Armstrong Flooring Fiberglass-Reinforced Sheet Flooring Installation Instructions

For Use With

Summary

Location: All grade levels
Pattern Match: Yes, do not reverse pieces
Seam Method: Double-Cut
Seam Treatment: S-761 Seam Adhesive or S-500 Seam Coating Kit
Fitting: All Methods; pattern scribing, straight scribing or freehand knifing.
Do not cut full or compression fit.

Installation MethodAdhesive/ApplicationTrowel /
Working Time
Seams
Modified Loose LayAcrylic double-faced tape at seams

OR

2″–3″ (5 cm –7 cm) band of S-295 or S-299 Flooring Adhesive at the seams
Open Time:
Dry to touch 

Fine notch:
1/32″ (0.8mm) deep, 1/16″ (1.6mm) wide, 
1/32″ (0.8mm)
 apart
Seams – Double cut


Seam treatment:
S-761 Seam Adhesive

OR

S-500 Seam Coating Kit
Conventional Full Spread



Flash Cove
S-295 or S-299 Flooring Adhesive 



S-580 Flash Cove Adhesive in the cove areas
(When installing full spread only) 
Open Time:
Dry to touch

Fine notch:
1/32″ (0.8mm) deep, 1/16″ (1.6mm) wide, 
1/32″ (0.8mm)
 apart
Seams – Double cut


Seam treatment:
S-761 Seam Adhesive

OR

S-500 Seam Coating Kit
 Installation FeatureModified Loose LayFull Spread
with
S-295 or S-299 
Flooring Adhesive
Spacing (gap) at vertical surfaces (walls, pipes, etc)1/4″ (6.35 mm)None
Base cabinets on top of flooringNoYes
Island cabinets on flooringNoYes
BathroomsNoYes
Stairs, landings or rooms with floor drainsNoYes
Seams on suspended wood underlaymentsOnly 1Multiple OK
NOTE: Allowing proper open time will help to minimize knee marks, roller marks and trapped blisters. The amount of open time will vary according to job conditions—temperature, humidity, air flow and
type of substrate.

Precaution

WARNING: EXISTING IN-PLACE RESILIENT FLOOR COVERING AND ASPHALTIC ADHESIVES. DO NOT SAND, DRY SWEEP, DRY SCRAPE, DRILL, SAW,
BEADBLAST, OR MECHANICALLY CHIP OR PULVERIZE EXISTING RESILIENT FLOORING, BACKING, LINING FELT, ASPHALTIC “CUTBACK” ADHESIVE,
OR OTHER ADHESIVE.
These existing in-place products may contain asbestos fibers and/or crystalline silica. Avoid creating dust. Inhalation of such dust is a cancer and respiratory tract hazard. Smoking by individuals exposed to asbestos fibers greatly increases the risk of serious bodily harm. Unless positively certain that the existing in-place product is a non-asbestos-containing material, you must presume it contains asbestos. Regulations may require that the material be tested to determine asbestos content and may govern removal and disposal of material. See current edition of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) publication Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Floor Coverings for instructions on removing all resilient floor covering structures or contact your retailer or AHF Products at 866 243 2726.
The floor covering or adhesive in this package does NOT contain asbestos.

Keys To a Successful Installation

Fiberglass flooring in residential applications, can be installed by three installation methods. The flooring can be installed by the modified loose lay installation method using acrylic double-faced tape under seams, or it can be installed by two full spread options using either S-295 or S-299 Flooring Adhesive.  Depending on the type of subfloor, size and complexity of the room, and the type of traffic expected in the room, one of the full spread options may be recommended. Fiberglass-reinforced flooring should not be installed by perimeter fastening methods.

In certain areas of the country, where seasonal moisture and humidity changes are severe, the movement in wood subfloors can cause a raised area or a buckle in the flooring near a perimeter pinch point. Typically, if this happens, it will occur during prolonged periods of cold weather when interior conditions become very dry and the wood subfloor/underlayment components dry out and shrink. Should this happen and a buckle occurs, the flooring should be gently lifted or pulled back from the pinch point and re-trimmed.

Note: The full spread method using S-295 Flooring Adhesive is required in rooms with floor drains, where flooring is installed on stair treads or landings, and where net fitting is required around the perimeter of the room.

Recommended Substrates

Will bond to all substrates listed below, but refer to the flooring installation system for specific installation recommendations:

*NOTE: For wood subfloors and underlayments, the moisture content must be 13% or less.

