How to Glue Wood to Concrete (Methods, Steps Guide)

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Attaching wood to concrete can be challenging but still an achievable task. With the right techniques and materials, you can utilize glue to install wood flooring, shelving, frames, taxidermy plaques, or curtain railings.

In this article, I’ll provide a detailed guide on gluing wood to concrete, explore alternative attachment methods and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of adhesives.

When to Attach Wood to Concrete

Before delving into the specific methods, it is essential to understand when such attachments are commonly needed. Here are some common applications where lumber is attached to concrete surfaces:

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is a popular choice for interior spaces, adding warmth and natural beauty to the environment. In some cases, wood flooring may need to be attached to a concrete subfloor. 

Acacia wood flooring

Wood Shelving

Wooden shelves provide functional storage solutions in both residential and commercial settings. Proper attachment methods are necessary to ensure the shelves can support the intended weight and remain securely mounted when installing shelves on concrete walls. 

For a sturdy structures, check out these best wood for shelves

Wood Frames

Wood frames are commonly used for doors, windows, and other structures. Proper attachment is essential when installing these frames in buildings with concrete walls to ensure stability, proper alignment, and durability.

Taxidermy Plaques

Taxidermy plaques mount and display animal trophies such as antlers, horns, or other preserved parts. These plaques often require attachment to concrete walls, adding an aesthetic element to hunting lodges, cabins, or homes.

Wood Curtain Railings

Wooden curtain railings or rods provide a decorative and functional element to window treatments. Proper attachment methods are necessary to ensure stability when mounting curtain railings on concrete walls.

Gluing Wood to Concrete: A Detailed Guide

applying wood glue

Step 1: Gather All the Tools & Materials

Step 2: Prep the Wood and Concrete Block

Ensure the wood and concrete surfaces are clean and free of dust or debris. Use a sandpaper for wood to scruff the surface and improve the adhesive’s grip. Use a dust brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any loose particles.

Step 3: Apply the Glue

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the wood adhesive you are using. Apply a generous amount of glue to the wood surface or the concrete block, depending on the adhesive type and application method.

Step 4: Set the Glue-Coated Surface Onto the Second Surface

Carefully position the wood surface onto the adhesive-coated concrete block, aligning them correctly. Apply pressure evenly to ensure maximum contact between the components.

gluing hardwood flooring to concrete

Step 5: Dry Glue Properly for Proper Bond

Allow the adhesive to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the adhesive type and environmental conditions, this may take several hours or even days.

Glue Wood to Concrete With 2K Epoxy Resin Adhesive

One effective option I go for when bonding wood to concrete is a 2K epoxy resin adhesive. Here are the steps for using 2K epoxy resin adhesive:

  1. Clean and prepare the wood and concrete surfaces as mentioned in the instructions above.
  2. Mix the epoxy resin adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  3. Apply the mixed epoxy resin adhesive to the wood or concrete surface using a suitable applicator, such as a brush or notched trowel.
  4. Press the wood and concrete surfaces together, ensuring proper alignment.
  5. Secure the glued surfaces with clamps if necessary and allow the adhesive to cure as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Using 2K epoxy resin adhesive for bonding wood to concrete offers several advantages. It provides a strong and durable bond, is resistant to moisture and chemicals, and has excellent temperature resistance. 

epoxy resin adhesive for bonding wood to concrete

However, it can be more expensive than other adhesive options, and the curing process may take longer.

Glue Wood to Concrete With Construction Glue

  1. Prepare the wood and concrete surfaces as described earlier.
  2. Apply the construction glue directly onto either the wood or concrete surface.
  3. Press the wood and concrete surfaces together, ensuring proper alignment.
  4. If needed, secure the glued surfaces with clamps until the glue sets. 

Advantages & Disadvantages

Construction glue offers the advantage of affordability and wide availability. It provides a strong bond and is suitable for various wood-to-concrete applications. However, construction glue may not resist moisture and temperature fluctuations as other adhesive options.

