Best Glue for Kitchen Cabinets

Best Glue for Kitchen Cabinets
By Bill Wyatt
November 6, 2020
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Your kitchen has high humidity and constantly changes temperature, creating a difficult environment for most adhesives. Using the wrong glue in the kitchen could be disastrous, so let’s find out which glue works best for kitchen cabinets.

In a rush?
No time to read? The best glue for kitchen cabinets is Elmer’s Carpenters Glue MAX. This waterproof PVA wood glue will hold up well to the humidity and temperature of your kitchen, while remaining odorless, non-toxic and food-safe.
Elmer’s Carpenters Glue MAX – Click here to view on Amazon

Best glue for Kitchen Cabinets:

If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you’ve got a kitchen cabinet repair or construction project on your hands.

The good news for you is that you found this page! 

In this article, I will show you the best type of glue to use for kitchen cabinets and explain why, so you can find one that suits your project, or check if the one you have is suitable for use in your kitchen.

Things to consider when picking a glue for kitchen cabinets:

Kitchen Cabinets (and all other wooden kitchen furniture) present a unique challenge for DIYers, and there are a few different things we have to consider  before picking a glue:

Temperature:

The kitchen varies in temperature often. Warming up when cooking and cooling down when you go to bed.
The problem this poses for adhesives isn’t the temperature itself, since most glues can handle indoor temperature fluctuations, but the expansion and contraction of the wood this causes.

Non Toxic / Food Safe:

Being that these are kitchen cabinets, there is a high probability that food is going to be stored in them. For this reason, we should aim to use a glue which is food safe once cured.

Strength:

Kitchen cabinets are heavy, and often suspended from the walls with no ground supports. Cabinets are put under an immense amount of stress, we need to make sure whatever glue we choose is at least as strong as the wooden cabinets.

Humidity:

The humidity in the kitchen is often higher than other rooms in the house. (The bathroom also faces this problem) This means that any water soluble glue is unusable. (This includes many PVA wood glues!)

Elmer’s Carpenters’ Glue MAX meets all our requirements and is my recommendation for wood glue for use in the kitchen. 

The Best Glue for Kitchen Cabinets

The best glue for kitchen cabinets is a non-expanding waterproof food-safe non-toxic PVA wood glue.

In my opinion, the best option is Elmer’s Carpenters’ Glue MAX, for the reasons outlined below.

Elmer’s is very affordable, check the current price on Amazon now.

Why Elmer’s Carpenters Glue MAX is the best glue for Kitchen Cbinets:

Waterproof:

While most PVA wood glue is water soluble, Elmer’s Carpenters’ Glue MAX is completely waterproof, meaning the bond will not degrade when exposed to the high humidity of your kitchen. You can rest assured Elmers’ heavy duty MAX version will hold your cabinets up even when your kitchen is filled with steam.

Strong:

Elmer’s Wood Glue MAX cures in to an extremely strong bond. The cohesive strength of a fully cured PVA bond is so strong that it’s even greater than the strength of the wood it’s attached to.

Non Toxic & Food Safe:

Many PVA glues are food safe, however most manufacturers ditch this quality in their heavy duty glue variants in order to make them waterproof.

Elmer’s has not only made their MAX version fully waterproof, but retained the non-toxic and food-safe status of their regular PVA glues.

Flexible:

PVA glue is a good choice for wood, because it expands and contracts.

While Elmer’s Wood Glue MAX isn’t as flexible as a silicone based adhesive, it’s flexible enough that it won’t crack and break apart with a little movement, like some more brittle cyanoacrylate based glues might.

How to glue Kitchen Cabinets:

  1. Remove any paint or varnish from the areas to be joined, as PVA needs to be able to seep in to the pores of the wood to be effective.
  2. Sand the area, make sure it is smooth and free from any dirt, grease or dust.
  3. Apply a thin layer of Elmer’s Carpenters’ Glue MAX to both surfaces
  4. Press the two parts together. The glue takes some time to set so you have time to reposition your piece if needed.
  5. Once your piece is in place, screw the parts together to hold them, or use a clamp.
  6. Wipe up any leaks with a damp rag. It’s much easier to wipe now than letting it cure and sanding.
  7. Leave for 24 hours to fully cure.
  8. You can now sand, paint or stain the cured glue, just like with regular wood.

Conclusion

To sum up, the kitchen presents a challenging environment for cabinets, and most regular PVA wood glues that you would use for cabinets in other parts of the house aren’t going to cut it in the kitchen.

Elmer’s Carpenters’ Glue MAX is a great option for Kitchen Cabinets, because it is designed to be used in harsh conditions, so will hold your cabinets strong even when exposed to temperature changes and humidity. 

On top of all that, it’s made right here in the USA. 

Hope this helped you, thank you for reading.

-Bill

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