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    How and when to use Liquid Nails construction adhesives

    When to use a Liquid Nails construction adhesives

    To know how and when to use Liquid Nails construction adhesives, use this handy reference chart, comparing adhesives and tools.

    Most construction adhesives are available in tube form. Some of the larger floor and wall-area compounds are mastics (pastes) and are available in cans.

    How and when to use Liquid Nails

    Liquid Nails construction adhesives come in many formulations for many different uses, including roofing adhesives, flooring adhesives, tile adhesives, countertop adhesives and epoxy.

    Roofing adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Rubberized asphalt- or tar-based
    • Thermoplastic rubber-based
    • Polyurethane¬based

    Tools needed:

    • Standard caulking gun for roofing repair
    • Spatula or ¼-inch trowel for larger applications

    How it performs: Asphalt or tar performs best in moderate temperatures. These solvent-based formulations are waterproof and adhere well to most substrates. Rubber is added to the formulation to ensure the adhesive has elasticity to further reinforce its water resistance in extreme temperatures.

    Uses: Adheres roofing tile to roofing substrate. (Secure tiles with nails or screws as well.) Serves as an additional layer of waterproofing to the roofing membrane. Also used to cement vent stacks, valley and chimney flashing, eaves and gutters.

    Floor joist adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Neoprene-based
    • Thermoplastic rubber-based
    • Polyvinyl¬acetate-based
    • Polyvinyl¬acrylic-based
    • Polyurethane¬based
    • Acrylic-based

    Tools needed:

    • Standard caulking gun
    • Battery¬powered or air-powered caulking gun for larger applications

    How it performs: These structural adhesives must conform to structural specifications including water- and flex-resistance, as well as application in extreme temperatures and humidity.

    Uses: Adheres plywood, OSB or flake board to floor joists to form a structural bond. Nails or screws are also required.

    Plumbing caulk

    Formulations:

    • Silicone-based
    • Latex-based
    • Mastic butyl¬rubber-based

    Tools needed:

    • Standard caulking gun
    • Spatula or ¼-inch trowel

    How it performs: All of these compounds resist water and are very flexible. When cured, they allow stretch of joints up to three times the normal width or compression to one-half the width.

    Uses: Seals drain flange into base or around faucet escutcheons of plumbing fixtures. Provides water-resistance to the joints.

    Countertop (laminate)adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Polyisoprene rubber-based cements
    • Rubber-latex-based
    • Neoprene-based
    • Styrene block-copolyper-based

    Tools needed:

    • Brush applicator
    • Roller applicator
    • Standard caulking gun
    • ¼-inch notched trowel

    How it performs: Easy-to-use construction adhesives provide quick bonding of substrate to laminate or wood-based countertops. When using contact cements, take care to ensure proper placement of the laminate to the countertop..

    Uses:  Adheres laminate-type countertops to wood substrates.

    Countertop (solid surface, granite, marble, etc.) adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Epoxies
    • 2-part acrylics
    • Curing urethanes

    Tools needed:

    • Standard caulking gun
    • ¼-inch notched trowel

    How it performs: Adhesives prevent movement between joints. Will not shrink and form a tight bond to materials that contain small amounts of moisture

    Uses: Adheres granite, marble or other hard surface to base cabinets. Do not use rubber/solvent-based or latex-based adhesives for this application; both can stain countertop.

    Backsplash adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Thermoplastic rubber cements
    • Tools needed: Standard caulking gun

    How it performs: These easy-to-use liquid nails construction adhesives provide quick bonding of substrate to laminate. Allows for correcting misapplied laminate.

    Uses: Adheres backsplash material to walls (i.e., laminate-type material adhered to wood-substrate, generally in kitchen or bathroom applications).

    Wall tile adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Rubber-based
    • Polyvinyl acetate-based
    • Thermoplastic rubber-based
    • Acrylic-based

    Tools needed:

    • ¼-inch notched trowel
    • Hot melt gun (optional)

    How it performs: These adhesives are formulated with a small amount of solvent or a combination of solvent and water to hold tile in place (higher “grab”).

    Uses: Adheres ceramic, tile or vinyl or fiberglass panels to a wall.  For wall tile (vertical) applications, a hot melt gun is sometimes used for temporary adhesion while the mortar dries.

    Ceramic floor tile adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Cement-based mortar
    • Epoxy-based
    • Acrylic-based
    • Neoprene-based
    • Thermoplastic rubber-based

    Tools needed: 1/8-inch notched trowel

    How it performs: Using a trowel, spread mortars and adhesives evenly over the entire floor surface. Then press tiles into the mortar.

    Uses: Used for floor tile, but not able to hold tile into place for vertical applications.

    Soft flooring adhesive

    Formulations:

    • Urethane-based
    • Epoxy-based
    • Acrylic-based
    • Neoprene-based (for carpeting only)
    • Thermoplastic rubber-based
    • Natural rubber-based (for carpeting only)
    • Asphalt-based (for vinyl flooring only

    Tools needed: 1/8-inch notched trowel

    How it performs: Most of these non-solvent systems can cure in any condition or temperature. For proper adherence, let surface dry until tacky but not wet to the touch. Refer to manufacturer’s curing and drying instructions.

    Uses: Adheres carpet, vinyl and any non-floating wood floor to a subfloor.

    Trim adhesive

    Formulations:

    • For vinyl cove base moldings: Latex-based
    • For wood, MDF, foam and PVC molding and trim: Thermoplastic rubber-based
    • Polyurethane¬based
    • Latex-based

    Tools needed: Standard caulking gun

    How it performs: Most times, using these nonstructural adhesives in this application eliminates the need for mechanical fasteners.

    Uses: Adheres trim and molding in interior applications. Note: Do not use solvent-based adhesives on vinyl moldings, as they can distort vinyl as it dries.

    Safety note: Always wear protective clothing and safety glasses when working with a Liquid Nails construction adhesive.

    Note: Refer to the material data safety sheet for the appropriate equipment to use.

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