How Do I Choose the Best Mastic Adhesive?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2020
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Mastic adhesive is a type of glue used for various construction projects, and it is so-called because it is made of resin from the mastic tree. Regardless of whether the adhesive is used for tile, wood or metal, color generally is important if the adhesive is to remain unnoticeable. The mastic adhesive application method, which usually is determined by the container, also is important, depending on how the adhesive needs to be used. There are three consistencies for this adhesive, and each offers varying strengths. Drying or curing time should be considered, especially for projects that have to move quickly.

Color is a big consideration with mastic adhesive, because it normally is considered bad if the adhesive is noticeable. This is especially true for projects in which the adhesive can draw people’s eyes, such as wood or steel. This leads many users to select an adhesive that can blend into the material. If the adhesive is being used on items that will not be looked at and people just want the items fixed, then color may not be as big an issue.


There are several ways to apply mastic adhesive, with general methods including a caulking gun, trowel or just spreading the adhesive around. The user should take his application preference into account, along with considering what method would best suit the project. This usually is determined by how the container is shaped, especially with a caulking gun, because the gun can only use a specifically shaped container.

Three consistencies for mastic adhesive exist, often determined by how much water was used when forming the adhesive and each with different characteristics. Light consistencies flow easily but have the least strength; medium consistencies are in the middle in both flow and strength; thick consistencies are difficult to apply but form the strongest bonds. Light and medium consistencies will satisfy most jobs, but some projects that require a very powerful bond may require thicker adhesives.

The initial drying time for mastic adhesive is faster than that of most other adhesives, but it still can take a long time for the adhesive to completely set. It normally takes from 20 minutes to an hour before this adhesive forms a bond, but it can take up to 24 hours for it to completely cure. If the user needs especially quick-setting mastic adhesive, then it may be a good idea to get an adhesive that can cure within several hours instead of taking an entire day.


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