Do not install over:

  • Particleboard, waferboard, OSB or single-layer Sturd-I-Floor panels
  • Existing cushion-backed vinyl flooring
  • Carpet
  • Hardwood flooring that has been installed directly over concrete

For concrete subfloors, the percent relative humidity must be 80% or less as determined by test method ASTM F 2170. If subfloor internal relative humidity levels exceed the recommended limit, the concrete must be allowed to dry prior to installing the floor.

Job Conditions

  • Resilient flooring should only be installed in temperature-controlled environments. It is necessary to maintain a constant temperature before, during and after the installation. Therefore, the permanent or temporary HVAC system must be in operation before the installation of resilient flooring. Portable heaters are not recommended as they may not heat the room and subfloor sufficiently. Kerosene heaters should never be used.
  • Substrates must be sound, dry, clean, smooth, and free from excessive moisture or alkali.
  • The surface shall be free of dust, solvents, varnish, paint, wax, oil, grease, sealers, curing compounds, residual adhesive, adhesive removers and other foreign materials that might affect the adhesion of resilient flooring to the substrate or cause a discoloration of the flooring from below. Spray paints, permanent markers and other indelible ink markers must not be used to write on the back of the flooring material or used to mark the substrate as they could bleed through, telegraphing up to the surface and permanently staining the flooring material. If these contaminants are present on the substrate, they must be mechanically removed prior to the installation of the flooring material.
  • Do not use products containing petroleum solvents or citrus oils to prepare substrates as they can cause staining and expansion of the new flooring.
  • In renovation or remodel work, remove any existing adhesive residue* so that 100% of the overall area of the original substrate is exposed.
  • When installing over an existing resilient floor, use S-194 Patch, Underlayment & Embossing Leveler/S-195 Underlayment Additive to fill and smooth any embossing in the old floor.
  • The area to receive resilient flooring and the flooring materials and adhesives should be maintained at a minimum of 65°F (18°C) and a maximum of 100°F (38°C) for 48 hours before installation, during installation, and 48 hours after completion. Maintain a minimum temperature of 55°F (13°C) thereafter.
  • For concrete substrates, conduct moisture testing (moisture vapor emission rate [MVER]) and/or percent relative humidity (in-situ probe). Bond tests must also be conducted for compatibility with the substrate.

Procedure: Modified Loose Lay Method

Keys to Successful Modified Loose Lay Installation

  • Proper conditioning of both the jobsite and the flooring is necessary. The flooring should not be exposed to wide ranges in temperature and moisture/humidity levels in the home.
  • Store, transport and handle flooring so as to prevent any sharp creases or other distortions in the sheet. Always roll face-out on a cardboard tube. Distortions will generally not disappear or shrink on their own. Sheet must be lying flat at time of installation.
  • Just prior to installation, lay flooring out flat to acclimate to conditions and allow the roll-up stresses to relax.
  • Seams must be double cut, net, with no fullness. Do not straight edge and butt seams. Do not stretch or compress at seams as this will lead to small buckles.
  • Do not compress the edges of the sheet in any way when installing other flooring materials next to the flooring. Installation of carpet, metal strips and other transition moldings should not push fullness into the flooring.
  • Always protect from rolling loads from other trades and replacement and/or movement of appliances.

The modified loose lay method requires that the flooring be cut 1/4˝ (6.4 mm) away from all vertical surfaces such as walls, cabinets, pipes, etc. This gap will then be covered with molding or wall base. With this method the flooring should be allowed to “float” freely over the subfloor. This is particularly important over wood subfloors as the wood can grow and shrink with the changes in moisture content. The flooring will be bonded at seams, however, with an acrylic double-faced tape designed for use with vinyl flooring. Only one seam is permitted when using this method over suspended wood subfloors and underlayments. Multiple seams are allowed when this method is used over concrete subfloors. Tape may also be used at doorways if needed, however the preferred method is to use transition strips, similar to a “T” molding, that cover the edge of the flooring while at the same time allowing for some movement of the flooring beneath the molding. Do not use the tape around the entire perimeter of the room and do not install base cabinets on top of the flooring.


Fitting

  • Unroll material and lay flat to allow the roll curl to relax before fitting.
  • Do not cut full or net. Maintain a 1/4˝ (6.4 mm) gap at all vertical surfaces.
  • Recommended fitting procedures include pattern scribing, straight scribing or freehand knifing.

