will liquid nails stick wood to concrete

Will Liquid Nails Stick Wood To Concrete? (Will It Last?)

When you need to stick wood to concrete turning to an adhesive solution like liquid nails may seem like the right solution.  But is it?  Will Liquid Nails stick wood to concrete?

Liquid Nails Polyurethane Construction Adhesive can be used to stick wood to concrete given the appropriate conditions. These conditions include: surfaces must be clean, dry, and dust-free, and the application temperature between 40–100° F (5–38° C).

Similarly, the recommended application temperature is between forty and ninety degrees Fahrenheit.

Now before you commit to gluing a house to its foundation and being done with it, there are a few aspects to gluing wood to concrete that deserve our attention.  So, read on and find out everything you need to know about using Liquid Nails and other adhesives to stick wood to concrete.

How Long Will Wood Stick To Concrete?

If you’re attaching wood to concrete with adhesives, then knowing if they are the best long-term solution is essential to the success of the project.

Using adhesives to stick wood to concrete is a viable long-term solution given appropriate conditions.  The climate and fluctuation of temperature and humidity are major factors in determining the longevity of an adhesive bond between the wood and concrete.

Wood tends to swell and contract over time with changing atmospheric conditions.  This movement caused by moisture being both soaked and evaporated by the wood not only damages the wood over time but also tears wood free of adhesives.  Often this process occurs by the wood fibers themselves tearing apart under the stresses of moisture expansion and evaporative contraction.

What Can I Use To Glue Wood To Concrete?

With the number of different adhesives on the market, it can be confusing to know which is best. Especially with each company boasting about how incredible their individual products are. With all the clamour, how do we know which adhesive is best to glue wood to concrete?

Gluing wood to concrete is best achieved with an epoxy-based or polyurethane-based adhesive.  Due to the nature of woods expansion and contraction from moisture, only the strongest of industrial adhesives are generally recommended.

However, for light to medium-duty applications, common adhesives like Liquid Nails are often quite sufficient.  Again, it depends on the conditions and also the stresses that will be placed upon the wood and concrete.

When wood has adhered to concrete it tends to bend, warp, and twist over time with the expansion and contraction due to moisture.  Epoxy resins dry into a waterproof, plastic-like composite that strongly fights against the forces that wet or dry wood will exert upon its bond with concrete.

Some other forms of adhesives may also work to bind wood to concrete.  In light to medium-duty applications, some claim that silicone-based adhesives work mixed results.  Depending on the application, silicon works well for light-duty applications due to repelling water and also being incredibly flexible when dry.

One of the most highly acclaimed adhesives for use with wood and concrete is the polyurethane adhesive by Liquid Nails designated as LN-950.  This adhesive works well between -40 to 300 Fahrenheit with an application temperature requirement of 40 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can You Use Liquid Nails On Cement Board?

What People Are Saying About Liquid Nails

Most of the results found on forums display mixed results with Liquid Nails when attempting to adhere to wood to cement or concrete.

Many claims exist online that over time the adhesive tends to dry and become brittle, losing its adhesion.  Others claim that the product works very well, however, the climate appears to by a factor in the end result.

There are those on forums who state that Liquid Nails is a temperamental adhesive.  That the conditions for gluing wood to the concrete are seldom good enough to produce a viable result from the adhesive product.

The summation of results provides insight into the actual strength, and longevity of adhesion of the Liquid Nails products.  The company provides several variations to the product, each with its own intended uses.

Overall the adhesive appears to work well for dry, clean, and light to medium-duty applications.  For more serious installations, mechanical anchoring is unanimously advised.

According to the Liquid Nails official information about their most extreme adhesive – the Extreme Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive LN-907 product is recommended for the following materials, including Cementboard:

  • 1/8″ MDF Paneling
  • Brick Veneers (Interior Only)
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Cementboard
  • Drywall
  • Foamboard
  • Imitation Stone (Interior Only)
  • Particleboard
  • Plywood
  • Tileboard
  • Treated Lumber
  • Waferboard

The LN-907 Liquid Nails product is recommended for cementboard and most other common building substrates.  The application temperature is from 22 to 120 Fahrenheit and the service temperature is -20 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is Gorilla Glue Better Than Liquid Nails?

