Flooring Installation: Heat Weld
Seams - Heat Weld
Heat welding is the process of heat fusing two sheets of resilient sheet vinyl flooring together at the seam. A properly executed heat welded seam offers impervious, reinforced seams recommended for areas of high traffic, including those subjected to heavy rolling or wheeled loads, areas exposed to excessive moisture (frequent washing), healthcare applications (sanitation), laboratories, and clean rooms.
G-Floor(TM) welding thread is 4 mm in diameter and is meant to be used with a 4 mm nozzle. Use of a larger nozzle will cause improper bonding or permanent damage to the flooring, including burning or glazing of the vinyl wear layer surface.
Using a grooving tool and a straight edge, groove the seam to a consistent depth of approximately 2/3 the thickness of the floor or half the thickness of the welding thread, whichever is less. Take care not to groove completely through the backing layer where the print is.
Using a heat gun set between 350°F – 400°F, insert the welding thread into the 4 mm speed nozzle as it comes into contact with the grooved seam. Keeping the nozzle perpendicular to the floor, apply slight downward pressure, and draw it along the seam at a smooth and constant speed. If stopping at any point along the seam, pull the heat gun away from the flooring, and cut the welding thread. This will prevent the heat gun from scorching the surface of the flooring and welding thread. Test seam strength by tugging a length of welding thread. If fused properly, it should break before pulling away from the seam.
After allowing the thread to cool to room temperature it may be trimmed and skived. This must be done in two passes. The first pass is done using a trim plate and crescent knife, which will trim off the top half of the thread. The second pass is done using the spatula knife only and will trim the thread flush with the surface of the flooring.
Note that for embossed products, the thread can only be skived to the top of the embossing.
Using a heat gun with the nozzle attached, draw it along the seam with the nozzle approximately 1/4” above the thread. Move the gun slowly enough to melt the surface of the thread, but fast enough to avoid damaging the flooring on either side. Note that glazing of the thread after trimming is required and will ensure correct color matching of the thread
to the material, and prevent the seam from collecting excessive soiling.
- Always inspect the flooring thoroughly before installation. Report any defects prior to installation.
- DO NOT mop your floor for about five days. The adhesives need time to cure.
- After installation is complete, keep traffic off of floor for at least 24 hours & heavy objects or rolling loads for 72 hours.
- DO NOT slide heavy appliances or furniture over or across the flooring. Always lift objects and place them on a hard board between the flooring and object and gently reposition them.
- Use permanent silicone next to bathtubs, showers, sliding doors, patio doors, around metal door jambs or similar areas.
- For bathroom installations, apply silicone around the toilet, next to the bathtubs and showers to prevent moisture from getting under the vinyl. Failure to seal properly can allow moisture under the vinyl which may damage the print.
- Note: if there is a ceramic sanitary cove and no place to install trim mold, you can apply silicone caulk around the walls.
- Make sure furniture legs have large surface, non-staining plastic floor protectors or non-staining felt pads. Protectors should be at least one inch in diameter and rest flat on the floor. The heavier the item, the wider the floor protector.