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    Many DIY projects will require adhesive and while there are multi-purpose adhesives available it is important that you use the correct adhesive for the job you are doing. Here we look at the different types of adhesive you may come across.

    PVA (polyvinyl acetate)

    In a concentrated form PVA serves as a general-purpose glue. It is a thick, white liquid, which can be diluted for use as a surface sealer, bonding agent or primer.

    Wood adhesive

    To bond wood and man-made boards inside the home use a wood adhesive. Although similar in appearance to PVA, it has been developed specifically for bonding wood.

    Contact adhesives

    A very strong solvent-based bonding agent used for gluing a wide range of materials including wood, metal, plastics and laminates. These adhesives are used to stick materials together immediately on contact, but now they allow for the materials to be pushed into a new position, a characteristic known as slidability. Always read the manufacturer's instructions as contact adhesives are not suitable for some materials such as polystyrene and bitumen.

    Grab adhesives

    Grab adhesive is an acrylic polymer which forms an extremely strong bond and can secure a variety of materials including carpet, timber, woodboard and plasterboard. Grab adhesive is being used in place of screws and nails to fix mouldings. Supplied in a cartridge similar to sealant, grab adhesive is quick and easy to use. Although exterior grab adhesives are available most are recommended for interior use only.


    This type of adhesive comes in two parts: a resin and a hardener and is supplied either in separate tubes or a dual dispenser. Epoxy-resin adhesive is used to glue metals, glass, ceramics and rigid plastic. The resin is mixed with hardener to form a powerful bond.

    Super glue

    Super glue will stick practically any material and very quickly, so great care should be taken to avoid accidently getting this glue on surfaces other than those you wish to bond, including your skin.

    Polyurethane foam adhesive or foam filler

    Foam fillers come in aerosol cans and are used to fill large gaps such as those found around pipes that pass through walls, while bonding to the edges of the material.

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