According to independent testing, Liquid Nails outperforms Gorilla Glue when it comes to holding power of wood.  The testing confirmed that using wood and PVC, four different types of Liquid Nails held greater weight after curing than Gorilla Glue was able to hold.

That is a pretty impressive feat for Liquid Nails.  However, the product lines are very specific in which types of materials they best adhere to.  

Gorilla Glue, on the other hand, tends to market towards a very general-purpose use sort of adhesive.  Perhaps it is this specialization that has allowed Liquid Nails to gain the advantage.

Does Gorilla Glue Work On Wood To Concrete?

According to The Gorilla Glue Company, the Gorilla Construction Adhesive is tough and will adhere to both wood and concrete. 

In forum results, the use of Gorilla Glue with wood to concrete has been met with mixed results.  The results are not altogether unexpected given the longevity of adhesion will have a lot to do with how well the wood was treated and if it was previously dry, such as kiln-dried wood.

The actual results based on independent tests claim that Liquid Nails has several products that are found to have a superior holding force to Gorilla Glue.  However, for light to medium-duty applications, Gorilla Glue will work just fine.

What Is The Best Glue For Concrete?

In optimal conditions, adhesives work very well for bonding wood to concrete. But, the best of all types may seem to elude you amongst the clamor of types and brands on the market.

One of the highest acclaimed adhesives for use with concrete and wood is the LN-950 Polyurethane Adhesive by Liquid Nails.

Overall the adhesive appears to work well for dry, clean, and light to medium-duty applications.  For more serious installations, mechanical anchoring is unanimously advised.

According to the Liquid Nails official information about their polyurethane adhesive – the Polyurethane Construction Adhesive LN-950 product is recommended for the following materials:

  • 1/8″ MDF paneling
  • Brick veneers
  • Cabinets
  • Ceramics & mirrors
  • Composite materials
  • Concrete & stone
  • Countertops
  • Drywall
  • Foamboard
  • Granite & marble
  • Metal Studs
  • Particleboard (with plywood & wafer board)
  • Plastics & vinyl
  • Plywood & wafer board
  • Subfloors
  • Tileboard
  • Treated lumber

The manufacturer states that LN-950 Polyurethane adhesive adheres to wood, concrete, marble, granite, brick, aluminum, and rubber, aside from the materials listed above.

How Do You Attach Wood To Concrete Without Drilling?

At this point in this post it may seem that adhesives are the obvious answer. But they are not always the best solution. Let’s take a look.

The obvious answer to this question is with adhesives, as we have discussed previously.  However, it is not the only solution.  In some cases, there may be other options available such as metal brackets or anchors.

If the concrete is not cured, or one is planning a project where concrete will be poured, then one could plan on using a metal bracket embedded within the concrete.

Similarly, in older, hardened concrete, one could use an adhesive to stick a metal bracket to concrete to be used to secure the wood in place.

There are a few more creative ways of installing wood to concrete without drilling.  One might even use ropes, if the concrete is elevated and can be accessed on several sides like a concrete pillar, for example.

The Bottom Line About Sticking Wood To Concrete

We’ve looked at a number of scenarios and adhesives used to attack wood to concrete. We’ve adressed the optimal conditions for installation as well as for the optimal longevity of the bond.

The best way to attach wood to concrete that is already hardened is by using a combination of adhesive and mechanical anchors.

Placing a piece of lumber in a position to attach to concrete and pre-drilling anchor holes is the ideal first step.  Second, using adhesive such as the Liquid Nails LN-950, and then securing the wood with the anchor(s) allows for an extreme bold between wood and concrete that will be difficult to break without damaging either wood or concrete. 

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Hey, this is Brian and Gene Luoma. Since the two of us have pretty much been self-employed our entire lives, we have a lot of experience designing and creating all sorts of DIY projects for businesses and homes—projects that have helped us make money or save money through the years!

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