Procedure

If more than one piece of flooring is used, the pieces should be pattern matched and double-cut prior to placing the acrylic double-faced tape under the seam. The edges where the seam will be cut should be overlapped with a piece of scrap material underneath to protect the substrate while cutting through both pieces of flooring. It is important that the seam be cut in a straight line using a straight edge as a guide. The knife should be held completely vertical to put a clean 90-degree edge at the seam. Seams should be cut net, not full or snug as it can result in buckles. 

Do not straightedge and butt seams as this can lead to loose and tight areas along the seam resulting in buckles or distortion. Also, do not try to stretch or compress material at the seam to obtain pattern match. This too can result in buckles or distortion. 

Armstrong recommends an acrylic double-faced tape designed for use with vinyl flooring. Carpet tapes may read through and impact the final appearance of your floor. Ordinary carpet tapes may also cause discoloration of the flooring. 

After the flooring has been properly fit and positioned in the room, gently fold back the seam edges and apply the acrylic double-faced tape, centered under the seam. Before removing the release liner from the top of the tape, use a clean cloth and hand pressure to thoroughly bond the tape to the subfloor. Then, remove the release liner from the tape and carefully reposition the seam for a net fit. Thoroughly roll the seam with a hand roller to complete the bond. 

Do not stand or walk on the release liner, as it is extremely slippery. Place it in a wastebasket immediately upon removal from the tape. Tape may also be needed under relief cuts that were made to slip around pipes, etc. and at some doorways where transition moldings cannot be used. Do not overuse tape and do not tape around the entire perimeter of the room. 

Replace or install wall base and quarter-round moldings to cover the gap around the perimeter of the room. Do not pinch the molding down on top of the flooring. Leave a slight clearance between the molding and flooring so any effects of seasonal movement in the home due to temperature or humidity changes will be minimized. 

Armstrong S-500 Seam Coating Kit for low gloss floors must be used to coat any seams at the completion of the installation or S-761 seam adhesive must be used during the installation. The freshly applied S-500 seam coating must be protected for several hours from dirt, dust and traffic. Follow instructions on package. 
 

  • If more than one piece of flooring is used, the pieces should be pattern matched and double- cut prior to placing the acrylic double-faced tape, S-295 adhesive or the S-299 adhesive under the seam.
  • When installing with the S-295, S-299 adhesive, cut seams dry then apply adhesive.
  • The edges where the seam will be cut should be overlapped with a piece of scrap material underneath to protect the substrate while cutting through both pieces of flooring. It is important that the seam be cut in a straight line using a straight edge as a guide. The knife should be held completely vertical to put a clean 90- degree edge at the seam. Seams should be cut net, not full or snug as it can result in buckles.

NOTE : At the installer’s discretion, a 2″ (5.08 cm) to 3″ (7.62 cm) wide band under the seams of S-295 or S-299 Adhesive can be used in place of the acrylic tape underneath seams and in front of tub and shower enclosures, etc.

S-500 Seam Coating (Seam Treatment):

  1. After the flooring has been properly fit and positioned in the room, gently fold back the seam edges and apply the acrylic double-faced tape, S-295 or S-299 Adhesive centered under the seam. When installing with the tape method, before removing the release liner from the top of the tape, use a clean cloth and hand pressure to thoroughly bond the tape to the subfloor.
  2. Then, remove the release liner from the tape and carefully reposition the seam for a net fit.
  3. Thoroughly roll the seam with a hand roller to complete the bond.
  4. S-500 Seam Coating Kit may be used to coat the seams at the completion of the installation.
  5. Prepare the S-500 Seam Coating as per instructions.
  6. Practice applying the coating on scrap material to get a consistent 1/8″ (3.18 mm) wide bead of coating.
  7. Tilt the applicator to an angle of about 30° while applying coating.
  8. Do not attempt to insert the nozzle into seam.
  9. Apply 1/8″ (3.18 mm) wide bead of coating centered on top of seam.
  10. The freshly applied seam coating must be protected for several hours from dirt, dust and traffic. Follow instructions on package.

