notch side of the trowel to install the tile. Press the tiles into the thin set ensuring that the back of the tiles are completely coated and flat.

After the thin set has cured, you are ready to start grouting. We suggest the use of Bostik's TruColor Pre-Mixed Urethane Grout. TruColor is excellent for glass tiles, offers the ultimate in color consistency, crack resistance and stain protection, TruColor never needs to be sealed! TruColor is a clean as you go product so we suggest you grout as far as you can reach (10-12 square foot area). Clean and rinse sponge in water and wring nearly dry. Please read installation directions for all products used to be assured of a successful installation.

The Sound Truth about Wood Flooring and Accoustical Systems

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Many residents in multi-family construction and high rise condominiums would like to replace carpeting with wood flooring. However such installations are concerning due to condominium requirements and building codes relating to noise which may transfer to neighbors down stairs.

Fortunately there are several ways to meet or exceed local codes and not violate your condominium association rules.

The most common material used for this purpose is cork. Typically 1⁄4” cork underlayment installed beneath wood flooring is provides sufficient acoustical dampening to meet all requirements. Bostik sells both 1⁄4” and 1⁄2” cork underlayment which may be glued to concrete subfloors using any of Bostik’s Urethane adhesives. Once the cork is installed, wood flooring is bonded directly over the cork underlayment with a Bostik Urethane adhesive.

The cork system is popular and proven. However installation of cork prior to the flooring adds considerable labor, materials cost and elevation. So, as an alternative to cork Bostik manufactures MVP4 which is a liquid applied urethane membrane with good acoustical dampening properties. MVP4 is simply applied with a notched trowel the afternoon before installation of wood flooring. It is a quick, easy process that does not add any appreciable elevation to the project.

There are various acoustical systems on the market. Most of which are compatible with with Bostik Urethane adhesives. For more information call Bostik Technical Service at 800 523 6530

LEED Silver hospital -are there any useful suggestions that will safeguard this installation from potential failure for at least 10 years?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Prior to installing 50,000 square feet of recycled rubber flooring on the concrete slab of my client’s new LEED Silver hospital, are there any useful suggestions that will safeguard this installation from potential failure for at least 10 years?

The number one thing to do prior to the installation of virtually any floor covering on a concrete slab is to test for the presence of elevated moisture vapor emission or pH levels.
It is essential to install a moisture vapor barrier coating if either of these conditions is above industry standards, but also a wise step to take as a precautionary measure to avoid potential problems in the future. Perhaps the greatest reason floor covering installations fail today is due to the breakdown of the adhesives used due to elevated levels of either condition.

The most robust moisture vapor barrier coatings for the installation of rubber flooring are made of epoxy resins and are a great preventive measure for any installation, regardless of size. Bostik is a global leader in the sale of moisture vapor emission control systems and has a choice of two-component coatings available. Bostik’s Durabond D-250 Moisture Vapor Barrier Coating and D-261 Extreme Moisture Vapor Barrier Coating are both high performance, roller-applied, epoxy coatings that meet LEED credit MR 4.2 Low-Emitting Materials – Paints & Coatings. Both coatings have VOC contents well below the 100 g/L LEED limit for this category of waterproofing sealers. These coatings have minimal odor, dry rapidly and contain Bostik’s Blockade™ antimicrobial protection. Either coating can be used in conjunction with Bostik’s complete line of Durabond installation materials that include cement repair patches, self-leveling underlayments and adhesives. In fact, when used as part of a complete Bostik system, the installation can be warranted for a period of 10 years.

Controlling Moisture Vapor in Concrete Prior to Gluing Down Wood Flooring

Monday, July 13, 2009
All concrete surfaces regardless of age or grade level will release some level of moisture vapor. Vapor retarders such as Bostik's MVP4 Moisture Vapor Protection has been extremely effective in controlling the rate of vapor transmission from the subfloor when used in conjunction with any approved Bostik Urethane Adhesive. Bostik’s MVP4, being the first one-part, polyurethane product in the market, currently is the only vapor protection product that does not require moisture testing prior to use and also does not have an upper limit! Once your concrete substrate is properly prepared, MVP4 is easily troweled on using a 3/16" x 5/32" V-Notch trowel and has virtually no odor. After a short cure time of 12 hours, you can begin installing solid or engineered wood flooring using Bostik's Best, TKO, BSTurethane or EFA+.

