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What is the best adhesive for bonding vinyl cap and cove

What is the best adhesive for bonding cap and cove? Find out about which adhesives are guaranteed to bond and which are not.

Have you ever had to go back to a job because the bond of the vinyl or cap and cove had broken down?

This is highly likely becuase the wrong adhesive was used. A common perception in the flooring industry is that all canister spray adhesives are the same, all will bond vinyl, and all are strong enought to protect against plasticiser migration. There is nothing further from the truth, but unfortunately too many take the risk and often get away with it. But the cost of a job can get lost in having to rework the job, so it is best to use the right product first time. Below we will try and explain why you may not be using the right product and what you can do about it.

To make plastics, vinyl’s and rubbers softer and more flexible, manufacturers of these substrates add chemicals known as plasticisers in the manufacturing process. The more flexible, or softer, the material, the more plasticiser is present in the material. Plasticisers can migrate out of the material over time, and this can be exacerbated by other influences such as heat. If the adhesive used is not resistant to plasticiser migration, the effect of this process can cause the breakdown of an adhesive bond-line, resulting in de-lamination of the substrates bonded. There have been many installations where the initial bond looked great, but a few weeks or months down the line, the substrates are falling apart, and the adhesive has degraded to a sticky, or treacle like state. This problem has caused the industry thousands, if not millions of pounds.

It has been, and still is, a common oversight in the flooring industry whereby adhesives are used to bond vinyl which are not resistant to plasticiser migration. Just because the adhesive might be easier to apply, the long term affects may be detrimental. Many solvent based contact adhesives are culprits for causing this delamination, but not all. Most contact adhesives are based on neoprene or SBR rubbers which can break down during plasticiser migration process, whereas polyurethane and nitrile based adhesives resist it. Alternatively, most water based acrylic or pressure sensitive adhesives are suitable, but make sure that you check whether the adhesive manufacturer can guarantee that the bond will not fail because of plasticiser migration.

Furthermore, many adhesives require sufficient pressure to ensure maximum bond strength. Many failures are simply that little or no pressure was applied at application stage.

Moral of the story: A quick and easy to use adhesive, could cause you long term cost. SHORT TERM GAIN MIGHT BE LONG TERM PAIN. Make sure you are using the right adhesive for the job, and make sure it is applied correctly.

Below is an outline of the three contact adhesives and whether they can be used for bonding vinyl or not.


The Gekko GP General Purpose Contact Adhesive canister system is designed for bonding carpets to subfloors. Gekko G51 is a fast drying contact adhesive system with a long open time & good heat resistance. Immediate permanent bonds can be achieved by double-sided applications onto most substrates.

However GP Contact Adhesive Spray is not suitable for bonding vinyl or cap and cove profiles. The technology of this adhesive is very similar to many other products on the market, and are being incorrectly used for bonding vinyl. It is highly likely that the bond will break down due to plasticiser migration. Only use this on carpet and fabric based products for a guaranteed bond.

WARNING. Like other similar products which are commonly found in the market, this product contains dicholoromethane. Suitable respiratory protection should be used when being used in enclosed areas. See safety data sheet for more information.