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Hot Melt Adhesive for Solid Surfaces


If your business is installing countertops, shower walls, or any other materials in the solid surfaces industry, it is likely that you work with hot melt adhesive on a regular basis. With that in mind, we thought we would put together a little primer for those of you that specialize in wall cladding, wainscoting and other vertical applications.

When do you need glue, and when do nails or other bonding methods make sense? When should you use silicone, and when is a different adhesive appropriate? We've got you covered.

If you are fastening solid surface sheets in a wet environment, such as a basement, you already know you are going to need a silicone sealant. However, silicone takes a long time to cure, so how do you hold the sheets in place in the meantime? Hot melt adhesive is perfect for this task, and you should already have some in hand if you are in the solid surfaces industry, but if you don't, you can now start to know and use it.

When you are working with flat wall treatments like wainscoting or wall cladding, many installers choose sealing flat seams where panels join with silicone. However, you can also create a "hard seam" with hot melt by gluing sheets together with a high-quality solid surface adhesive. For this application, we recommend countertop hot melt adhesive, which features a long open time (to be sure you get it right every time) and the ability to bond to nearly any surface or material.

Unlike flat wall treatments, using a hot melt hard seam on corners will require either thermoforming or special tools. If you don't have the time or equipment, it's best to use silicone to soft seam corners on inside corners where sheets join.

When you are working with bathtub and shower walls, you are working with materials that are designed to get wet again and again without losing their hold or quality. In this case, silicone is the only adhesive that is appropriate.

However, if you are using solid surfaces to clad walls or for wainscoting, it is crucial to remember that they will expand a bit, so you should apply silicone around the edges. Similarly, if you are using solid surfaces for baseboards or molding, you will want to apply silicone on the edges to allow a little room for the material to settle in and loosen its belt. Like wet locations, hot melt adhesive is indispensable here to help hold molding and baseboards in place while the silicone cures.