How to do vinyl glue

Vinyl adhesive: The guide to applying it like a pro

Vinyl adhesives have many uses beyond vinyl flooring installation. Get a quick summary here and instructions on how to use this versatile glue for many projects and repairs around the home.

Vinyl adhesive: What are its uses?

Vinyl adhesives are very versatile glues that can be used for a wide variety of projects such as repairing many types of flexible plastics, countertops, upholstery, and of course, flooring.

It’s important to choose a type of vinyl adhesive that is compatible with the materials you are gluing. For instance, a floor tile adhesive or vinyl flooring glue is designed specifically to keep the materials bonded to the subfloor and withstand the weight of people walking on the flooring. This kind of vinyl adhesive wouldn’t be suitable for repairing a torn vinyl seat in your car, as a seat repair would require a thinner layer of glue which remains flexible after application.

Linoleum adhesive must form an extremely strong bond, yet it must not be too thick or “lumpy” underneath the linoleum, since that would be very evident on a countertop.

So, it’s clearly very important to use the correct vinyl adhesive for your project.

Applying vinyl flooring glue

A great DIY job always starts with good preparation. Make sure the floor surface is clean, level, and dry. Most vinyl flooring glue will stick to wood, concrete, and even old vinyl or ceramic tile. Check the manufacturer's instructions if installing over vinyl or ceramic as there may be some extra prep work involved before applying the vinyl adhesive.

Once you’re ready to go, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the threshold and shoe moulding or baseboard so the edge of the vinyl flooring will be hidden when they are reinstalled.
  2. Make a paper template for the vinyl flooring by taping pieces of heavy paper together. Cut holes out for pipes, the toilet, and other fixtures. Take your time and readjust the paper to get the template just right since this will ensure an exact fit when you put down the vinyl.
  3. If needed, install new plywood underlayment such as lauan. You can use your template to cut the pieces of underlayment quickly and easily.
  4. Cut the vinyl flooring to match the template and test fit it before applying any glue.
  5. In most cases, it’s best to leave the vinyl in place and roll half of it back to apply the adhesive. Spread the vinyl flooring glue with a notched trowel over the exposed area, then roll back the other half of the vinyl to glue the rest of the floor.
  6. Be sure to spread the glue evenly to avoid lumps in the floor and roll the entire floor with a rolling pin or floor roller to remove any air bubbles.

Linoleum countertops are installed in much the same way but typically a contact adhesive is used. Contact linoleum adhesive is usually applied to both surfaces and allowed to “tack up” before installation.

Choosing the best glue for vinyl materials

For all those little repairs around the house and your car, try Loctite Vinyl, Fabric, and Plastic Flexible Adhesive. This clear liquid glue is perfect for repairing tears and loose seams on vinyl seats and cushions, tarps, and even shoes and raincoats. It dries clear and is waterproof for interior or exterior applications.