SpeedCove Installation Instructions

12 Simple Steps to Install SpeedCove

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The following 12 steps are just an overview, please obtain & read the complete installation instructions before installing.

For complete installation instructions, please call (530)344-9000 or e-mail us at SpeedCove, Inc. e-mail: dstandal@speedcove.com)

STEP 1: Bring SpeedCove to room temperature.

STEP 2: Prepare the floor and wall; scrape or grind high spots so pieces fit snug (if applicable, cut and remove bottom 4, 6 or 8 inches of (FRP) fiber-reinforced wall panels**).

STEP 3: Cut SpeedCove to size with chop saw, utility knife or diamond wheel grinder.

STEP 4: Vacuum floor, wall and SpeedCove pieces.

STEP 5: Dry fit all pieces without adhesive to double check measurements. 

STEP 6: Apply full spread of adhesive to back of SpeedCove, including all butt joints, and a full spread to the floor at base to support and adhere entire coving section. Use enough adhesive to eliminate all voids. Must be glued, SpeedCove is not a nailed-on product.

STEP 7: Press all pieces firmly into wall and floor starting with inside corners (pieces can be tacked with a 18-gauge pin nailing gun where needed).

STEP 8: Patch joints and transitions. 

STEP 9: Smooth a bead of adhesive where cove transitions into floor to hide bottom edge and seal top transition watertight to wall.

STEP 10: Sand patching marks and transitions to hide joints, where needed.

STEP 11: Wipe down with acetone or compatible cleaner.

STEP 12: Install floor coating extending seamlessly up walls to cover SpeedCove and joint to wall.

* NOTE: Installer is responsible to test all adhesives, patch materials and coatings for bond strength and compatibility before installation.

** SpeedCove requires a FULL SPREAD of adhesive on the back and bottom of cove base to create a water- and chemical-proof joint between wall & floor and to eliminate voids where mold & mildew can form. 

FRP Wall Instructions

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SpeedCove should not be installed over fiber-reinforced panels (FRP) on walls
It should only be directly adhered underneath to the solid wall substrate. FRP must be terminated above the SpeedCove in the FRP manufacturer's J-mold/termination strip; and, the joint must be sealed water tight with an appropriate adhesive and coated with the finish epoxy; or, seal joint with a #10 "food grade" silicone over the dried epoxy finish.

Important Note:  The FRP should be cut off the bottom of all walls, removed, and finished off with the manufacturer’s channel strip so the SpeedCove can be adhered below it to the solid wall substrate. This will ensure that the SpeedCove will stay strongly bonded to the wall and create an overlap joint that will keep water out.

STEP 1: SCRIBE THE FRP WALL WITH BLOCK AND FELT PEN:  Use the 4” or 6” high scribe block of plywood, scribe a line with a black permanent pen along the wall, sliding the block across the floor. This will give you the correct height off the floor verses snapping a chalk line which doesn’t account for minor highs and lows in the floor. OR clever/faster way is to set 4” grinder blade on top of scribe block and slide around the room cutting FRP at the perfect height.

STEP 2: CUT FRP AND REMOVE: Cut the FRP 1/8” deep using a 4” grinder with a  diamond blade taking the entire line off. A depth gauge for cutting can be made with your scribe block build out to the correct thickness. This will leave FRP about 1/8” to 1/4" above the cove base so there is room to adjust the channel strip. Don’t cut deeper than the FRP thickness or wall strength will be compromised.

STEP 3: RELEASE LOWER PORTION OF FRP ADHESIVE WITH TOOL: Slide a 5-in-1 tool or small pry bar under the cut and tap with hammer to release FRP adhesive along entire bottom of cut so channel can be installed.

STEP 4: CUT AND INSTALL CHANNEL STRIPS: Cut horizontal channel strips to fit between vertical channel strips and slide them on from one side to another using a thin putty knife to open it up. Push them up as far as possible for now.

STEP 5: INSTALL COVE BASE AND SEAL THE JOINT: Scrap and vacuum the wall and install the cove base to the solid wall substrate. Slide the horizontal channels trip back down until it touches the top of the cove base. Seal the joint between the top of the cove base and the FRP horizontal plastic channels trip. Use an adhesive that will bond to the plastic strip, and that can be coated with epoxy; or use a #10 “food grade” silicone over the dry epoxy finish.


Installation Recommendations:

  • The requirement is to get a FULL SPREAD of adhesive on the back and bottom of the cove base to create a water- and chemical-proof joint between wall and floor that has no hollow spaces where condensation, mold or mildew can form.
  • It's important best way to adhere SpeedCove to the wall and floor is with a 2-part epoxy or polyurethane patching material notch troweled on the back of each piece and a portion of the floor against the wall to support the base. Use enough adhesive material to eliminate voids. Materials with various drying rates can be used to speed up total installation time. Material should be tested for proper bond strength before using on a job.
  • Certain construction adhesives with the proper ratings for your application (non-porous substrates) can be used. They must be tested for proper bond strength before being used on a job. The thinner more pliable ones are highly recommended so pieces can be "set" easier and voids eliminated. Urethane and polyurethane adhesives create a very strong bond but must be kept warm to be pliable. Some urethanes and polyurethanes will bubble if moisture is present. Check with manufacturer for proper application. They should also be allowed to completely dry before coatings are applied. (See list of recommended adhesives on this page.)
  • Most installers still prefer applying material from a bucket with a V-notch trowel, but many also like to use the large quart size tubes. You can even use the disposable plastic spreader tips if the adhesive is thin/warm enough.

