The initial formulation of Aquaflex was introduced in 2006. The Aquaflex system has evolved over time to include formulations for virtually all types of resilient flooring. Formulators has also innovated waterproof skim-coat materials to enhance the overall Aquaflex package. Aquaflex has been specified by many retail store clients including; Bed, Bath & Beyond, Rite Aid, Burlington, TJ MAXX and Walmart. Aquaflex is also specified by several health care providers such as Fresenius Medical and DaVita Dialysis.
When using Aquaflex it is NOT necessary to conduct moisture evaluations prior to installation per ASTM F1869, F710 or F2170 respectively. Aquaflex does not require you to determine if a sub-slab moisture vapor barrier exists. Aquaflex is waterproof, it doesn't matter.
We have all heard the claim that some flooring manufacturer will not honor their advertised warranty if an alternate adhesive is used. While many manufacturers will state this to protect their financial interests, it doesn’t square with current Federal law. In every case, warranty rests with the manufacturer, not its representative. In the United States, it’s against the law for manufacturers to withdraw warranty of a product after it has been sold. In every case, the adhesive manufacturer alone is responsible for the adhesive bond performance. Flooring manufacturers DO NOT produce adhesive. Instead, they resell adhesive under a private label arrangement similar to any building products distributor. When a flooring manufacturer combines their performance warranty to an adhesive manufacturer’s bond warranty they create what is referred to in legal terms as a “Tie-In” warranty. The “Tie-In” warranty is against the law and has been since 1975 with passage of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA). MMWA is a federal statute that was enacted by congress to protect consumers when warranties are provided by manufacturers. MMWA is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and specifically restricts the use of “Tie-In” warranties making them illegal and unenforceable.
The warranty for adhesive bond is an implied warranty provided by the flooring manufacturer. The adhesive is manufactured by a third party and the expressed warranty of construction lies solely with them. Epoxy mitigation is of no consequence and has no legal impact on the flooring manufacturers warranty claim. Epoxy mitigation is simply a recommendation, never a condition of sale.
To answer let's start first with a short review of the history of flooring: The first floor covering introduced in the US was Linoleum invented by Frederick Walton in 1863. This early flooring material was adhered with asphaltic tar. Later the tar was replaced with asbestos adhesive commonly referred to as "cut-back". VCT was introduced in the late forties and sheet vinyl in the early sixties. These materials too were adhered with "cut-back". "Cut-back" producers began removing the asbestos from formulations in the early seventies and eventually replaced the solvent-born "cut-back" adhesives altogether with waterbased acrylics in the late nineties under market pressure. That's when the trouble started. For over 150yrs the flooring industry used a solvent based adhesive, for 150 years moisture was a "non-issue" related to adhesive performance and for 150yrs this adhesive was waterproof! No moisture testing, no ASTM, no Calcium chloride test or insitu %RH, no moisture mitigation was ever used and yet flooring installations performed. Sub-slab vapor barriers didn't exist either, yet floors never failed to the degree they do today. The answer to preventing flooring failures isn't a new idea but a re-invention of an old one. Make the glue waterproof and solve the problem.
Aquaflex should be recommended whenever moisture measurements per ASTM F2170 exceed 90%RH. Keep in mind that ASTM F 2170 has a margin of error of +/- 3% above 90% insitu RH. 90%RH is a good line of demarcation. 90%RH represents the typical performance threshold for water based flooring adhesive. Remember it's not the moisture in the concrete but the elevated pH that destroys (i.e., hydrolyzes) the adhesive. This means that the flooring industry never actually measures the true cause of flooring failure. THAT'S RIGHT!, the ASTM tests are not testing what causes adhesive failures in the first place!
Aquaflex has been tested with virtually all flooring materials. Aquaflex is available in several formulations for resilient flooring, such as VCT, sheet vinyl (VSF) and LVT. The VCT version has proven successful with homogeneous VCT, as well as rubber and linoleum tiles. The LVT product has been successful with luxury vinyl tiles and carpet tiles. VSF is designed for sheet vinyl and lino installations.
Formulators supplies a Gundlach Versablade CBD trowel (1/32" x 1/16" x 9/64") with each unit to install resilient flooring. By design one unit covers approximately 800 square feet.
Shelf life is limited to 6mos from the date of manufacture. Aquaflex must be stored in an unopened container at 70°F. However Aquaflex is freeze-thaw stable and stable to temperature exposure pior to cure of over 130°F.
The Aquaflex system is sold by the square-foot and delivered by the "unit". Aquaflex is more expensive than traditional moisture resistant adhesives; however traditional adhesives simply do not measure up to the "UNLIMITED" level of moisture/pH performance and speed of cure offered by Aquaflex.
Aquaflex is NOT just adhesive, but a unique waterproof installation system that has no MVER, %RH or pH limit. Aquaflex is supplied as a package that also includes waterproof/silica-free Patch & Skim. There is no installation system on the market that offers this unique level of performance. The Aquaflex adhesive is applied like many other adhesives in a "wet-set" application. Certification is not necessary.
