The Best Construction Adhesives of 2022

Construction adhesives are convenient, strong, and critical to home improvement projects of all types. Check out this guide to find the right construction adhesive for your project. 

By Mike Bruton | Updated Apr 25, 2022 8:59 AM

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Best Construction Adhesive

Photo: amazon.com

Construction adhesives provide an efficient and effective way to glue up projects ranging from DIY crafts to homebuilding. These adhesives work by forming a molecular bond with the construction material, but they do not all establish bonds the same way.

With a large market filled with options, finding the right adhesive for your construction job can be challenging. This guide will help you determine the best construction adhesives for your projects and find the right one for you.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive
  2. BEST FAST-DRYING: Loctite PL Premium Fast Grab Polyurethane
  3. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Liquid Nails Extreme Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive
  4. BEST FOR WOOD: Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive
  5. BEST FOR METAL: J-B Weld 8276 KwikWeld Quick Setting Epoxy
  6. BEST FOR CONCRETE: PC Products 72561 PC-Concrete Two-Part Epoxy Adhesive
  7. BEST FOR TILE: Dap 25190 Weldwood Multi-Purpose Ceramic Tile
Best Construction Adhesive

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Construction Adhesive

Not all construction adhesives are created equal. Surface type, drying time, strength, and application methods impact finding the product for the task at hand. Read on to find out what you need to know for selecting the best construction adhesive for the job.

Surface Type

Many adhesives work by bonding with the construction material on a molecular level, and there is no one construction adhesive for all applications. Metal, concrete, glass, and wood have different molecular and chemical properties. Choosing a construction adhesive formulated specifically for the materials in your project is paramount.

The best construction adhesives for wood have elastomeric properties, meaning they can flex with the material and resume their shape. Silicon-based adhesives offer waterproofing capabilities and flexibility, while superglues offer rigid bonding that lacks flexibility. Nonporous and smooth surfaces like plastic or metal do not adhere as readily as rough materials like sawn wood.

Drying Time

Achieving a full strength bond with your construction adhesive involves two processes: drying and curing. Manufacturers add liquid agents to adhesives that soften the compound for application. After application, the carrier component evaporates. The adhesive dries as the carrier evaporates, leaving behind a bond between materials. This process is also known as bonding.

Curing is a chemical process during which the adhesive crystallizes. Upon final crystallization, the adhesive achieves its full strength. Don’t be fooled by a dry construction adhesive, as dry does not necessarily mean your project is ready for the next step.

Adhesives vary on drying and curing times. Some adhesives bond fully within moments, while others take up to several days to fully cure. A slow-drying construction adhesive is not ideal when working on a time-sensitive project.

Strength and Longevity

Strength is a critical consideration in construction adhesives. An adhesive unequal to the job could result in a ruined project. Scientists and manufacturers consider a bond’s strength through two measures: lap shear strength and peel strength.

A lap shear test measures an adhesive’s ability to withstand stress when the glue moves laterally to the repaired material.

Peel strength measures adhesive strength under perpendicular pressure.

Construction adhesives are designed to bond permanently but may fail or disintegrate if exposed to extreme pressure or environmental factors.

Application

As anyone who has ever accidentally glued their fingers together can attest, applying construction adhesives can be tricky. Each product varies in best application practices, so the most crucial thing to do is consult the directions for the manufacturer’s best recommendation.

What nearly all manufacturers agree on is the importance of cleaning the material before application. Usually, a 50:50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water washes away oils and dirt that may interfere with the adhesive.

Reading the full directions and having everything prepared for the job can be the difference between a neatly adhered project and a sticky disaster.

Our Top Picks

Many different types of quality adhesives are available for construction applications. After considering material type, drying time, and overall efficacy, the following products were chosen from among the best construction adhesives.

Best Overall

Best Construction Adhesive Gorilla
Photo: amazon.com

Gorilla calls their heavy-duty adhesive all-weather and all-purpose, and with good reason. It is waterproof, suitable for indoor and outdoor use, creates a bond in 30 seconds, and sticks to everything from mirror to marble. This adhesive has no water or solvents to evaporate, so drying time is fast.

This construction adhesive requires a caulk gun and may not be suitable for projects requiring delicate beading. Keep in mind that this adhesive goes on white, so unless the joint is hidden or painted, it will show.