S-761 Seam Adhesive

  1. Acrylic Double-faced Tape: Double cut the seam before applying the tape.
  2. S-295, S-299 Adhesive: Cut seams dry and then apply the adhesive allowing proper open time before setting material into the adhesive.
  3. After applying the tape or after proper open time for the adhesive place one side of the material back down.
  4. Using the S-761 applicator bottle, apply a 1/8” bead of S-761 Seam Adhesive along the seam edge.
  5. Tuck the seam edge into place, forcing the s-761 Seam Adhesive up through the seam.
  6. Clean adhesive residue from the surface of the flooring using a clean, white cloth dampened with neutral detergent and water.
  7. Roll the seam using a hand roller.

NOTE: S-761 Seam Adhesive is highly recommended for patterns that do not contain grout lines.

Replace or install wall base and quarter-round moldings to cover the gap around the perimeter of the room. Do not pinch the molding down on top of the flooring. Leave a slight clearance between the molding and flooring so any effects of seasonal movement in the home due to temperature or humidity changes will be minimized.

Procedure: Full Spread Method

If seams are involved, they should be double-cut dry prior to spreading adhesive in the seam area. Use a piece of scrap material underneath the seam when cutting. Do not straightedge and butt seams as this can lead to loose and tight areas along the seam resulting in buckles or distortion. Also, do not try to stretch or compress material at the seam to obtain pattern match. This too can result in buckles or distortion.  

Use Full Spread adhesive method with S-295 or S-299 Flooring Adhesive. Apply adhesive with a trowel [notching is 1/32˝ (0.8 mm) deep, 1/16˝ (1.6 mm) wide and 1/32˝ (0.8 mm) apart]. It is important to use the correct trowel notching. Inspect and replace worn trowels frequently. Follow adhesive open time and working time recommendations on the adhesive label.  

Allow enough time for the adhesive to dry until tacky with no transfer to the finger (dry-to-touch) before placing the material into it. This normally takes 30 minutes or more, depending on temperature and humidity. After the adhesive has reached this condition, there is at least one hour working time in which to install and roll the flooring.  

NOTE: Allowing proper open time will help to minimize knee marks, roller marks and trapped blisters. The amount of open time will vary according to job conditions—temperature, humidity, air flow and type of substrate. 

Roll Thoroughly. Starting at the center and working toward the edges, roll in two directions using 100-lb roller. Seams must be hand rolled, then rolled again with a 100-lb roller.

Give special attention to cleaning adhesive residue from the seam areas as they must be clean and dry in order to proceed with seam treatments. Clean excess adhesive from the surface of the flooring using a clean, white cloth dampened with detergent and water. Mineral spirits will remove dried adhesive residue. 

Armstrong S-500 Seam Coating Kit for low gloss floors must be used to coat any seams at the completion of the installation or S-761 seam adhesive must be used during the installation. The freshly applied S-500 seam coating must be protected for several hours from dirt, dust and traffic. Follow instructions on package. 

If seams are involved, they should be double-cut dry prior to spreading adhesive in the seam area. Use a piece of scrap material underneath the seam when cutting.

S-761 Seam Adhesive (Seam Treatment)

  • Double cut the seam before applying adhesive to the seam area. Leave 1-2 feet back from the edge of the seam area after full spreading adhesive on floor.
  • After proper open time (dry-to-touch) place one side back down.
  • Using the applicator bottle, apply a 1/8” bead of the S-761 Seam Adhesive along the seam edge.
  • Tuck the seam edge into place, forcing the s-761 Seam Adhesive up through the seam.
  • Clean adhesive residue from the surface of the flooring using a clean, white cloth dampened with neutral detergent and water.
  • Roll the seam using a hand roller.
  • Allow 2 hours drying before foot traffic and 4 to 6 hours to fully dry for rolling loads.

S-500 Seam Coating Kit (optional, instead of S-761)

  • Starting at the center and working toward the edges, roll in two directions using a 100-lb. roller. Seams must be hand rolled, then rolled again with a 100-lb. roller. Give special attention to cleaning adhesive residue from the seam areas as they must be clean and dry in order to proceed with the application of S-500 Seam Coating. Clean excess adhesive from the surface of the flooring using a clean, white cloth dampened with detergent and water. Mineral spirits will remove dried adhesive residue.
  • The freshly applied seam coating must be protected for several hours from dirt, dust and traffic. Follow instructions on package.

​Replace or install wall base and quarter-round moldings as needed. Fasten molding to the vertical surface. Do not nail through the new floor.

Repairs

Repair Inset for Full-Spread Fiberglass Residential Sheet

Updated on September 16, 2022