Aquaflex is patented with 4 domestic submissions and over 15 international submissions.
Aquaflex is fully warranted and offers the only warranty in the flooring industry against failure due to moisture from topical sources.
In comparison to epoxy mitigation systems, Aquaflex exceeds the highest moisture limits of any epoxy mitigation system. When comparing the overall value of Aquaflex to various mitigation systems, Aquaflex will typically cost about 75% less installed, but most importantly, Aquaflex saves time! Aquaflex will take one day for installation versus up to 3 days (for a given section of floor) using the epoxy systems.
Formulators takes great care to ensure that flooring contractors understand how to use Aquaflex, especially if they have never used it before. Formulators hires experienced industry professionals who are available to consult with flooring contractors on the proper application of Aquaflex and what to do if they might experience any problems. For larger projects, training and installation startup services are available.
Aquaflex is a high solids, moisture cured "wet set" adhesive that is easy to install as long as the directions are followed. Troweling Aquaflex does not require any special technique. It uses the same trowel techniques as any other "wet set" resilient flooring adhesives.
Floor preparation is very simple, just remove the existing floor, adhesive and achieve a level of porosity as described in ASTM F710. SMOOTH, POROUS and CLEAN. Afterwards, vacuum and give the area a light mop.
Absolutely not! Shot blasting/bead blasting is difficult to control, contributes to respirable silica (see OSHA Final Ruling, https://www.osha.gov/silica/) and actually micro-fractures the concrete surface. Aquaflex requires minimal prep, just sand the concrete with a 20 grit disk. Unfortunately, this question is asked quite frequently because most of the epoxy-based mitigation systems require shot blasting to a CSP 3 profile. This profile completely alters the surface of the concrete. No manufacturer of adhesive in the US allows direct application to this surface. In every case an application of self-leveling underlayment or floor patch is necessary to smooth out rough CSP 3 surfaces. Essentially, Shot-blast wreaks the floor, necessitating a repair with self-leveling underlayment (SLU). Aquaflex simply doesn't require this level of surface preparation. Aquaflex can be used to install flooring cleanly and safely in occupied areas. This creates a great advantage for Aquaflex when working in facilities that are open 24/7. Down time created by epoxy mitigation can cost a retailer over $1.00/sf/day and a healthcare facility more than 5 times this cost.
In contrast to epoxy mitigation, Aquaflex adhesive allows for a typical remodel with flooring removal and scraping of old adhesive. If a carpet tile needs replacing simply lift the old tile, razor scrape the floor and apply new adhesive over the Aquaflex residue. Aquaflex bonds well to itself. Since Aquaflex allows the concrete to breathe, it will also allow further drying in cases where installations may have been placed over "green" concrete. This means that at a later date moisture testing may reveal that the replacement floor may only require standard adhesive.
Epoxy mitigation seals the moisture in the concrete slab. With a vapor barrier below, what you have is a guaranteed moisture sandwich. If a remodel is required years down the road, the moisture that was found upon initial testing will still be present and still very high. Epoxy mitigation terminates the ability of the concrete slab to vent any free moisture (water of convenience) or dry. This means that with epoxy mitigation, the building owner will most likely face additional mitigation costs at a later date. Once epoxy is placed the concrete surface is forever altered. If a mitigated floor undergoes remodel, epoxy manufacturers can never be certain that damage of the epoxy membrane was avoided. Replacement flooring will not even be covered under the original warranty. An additional cost to assure warranty compliance is unavoidable.
Formulators warrants Aquaflex to be free from defects in material and workmanship for "the life of the floor" when properly installed, and not to delaminate due to ANY sub-slab moisture level. This warranty also applies to adhesive failure due to topical moisture.
Formulators develops all its own products. All our liquid products are produced in our Santa Ana, CA facility. Our cementitious materials are produced in Riverside, CA. Formulators is the only manufacturer to offer a complete waterproof installation system. Our competitors may produce epoxy coatings or cementitious materials or both. However, only Formulators manufactures the entire system necessary for installation, which of course includes adhesive. Formulators, therefore is in unique position to be the only manufacturer in the US to offer one warranty, covering all installation products, from one manufacturer.
We grew our business as a completely independent manufacturer/distributor. We ship direct all over the continental US, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico and Latin America. We have contracted with several national carriers to offer freight guaranteed deliveries. Our competitive rate can place 10,000sf of material in Boston, MA from Santa Ana, CA in 4 days, guaranteed. If it doesn't arrive on time we credit the freight cost. Also, Aquaflex is "0" VOC and freeze thaw stable which allows for air shipments overnight if required for emergency purposes.
Formulators takes pride in the fact we can outperform any distributor in the US when it comes to order turnover and logistics. Our retail clients often order and expect shipment the same day. Usually for thousands of square feet.