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Titebond 821-Step Adhesive, Moisture & Sound Control

Titebond® Adhesive, Moisture & Sound Control combines the superior properties of a moisture cure adhesive with the ability to be used as a moisture and sound control system. This high-performance formula is ideal for bonding engineered, solid plank, cork underlayment and bamboo flooring to common underlayments and subfloors. Its non-slumping characteristics allow the troweled ridges to bridge normal gaps between the wood flooring and the subfloor, virtually eliminating hollow and popping spots. This product also allows the installer to protect the wood floor with a glue down all-in-one application with unlimited moisture warranty, saving labor and time.

Once cured, the product is water-resistant. It offers excellent green grab and develops a superior bond that will remain flexible for the lifetime of the floor. Alternatively, Titebond 821-Step can be used just as a one-part adhesive simply by using a different sized trowel. Please see specific application guidelines in this document for details and instructions. It can also be combined with Titebond 531 or Titebond 531 PLUS Moisture Control Systems to achieve unlimited moisture protection. It has unparalleled green grab, strength development and spreads easily. This mold and mildew resistant formula delivers exceptional performance characteristics that exceed the expectations of professional installers.

  • Unlimited Moisture control protection
  • Excellent green grab & strength
  • One coat application
  • Moisture, mold & mildew resistant
  • Performs well on bamboo flooring

Revised October 2017

  • Non-slump formula

  • Long open time

  • VOC-compliant with all federal and state regulations as well as the SCAQMD

  • Easy cleanup

  • Will not cause dimensional changes in wood flooring

  • Excellent bond strength

  • Mold and mildew resistant

  • No flash time required

  • Ideal for above-, on- and below-grade installations

  • Unaffected by freezing temperatures

  • Contains no water

  • Achieves IIC of 53 and STC rating of 53 for sound performance

  • Product is FloorScore® certified by SCS

Type: Urethane Calculated VOC: 77 g/L Color : Brown Weight Per Gallon : 11.76 Solids : 95% Flashpoint : > 200°F (Pensky-Martens Closed Cup) Viscosity : 100,000 cps Freeze/thaw Stability : Not affected by freezing Storage Life : 1 year in tightly closed container

Moisture Control & Adhesive Method:

All engineered plank flooring
  • Trowel Size - 1/4" x 3/16" V-notch (Saw tooth)
  • Coverage - Approximately 35 sq. ft. per gallon
Solid flooring and bamboo up to 5/8"
  • Trowel Size - 1/4" x 1/4" V-notch (Saw tooth)
  • Coverage - Approximately 30 sq. ft. per gallon


All parquets measuring less than 3/4" thickness
  • Trowel Size - 1/8" x 1/8" x 1/8" (Square-notch)
  • Coverage - Approximately 65 sq. ft. per gallon
All engineered plank flooring
  • Trowel Size - 3/16”w x 1/4”d x 11/16” c-c (or 1/2” space) V-notch
  • Coverage - Approximately 65 sq. ft. per gallon
Solid flooring and bamboo with a width of less than 3" and measuring 5/8"or less in thickness
  • Trowel Size - 3/16”w x 1/4”d x 1/2” c-c (or 5/16” space) V-notch
  • Coverage - Approximately 50 sq. ft. per gallon
Solid flooring and bamboo with a width greater than 3" and measuring 5/8"or less in thickness and 3/4" shorts
  • Trowel Size - 3/16" x 3/16" x 3/16" (Square-notch)
  • Coverage - Approximately 35 sq. ft. per gallon
Cork Underlayment
  • Trowel Size - 1/16" x 1/16" x 1/16" (Square-notch)
  • Coverage - Approximately 125 to 185 sq. ft. per gallon

Specifications Guide
Type of Flooring / Flooring Thickness: Jobsite / Subfloor:
  • All parquets measuring less than 3/4” thick
  • All engineered flooring
  • Solid wood flooring measuring 5/8” or less in thickness
  • Bamboo flooring
  • 3/4” solid shorts (less than 24”)
  • 5/8” plywood (2’x8’ or 4’x4’)
  • New, old or existing concrete, properly treated light weight concrete
  • Below-grade concrete
  • Plywood
  • OSB (oriented strand board)
  • Radiant heated slabs
  • Clean and unwaxed vinyl

Subfloor Preparation

All substrates must be clean, dry, structurally sound, properly cured and free of dirt, oil, paint, old adhesive, wax, sealers, curing agents and any material that may inhibit bonding. General scouring with 20 grit or #3 1 / 2 paper will remove most compounds. All loose materials must be vacuumed from the surface after scouring. The subfloor must be flat to a tolerance of 3/16” in a 10’ radius. Hollow spots, popping spots and squeaks are related to unevenness in the subfloor. Grinding concrete floors is preferred over the use of filling compounds. If filling/leveling compounds are used, they must be Portland cement based and have a compressive strength equal to or greater than 3000 psi when cured. Moisture level in concrete subfloor will fluctuate. Any cementitious material used must be rated for the highest moisture content possible. Consult the cementitious material manufacturer’s application directions. Use of product over light weight concrete and all gypsum based materials requires the use of Titebond Concrete Primer or equivalent prior to application of adhesive.

