Best Glue for Ceramic

Best Glue for Ceramic
By Bill Wyatt
November 6, 2020
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Ceramic is a common repair, since it’s so brittle and easily broken. Let’s look at some common ceramic repairs and find out the best glue for each one.

In a rush?
No time to read? The best glue for ceramic is Loctite Super Glue Control Gel.

(Or any other viscous CA glue)
For more difficult surfaces like glass or plastic, the best option is to use a strong contact cement like Weldwood Contact Cement.

The Best Glue for Ceramic

The best glue for ceramic is usually CA superglue, depending on your specific project.

Any CA glue will do, I like Loctite Superglue Control Gel, because the gel formula doesn’t run or drip, and the innovative bottle design allows you to put out a tiny amount at a time. (Which is very useful for ceramic repairs which are often small)

There are some other options for gluing ceramic to other materials, so check out the table of contents to skip to the appropriate part of the article for you.

Best Glue for Ceramic to Ceramic

This is the simplest of ceramic repairs.

Ceramic is quite brittle, and easily broken – but it’s also porous, meaning CA glue works very well on it. 

If you’ve damaged a ceramic item, CA can usually repair it without compromising any strength. (Unless it’s been shattered in to pieces)

CA glue is strongest when applied sparingly, applying too much is a common error which weakens the final bond.

For this reason, especially for ceramic repairs you should try to find a glue with a precision applicator. I like Loctite’s Super Glue Control Gel, the bottle allows you very fine control over how much glue you use.

Use a couple of drops (Only about 1 drop per square inch) for the strongest bond.

Best glue for Ceramic to Metal

Ceramic is best bonded with CA superglue. However, for ceramic to metal you are probably not going to have a flush surface, meaning CA glue isn’t a great option.

For most ceramic to metal projects, your best option is to use JB-Weld original, or a rubber adhesive like Flex Shot.

JB-Weld is best used when you need a rock solid bond between your ceramic and metal surfaces. JB-Weld is as strong as steel when it’s cured and will permanently join metallic surfaces to ceramic. 

If you’re repairing a ceramic tile or something similar, your best bet is to use Flex Shot. It’s waterproof, sticks to both metal and ceramic, and crucially doesn’t require a perfect surface between the ceramic and metal.

The disadvantage to Flex Shot is that it isn’t as strong as JB-Weld, however depending on your circumstances the flexibility and waterproof nature of FlexShot might be more useful than the rigid, solid bond created by JB-Weld.

Best glue for Ceramic to Plastic

Ceramic to Plastic is an awkward combination. Since ceramic is porous and plastic is non-porous, it’s difficult to find an adhesive which would work well on both surfaces.

In my opinion, the best option for this combination is to use a contact cement like Weldwood Contact Cement.

Contact cement works very well on both plastic and ceramic, and doesn’t need a perfectly flush surface (although it definitely helps!)

How to glue Ceramic to Plastic:

  • Ensure both surfaces are clean and free from any dirt or dust
  • If possible, scuff up the plastic surface for better adhesion
  • Lightly dampen both surfaces with a damp cloth
  • Apply a layer of contact cement to both the ceramic and plastic surfaces
  • Allow the contact cement to dry for around 5 minutes before you join the surfaces
  • You’ll know it’s ready when you can touch the adhesive without any sticking to your finger
  • Press the surfaces together firmly, and hold them in place for about 5 minutes
  • The bond will be strong fairly quickly, but can take up to 24 hours to fully cure

Best glue for Ceramic to Wood

On paper this sounds like a tough ask, but in fact both wood and ceramic are porous materials and most glues will work fairly well for this combination.

The easiest option is probably to use a polyurethane glue like Gorilla Glue Original, but there are lots of options depending on your project.

Polyurethane glues like Gorilla Glue stick to both wood and ceramic, dry clear, and don’t require any mixing like a two part epoxy would. Just use it straight from the tube. One thing to keep in mind is that Gorilla Glue expands slightly as it cures, so if you are using a lot, you may need to use clamps.

Another option would be to use a silicone/rubber based glue like E6000 or Flex Shot.

Both of these adhesives will adhere very strongly to both ceramic and wood, creating a flexible yet strong bond between the ceramic and the wood.

Best glue for Ceramic Mug handle

This must be one of the most common breakages.

Your beloved mug handle is broken, thus your mug is unusable.

The solution to this common problem is to use a CA Superglue like Loctite Superglue Control Gel.

This is the best option because it soaks in to the ceramic at the break point, forming an extremely strong bond. Once repaired, the handle will be just as strong if not stronger than before the accident.

You only need a couple of drops to repair a handle, so one bottle is more than enough, even if there are a couple of breaks. Make sure not to use too much or it will weaken the bond.

Loctite Superglue Control Gel comes in a precision bottle, which allows you fine control over the amount of glue you use. Use a couple of drops at most for the best bond.

How to repair a broken mug handle

  • Make sure both surfaces are clean
  • Apply one or two drops of CA glue gel to one side
  • Press the two parts together and apply some pressure
  • Hold for 10 seconds or until the glue is dry
  • Allow a few hours to fully cure before you use the mug

Best glue for Ceramic tiles

If you’re laying tiles, glue isn’t a great option. Glue is relatively expensive in comparison, and you don’t get as much in the bottle. Although some glues would work, you would be wasting a lot of money.

Instead, use a ceramic contact adhesive specifically designed for ceramic tiles, like Weldwood Ceramic Tile Adhesive

This works for laying floor tiles and wall tiles, and will ensure your tiles remain securely attached, even in humid environments like your kitchen or bathroom and you can buy it in large quantities without breaking the bank.

The one time I might suggest using a glue over a tiling adhesive would be if you were not laying tiles, but only repairing one tile which had broken or come loose. In that case, you could get away with using a household glue. 

A CA superglue like Loctite Superglue Control Gel is best for repairing a chipped or broken tile, and a rubber cement like Flex Shot is best for adhering the tile back to the wall or floor once it’s fixed. (Unless you have tiling adhesive to hand, then feel free to use that also!)

How to fix a broken ceramic tile

  • Ensure the surfaces are clean
  • Fix any cracks or chips:
    • Apply one or two drops of Loctite per square inch
    • Press the two surfaces together immediately
    • Apply pressure for 10-30 seconds
  • Reattach the tiles to the wall or floor:
    • Ideally, use a tiling adhesive.
    • If you don’t have one, Flex Shot or a contact cement would work well.
    • Apply the adhesive to the tile
    • Press it in to position
    • Avoid walking on the tile for 24h until it has a chance to fully set.

Conclusion

To sum up, although ceramics break often, they are easy to repair.

The best glue in most cases is a CA superglue like Loctite’s Superglue Control Gel, which allows you to be very precise in your application.

For tougher material combinations like ceramic and plastic which are harder to glue, use a strong contact cement like Weldwood contact cement.

I hope this helped, and good luck with your project!

-Bill

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