If you take a trip though any Lowes or Home Depot you will notice a bewildering array of adhesives, which you can choose for your home do it yourself project. Often the correct choice of adhesive can make the difference between success and failure for a home improvement project. In this article we will take a look at all the common types of adhesives and the proper use and application of them.
The granddaddy of all adhesives is plain old white, or Elmer’s, glue. This type of glue bonds porous services, and is often used for paper, fabric, and other craft projects. While I could imagine some limited applications, this sort of glue should really be avoided, as it just is not tough enough for most home improvement projects. This sort of glue is also not paintable since paint won’t stick to it.
The next common type of adhesive that a do it yourselfer may need is yellow or wood glue. Good old fashion wood glue still has a very strong place in most home improvement projects. This sort of glue is specially designed to bond wood, and wood based materials. Weather you are trying to repair a wood chair, or working on re-gluing loose wood cabinets, wood glue is what you will need. Once wood glue sets and dries, the glue is often just as strong or stronger than the wood, which it bonds.
Another type of common adhesive is the so-called “crazy glues”, or known by their scientific name cyanoacrylate glues. These “super” glues are idea for repairing pottery, or metal surfaces. These sorts of glues have the annoying tendency to bond skin instantly, so you will want to be sure to wear gloves when working with the material. Again, while this sort of glue might be useful on a project, it is mostly used for general home repairs.
Getting more into adhesives, which may be used more heavily, in construction, we turn our attention to construction adhesives like liquid nails. These sorts of adhesives come in a wide variety of types suited to special applications. There are construction adhesives for tile, wood, concrete, brick, and asphalt. Construction adhesives can be used anywhere you would have used a mechanical fastener in the past. Often construction adhesives are superior to mechanical fasteners as they can give a more secure uniform bond. A prime example of this would be if you were trying to lay a new sub floor in a kitchen. You could get a construction adhesive to glue down the new subfloor, and thereby avoid squeaks, which might be more likely, if you used nails or screws.
Epoxy adhesives usually come as two part mixtures; both in liquid and solid form, and are among some of the strongest adhesives that you can buy. Solid, or putty, epoxies usually come in a two clay like slabs that you mix equal parts in your hand. You then apply the epoxy to the surface, form it, and then let it harden. A great use of epoxy is to fill in a cracked wood rung on a stair. You can form the epoxy into the part of the wood that is missing, and when it hardens you can sand it and paint. Its an easy and quick fix. Epoxy putty are also manufactured for plumbing applications. For example if you have a leaking drain pipe, or a broken toilet bowl, you can use epoxy putty for a temporary fix until you can afford to make permanent repairs.
No matter what your project, be sure to select the correct type of adhesive. Read the package, and follow all the manufacturer’s directions and recommendations. With today’s modern adhesives you really need to select the right type of glue for the project that you are working on. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring a successful project.