With their affordable price point and low-maintenance finish, laminate cabinets are a popular choice for DIYers. But successfully installing new laminate cabinetry on your own relies heavily on using the right adhesive. We’ve researched the best glues for bonding laminate surfaces to help you flawlessly install laminate cabinets like a pro.
You’ll learn the strengths and limitations of cyanoacrylate glue, epoxy, acrylics, and more to make the best choice for your project. Whether you’re installing new cabinets or fixing chips and cracks, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to choose the right glue for durable and invisible repairs.
Getting Started with Laminate Cabinet Installs
Before we dive into bonding basics, let’s quickly overview what makes laminate cabinetry unique.
Laminate cabinets feature a plastic resin coating fused to a composite wood substrate. This laminate exterior resists scratches, stains, heat, and moisture. Compared to solid wood cabinetry, laminate stands up better to wear and tear at an affordable price.
But the slick laminate surface also poses some unique challenges for effective glue bonds. Areas around sinks and dishwashers see near-constant moisture. Cabinet doors and shelves withstand daily wear. And improperly bonded joints fail under the weight of heavy pots and pans.
Selecting the right adhesive is crucial for lasting repairs and installs that can withstand years of kitchen use. Harsh cleaners, steam, and grease take a toll even on the most durable cabinets. Weak glue bonds deteriorate and fail.
For the best insurance against bond failure down the road, protect yourself during installs. Gear like gloves, goggles, and masks protect from hazardous fumes and potential skin irritation from uncured glues. Ensure proper ventilation in your workspace as well.
With commercial names like “Super Glue” and “Krazy Glue,” cyanoacrylate adhesive is a popular choice for quick laminate cabinet bonds.
As a fast-drying, single-part adhesive, cyanoacrylate makes laminate cabinet installs simpler with no mixing required. It flows easily into joints and cures rapidly so new cabinets can be put to work right away. There’s no waiting overnight for epoxies to set.
Cyanoacrylate adhesive is also relatively inexpensive compared to other glue options, making trial and error less costly. The thin consistency and included precision tips allow the glue to reach into tight corners and small cracks with ease.
Most cyanoacrylate formulas create strong, transparent bonds that disappear seamlessly on laminate finishes. The cracks and chips glued back into place can be nearly invisible.
|– Fast drying
|– Can be messy if drips
|– Strong initial tack
|– Not as durable long-term
|– Invisible repairs
|– Brittle over time
For flawless laminate cabinet installs, cyanoacrylate glue excels at:
- Bonding small moldings and trim
- Quick repairs of minor chips and cracks
- Installing cabinets in hard to reach areas
With their instant grab, these one-part glues allow you to rapidly tack components in place for easier installs. We recommend Loctite Super Glue and Gorilla Super Glue cyanoacrylate adhesives.
Epoxy glue offers the strongest and most waterproof bond for laminate cabinets. These two-part adhesives mix resin and hardener components together to chemically cure into a rigid plastic state.
Once mixed, epoxies bond tenaciously to plastics, wood, glass, and metal. This makes epoxy a great choice for adhering laminate cabinet components or permanently patching damaged areas.
The bond formed resists heat, chemicals, and weathering better than other glue types. Epoxy maintains strength even when subjected to harsh cleaners, steam, and grease that break down less durable adhesives over time.
|– Extremely strong bonds
|– Longer cure time
|– Withstands heavy loads
|– Mixing required
|– Difficult cleanup
Use epoxy glue for:
- Bonding joints that bear heavy loads
- Adhering around sinks and dishwashers
- Filling gaps or holes up to 1/2 inch wide
Leading brand options include Gorilla Epoxy and J-B Weld . Carefully follow all mixing and cure time directions.
For small laminate repairs, beginner DIYers may appreciate the ease of use of household acrylic glue. This water-based white glue dries transparent for discreet patch jobs.
Acrylic glue cleans up simply with water, unlike harsh chemicals needed for some adhesives. The bottles feature handy built-in brushes for quick application. And with practice, the repositionable tack allows parts to be adjusted before drying.
