Vinyl Floor/Stair Cap Trim Adhesive

Frequently we are asked what is the best adhesive to use for trim. More specifically what is the best adhesive to use for stair caps and flush-stair noses used in vinyl floors. We generally recommend a pressure sensitive adhesive product from PPG. The brand name is called Liquid Nails. More information can be found at the web site at

Basic Concepts:

Pressure sensitive adhesive is an glue compound require pressure to initiate bonding between the adhesive and the substrate, whereas other adhesives require heat, water or a solvent. Factors that influence bonding include surface energy, preparation smoothness and temperature.

Shear strength refers to an item’s ability to withstand tangential force.

Flexibility refers to an item’s ability to show an increase in a range of motion, as a result of stretching.

Adhesion refers to an item’s ability to firmly attach itself to a substrate or other item.

Creep refers to the slow flow of a material that occurs when a material’s properties change as a result of high temperature or pressure.

From the Liquid Nails Site recommendation page on their site we have concluded the following to work best in most applications.

Bonding Adhesive CB10

Key Features

  1. Water resistant
  2. No bracing required
  3. Water cleanup
  4. VOC-compliant

Recommended For:

Bonding vinyl or rubber cove base and stair treads to wood, drywall, plaster, paneling, plastic, plywood, tileboard, ceramic tile, painted surfaces, plastic laminates, wall coverings (including vinyl) and concrete (on or above-grade).

Not Recommended For:

Bonding to aluminum, steel or exterior surfaces and uses other than cove base or stair tread installation.

  • Available Sizes: 10 fl. oz. cartridge
  • Coverage: 4" cove base using two 1/4" beads: 10 fl. oz. cartridge covers 16 lineal ft.
  • Max VOC: 10 GPL

*Please notethat the typical dry time for most construction adhesives is approximately 24 hours. This may vary due to temperature, humidity amount of product applied and surface porosity.

Surface Preparation

Condition cove base and CB-10 construction adhesive to room temperature for 24 hours prior to installation. Do not apply at temperatures below 60° F. Lay cove base strip flat for at least 24 hours prior to installation. Make sure that surface is clean, dry and structurally sound. Remove all loose paint, dust, dirt, grease or any foreign material before applying cove base construction adhesive. New plaster, concrete or cement surfaces must be fully cured before applying this construction adhesive.

Cartridge Application

Apply 1/4" zig-zag beads of construction adhesive 4" apart to cover cove base or stair tread. Be sure 60% of cove base or stair tread is covered with construction adhesive. Press or roll cove base or stair tread firmly into place. If bonding cove base to a curved or irregular surface, some bracing may be needed until construction adhesive is set. Do not stretch cove base.

Trowel Application

Spread construction adhesive onto wall or stair surface or to back of cove base or stair treads with a 1/8" V-notched trowel which has notches 1/8" apart, or spread a thin layer of adhesive 1/16" thick to the back of the cove base or stair tread with a putty knife. Trowel an area that can be covered within 15 minutes, before this construction adhesive begins to set.


If the construction adhesive is wet, use soapy water. If the construction adhesive has dried, use mineral spirits.

Other Options are found the Liquid Nails website.

Last Updated: August 2 ,2017