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How to Know Which Adhesive Is Right for Your Home Décor Job 

Process of carpeting on adhesive tape

Adobe Stock

Whether you are a woodworker, an electronics worker or a budding DIY-ist, you are going to need to come to terms with at least some kind of adhesive. 

Being able to choose the right adhesive for your intended application is super important. Not only will it save you some money, but it will also establish how strong the bond is and how durable it is. 

Basic super glue 

Super glue is one of the most widely used forms of adhesive anywhere. This type of adhesive is very cheap and is good for use in a range of household activities. It is suitable for use on materials such as wood, ceramic, plastic, rubber and metal, and will fully cure within five minutes, with only approximately 30 seconds’ clamping time. 

Basic all-purpose glue 

All-purpose glue is also a very widely used and popular solution for bonding a wide variety of materials. Although it is mostly used in paper work and crafts, it is a useful adhesive for any small repair jobs, with materials including wood, paper, plastic, rubber, metal, cardboard and fabric. 

Given the total full cure time of two to three hours and a clamping time of just 10 minutes, you can understand why all-purpose glue is such a popular option. 

Hot glue 

Hot glue is most common in the craft and DIY world. It is essentially a hot glue gun where glue sticks are melted and applied to the material. It is gel-like when molten and solidifies when cooled, so it is best when applied in a substantial amount, and is also pretty strong. 

Suitable for use on wood, plastic, rubber, metal, fabric, paper and cardboard, hot glue fully cures within five minutes and needs approximately one minute of clamping time only. 

Epoxy resin (slow and fast)

Epoxies are a form of strong adhesives that come in two separate tubes. One is resin and one is hardener, and they are used together to create one of two classes of epoxies – in this case the slow curing kind. The slow type takes around two days to fully cure and requires one day of clamping. Epoxy resin is ideal for use on woods, plastics, metals and composite materials. 

Fast curing epoxy resin is the second class of resins; these set within a matter of minutes. They come in two different forms: clear liquid and black gel. They can stick to most materials – wood, plastic, metal and composite materials. You can expect a full cure in about 30 minutes, and they are suitable for rough contact and small filling surface types. 

 man hand holding and using glue gun

Specialty adhesive (Gorilla Glue and plastic cement) 

There are various adhesive options for all of your home DIY needs, with speciality adhesives being no exception. Gorilla Glue is a special glue trademark of the Gorilla Glue Company. It is a polyurethane based expanding adhesive that is waterproof and renowned for its ability to stick to almost anything. 

Another speciality adhesive is known as plastic cement, which is made up of cyanoacrylate. Essentially, it bonds plastic at a molecular level and the bond becomes seamless, which is especially useful if you’re working with plastics. 


This is a bit of a bonus one because technically silicone is more of a sealant than an adhesive. It’s mostly used to seal glass in windows or to glue glass to wood or glass to metal. It works by forming a flexible, durable and waterproof rubber. Silicone is mostly used within construction sites and for home improvement. 

There are many different types, and some are designed specifically for high temperature use such as in a car engine. It is also suitable for joining plastic, but only if you use a lot. 

Here are a couple of things to think about when choosing an adhesive: 

Consider the environmental conditions 

The environment is very important to consider when you are choosing what adhesive to use, because the right choice will make a world of difference when it comes to what the bond will be able to withstand. 

If the adhesive won’t have to withstand more than moderate weather conditions, you will have a wider range to choose from – but if you need something that can deal with extreme weather, you will need to find a more specialised adhesive. 

What materials are you bonding? 

Before researching your adhesive, you should make sure you look into the materials you’re trying to bond, because each material has different properties and will react differently. Remember to think about how the surface has been treated – painted or lacquered. 

Forces on the bonding 

This is important to consider, because if your new bond is going to be under any stress, you will need to find the strongest adhesive. Think about how much force or compression the bond may have to handle before choosing the adhesive. 

The above is an important rundown of the fundamentals that you will need to bear in mind when picking an adhesive for whatever home décor job you will be undertaking. And don’t forget that if you need more tailored advice for your situation, our team at Adkwik can be available to help.