However, acrylic glue lacks the strength and water resistance of other adhesives. Maintaining bonds near heat and moisture poses challenges.
|– Water clean-up
|– Weak water resistance
|– Clear finish
|– Not for heavy loads
|– Beginner friendly
|– Softens with heat
Use acrylic glue for:
- Minor chips and cracks away from water
- Adhering small trim pieces
- Craft bonds for cabinet organizers
Top performing acrylic adhesives include Elmer’s Glue and Gorilla Wood Glue . Limit use to areas away from significant moisture and weight stresses.
Comparing Glue Types
With varying strengths and limitations based on your project needs, comparing glue performance helps match the right adhesive to each task.
|Fast repairs and installs
|2 years avg.
|Heavy duty bonds
|5 hrs- 1 day
|30 mins- 1 day
|1 year avg.
Consider where your cabinets will live–constantly wet, supporting heavy pots and pans or lightly used stemware storage? Match that environment to the optimal glue in the chart above.
Glue Recommendations by Project
Each laminate cabinet install and repair scenario also benefits from a purpose-matched adhesive. Tailor your choice to the job.
New Laminate Cabinet Installs
Installing new laminate cabinetry in a kitchen or bath remodel? Cyanoacrylate glue offers a rapid, strong laminate bonding solution.
The fast tack locks cabinets in alignment, while precision applicator tips direct flow into narrow gaps. Accelerators quickly cure drips or spills outside the bond line.
Fixing Cracks and Chips
For quick repairs of minor chips or cracks, use cyanoacrylate or acrylic adhesives.
The thin viscosity easily works into damaged areas. And as it dries clear, the fix becomes nearly invisible on laminate finishes. Acrylic bonds suffice for low-stress repairs away from water sources.
Over time, the glue in laminate cabinet joints deteriorates from constant opening/closing and exposure to moisture, weakening the connection.
Reinforcing these joints with epoxy adhesive restores a waterproof, rigid bond able to withstand daily use and abuse.
Areas Prone to Moisture
Around sinks, dishwashers, and other wet areas, trust epoxy’s waterproof bonding power for the strongest laminate adhesion and prevention of delamination over years of use.
Allow full 24 hour cure times before exposing bonds to water. Avoid acrylic glues lacking water resistance.
Heavy Duty Repairs
For flawed laminate cabinets supporting heavy loads, repair chips, gaps, and cracks with epoxy adhesives. The rigid plastic bonds stand up to years of weight and wear without failure.
Application Tips and Tricks
With the right glue for the job, proper application technique ensures strong, long-lasting laminate bonds.
Always start with clean, dry surfaces free of oils, waxes, dust and debris that impede adhesion. Lightly sanding glossy laminates improves grip.
Spread glues evenly and smoothly, adding fillets to fully fill all gaps. Foam brushes give the most control for epoxies and white glues. Avoid air bubbles with slow, even strokes.
Use painter’s tape, clamps, or jigs to securely hold joints motionless as glue dries. Movement ruins the seal. Carefully follow cure times before removing clamps or exposing to water.
Cleanup spills immediately as directed on adhesive labels. Wear gloves and ventilate rooms since fumes from curing glues can be hazardous.
Can I use carpenter’s wood glue on laminate cabinets?
Wood glue won’t bond plastic laminate surfaces effectively or last over time. Choose a specialty glue formulated for laminates like those covered here for best results.
What’s the difference between acrylic and polyurethane glues?
Acrylic glue is water-based while polyurethane is a resin adhesive, making polyurethane stronger and more waterproof. But acrylics clean up with water and dry clearer.
Will Super Glue melt laminate cabinets?
No. Cyanoacrylate adhesives properly applied to clean surfaces cure at room temperature without heat damage to laminates.
From fast installation tack to permanent waterproof repairs, select the best glue for flawless laminate cabinet bonds.
Cyanoacrylate glue bonds quickly while industrial-grade epoxy withstands decades of abuse. Tailor adhesive selection to each application.
The tips above can be used to install and repair cabinets. The right glue for the job creates professional results without the labor costs.