Product Specs

  • Compatible Surfaces: All surfaces
  • Drying Time: 30 seconds
  • Interior/Exterior Use: Both

Pros

  • Suitable for heavy-duty use
  • Flexible and paintable
  • Waterproof
  • No water solvents

Cons

  • Visible if not painted
  • Requires a caulking gun
  • Not suitable for small beading

Get the Gorilla construction adhesive at Amazon, Lowe’s, and The Home Depot.

Best Fast-Drying

Best Construction Adhesive Loctite
Photo: amazon.com

Loctite’s PL Premium Fast Grab Construction Adhesive is a high-strength, fast-drying adhesive that goes on tackier than some other brands. Tackier sealants take less time to form a bond. PL Premium offers a tacky formula suitable for indoor or outdoor applications and will bond materials for life.

The initial 24-hour bonding time of this Loctite adhesive provides a bond up to eight times stronger than conventional adhesives, meaning you can get on with your project sooner.

Product Specs

  • Compatible Surfaces: Most construction materials
  • Drying Time: 24 hours
  • Interior/Exterior Use: Both

Pros

  • Polyurethane formula
  • Bonds for life
  • 8 times stronger than comparable adhesives
  • Can be applied to dry, wet, or frozen materials

Cons

  • Some users report difficulty applying
  • Takes some time to fully bond

Get the Loctite PL Premium construction adhesive at Walmart and Lowe’s.

Best Heavy-Duty

Best Construction Adhesive PPG
Photo: amazon.com

Liquid Nails’ extreme heavy-duty construction adhesive is suitable for those who need an ultrastrong bond in extreme temperatures. This adhesive is designed for construction in temperatures ranging from 22 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and is ideal for outdoor application.

Each 10-ounce cartridge provides 30 lineal feet of adhesive if applied in 1/4-inch beading. However, this product does not dry as fast as some other formulas. Users must allow about a day to achieve a full bond and up to a week before the cure sets completely, but this construction adhesive makes up for long drying times with utility and durability.

Product Specs

  • Compatible Surfaces: Most construction materials
  • Drying Time: 24 hours to 1 week
  • Interior/Exterior Use: Both

Pros

  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Allows for beading
  • 30 lineal feet of glue
  • Can be used in extreme temperatures; 22 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Meets GREENGUARD Gold Standards

Cons

  • Takes some time to dry
  • Some users report ineffectual use

Get the Liquid Nails Extreme construction adhesive at Walmart, Lowe’s, and The Home Depot.

Best For Wood

Best Construction Adhesive Liquid
Photo: amazon.com

When it isn’t possible to use real nails, Liquid Nails can save the day. This heavy-duty construction adhesive is specially formulated to bond well with wood, but also works well with stone, particleboard, brick veneer, cork, and cement. The adhesive fills gaps and is excellent for projects that require adhesives with a little flexibility.

This Liquid Nails adhesive begins drying in about 15 minutes, but the full curing process may take up to 7 days, depending on environmental factors like humidity and temperature. This adhesive is also waterproof and suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Product Specs

Compatible Surfaces: Wood, stone, particle board, brick veneer, cork, and cement
Drying Time: 15 minutes to 7 days
Interior/Exterior Use: Both

Pros

  • Suitable for filling gaps
  • Flexible
  • Waterproof
  • Meets GREENGUARD Gold Standards

Cons

  • Not recommended for some construction materials
  • Should not be used with flooring application projects

Get the Liquid Nails Heavy-Duty construction adhesive at Walmart, Sears, and Lowe’s.

Best For Metal

Best Construction Adhesive KwikWeld
Photo: amazon.com

Less porous materials like metal and plastic present unique obstacles for adhesives. J-B’s KwikWeld overcomes this with its two-part epoxy explicitly designed for bonding metals. KwikWeld takes as little as 6 minutes to bond and 4 to 6 hours to cure, making it fast compared to some adhesives.

This formula sets so hard that it can be sanded, molded, and filled after curing. It can withstand temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit and resist pressures of more than 3,000 pounds per square inch.

This product is different compared to other construction adhesives. Epoxies require mixing two chemicals to create a chemical reaction. The syringe design of the 25-milliliter package allows for easy mixing and reuse, but does not contain as much adhesive as a manually mixed 10-ounce package.

Product Specs

  • Compatible Surfaces: Metal, PVC, plastic, ceramic, wood, concrete, and fiberglass
  • Drying Time: 6 minutes to 6 hours
  • Interior/Exterior Use: Both

Pros

  • Withstands 3,000 pounds per square inch
  • Resists 230 degree Fahrenheit temperatures
  • Suitable for sanding, molding, and filling after curing
  • Comes in multiple quantities
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Requires mixing before use
  • Some users report limited bonding

Get the J-B Weld epoxy at Amazon, Lowe’s, and The Home Depot.

