Construction adhesives tips and tricks

The professional’s guide to construction adhesives

Unsure which construction adhesive to use? You’re not alone - with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which construction glue to choose. Check out our construction adhesives guide for professionals and become a local DIY pro.


Construction adhesives are glues that are used by carpenters and DIYers alike for construction and renovation projects. There’s a wide variety of heavy duty adhesives available with often overlapping functionality, which can make it tricky to choose the appropriate construction glue for the job. Read on to understand your options and choose the right construction adhesive for your project.


There’s a variety of construction adhesives with different functionalities, including exterior construction adhesives, heat-resistant construction adhesive, all-purpose construction adhesive, and more.

An exterior construction adhesive is a great option for gluing plywood or sheathing to the exterior of a building. Heat-resistant construction adhesive is recommended when fastening framing around a metal chimney or furnace. All-purpose construction adhesive is advised for gluing plywood to the floor prior to screwing it down, or helping hold drywall or panelling to a wall.

Other types of construction glues can be used for setting tile, gluing moulding before nailing it in place, or when setting doors and windows to keep weather and moisture out.

You might be wondering: How long does construction adhesive take to dry? Most construction adhesives dry within 24 hours. However high humidity, lower temperatures, and non-porous surfaces can all extend drying time significantly. If timing is a big factor on your project, consider using a fast-drying construction adhesive.


Applying construction adhesive is much like using any other glue. Many construction-grade adhesives come in caulk tubes for easy application, either in regular size tubes or larger tubes for bigger jobs. Construction glues typically need to be applied to one surface - for example, you could apply construction adhesive to studs or joists before fixing to plywood or a drywall.

The same is true for using construction adhesive when tiling. This type of construction glue often comes in a bucket and is spread by a trowel. Remember, you should apply the construction adhesive only to the surface where the tiles will be placed - not on the tiles themselves.


When choosing a construction adhesive, you’ll need to consider the following: what temperatures the area will be exposed to, whether it will get wet, if the materials will be subject to vibration or stress, and whether the surface is indoors or outdoors. Make sure the construction glue you choose is formulated to meet the conditions it will be exposed to.

For smaller jobs, we recommend Pattex Fix Nail Power. This general purpose panel adhesive dries fast to form a durable, paintable, high-strength bond. It’s ideal for ceramic tiles, wood, plasterboard, stone, brick, and metal (including aluminium). It can even bond to glass!

If you need a construction glue that is suitable for interior and exterior use, try Pattex Fix Nail Power Total. This all-in-one high-performance adhesive will bond to wood, PVC, masonry, concrete, many metals, and more. It has a paste-like consistency with strong initial grab so the item will stay put.