Moisture Content Limitations

Titebond 821-Step may be used as an adhesive and moisture control system for concrete slabs with elevated moisture levels. Calcium chloride or in-situ RH testing is NOT necessary. To ensure a proper bond and full moisture control, it is essential that the concrete be dry to the touch and fully cured before installation. For flooring adhesive only application method, concrete subfloor moisture cannot be greater than 3 lbs./1000 sq.ft./24 hours on a Calcium Chloride Test or greater than a reading of 4.5 on a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter or 75% relative humidity per an in-situ probe test.

Installation: One-step Adhesive, Moisture and Sound Control Method

When using this method, follow all previous instructions for subfloor preparations. Be sure to obtain the correct trowel. Trowel product with the correct trowel and immediately install the wood flooring into the wet adhesive. To reduce slippage, secure the first two starter rows with starting blocks fastened to the substrate or wedges against starting wall. Remaining planks must be placed firmly into adhesive. Planks that are not flat should be weighted for several hours. 100% adhesive coverage, with no voids, is required to qualify for the all-in-one installation warranty. Open time depends on relative humidity and is usually around 90 minutes. Be sure to seat the flooring into the adhesive firmly. Any low or high spots may cause voids in the adhesive and void the warranty. Roll the floor with a 150 lb. roller within 30 minutes of application to assist in creating a continuous layer to ensure total coverage and protection for moisture control.

Installation: Adhesive only method

It is recommended that the adhesive be allowed to flash for 30 minutes prior to installing the wood flooring. To reduce slippage, secure the first row using Titebond Wood Flooring Tape. NOTE: Do not walk on the floor during the installation. You should not work on top of the wood. Normally, ultimate strength will be reached in 24-48 hours. Wait at least 2 days before finishing an unfinished floor. Titebond 821-Step can be used in conjunction with Titebond 531 Plus Moisture Control System for an installation with NO MOISTURE LIMITATIONS.

*The recommended flash time for Titebond 821-Step is 30 minutes, depending upon subfloor moisture and humidity.

Re-sealing and Re-opening Partial Pail

Scrape sides of pail (this will aid in removal of adhesive later). Place plastic trash bag over unused adhesive, working out any air pockets. Replace lid on pail and tightly seal. Upon re-opening pail, remove trash bag. Material should be ready for use.

Gluing Plywood Over Concrete

1. Use 5/8" CD Exposure 1 Plywood subfloor panels, 4' x 8' sheets; cut sheets into 2' x 8' or 4' x 4' sections
2. Score the back of the panels half the thickness of the panel on a 12" x 12" grid in order to relieve tension in plywood
3. Use a 1/4" x 1/4" square-notched trowel to apply adhesive to concrete
4. Lay sections in a staggered joint pattern in the adhesive, with 1/8" spacing between sheets, and 3/4" minimum expansion space at walls and all vertical obstructions
5. Add weight as necessary to ensure adhesive remains in contact with plywood as it cures
6. Allow adhesive to dry overnight before proceeding with flooring installation


As the pre-finished flooring is being installed, immediately wipe any wet adhesive from the flooring, tools and equipment with mineral spirits. Do not allow adhesive to cure on surface of the flooring, tools or equipment. Follow solvent manufacturer’s directions when working with solvents. Cured adhesive will be difficult to remove.
CAUTION: Do not sand, scour or abrade any material that is suspected of containing asbestos fibers. Asbestos is known to cause cancer. Federal law requires that asbestos be handled by a licensed and certified hazardous materials contractor.

* The recommended flash time for Titebond 821-Step is 30 minutes, depending upon subfloor moisture and humidity. Specific questions regarding "flash time" should be directed to Franklin Technical Service at 1.800.347.4583.
MOISTURE CONTENT LIMITATIONS (One-step adhesive, moisture and sound control method): Titebond 821-Step may be used as an adhesive and moisture control system for concrete slabs with elevated moisture levels. Calcium chloride or in-situ RH testing is NOT necessary. To ensure a proper bond and full moisture control, it is essential that the concrete be dry to the touch and fully cured before installation. 100% substrate coverage and adhesive transfer is required.

