Adhesives Offer Advantages to DIYers

Posted by Pete Organics on

What's the most basic tool every DIYer has on hand? Why, the hammer, which has been with us since pre-history. But as the human race have evolved, so has its tools; for many projects, a caulking gun and adhesive are easier and more effective than a hammer and nail.

When you use mechanical fasteners, such as nails or screws, you concentrate the load on individual points. For example, if you hang up a picture, a single nail has to support the frame's entire weight. If you used an adhesive to glue the picture to the wall, the weight would be distributed across the entire surface.

While gluing frames to walls isn't practical, this general principle applies to all sorts of projects. For example, if you're repairing deck steps, using adhesives in addition to mechanical fasteners can result in a stronger, more durable repair.

Deck steps become loose as hot and cold weather cause wood to expand and contract, creating strain on mechanical fasteners. By applying straight beads of adhesive before putting the step back in place and replacing the fasteners, you'll distribute strain more evenly. The steps won't loosen when the wood changes shape, because the adhesive secures the boards.

Adhesives also offer more flexibility than mechanical fasteners. "Once something is screwed, nailed or stapled in place, it is very difficult to re-adjust its position," says Mike Goldstein, senior brand manager with Liquid Nails Brand Adhesives ( "With an adhesive, there is some amount of open time, approximately 10 minutes, allowing you to reposition the substrate immediately following installation."

Liquid Nails Brand formulates products for specific projects. For example, its Interior Projects Adhesive will adhere drywall, molding, paneling, foamback tub surrounds, and ceramic tile repair, while its Heavy Duty Adhesive is recommended for countertops, cabinets, brick veneer and plywood.

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