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Last Updated: , Created: Saturday, January 17th, 2004

Re-adjusting glues that have slipped

Some things that are glued can slip with time, especially if they are glued with contact cement or similar adhesives. This can apply to trim on the edges of doors and counters as well as some self-adhesive floor tiles. In fact when something glued slips with time; it is probably an indication that it is glued with an adhesive that can be reactivated with heat. This is most obvious with the plastic and wooden trim tapes that are actually applied with a hot iron.

Simply warm them up with a hot iron, being careful not to scorch the surface, and push it back into place. Then apply some pressure, maybe even weight it down until it cools off again. For the floor tiles I protect the surface with some aluminium foil. Always work very slowly because you don't want to break the tile, only loosen it, maybe remove it and put it back. Another benefit of using heat on tiles, is that brittle old tiles become soft and a bit pliable again with the heat so you are both reactivating the glue and softening the tile at the same time. If there doesn't seem to be enough glue to keep it in place, you can always add a bit more contact cement, it will be compatible with the original adhesive.

Keywords: Adhesive, Glues, Repair, Techniques

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