MOISTURE CONTENT LIMITATIONS (Adhesive Only Method): Titebond 821-Step may be used for above-, on- and below-grade applications and on all substrates listed in this specification guide. All applications are susceptible to moisture and should be tested for moisture prior to installation in several locations within the installation area.

Acceptable conditions of concrete for above-, on- and below-grade applications are:
  • Less than 3 lbs. /1000 sq.ft./24 hours on a Calcium Chloride Test (ASTM F1869)
  • Less than a reading of 4.5 on a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter
  • Relative humidity (RH) of 75% or less when tested with an in situ probe (ASTM F2170)
Acceptable conditions of wood substrates are a moisture reading of less than 12% or be no more than 4% different from the flooring being installed when using a Tramex, Delmhorst or equivalent wood moisture meter. If subfloor moisture conditions do not meet above guidelines at the time of flooring installation, or they could exceed them at any time after installation, then a Titebond moisture control system should be used.

  • This product cures very quickly!
  • Open time is 90 minutes depending on temperature and humidity
  • Do not install solid wood below-grade
  • Do not use on concrete with curing agents or sealers (except for recommended Titebond or Franklin products)
  • Avoid allowing adhesive to cure on wood flooring surface
  • Do not allow foot traffic for 8 hours after installation
  • Do not use as a leveler

Download Titebond 821-Step warranty information
DANGER. Harmful if inhaled. Causes skin and eye irritation. May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled. May cause an allergic skin reaction. May cause respiratory irritation. May cause damage to organs (lungs) through prolonged or repeated exposure if inhaled. Wear protective gloves, and eye or face protection. In case of inadequate ventilation wear respiratory protection. Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Do not breathe vapor from heated product. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. FIRST AID: IF EXPOSED OR CONCERNED: Get medical attention. IF INHALED: Remove victim to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. Call a POISON CENTER or physician if you feel unwell. IF EXPERIENCING RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS: Call a POISON CENTER or physician. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. Take off contaminated clothing and wash clothes before reuse. IF SKIN IRRITATION OR RASH OCCURS: Get medical attention. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove any contact lenses and continue rinsing. IF EYE IRRITATION PERSISTS: Get medical attention. Dispose of contents and container in accordance with all local, regional, national and international regulations. For additional information, refer to Safety Data Sheet.
Part No.SizeWeight(lbs.)UPCCase UPCUnits Per PackagePackages Per Pallet
83193.5 Gallon Pail45.47037083083194 136
Franklin International will honor the applicable terms of any wood floor manufacturer’s current published adhesive warranty or subfloor moisture warranty (where applicable) when the flooring was installed using Titebond 821 Premium Urethane Wood Flooring Adhesive in accordance with product instructions and the instructions of the wood floor manufacturer.*

Franklin International will also warrant Titebond 821 Premium to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of manufacture, if the product has been installed in accordance with the Franklin Specification Guide and the installation instructions furnished with the product. In the event of loss of adhesion of Titebond 821 Premium due to product defect, Franklin International will reimburse the customer for the cost of labor and materials necessary to repair or replace the affected area(s) of the installed wood flooring.

Exclusions from Coverage
The above warranty does not apply if: (1) all instructions regarding preparation for, installation and use of flooring products and this Product are not strictly followed (2) the Product is used as an adhesive and moisture control for below-grade applications; (3) 100% coverage with no voids in the adhesive when using the product as an all-in-one moisture and sound control system; (4)proper job site pre-inspection, installation and maintenance procedures are not followed; (5) the concrete subfloor is not clean, flat, free of debris and structurally sound; (6) the concrete subfloor is not free of visible moisture including darkening of concrete, standing water and condensation; (7) moisture content of concrete subfloor is or becomes greater than 3 lbs. per a calcium chloride moisture test or 75% RH for adhesive only installation method; (8) the property of the installation does not have proper drainage; (9) moisture related problems are related to flooding, leakage, topical moisture, improper ventilation, improper maintenance or cracks in the subfloor or foundation; or (10) problems arise due to defects in the flooring, or misuse or abuse. Further, the Product is not intended for mold or mildew abatement.

*Any and all addendums or changes to the wood floor manufacturer’s warranties will be reflected in the execution of Franklin International’s warranty immediately upon release by the wood floor manufacturer. The effective date of said changes and addendums will dictate coverage by Franklin International in relation to the date of installation.

As Franklin International is honoring the applicable terms of all wood floor manufacturers’ current published warranties, Franklin International will also require the same jobsite preparations and installation instructions that accompany each warranty in question.

In the case of subfloor moisture warranties, Franklin International will cover cupping and buckling of the wood floor when the wood floor manufacturer names coverage of these phenomenon explicitly in their subfloor moisture warranty (where applicable).
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