Ask the expert: Installing skirting, coving and capping

There are a variety of adhesive systems commonly used for the installation of skirting, coving and capping including contact adhesives, tapes or aerosols.

Thanks to a revolutionary development in adhesives, there is now an additional option available in the form of a temperature tolerant, pressure sensitive adhesive, which is approved for use with skirting, coving and capping.

Contact Adhesives

A key advantage of contact adhesives is that they provide high initial tack. However, as the bond strength is so high, it’s important to take care to position the floorcovering accurately because the coated surfaces bond immediately on contact and re-positioning is nearly impossible.

When using contact adhesives on skirting, coving and capping, both surfaces must be coated and the adhesive allowed to become touch dry.

Solvent-based contact adhesives

Solvent-based products are often chosen by flooring contractors as they are faster drying than non-solvent-based products and allow bonds to be made more quickly. Solvent-based contact adhesives are also typically more tolerant of surface contamination. However, proper care must be taken for safe handling of solvent-based adhesives. In some situations, health and safety regulations rule out their use.

Solvent-free contact adhesives

Solvent-free water based contact adhesives minimise the level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted during installation, making them suitable for use in environments such as hospitals and schools. When contractors are working in sensitive environments, a solvent-free adhesive is usually the preferred choice although, they typically take longer to dry.

Tapes and aerosols

A range of other adhesive systems such as tapes and aerosol contact adhesives are also available for the installation of vertical flooring accessories, where approved by the manufacturer. Caution should be exercised when selecting aerosol adhesives and tapes. Due to the polymers used within these products they offer poor plasticiser resistance which can result in the material delaminating from the substrate after a short space of time.

Styccobond F49

Following extensive testing, Styccobond F49 temperature tolerant, pressure sensitive adhesive has now been approved by leading manufacturers for use with flooring accessories typically applied to vertical surfaces, such as skirting, coving and capping.

The pressure sensitive nature of the adhesive allows it to continue to build up strength following initial application and, when fully cured, it develops an extremely high bond strength, that is able to maintain its performance even when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations (as low as -20°c and up to +60°c). The adhesive is also suitable for use over normal underfloor heating systems and is approved for marine flooring installations.

Unlike contact adhesives, this adhesive only needs to be applied to one surface to achieve a high bond strength and, with a working time of up to four hours, skirting, coving and capping can be easily repositioned if initial alignment isn’t correct, providing an additional benefit. Solvent-free and low hazard, it is ideal for use in sensitive areas, such as hospitals and schools.