For aligning pieces:

  • An 18-gauge pin nailer can be used to tack pieces in place until the adhesive dries. SpeedCove systems are designed to be adhered in place, and nailing should only be used as a support where necessary.
  • An assortment of tile wedges can be used to align pieces until adhesive is set.
  • Wood door shims work well where cove base is set up off floor to create slope to a drain. (Remove them after adhesive sets, before applying patching/sloping material)

For patching joints and transitions:

The same 2 part epoxy or polyurethane joint & crack patching materials can also be used to fill joints and transitions, as long as it is non-shrinking and sandable. It is also best to use something that is slightly resilient so joints don’t show if there is any expansion/contraction in the room. Some installers even use Bondo for the joints. All materials should be tested for bond strength & compatibility before use.

For furring out and filling in hollow spots:

  • Pre-cut 3 7/8” and 5 7/8” strips of 1/4” and/or 1/2” tile backer board work great to glue in where wall transitions in depth are needed against the wall so cove base can be installed straighter.
  • Pre-cut 3 7/8” x 3/4" plywood strips are good to have for filling in under cabinets that do not have a complete toe kick to mount the cove base to.

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Adhesives to Use with SpeedCove:

How to Calculate the Amount of Adhesive Needed:

1 gallon (4 quarts) of adhesive is needed to install about 100 ft. of 4" SpeedCove or about 75 ft. of 6" SpeedCove.

Popular Adhesives for Installing SpeedCove:

  1. Titebond 771 Step Adhesive a Hybrid Polyurethane (in quart size tubes) is the easiest adhesive that we've found recently for small jobs. It's a newer technology that dries 4x's faster than other polyurethanes, but doesn't bubble, expand, or off gas. very thin and easy to work w/, but not runny.
  2. Most epoxy or polyurethane mix joint and crack patch materials that have the consistency of whipped creme or mayonnaise with at least a 30 minute pot life and that are light in color and easy to sand will work
  3. General Polymer's 3513 Epoxy Scratch Coat Mastic, or renamed to FT910 Steel Seams by Sherwin Williams - has a 30 minute pot life, dries in a few hrs. so you can coat the same day
  4. Westcoat's EC 72 Epoxy Patch Gel (or 7200 Gel)
  5. Kretus 1000 Easy Patch gel/paste from Quest Building Supply
  6. SikaFlex 1A polyurethane adhesive
  7. Sonneborn N1, now called MasterSeal NP1 polyurethane sealant 
  8. Schnee-Morehead's JAWS 9200 polyurethane adhesive by Pro Installers 
  9. use leftover epoxies or polyurethanes mixed/thickened with fumed silica like Cab-O-Sil or Aerosil
  10. For Joint/Seam Patch: #'s 2,3,4,5, and 9 will work well; you want 100% solid/non-shrinking material so you only have to float the seams once to get them to hide.
The Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive from Home Depot or Lowe's is a polyurethane formula and will work if you can't find the recommendations above, however it doesn't always perform perfectly,  and so we cannot officially stand behind it. We've had random (only about 10%) problems with it bubbling and expanding under the coatings and coming out the finish when it off gases or reacts to other things. Also, it is sometimes too thick... so in conclusion, it's an inconsistent performing product, works great most of the time, and is easy to find, but we can't always guarantee it so buyer beware.  
We DO NOT recommend or allow Liquid Nails SubFloor and Heavy Duty adhesives since they changed their formula several years ago to a VOC water-based LATEX adhesive that doesn't hold strong like the old solvent based versions did. The bond is not strong enough.  

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Tools Needed:

  • Pencil
  • Speed Square
  • Wall Scraper Tool
  • Notch Trowel
  • 3 to 4" wide Joint Patch Knife
  • Sheet Rock Knife
  • Quart-size Caulking Gun
  • Hand-held Belt Sander with about 50-grit belts (for slight alterations that need to look good)
  • Flexible 1" Putty Knife
  • Knee Pads
  • Safety Glasses
  • Rubber Spatula for smoothing out joints and transitions (take off the handle)
  • Blank Caulking Tubes (or Squirt Bottles also work well) for patching with material that flows well
  • Shop Vac w/ brush attachments
  • Basic Chop Saw with a sharp, fine-tooth, finish cut blade
  • 4" Grinder with Diamond Wheel also works well to cut and alter pieces (use with speed square) and also for grinding spots on the floor 
  • 18-Gauge Pin Nailer to tack pieces, if needed, until adhesive sets

Additional tools needed if working with FRP:

  • 1/2" to 1" Sharp Chisel (for cutting FRP in the corners)
  • 4" Grinder with Diamond Wheel works well for cutting FRP (a Roto-Zip tool w/ a depth guide also works well for cutting FRP)
  • Tin Snips (for cutting FRP plastic "J" mold termination strips)

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