I have a large commercial re-facing coming up in three weeks. Usually I use water based adhesives for residential re-facing but I'm concerned about the drying time. The place is a retail location that will be open for business while we work so I need a spray adhesive, or a system that does not have the odor and flammability problem of the usual sprayable Willsonart glue I use in the shop. Does anyone have any suggestions?
From contributor R:
It’s a tough issue. You certainly do not want to use a non-flam solvent based product in a retail location. You best option may be to bring a heater and or a fan and try to force dry the water-based faster.
As a Sears re-facer I have experience with water based products. On small jobs they are great because they are non flammable and considered safer than the VOC spray-ables like conbond. But the time it takes the stuff to flash is long (relative humidity is the key here).
On a commercial job requiring over 30 sheets of laminate it would take too long to complete. Plus I'm not comfortable using the water based product over laminate that was originally stuck with a solvent based product.
My experience however with the green label was mixed. The product sprayed well and was almost odorless. It was not as effective as the spray-able Wilsonart contact that I dispense from a pressure pot in my shop. (By the way also toxic, and also widely used. As always proper ventilation is the key).
We scuffed the original laminate with a belt sander, then sprayed the green label. The stuff just seemed to rub off the laminate very easily. We decided to shelf the green label and try the water based, but it didn’t take long to realize that waiting for it to dry would blow our estimate out of the water, so we went back to the green label.
Our concern about the adhesives ability to stick to the original laminate seems to be unfounded. It does not stick as well as the Wilsonart, but it does the job. It seems you have to give up some of the performance to get the non-flammability and the low odor. Coincidentally I am meeting with a technical rep from the manufacturer tomorrow at my shop. If I learn anything useful I will post it in this forum.
Also, I noticed that few of the postings on this string referenced firsthand experience with re-facing in a commercial environment. I'm sure that this is only an over-site as no reputable cabinetmaker, re-facer or millwright in his or her right mind would post a response without first having multiple experiences with the original question.