Image is split with a photograph of a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile at EIT on the left and a completed installation of GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tile at MACOM on the right.

Left: AmeriWorx conductive vinyl tile, electronics manufacturing, EIT

Right: GroundLock Extreme interlocking tile, lab, MACOM

Glue-Down Versus Interlocking ESD Tile: Which is Better?

5 min read, 8 min videos

What are the advantages and disadvantages of glue-down versus interlocking flooring?

This post provides a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of installing glue-down flooring versus interlocking flooring. Please note that some of the differences are in the product construction, and not just the installation method. StaticWorx provides both types of flooring.

The information below is based on actual customer experiences.

The two products: Glue-Down (AmeriWorx) and Interlocking (GroundLock)

Glue-Down: AmeriWorx ESD Solid Vinyl Tile

AmeriWorx conductive solid vinyl tile, 12″ x 12″ x 1/8″, 24” x 24” and 36” x 36” installed with conductive adhesive. Conductive properties are present throughout the thickness of the tile. AmeriWorx tile is installed with pressure-sensitive conductive adhesive and grounded using the standard method of one 24″ grounding strip per 1000 square feet of tile area.

Interlocking: GroundLock Extreme Interlocking ESD Tile

GroundLock Extreme interlocking conductive tiles, 25″ x 25″ x 1/4″, 2X fiberglass core. Conductive properties are present throughout the thickness of the tile. GroundLock tiles do not require adhesive. The tiles connect like puzzle pieces, then hammered into place and grounded using the standard method of one 24″ grounding strip per 1000 square feet of tile area. 

Installation Methods

AmeriWorx ESD tile is installed using a pressure-sensitive conductive adhesive. The subfloor must be smooth, flat, dry, clean and prepared to ASTM subfloor flatness standards. AmeriWorx tile can be installed over old tile, epoxy, bare concrete and wood subfloors. Concrete vapor must measure less than 85% per ASTM 2170 in sutu probe test method. Ameriworx is often installed in occupied spaces. StaticWorx StatBond pressure-sensitive adhesive is FloorScore®  certified and contains no measurable VOCs.

GroundLock Extreme ESD tile: GroundLock tiles are installed without any adhesive. The dovetails on GroundLock tiles are attached to one another like puzzle pieces and locked into place using a dead-blow hammer. GroundLock has no vapor limitations and can be installed over any concrete as well as over most old tile and epoxy floors. The flatness of the subfloor has little impact on the performance or appearance of the installation.

Background image is a video frame of a man hammering GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tile with an orange rubber mallet. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue and includes the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “Quick and Easy Installation of GroundLock Interlocking ESD Tile”
Play Video about Background image is a video frame of a man hammering GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tile with an orange rubber mallet. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue and includes the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “Quick and Easy Installation of GroundLock Interlocking ESD Tile”
Background image is a video frame of a man hammering GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tile with an orange rubber mallet. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue and includes the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “Quick and Easy Installation of GroundLock Interlocking ESD Tile”
Play Video about Background image is a video frame of a man hammering GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tile with an orange rubber mallet. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue and includes the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “Quick and Easy Installation of GroundLock Interlocking ESD Tile”

Maintenance

AmeriWorx ESD Solid Vinyl Tile: The surface of any conductive vinyl tile must be maintained by utilizing a routine scrubbing and buffing process. ESD floor polishes can be applied to any solid vinyl ESD tile. Cleaning is attained with a neutral cleaner and a scrubber. Without floor polish, solid vinyl tile has no protective surface treatment. Approximately 30% of the companies using ESD vinyl tile use some type of ESD floor sealer. The other 70% use scrubbers and buffing pads operated at 375RPM. The frequency of scrubbing depends on traffic, type of soiling and aesthetic expectations of the facility owner.

Background image is a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile in a large facility. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “AmeriWorx ESD Vinyl Tile: Ongoing Maintenance"
Play Video about Background image is a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile in a large facility. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “AmeriWorx ESD Vinyl Tile: Ongoing Maintenance"
Background image is a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile in a large facility. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “AmeriWorx ESD Vinyl Tile: Ongoing Maintenance"
Play Video about Background image is a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile in a large facility. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “AmeriWorx ESD Vinyl Tile: Ongoing Maintenance"

GroundLock Extreme Interlocking ESD Tile: GroundLock tiles require simple cleaning procedures. GroundLock cannot be waxed due to the sealed surface. As a result, floor polishes will not adhere to the surface. GroundLock is maintained using water, neutral cleaners and either a mop or an auto scrubber for larger areas. 

Warranty

The ESD properties of both AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile and GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tile are warranted for  lifetime.

Intangibles

AmeriWorx ESD Solid Vinyl Tile

In the USA market, the use of ESD floor polish such as Coat ZF has been proven to provide a lower cost of ownership than buffing the tile without a surface protectorant for all types of glue-down solid vinyl tile. The disadvantages of using floor polish are:

  • work area disruption for application and cure
  • possibility of using the wrong polish or contaminated mops
  • ESD polish increases the electrical resistance of conductive floors

Glue-down tiles must be installed over surfaces that do not exhibit vapor emissions per test method ASTM F2170 or they may delaminate over time. This would become problematic in an operational facility. The fix for vapor emissions is to strip the existing floor-covering, shotblast the concrete and install a vapor barrier prior to installing a new floor.

The attached article from US Tech Magazine is about installing flooring in occupied and operational factories. One of the factories is MACOM, in Lowell MA. 

GroundLock Extreme Interlocking ESD Tile

The sole disadvantage of GroundLock Extreme tiles is the initial cost. GroundLock Extreme is easily maintained and capable of handling heavy weight loads or any type of material-handling-vehicle punishment. GroundLock is easily moved, replaced or reinstalled and it is immune to subfloor vapor issues. Because it is not installed with permanent adhesives it may be possible to expense GroundLock Extreme as opposed to capitalizing the investment.

Both Ameriworx and GroundLock are used extensively in SMT factories by large organizations such as Foxconn, Flex and Jabil as well as smaller and medium sized companies such as AMC which is featured in the above article.

Videos

Background photo is of an almost completed installation of GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tiles. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “Ritron Installs GroundLock ESD Interlocking Tiles in Show of Commitment to Excellence”
Play Video about Background photo is of an almost completed installation of GroundLock Extreme interlocking ESD tiles. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “Ritron Installs GroundLock ESD Interlocking Tiles in Show of Commitment to Excellence”
Background image is a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile. In a blue box in the front is the StaticWorx logo and underneath that a blue-gray box with text in white that reads "StaticWorx AmeriWorx ESD Vinyl Tile Installated at BAE Systems Guaymas"
Play Video about Background image is a completed installation of AmeriWorx ESD solid vinyl tile. In a blue box in the front is the StaticWorx logo and underneath that a blue-gray box with text in white that reads "StaticWorx AmeriWorx ESD Vinyl Tile Installated at BAE Systems Guaymas"

Project Galleries

Read

How to Install
an ESD Floor

Listen

Installing ESD Flooring:
Avoiding Pitfalls

Watch

GroundLock Interlocking Tile: The Fix for Problem Floors

Read

How to Install an ESD Floor

Listen

Installing ESD Flooring: Avoiding Pitfalls

Watch

GroundLock Interlocking Tile: The Fix for Problem Floors

About StaticWorx, Inc

All StaticWorx posts are written by our technical team and based on industry standards and specifications, test data, independent lab reports and other verifiable data. We provide ESD training and offer CEU credits to architects. If you’re interested in an ESD training session or architects’ ESD workshop, give us a call: 617-923-2000.

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