Vapor Retarder & Flooring Adhesive Installation

Directions for Use of Flooring Adhesive Formulation

Review the technical data sheet prior to starting the installation. Follow applicable industry guidelines and manufacturer’s instructions for design, layout, acclimation and expansion space around the perimeter and within the field of flooring.

Vapor Retarder Surface Preparation

Improper surface preparation is the most common reason for failure of glue down wood flooring. Surface preparation is especially critical when installing less stable products such as solid hardwood or bamboo flooring.

Surfaces must be clean, dry and flat to within 3/16” in 10’; free of voids, loose materials, paint, varnish, adhesive residues, sealers, oil, grease, plaster, and gypsum finishing compounds. Asphaltic “cut-back” adhesive residues should be completely removed prior to the installation of solid or bamboo flooring or if there is concern/history with elevated moisture content in concrete.

CAUTION: Black mastic or cut-back adhesive residues may contain asbestos. Follow applicable state and federal regulations for handling asbestos-containing materials.

Dimensionally stable, engineered flooring may be installed over on and above grade concrete that has an asphaltic or “cut-back” adhesive residue after preparation. Such a residue must be completely removed from the surface and only exist as a black stain on the concrete. Do not install solid or bamboo flooring over cutback adhesive residue, and do not install over cutback adhesive residue below grade or if there is or ever has been a moisture concern with the slab.

Concrete substrates should not be smooth or reflective. Suitable concrete will have a minimum CSP 3 surface profile, which is similar in roughness to a light broom finish.

Remove contamination and create a surface profile by diamond grinding, shot blasting or scarifying. The use of floor sanding equipment may polish contaminates into the concrete. Be sure the resulting concrete is porous and clean.

Areas that require patching or leveling should be treated with Portland cement-based materials. Do not use gypsum patching or leveling products for substrate preparation.

If installing over existing sheet vinyl or VCT, all waxes and sealers must be completely removed and the existing flooring must be well bonded. Installations over existing sheet vinyl or VCT are limited to dimensionally stable engineered wood flooring only.

If installing over existing ceramic tile, natural stone or terrazzo, all waxes, and sealers must be completely removed. Highly reflective tile, stone or terrazzo should be lightly abraded with a sanding disk to improve adhesion.

Suggested Notched Trowels

Larger notched trowels are used for thicker flooring products. The additional adhesive will fill voids and minimize hollow spots. For adhesive and moisture protection, trowels with a sawtooth configuration are required to ensure 100% slab coverage.

For Installations Requiring Subfloor Moisture Protection

Spreader for 3/8" Thick Flooring

Flooring up to 3/8” thick
3/16” X 5/32” V notch
Coverage: average 50 ft2 per gallon

Glue Spreader for 1/2" thick flooring

Flooring up to ½” thick
¼ X 3/16” V notch
Coverage: average 35 ft2 /gal

Glue Spreader for 3/4" Subfloor

Flooring up to ¾” thick and plywood subfloor
¼” X ¼” V Notch Trowel
Coverage: average 30 ft2 /gal

For Installations that are for Adhesive Only and Do Not Require Subfloor Moisture Protection

Glue Trowel Style for Adhesives

Flooring from ¼” to 3/8” thick
3/16” X 5/32” V Notch
Coverage: average 50 ft2 per gallon

Square Notch Trowel Type

Flooring from 3/8 to 5/8”
¼” X 1/8” square notch
Coverage: average 40 ft2 /gal

Glue Trowel Profile for 5/8" Flooring

Flooring > 5/8”
¼ X ¼” square notch trowel

Trowel sizes are suggested to maximize adhesive transfer. Uneven subflooring may require the use of a patching or leveling compound or the use of a larger notched trowel.

Bamboo and Wood Flooring Installation

Job-site conditions affect the handling and curing of this adhesive. Cold conditions make adhesives more difficult to spread. High relative humidity accelerates cure/hardening. Dry conditions slow cure/hardening.


Vapor retardant and sound reducing polyurethane adhesiveInstallation begins with a starter row secured to the subfloor. The starter row provides a stationary point to push against so the flooring doesn’t move during the installation process. Once the starter row is complete, apply the adhesive to the substrate using the appropriate notched trowel. Refer to the trowel coverage chart on the back page.

Install the flooring immediately into the adhesive. Avoid getting adhesive on pre-finished wood flooring. Immediately remove any adhesive from the surface of the flooring using a towel or rag dampened with mineral spirits paint thinner. Take care to remove all adhesive from the surface prior to curing/hardening. Cured adhesive is difficult to remove from pre-finished flooring.

After a few rows have been installed, tape the boards together using 3M #2080 Blue tape. The tape will prevent the flooring from sliding. Flooring that is not flat should be weighted to ensure proper adhesive transfer between the flooring and the sub-floor.

To remove cured adhesive from prefinished flooring, use Sentinel 747 adhesive remover. Apply the adhesive remover to the affected area with a non-abrasive towel and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the adhesive. Then buff the adhesive off with the non-abrasive towel. Be sure to clean any remaining adhesive remover from the floor.

Glue-Down Installation of Plywood Subfloor

Use 19/32” (5/8”) or better plywood subfloor panels cut into 2’ X 8’ or 4’ X 4’ sections. Score the backside of the panels every 12” in both directions. Apply Epic E-600 to the subfloor using a ¼” X ¼” square or V notch trowel and lay the sections of subfloor into the adhesive in a staggered joint pattern with 1/8” space between the panels and ¾” space around the perimeter and vertical obstructions.