Construction Adhesive vs. Urethane Adhesive for Installing Hardwood Floors

Bona Sasuage Image

If you’re wondering whether to use construction adhesive or urethane adhesive for gluing down hardwood floors, we’ve got the answer here.

While construction adhesive does have its own benefits, it might not be the best solution when installing hardwood floors. Construction adhesive is a great product to use when you want to permanently fuse two pieces of material together. It creates a strong and rigid bond.

However, wood floors move. It’s the nature of the product. Due to factors like seasonal changes in moisture, hardwood floors can expand and contract. If you use construction adhesive on glue-down hardwood floors, you run the risk of creating such a secure bond that the wood might dislodge, crack, or split during seasonal moisture changes.

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Opt for urethane adhesive for installing wood floors

This why you need to use a a wood flooring urethane adhesive or silane based adhesive. One great example we recommend at City Floor Supply is the Bona R850T Adhesive. The adhesive comes in a container that is referred to as a “sausage.” It is a great adhesive for use withBona Sausage Urethane Adhesive hardwood floor installation. It creates a strong bond with wood but has elastomeric properties; it will allow the wood floor to move.

The adhesive is easy to clean up and can be used in a variety of different scenarios. Another feature of the adhesive is that it has lower VOCs (volatile organic compounds) when compared to construction adhesive.

The critical differences between construction adhesive and urethane adhesive

Construction adhesive typically comes in cardboard “cartridges.” The glue contained within these cartridges tends to ooze out of the applicator. Using the cardboard cartridges also runs the risk that the adhesive will harden if it is not all used at once. Whereas the Bona “sausage” it is made out of an aluminum skin, and the adhesive contained inside the sausage will remain viscous. You can use 1/3 of a sausage and then come back at a later time and continue using the adhesive.

The Bona R850T applicator is designed with ergonomics in mind. You won’t get cramped hands  using this applicator. With this Bona applicator you can typically get 60 lineal feet at a 1/4” bead  out of each sausage tube before it is completely depleted, and the entire aluminum packaging Opt for urethane adhesives for a glue-down hardwood floor install.compresses down to nothing for a no waste application. You can be sure that for those 60 squeezes your hand won’t tire out.

One key feature to the Bona adhesive is its “green grab.” Green grab refers to how quickly the adhesive will bond to a piece of wood. After only 15-20 minutes you’ll be able to feel the glue securing itself to the wood. With construction adhesive it could potentially take up to an hour before you start to feel the glue securing itself to the wood.

You might have had experiences in the past trying to clean up construction adhesive while installing hardwood floors. This can be a difficult endeavor. Construction adhesive can potentially ruin prefinished hardwood by chemically etching the surface. The Bona adhesive is specially formulated to be easy to clean up. The Bona adhesive can be cleaned with mineral spirits up to a week later and it will not damage the floor in any way.

The Bona “Sausage” Advantage

There are many scenarios in which you can use the Bona adhesive. If you’re installing hardwood over concrete, plywood, or tile then this Bona product is a great choice. Or perhaps you’re working on a repair job. If you just need to repair one or two boards, this product could be the solution for you.

The Bona R850T Applicator and Adhesive is fantastic for use when installing hardwood flooring. There are many aspects to this applicator and adhesive that benefit those who are installing hardwood floors.

To order a Bona R850T Applicator and Adhesive, click here or call (800) 787-1786.

6 thoughts on “Construction Adhesive vs. Urethane Adhesive for Installing Hardwood Floors

  1. Bryan Hilbert

    Does your Bona 850T adhesive come with a warranty? I bought Bruce 3/4” solid hardwood flooring and need to glue it down to a concrete slab substrate. Bruce does not warranty glueing flown hardwood but suggested to see if the adhesive manufacturer would.

    1. Caran Baxter

      The Bona 851 adhesive can be used to glue solid flooring up to 5” wide and ¾” thick. I would not use the 850T for this installation. Please see the specification on the Bona 851 ( available in 3gal pails): You’ll need to use a ¼” x ¼” x 7/16” Notch trowel and spread at a rate of 60sqft/gal.

      TROWEL NOTCH REQUIREMENTS (Spread rates are approximate):
      Replace as needed to achieve proper spread rate.
      Parquet (12” x 12”) over smooth substrates; Acoustical Underllayment Pad – Bona 1000F
      Trowel: 5/32” x 5/32” x 5/32” V-notch / 80-85 sq. ft/gallon.
      Engineered Flooring – up to 8” width; Solid Plank – maximum 3/4” thick and 5” width – Bona
      1250G Trowel: 1/4” x 1/4” x 7/16” V-notch / 60-65 sq. ft/gallon.
      Engineered Flooring – up to 16” in width ; Solidd Plank – ¾’ thick up to 9” width – Bona 1500G
      Trowel: 5/16” x 5/16” x 7/16” V-notch / 50-55 sq. ft/gallon.

      Another option would be Bostik Green Force. This product will also create a moisture vapor barrier with the proper trowel and spread rate.

  2. James D Creasman

    Im installing an armstrong 1/2″x8″ t&g engineered hardwood flooring that recommends a urethane glue down system. This will be placed over an existing raised plywood floor substrate. What product would fit this application

    1. City Floor Supply Post author

      We have several urethane adhesives. The Bostik Green Force might be your best option. The ease of use, the Axios technology, and the water vapor membrane it can create, should work.

      Always check with the manufacturer first.


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