Glue Wood to Concrete With Liquid Nails

  1. Prepare the wood and concrete surfaces as previously mentioned.
  2. Apply Liquid Nails adhesive to the wood or concrete surface using a caulk gun or adhesive applicator.
  3. Press the wood and concrete surfaces together, ensuring proper alignment.
  4. Use clamps to hold the pieces together until the adhesive cures.
applying glue to concrete

Other Attachment Methods

Hardware Hangers

Utilize hardware hangers specifically designed for attaching wood to concrete surfaces.

Masonry Nails

Drive masonry nails into the concrete and secure the wood to the nails.

Adhesive Wall Hooks

Use adhesive hooks to hang lightweight wooden items on concrete walls.

Powder-Actuated Fastener

Employ a powder-actuated fastening tool to drive fasteners into the concrete, securing the wood.

Concrete Screws

Drill pilot holes into the concrete and use concrete screws to attach the wood.

concrete screws

Concrete Nails

Like masonry nails, concrete nails can be driven directly into the concrete to hold the wood.

Cut Nail

Pre-drill holes into the wood and concrete, then use cut nails to secure the wood to the concrete.

Construction Adhesive

Apart from gluing, construction adhesive can attach wood to concrete in a bead form.

Concrete Molding

Install substantial molding around the wood edges to provide support and aesthetics.

Soft-Metal Shields

Insert soft-metal shields into pre-drilled holes in the concrete, allowing for screwing the wood into the shields.

using soft-metal shields

Best Glue Types to Use for Bonding Wood & Concrete

  1. Polyurethane Adhesive: Offers excellent bonding strength, flexibility, and moisture resistance. It is suitable for both interior and exterior applications.
  2. Epoxy Adhesive: Provides a strong and durable bond. It is resistant to temperature changes and chemical exposure. 
  3. Construction Adhesive: Known for its versatility, construction adhesive is widely used for bonding wood to concrete. It is affordable and offers a reliable bond.

Why Use Adhesives Instead of Fasteners? The Top Benefits

Less Space

Adhesives create a flush surface without protruding fasteners, resulting in a cleaner and more streamlined appearance.

Enhanced Durability

Adhesive bonds distribute stress more evenly, enhancing durability and resistance to movement.

No Drilling or Tapping Needed

Adhesive applications eliminate the need for drilling or tapping holes in the concrete, saving time and effort.

applying Gorilla wood glue

Saves Time & Money

Adhesive bonding is generally quicker and requires fewer materials and tools, saving time and cost.

Disadvantages of Using Adhesives Instead of Fasteners

Cure Times Vary

Adhesives may require a curing period before they achieve full bonding strength. The curing time can vary depending on the adhesive type and environmental conditions.

Varying Temperature Resistance

Not all adhesives perform well under extreme temperatures. Some may lose bonding strength[1] or become brittle in high or low-temperature environments.

Decays Over Time

Adhesive bonds can deteriorate, particularly when exposed to moisture, UV rays, or chemicals. Regular maintenance and inspections may be necessary.

Requires Clean Surface

Adhesive bonds rely on clean and properly prepared surfaces. Any contaminants or residue on the wood or concrete may compromise the bond.

vacuuming concrete floor

May Contain Harmful Chemicals

Certain adhesives may contain chemicals that are hazardous to health. Following safety precautions and using appropriate personal protective equipment when working with adhesives is important.

My Top Picks for Adhesives for Bonding Wood to Concrete

1. Gorilla Heavy Duty Ultimate Construction Adhesive

The Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive is a polyurethane adhesive that offers exceptional bonding strength, flexibility, and moisture resistance. 

2. Loctite Epoxy Extra Time

The Loctite Epoxy Extra Time is an epoxy adhesive known for its strong and durable bond. It provides excellent temperature resistance and is ideal for high-bonding applications. But does Loctite really work on wood? Read here!

3. DAP DynaGrip Heavy Duty Max

The DAP DynaGrip Heavy Duty Max is a reliable construction adhesive with versatility and affordability. It provides a strong bond for a wide range of wood-to-concrete applications. 

Conclusion

Attaching wood to concrete can be accomplished using various methods, with gluing being one of the most common approaches. However, it’s important you select the right adhesive for the specific application and ensure proper surface preparation for a successful bond. 

I recommend you carefully weigh in the advantages and disadvantages of using adhesives relative to fasteners, and choose one that suits your project’s requirements.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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