The Truth About Gluing Solid Wood Flooring to Concrete

Monday, June 22, 2009
We get questions all the time about our claims that we can glue down solid wood over concrete.
“You are not saying we can glue 3⁄4” solid wood over concrete, are you?”
Well the answer is yes and no. When we say 3⁄4” wood flooring we are not speaking about your average wood that is bowed and bent. Such flooring, like unfinished 2 1⁄4” strip that requires mechanical fastener to hold it down and pull it together tight can not be glued down. It requires nails or staples, period.

Fortunately, however there are many pre-finished and unfinished solid products available which are relatively straight, flat and rack together easily. These products, regardless of species, thickness or width can be glued down successfully over concrete or gypsum-based sub floors. The only limitation is the slabs must be above or on grade. Installations of solid wood are never recommended below grade.

The other concern has always been that water in a concrete slab will be absorbed by wood flooring. With the use of Products lik Bostik MVP4 urethane membrane we can eliminate that problem. However, as with nail down floors, we still need to be concerned with housekeeping and humidity in the building. There are more ways for a floor to become saturated with water than the subfloor.

There are literally millions of square feet of solid wood flooring glued down throughout North America in residential and commercial applications.

Be warned, solid wood flooring is not as forgiving as, dimensionally stable cross grain laminated, engineered products. If you skimp on acclimation, surface prep or adhesive, call backs are likely. However if you take the time to understand the installation of solids, you will be able to offer a more diverse range of wood flooring in glue-down markets.

All of Bostik’s urethane adhesives are recommended for solid glue down jobs. But don’t try to bond solid wood to old adhesive residues, cutback or concrete sealers. These products were never designed to withstand the lateral expansion and contraction of solid wood.

Bostik TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout

Monday, June 8, 2009

TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout is be available in 20 colors unique to the Hydroment® and Durabond® brand product lines of tile and stone setting materials. Additionally, when used in conjunction with a Bostik system of products, TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout will be warranted up to the length of the system used!

TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout is a patented, water-based, urethane grout offering the ultimate in color accuracy, stain protection and crack resistance for residential and commercial tile installations. This breakthrough formulation installs up to 50% faster than traditional grouts, and never needs to be sealed! Its perfect balance of flexibility and toughness enables it to exhibit unmatched performance and crack resistance. TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout exceeds the grout-relevant portion of the ANSI 118.3 epoxy standard (modified ANSI 118.3-UG).

TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout Tips on Mixing and Cleaning

Urethane grout is an easily installed product, but it is different to use than conventional grouts. We will review the mixing and cleaning protocols that we recommend to our customers.


There are two ways to mix urethane grout. We always recommend and prefer that the customer hand mix the product with a margin trowel. If the customer prefers to use anelectric mixer be sure to remind them to only mix for ONLY 30 seconds on low speed (it is really easy and fast to bring this product into suspension with an electric mixer).
After mixing with an electric mixer the product should stand 10 minutes before use. The use of an electric mixer will add air to the grout mix causing potential slumping in vertical applications and sinking in some floor applications.

Note: The customer should continue to stir the grout with a margin trowel during grout application.


There is no easier grout to clean in the industry as long as you clean correctly. Spread the grout using a green epoxy rubber float. Only spread an area that you can reach and then immediately clean with clean water (this is a clean as you go product). As you are wiping the surface make sure the sponge is wrung nearly dry. Since the float removes 95% of the grout from the surface you need little water to clean the surface. Additionally, the less water you use the faster the product will cure. Remember urethane grout is an air dried product and cure is dependent on temperature and humidity.