Modin Rigid Click or Glue Down: What's right for me?

You may have noticed we carry our Modin Rigid in two constructions, a Click and a Glue Down. Which one makes the most sense for your project? At a significantly lower cost, the glue down construction is a great option for many applications, but it does require a better prepared sub-floor, and is generally only recommended if you are hiring a professional installer.

Let’s get into some details:

Summary

Order Click if:

  • You plan to install the floor yourself, or are hiring an installer who is not familiar with full-trowel glue down installation
  • You prefer a floating floor, so that you can easily remove planks in the future for repair or re-installation
  • You need an underlayment for sound control, and do not want to deal with gluing down a separate underlayment
  • You prefer the softer feel of having an underlayment
  • Your sub-floor has leftover residue from a previous adhesive, and you do not want to deal with removing this residue prior to installation. With the glue down floor, if you are removing a previous floor that was glued down, you will also need to remove all of the adhesive from the sub-floor
  • You want to install on top of an existing floor covering, and do not want to go down to the sub-floor (most adhesives require you glue down directly to the sub-floor)

Order Glue Down if:

  • You plan to hire a professional flooring installer who is familiar with full-trowel glue down installation. We do not recommend you attempt to install a glue-down floor as a DIY project
  • You have a flat sub-floor that is clean of previous adhesive residue
  • You have a sub-floor that is very flat
  • You do not need an underlayment, or are okay with the extra cost of gluing down an underlayment
  • You prefer the solid feel of a glue-down floor

As you can see, the click floor is much more forgiving in terms of installation requirements. For this convenience, you do pay a cost relative to glue down, but for many customers this cost is outweighed by the cost of having to do extensive sub-floor prep, or hiring a professional installer. If you know your sub-floor will be in perfect condition, and are planning to have a professional installer, a glue-down floor will save you on cost, and give you a floor with a more solid feel.

In-Depth Analysis

Let’s start with a comparison of the specifications:

Screenshot 2019-01-04 at 9.37.52 AM

As you can see, the only differences between these two products is the total product thickness, and the pre-attached underlayment. Once installed, neither of these two features are visible. So from a visual perspective and a surface performance perspective, the two constructions are identical.

Next, let’s look at the product cost. Most customers are concerned that the cost of adhesive will add substantially to their install cost. This may come from experience with porcelain tile or hardwood floors, where the cost of adhesive alone can run up to $2 / sq ft. The adhesives we recommend for Modin Rigid Glue Down, however, can cost as little as $0.10 / sq ft, and average $0.15 / sq ft. This is due to the much higher spread-rate possible with vinyl plank, due to the very stable, flat and non-porous nature of the rigid core.

Screenshot 2019-01-04 at 9.39.43 AM

As you can see, the click construction is 27% more expensive than the glue down

At this point you might be asking yourself why someone would pay more for a click floor that has virtually the same specifications as the glue down. Let’s discuss some of the reasons.

Cost of Hiring an Installer

In the previous cost analysis, we ignored the cost of a professional flooring installer, but of course this will be a major consideration. We do not recommend that homeowners attempt installing our Glue Down floor as a DIY project (more on this later). Most professional, licensed flooring installers who are familiar with a full-trowel glue-down installation will charge $2-$3 / sq ft for their services. On the other hand, a click floor may be installed by anyone who is relatively handy, including general contractors, a handyman, or yourself. With that said, while Modin Rigid Click is designed to be a DIY friendly floor, there are many aspects to a flooring installation that go beyond merely clicking the planks together:

  • Sub-floor prep, including leveling and moisture sealing
  • Baseboard removal and installation
  • Undercutting or reinstalling doors and door jambs
  • Stair installation
  • Transitions and moldings
  • Squaring the room and the overall install to ensure that your floor is square with your walls and hallways and doesn't appear crooked

For these reasons, many of our customers prefer the quality of workmanship that comes with a professional installer and know they plan to hire one. If that is the case, then the difference in cost between hiring an installer who is familiar with full-trowel glue and one who is not may not be relevant.

Sub-Floor Prep

Poor sub-floor prep is the number one reason for failure with a glue down floor. While both floors require a flat sub-floor (no more than 3/16” variation over 10 ft), the click floor can go over virtually any sub-floor material. This includes existing hard surface floors (no carpet), plywood and any kind of plywood alternative, and various types of concrete. With the glue down construction, on the other hand, the sub-floor requirements are much more strict, and will vary by adhesive manufacturer. As a rule, however, the floor must glue down to a concrete slab or plywood, and there must not be any residue from a previous adhesive. For example, if you are removing an old linoleum or sheet vinyl floor, or a previously glue-down hardwood floor, you will also need to remove the adhesive residue that’s left on the sub-floor. This removal is sometimes as easy as using a scraper, or can involve fully grinding down concrete. With a click floor, so long as the sub-floor is still flat, you can just float right on top.

Sound Control

If sound control is a requirement and you need an additional underlayment to meet your sound control target, a click floating floor will be your best option. While it is possible to double-glue an underlayment down with a glue down floor, this calls for an extra application of glue, and of course the cost of the underlayment. When labor is included for gluing the underlayment down, it is highly unlikely you will have beaten the price of our click floor, which already comes with a pre-attached underlayment.

Bottom Line

As a rule, in good conditions, our glue down floor is a great option. It can have a more solid feel, and for a professional installer can actually result in an easier and faster install, since there is no fussing with interlocking the click mechanism in tight spaces. If you have a professional installer, or are very handy and can follow directions, it offers all the benefits of our flagship product at a significant discount.

But if you are tackling this as a DIY project, are going on a sub-floor with adhesive residue or existing flooring, or need an underlayment, we think our click floor is still a phenomenal value for having the best specifications of any vinyl floor on the market.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!