I've had problems in the past with gluing commercial flooring tiles to OSB subfloor using the standard adhesive that looks and feels like contact cement. I followed the instructions and let the glue cure for about 30 min before setting the tiles but some tiles eventually came unglued. May have been partly because the OSB surface is rough so the contact surface wasn't evenly distributed (just a guess).

In the project I'm doing now, I actually set 1/2" plywood (smoother than OSB) over the OSB and I plan to put tiles on top. My question is, is there something I can prime the plywood before applying the adhesive so that I can achieve a better and more durable grip than I did in the previous application.

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    It's worth noting that OSB isn't a suitable substrate for glued flooring. Most adhesive products make that quite clear. – isherwood May 11 '17 at 20:48

If you use a proper underlayment (which OSB isn't), you don't usually need to prime when using a roll-on or brush-on adhesive. It is a good idea, however, when using self-stick tiles, which have a less aggressive adhesive.

When in doubt, read the instructions. If a primer would be beneficial manufacturers aren't shy about saying so. They want your project to succeed as much as you do for liability and reputation reasons.

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