Floor Adhesives


Dear NH,
We just finished putting down self-adhesive vinyl tile on our concrete kitchen floor. We used self-stick tile, but we also spread some all-purpose floor adhesive on the floor first before applying the tiles.

Now the tiles are very sticky on top, and I can't get it off. What can I use to remove this sticky film. I have tried mineral spirits, vinegar and household cleaner. I'm assuming it is from the floor tile adhesive.
L from Barstow, CA

L,
Perhaps you tried to outsmart the manufacturer and/or skimp on the floor preparation, since self-adhesive vinyl tiles are suitable for dry, smooth concrete surfaces. In either event, you may be in big trouble. Many flooring products are sensitive to solvents, so each has specific adhesives recommended by the manufacturer to prevent odd chemical reactions. I did a little research and found that self-adhesive floor tiles are not designed to use any adhesive at all except that applied by the manufacturer. Thus, the tile's reaction to an "all purpose" floor adhesive is unknown.

In my experience, most solvent-based adhesives, especially freshly applied ones, will come off solid surfaces with mineral spirits, so you most likely have some sort of chemical reaction occurring. Aside from pulling the tiles up, cleaning the floor, and starting over, your best bet may be to just wait a day or so and see if the tackiness disappears on its own as the adhesive dries. Good luck, and hope you don't get stuck!
NH


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