Using Adhesive on Concrete

Glue dripping out of a metal tube with the cap off.

Using adhesive on concrete can be a daunting task for a do-it-yourself enthusiast because you fear that any mistakes you make will be permanent. However, if you put enough planning into the task and choose the right adhesive for the right substance, you can stick whatever needs sticking with confidence!

What Might You Glue to Concrete?

You might wish to put adhesive on concrete to glue carpet, kitchen parts, tiles or masonry. Whatever the task is that you have to do, check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that the substance is suitable for the job.

What Kind of Adhesive Sticks?

The type of adhesive you go for will depend on the use you have in mind for it. For example, mortar is appropriate for outdoor building use. It is easy to mix up from a kit you can buy from any hardware store, and can be applied with a mortar trowel where needed.

For real precision jobs, the best adhesive on concrete is a 100 percent silicone caulk. For example, if you need to stick a ceramic kitchen sink into a concrete countertop, the caulk will stick the two substances together well and look good on your work surface. You can get it in a brilliant white color, which is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Caulk is easy to apply, often coming in a gun that means that you can position the adhesive with more precision than mortar. It is also waterproof.

If you need to put some adhesive on concrete to lay tiles, then a water-based general bonding agent like polyvinyl acetate emulsion might be more appropriate. It bonds quickly with the surfaces and is very durable.

The other option for tiling and laying carpets is construction mastic adhesive, which is very straightforward to apply.

How Do I Apply the Adhesive Properly?

The first thing to do is to clean the concrete surface thoroughly. It should be free from dust, dirt, grime, and grease. The surface should also be dry.

For the best results, apply the adhesive onto the concrete when the temperature is between 65°F and 95°F. If the concrete is too hot or too cold, the adhesive will not be as efficient.

Read and follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions carefully to make sure that you get the best bond between your two surfaces. Then apply the adhesive evenly onto one surface only, using a notched trowel.

Slowly and carefully bring your two surfaces together, clamping them in place if appropriate. If you have split any adhesive it is essential to remove it immediately with a damp cloth before it sets. Next (and this is almost the mort important step), leave the surfaces alone for at least 8 hours, preferably 24 hours. This will ensure that the adhesive on concrete has totally set.

That's what you need to know about using adhesives on concrete. Remember, when using any kind of chemical, take care to protect your eyes by wearing goggles, and your skin by wearing gloves.