February 04, 2019 3 min read

Vinyl and engineered hardwood materials require different types of adhesives. When applying an adhesive to a flooring material, use the manufacturer-specific adhesive for your application.

Not using a specified product could void your warranty and cause the material to loosen from the subfloor.


Below, we compare the different types of adhesives and provide some tips for choosing the right type of adhesive for your flooring.

What Types of Flooring Require Adhesives?

If you are installing vinyl, engineered hardwood, or similar types of flooring, you may need to use an adhesive to secure the flooring to the floor base. Let’s take a closer look:


  • Glue-down vinyl. Glue-down vinyl needs vinyl flooring adhesive to lay the planks securely.
  • Loose-lay vinyl. Use adhesive around the perimeter of loose-lay vinyl.
  • Engineered hardwood.One of the best ways to install engineered hardwood is with an adhesive, either glue direct or glue assist, which is between the tongue and groove.
  • Tile flooring is grouted with an adhesive called thin set.
  • Laminate flooring. Laminate flooring should only use sealant on joints and edges to waterproof the locking system. No adhesive is required.

Types of Adhesive

Below is an overview of the types of adhesives for flooring materials we listed above.

●      Polyurethane-Based

Polyurethane-based adhesives are common with wood flooring applications. They are also used with other flooring installations. The adhesive forms a chemical bond with wood cells and with the concrete below flooring. These bonds are strong and elastic. A urethane-based adhesive is moisture proof once cured.


●      Acrylic

Acrylic adhesives are resin-based and are strong and efficient. They are most widely used with tile, stone, and LVT/vinyl products. These adhesives are sun resistant, can withstand temperature fluctuations, and are moisture-resistant.

●      Water-Based

Water-based adhesives contain a lower VOC content. They are more of a green adhesive and better for the environment. The adhesive is easy to clean off the floor once the project is complete. Because the adhesive is water-based, too much moisture can cause the bond to become weak.

What Should You Consider When Using Flooring Adhesives?

  • Dry Time. Dry time includes the speed at which you will need to work and the amount of adhesive you will need to prepare for each work session. Dry time also includes how long the adhesive will need to set up before you can walk on the floor.
  • You will mix adhesives just before applying them to the floor. The consistency is important to determine the bonding and spreading of the adhesive. A too thin consistency can be hard to work with, while a thick mixture can be tough to spread.
  • Consider the size and shape of your room and add about 10% for waste.
  • Clean Up. Not all adhesives are easy to clean up. Read the manufacturer instructions on how to remove the adhesive once your project is complete.
  • The color of your adhesive could determine the overall color of your floor design. Be sure to choose a tinted adhesive to match your flooring. All other applications should not have any adhesive showing, and color will not be a factor to consider.
  • Tools: You will need some additional tools for a glue-down flooring installation. This generally includes a trowel and a 100 lb. roller.

Hardwood Flooring for Your Home or Business

Are you looking for a durable hardwood product for your home? At E Hardwoods & Flooring, offers natural hardwoods, engineered wood flooring, solid prefinished wood flooring, vinyl plank flooring, and vinyl tile flooring through our eCommerce store.


To find our more about our products or order your flooring, check out our available prefinished hardwood flooring options.