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We Tested 10 Top Construction Adhesives

Overwhelmed by all of the choices in the construction adhesive aisle? We put ten different adhesive formulas to the test to find which is the best overall.

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Construction Adhesive Test

Construction Adhesive Review

If you’ve recently visited the construction adhesive aisle at a home center, you may have noticed that there are A LOT of different adhesives on the shelves. And with that many choices, choosing the best one for your project can be daunting task.

To help clear up the confusion we decided to find out which of these 10 adhesives were the top performers. In addition to finding out which were the strongest, we also discovered which adhesives worked when they were cold and which held the best on wet surfaces. For this test we stuck with standard multi-surface adhesives. We did not delve down into the world of specialty adhesives made specifically for masonry, foam, etc. Find out the results here.

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Construction Adhesive Test

How much weight can construction adhesive support?

Strength is obviously what most would consider the crucial characteristic of a construction adhesive. For our first test we wanted to push each of these adhesives to their breaking point.

The test was fairly simple in design. First, we glued blocks of wood and PVC to a length of 2×10 and let them cure for 40 hours. We used a notched spreader to ensure that each block received the same amount of adhesive.

We hung a 5-gallon bucket from each block and poured in sand using a 1-gallon pail. We knew that an adhesive that could hold 80 pounds for 30 seconds might only hold 50 pounds if the weight was left on for five minutes. In order to remove time as a variable we poured in one gallon of sand every 10 seconds. Some of the adhesives held so much weight that we had to add five and ten pound weights on top of the bucket full of sand. When a block finally gave way, we weighed the bucked and recorded the results.

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How much weight can adhesive hold

Which construction adhesive is strongest?

The results from our weight test were pretty clear. Across the board, the wood-to-wood connection was stronger than the PVC-to-wood connection, which makes sense because wood is more porous giving the adhesive more to grab on to. The strongest adhesive by far was the Loctite PL Fast Grab Premium. It held 115 pounds on the wood block and 92 pounds on the PVC block. The next strongest adhesive, Liquid Nail’s Fuze It All Surface, held 100 pounds on the wood and 64 pounds on the PVC. See next page for the full results.

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Weight Test Results

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Freeze Test

Which adhesive works in the cold

To find out which adhesives worked in the cold, we placed all the tubes into a chest freezer and let them sit overnight. The temperature inside the freezer was 19 degrees. Some of the adhesives required more pressure on the caulking gun trigger than others, but ultimately they either squeezed out or they didn’t, so we rated them as either a pass or a fail. Below are the brands that passed the cold test.

The four adhesives that passed the cold test are:

  • DAP Dynagrip Heavy Duty Max
  • Gorilla Glue Heavy Duty
  • Loctite Power Grip Ultimate
  • Liquid Nails Fuze*IT

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construction adhesive test resultsConstruction Pro Tips

Adhesives that work on wet surfaces

To find out which adhesives worked on wet surfaces we submerged blocks of wood and scraps of plywood in water for about an hour before applying the adhesive. The assemblies were put aside for 24 hours to dry and cure. We were not as scientific on this test in that we did not use the notched spreader to apply the adhesive and we did not test the amount of force it took to make the bond fail. Instead, we just tried to pull the to pieces apart with our hands. If that worked we tried to separate them with a hammer. The adhesives that held passed the test. Check out the survivors below.

The five adhesives that work on wet surfaces are:

  • Liquid Nails Ultra Quik Grip
  • Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Extreme
  • Loctite Power Grip Ultimate
  • Liquid Nails Fuze*IT
  • Loctite Power Grab HD

The following pages contains information on how each adhesive in our test performed.

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Liquid Nails Fuze It All SurfacesConstruction Pro Tips
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Loctite PL 375Construction Pro Tips
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Liquid Nails Extreme Heavy DutyConstruction Pro Tips
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Loctite Express Power GrabConstruction Pro Tips
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Liquid Nails Heavy DutyConstruction Pro Tips
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Liquid Nails Ultra Quik GripConstruction Pro Tips
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Power Grab Loctite UltimateConstruction Pro Tips
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Gorilla Glue Heavy DutyConstruction Pro Tips
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DAP DynaGrip Heavy Duty MaxConstruction Pro Tips