Water-based contact for cork

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Darren Ramey

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I have some cork to put down this weekend and Solida, the company that made it, is out of business so we couldn’t get their contact cement. Should any water based contact work? The local Fishman has some for $112 a gallon(ouch) but I’d like to know that it’s going to do the trick before I spring for it. I’d rather not have to glue the backs of all the tiles too.
 

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I may have put down some cork flooring once but it's been so long ago I can't remember the adhesive that was used.
I have a quart of water-based contact cement that I'll give you. 😁
I bought it for a trial on a piece of woven carpet. I was going to spread some along the edge so I can make a nice, neat fold. The water-based stuff just soaked right in and wouldn't even get tacky after it dried.
It said on porous surfaces it may need another coat. Another coat didn't behave much differently.
I'm sure cork doesn't behave that way.
That said, if contact cement is required, I'm sure you would need to coat the back of the tiles too but that sounds crazy.
Is the contact cement something special and specifically made for cork flooring?
 

C.J.

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Gotta glue the backs of the tiles but that can usually be done a day ahead of time and they can be stored in the case until you’re ready to stick them down. I would think any water based contact adhesive would work but a call to technical services may be worth it.
 

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I'm guessing what Fishman is selling you is the Tarkett 946?

If that's the case, this attached file might help.

It's a little different animal to work with. You can accelerate the dry time with a heat gun. Using the silicone basting brush works way better than using a regular contact brush and you almost want a little bit of "stipling" texture to it to create surface area. I will tell you that in my experience if you follow these tips on the attachment you better have it where you want it when you stick it or you're not going to be able to position it after the fact.

These types of contacts area really hard to find here in the U.S. This one is / was being made for them by someone in Germany which is one of the reasons it's so expensive compared to regular contact.
 

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Darren Ramey

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The backs come pre glued on this stuff, hence looking for something compatible. The waterbase contact is kind of weird to use. I tried to glue down some reducers with it once and nada. It didn’t stick at all. On certain materials, it sticks better than solvent-based. On these cork floors it takes an act of Congress to get it back up. In fact the one time I had to replace a couple tiles I ended up scraping up a layer or two of plywood and patching it back up to height. Not fun.

I don’t remember what the guy from Fishman said that he had. Amazon has a Dap product for half the money but can’t get it to me until next week and I need to get it done this weekend.
 

C.J.

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Are all water based adhesives compatible? Could you just pick up some of the 3m green stuff and go to town. I really liked the Wilsonart water based adhesive when I was doing a lot of Plam. So much better than wearing a respirator.

I tried the 3m green stuff for reducers before and it didn’t work worth a hoot but maybe that was just because I’ve never tried to use it in that capacity before. It was for some job that they were concerned about VOCs. Couldn’t even use silicone because apparently even that off gasses. Ended up going back and using some d815 when it was all said n done. Why couldn’t I just use that shit in the first place I don’t know.
 

Jon

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I have some cork to put down this weekend and Solida, the company that made it, is out of business so we couldn’t get their contact cement. Should any water based contact work? The local Fishman has some for $112 a gallon(ouch) but I’d like to know that it’s going to do the trick before I spring for it. I’d rather not have to glue the backs of all the tiles too.
Darin years ago there was a company here who used contact glue of some type where you had to seal the floor with a flammable sealer then when dry you applied the contact glue
This company came up with the bright idea of using an acrylic type glue. The reason they changed was that you couldnt take the sealer due to regulations of carrying inflammable products by trucks etc
I did one job with this new acrylic type glue and all the tiles lifted, there were several jobs I heard of all failing which caused the company to fold. I wonder if it was the same company or one of their agents you are dealing with? I believe their tiles were also exported to the States
The reason I know this is that the Company returned to using that sealer so I asked why the change and was informed about the problems I always wonder when companies bring out a product then a few months later one cant buy that product anymore No one asked if our company had any failures but they paid for the floor to be replaced
 

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Jon, this article mentions the curling.
I don't know if this helps or not, Darrin, because you said the cork is pre glued. You would need a contact cement that was compatible with the adhesive on the tiles that you have.
this company gives a list of adhesives that work with their product and says not to use any other product that is not on the list. so I'm guessing this isn't regular contact cement.
It might be worth calling this company to inquire about the product that you have. You might get lucky and find someone that's familiar with why the company folded...... Might have been the type of adhesive they used?

 

Jon

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Thinking a bit more the sealer coat was a Neoprene, which is flammable, then a coat of water based adhesive was applied
Cork Supplies changed the Neoprene to acrylic type sealer of which to me, turned to custard due to the glue not liking it
Why I mentioned it in the first place things can go horribly wrong if the glues dont like each other and Darrin if you have laid cork tiles with this contact glue you have to watch you dont get any tiny lumps in the glue as they will look like mountains especially with the prefinished tiles. The other problem we used to turn a tile upside down to cur on then you couldnt get the tiles apart
 

Jon

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I just remembered I had a cork tile laying around
This one was from a different supplier who only pained the tiles then the poly was applied at a later date, real pain as any mark would show on the cork, just about have to lay them in sterile conditions The cork we usually did had 3 ? coats of poly already applied then another coat was applied after the tiles were laid
PRE GLUED CORK.jpg
CORK ONLY WITH PAINT.jpg
 

Jon

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Darrin another thing I thought about is that I hope your tiles have a beveled edge as the joins will be hidden more. The square cut edges leave kinda ridges okay if getting sanded later but not with pre finished cork
Also if you find the tiles stepping you can leave one out then force a tile into the hole, one of the advantages of using a contact type glue as compared to a "wet" type glue
 

Darren Ramey

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Tiles didn’t have a beveled edge and we’re also 1/4” thick. Not to mention that they weren’t consistently sized at all. I got them as tight as I could but it looked like there were gaps everywhere.

The guy I did it for is a rep for a bunch of high end carpet mills and at one time Solida cork. I think he’ll be fine with it.

On the bright side the glue stuck.
 

Jon

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Tiles didn’t have a beveled edge and we’re also 1/4” thick. Not to mention that they weren’t consistently sized at all. I got them as tight as I could but it looked like there were gaps everywhere.

The guy I did it for is a rep for a bunch of high end carpet mills and at one time Solida cork. I think he’ll be fine with it.

On the bright side the glue stuck.
Were the tiles pre finished or are they getting sanded?
The sanders here used to mix up the sanding dust with something to fill the gaps
How did you get on with the joins being the same "height"? The pre finished ones you couldnt get the edges of the tiles smooth even going over them with a 100 lb roller which is why they bought out beveled edges
Did you try stretching the tiles or shrinking the tiles in to get rid of the gaps?
Also we have found if the cartons of cork are stacked too high in the warehouse the bottom boxes got larger from the weight
Cork are a nice natural product full of resins which were playing havoc on the sanders lungs before anybody realized what was going to happen :)
 

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Cork are a nice natural product full of resins which were playing havoc on the sanders lungs before anybody realized what was going to happen :)
You got to be an optimist Jon. At the very least, if they're at the lake and fall into the water, they float. 👍
 

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