Best For Concrete

Best Construction Adhesive PC
Photo: amazon.com

This epoxy from PC Products is excellent for a range of indoor and outdoor concrete applications. It dries within 20 minutes and bonds entirely in about 4 hours. The tacky adhesive resists moisture for application in damp or even aquatic environments. The ultrastrong hold is suitable for anchoring rods, bolts, and dowels.

This epoxy is also excellent for filling and repairing cracks in masonry or grout and withstands temperatures ranging from -20 degrees to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The dual-tube design takes some of the mess out of mixing the epoxy for easy application.

Product Specs

  • Compatible Surfaces: Concrete, masonry, and grout
  • Drying Time: 20 minutes to 4 hours
  • Interior/Exterior Use: Both

Pros

  • Suitable for use in wet or moist conditions
  • Resists temperatures of -20 degrees to 115 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Can be used for anchoring rods, bolts, and dowels
  • Dual-tube design; mixes easily
  • 6790 psi

Cons

  • Some users report ineffectual use

Get the PC Products epoxy adhesive on Amazon and at Sears.

Best For Tile

Best Construction Adhesive Dap
Photo: amazon.com

Dap’s formula is explicitly designed for use on ceramic tiles but also bonds well to masonry, plaster, gypsum, and plywood. Unlike other adhesives that require mixing chemicals or the use of a caulk gun, Dap’s formula spreads on with a trowel and provides a quick-grabbing bond that eliminates the need to brace up the tile before installation.

Be aware this Dap adhesive is not suitable for tiles larger than 8 inches by 8 inches and should not be used for bonding to nonporous substrates like metal or plastic.

Product Specs

  • Compatible Surfaces: Ceramic tiles, masonry, plaster, gypsum, and plywood
  • Drying Time: 25 to 30 minutes
  • Interior/Exterior Use: Interior

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Does not require a caulking gun
  • Quick-grabbing bond
  • Ample quantity provided

Cons

  • Should not be used on metal or plastic
  • Not suitable for outdoor use

Get the Weldwood Multi-Purpose adhesive at Walmart and Sears.

Our Verdict

For a reliable, quick-drying option, we recommend the Gorilla heavy-duty construction adhesive. This top pick dries in 30 seconds and can be used for indoor and outdoor applications with its waterproof formula. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly pick, the Loctite PL adhesive is capable of sticking to most construction materials for life after a 24-hour drying time and can be used on dry, wet, and even frozen surfaces.

How We Chose the Best Construction Adhesives 

We researched the most sought-after construction adhesives in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their compatibility with multiple surfaces, ingredients, drying times, and other special features included by top brands.

The best construction adhesives available have curing times of 30 seconds to 1 week and are compatible with the majority of household and construction materials. Many of these picks are capable of being used indoors and outdoors with their waterproof or moisture-resistant formulas and high temperature resistance.

Most of the glues listed above are also capable of being applied as needed or can be used for beading with an average of 30 lineal feet of glue included per purchase. However, other construction adhesives on this list are meant for small repairs and bonding with 1-ounce quantities. Finally, select picks meet GREENGUARD Gold Standards for low chemical emissions.

FAQs

Do you still have some lingering questions about adhesives? Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions to help you choose the best construction adhesive for your project.

Q: How strong is construction adhesive?

Construction adhesives are primarily designed to be permanent. Some of the strongest adhesives can hold hundreds of pounds, though relying purely on adhesives for a load-bearing project is inadvisable.

Q: How long does construction adhesive take to dry?

Drying can occur in as little as a few seconds in superglues, while other types of adhesives may take days or longer to achieve full strength.

Q: What is the fastest setting construction adhesive?

Adhesives take between a few minutes to several days to completely bond and cure.

Q: How do you use construction adhesive?

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the best methods for utilizing your construction adhesive, as adhesive application varies from product to product. Epoxies require mixing chemicals, while silicone and glue-based adhesives are ready to be applied out of the container.

Q: How long does construction adhesive last?

Manufacturers design construction adhesive to be extremely durable, but even the most stalwart formulas break down under the pressure of time. Construction adhesives may last for years, but improperly applied adhesives could break down far sooner.

Q: How do you remove construction adhesive?

Construction adhesives break down under heat. To remove an adhesive, heat the bond with a hair dryer or heat gun. When the adhesive softens, scrape it off with a putty knife.