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I recently installed vct tile in a kitchen. The tiles are bowing up Any suggestions? Answered

We installed the tile over a primer.  It seems to be bowing up in the center.  We weighted it down overnight but it is still not adhered to the floor.  Does it just take time?  Did we do something wrong?


Did you let the tile sit in your kitchen for the recommended time before installation? (The box, label and/or store should have given some info).

Chances are your tile was not acclimated to your room. If you left it in a cool garage for example, the tile would shrink slightly (due to the cooler temp). Once the tile warms up it will expand. If this happens after installation it most certainly can cause your bowing.

The only remedy for this is to try and remove the flooring and reinstall. You will have to check the adhesive to see if you can apply it over itself. (Some adhesives will not stick to dry adhesive).

Lastly, you'll need to clarify what you mean by "primer". Do you mean the sub-floor was primed and then you installed the tile? (Not sure what you mean).

BTW, there's really no way the issue is moisture. Not overnight. Your tiles must have been cold when you installed them.

Actually, moisture can and does loosen tiles overnight, particularly if they are peel and stick tile laid on unsealed concrete. I've seen it happen numerous times over the years.
In this particular case though, I believe the author was referring to having weighted the tiles down overnight in an attempt to get them to stick.

I would agree with you there if it was a concrete floor. Unfortunately the author has not come back to respond and clarify their meaning of having installed this floor over "a primer". Since most kitchen's are on a second floor, it was my guess the application was over a (primed) subfloor, which generally does not cause bowing issues if the tiles are acclimated. Perhaps "fountaintechproperties" got their answer... they have not been active since joining and posting this question...


6 years ago

It has been my experience that vinyl comp bonding problems are almost always moisture related. Moisture/water vapor wicks up through the concrete or the wood flooring and prevents or loosens the adhesive's bond.
Unfortunately, the only real cure is to eliminate the moisture from the equation. The cheapest and easiest solution is the remove the tile and apply a high quality sealer to the wood/concrete or eliminate the source of the moisture from beneath the floor.
At this point, because of the primer, it may be necessary to sand the floor bare before applying the sealer. Talk to a flooring retailer or installer for advice about other remedies, such as installing a moisture barrier on the floor.