The Best Adhesive for Tub Surround (2021)

Most homeowners out there agree that remodeling or fitting out a bathroom can be very expensive. Besides, the bathtub alone costs a fortune, right? Not to forget installing wall tiles will require more money and effort!

But, why go to all that trouble? When there is a less costly, more convenient option that will make your bathroom simpler to clean and make it look stylish! We’re talking about the use of a tub surround people! 

Best Adhesive for Tub Surround

However, to keep the tub surround looking new and fresh day in day out, you’ll need the best adhesive for the tub surround as well. 

The adhesive acts as excellent moisture and mildew repellent, meaning there will be no mold growth on your bathroom walls! Even better, it will ensure that your bathroom walls have a beautiful finish for a very long time. 

With thousands of options in the market, which is the right adhesive to use on your tub surround? Well, the truth is, settling on a certain adhesive can be very tiresome and tricky. 

Luckily, we have the ideal solution for you! 

We have listed the 3 most popular adhesives among homeowners that will give their tub surround a stylish and protective finish. 

So, stick around until you’re 100% you have found the best adhesive for your tub surround! 

1. Liquid Nails Tub Surround & Shower Adhesive 

Liquid Nails Tub Surround

The Liquid Nails adhesive is one of the most efficient and popular adhesives for tub surrounds in the market today. Besides, it’s a durable product that guarantees a superior waterproof bond with tub surrounds even under severe conditions. 

However, that’s not the only incredible thing this tub surround adhesive has to offer. Indeed, many features should make you choose this adhesive! 

For one, it adheres well to various types of shower and tub surrounds. Whether the tub surround is made up of fiberglass, plastic, or polystyrene, this adhesive is a great option. You can use this adhesive as a replacement for tub caulk as well. 

Moreover, it’s compatible with various types of wall materials such as existing ceramic tiles, cement backer board, plywood, structurally sound drywall, and green board.

Even so, you should avoid using this adhesive for applications other than shower and tub surrounds or even below the waterline. 

In addition to having excellent water resistance ability, this product is resistant to mold and mildew as well. So, with this adhesive, don’t expect to see mold growth on your tub surround for a very long time! 

Furthermore, its VOC-compliant, unique formula meets all the air quality requirements. It has a low odor, meaning that you can safely use it in occupied spaces.

While we’re still on the formula, you’ll be glad to know that it will not distort or soften the materials of your tub surround. It has a light color that will not show through the tub surround. 

Overall, to install a shower or tub surround in your bathrooms, this LIQUID NAILS tub surround adhesive is the right option for you. It’s available in a 10 oz. cartridge that fits perfectly in most standard caulking guns. 

Pros 

  • Excellent water-, mold- and mildew-resistance 
  • Ideal for most plastic, polystyrene, and fiberglass tub surrounds 
  • VOC- compliant, non-flammable formula
  • Low odor 

Cons 

  • Suitable for interior use only 

2. Loctite Power Grab Tub Surround Construction Adhesive 

Loctite Power Grab Tub Surround

Loctite is one of the most reputable brands out there when it comes to gluing and bonding. Thanks to their high strength and premium quality adhesives which are ideal for heavy-duty bonding tasks. 

One of their best products for bonding tub surrounds is this Power Grab construction adhesive. An adhesive that’s specifically designed for bonding most shower and tub surrounds! 

The most unique feature about this tub surrounds adhesive is that it has a 0 second instant grab formulation, thus minimizing slippage of tub surrounds. Indeed, you don’t have to use bracing, nails, or screws when installing tub surrounds. 

Moreover, this product gives you a 15 minutes workaround, allowing you to align and reposition the tub surround during the installation process. 

It is available in a 10 fl. oz. cartridge containing enough fast-bonding adhesive to bond your tub surround. This makes it easy to apply since you just need a standard caulking gun. 

As for the curing time, this adhesive takes about 12 hours to cure fully. Thus giving you enough time to clean up any mess created during use. Besides, its water-based formula is extremely easy to clean up with soap and water. 

After curing, it will not be affected by cold, heat, water, steam, or moisture. It’s considered to be environmentally friendly since it has low chemical emissions and low odor. 

Another great thing about this adhesive is that it bonds with various building materials. This includes; exterior grade wood, ceramic tiles, tile boards, drywall, tile backer, and most plastics (PVC, polystyrene, ABS, acrylic). However, you should avoid using this construction adhesive with stone, glass, or even in a marine surrounding. 

This construction adhesive is usually used for filling gaps between surfaces. It dries into a paintable, white color that allows you to create a professional finish. This adhesive is perfect for both exterior and interior applications. 

Pros 

  • Easy cleanup and faster installation 
  • Low odor 
  • 15 minutes repositioning time 
  • No flashing or venting required 

Cons 

  • Might take up to 24 hours for full curing 

3. Loctite 2096329 Power Grab Express Tub Surround Adhesive 

Loctite 2096329

To wrap up this list, we have yet another great tub surround adhesive from the Loctite brand. The 2096329 Power Grab Express Adhesive! A premium adhesive that is ideal for large repair and improvement projects in your bathroom! 

Best of all, this product comes in a pack of 12 10-oz cartridges to help you save money for your large tub surround installation project. 

Similar to the Loctite product above, this adhesive has a 0-second instant grab formula that helps you to complete the task in no time. Besides, you’ll need fewer screws and nails for your repair tasks because of its high tack. 

You’ll also how versatile this adhesive is! It works well in any condition, so you can either use it for indoor or outdoor applications. Besides, it seals out air, steam, and moisture by forming a strong bond with various household materials.

As such, you can use it on materials like stainless steel, aluminum, wallboard, porcelain, glass, ceramic, wood, and most plastics. 

Apart from being flexible, this adhesive is durable as well. It does not shrink, peel, or crack after application. As such, with this adhesive, you can rest assured that your tub surround will have that durable, professional finish you have always wanted. 

In addition to all these amazing features, applying this white sealant is quite simple. It dries in about 40 minutes and you can even paint it afterward. However, the adhesives take about 12 hours to cure fully, which gives it exceptional resistance to mold, mildew, and weather elements.  

The benefits of this product don’t end though! Its water-based formula makes it the ideal options for homeowners and DIYers with little experience with tub surround adhesive. It is non-flammable and produces low odor. Moreover, cleaning up uncured adhesive is very simple since you just need some soapy water. 

That being said, if you’re looking for the best adhesive for tub surround installation, this Loctite tub surround adhesive is a fantastic investment. It has a unique formula that’s specifically intended for bonding most shower and bathroom surrounds! 

Pros 

  • Bonds with various surfaces 
  • Resists mold, mildew, steam, and water
  • Durable, paintable, and flexible
  • Quick-drying time 

Cons 

  • Not excellent for heavy-duty construction applications 

Key Features to Consider Before Buying Tub Surround Adhesive 

Have you even bought a product, only to end up saying that it’s a ‘crap’? Well, that’s probably because you just settled on the first product that you came across! 

Don’t make that mistake when it comes to tub surround adhesives! Instead, you should take your time to determine whether that adhesive has the features you’re looking for or not.

That way, you’ll end up with a great adhesive that will guarantee value for your money and prevent mildew and growth in your bathroom walls. 

With that in mind, here are some factors you should be on the lookout for when choosing the best tub surround adhesive:

Water resistance 

This is one of the most important factors that one should consider, mainly because the bathroom is usually wet and moist. If the adhesive is not water-resistant, there will be mold growth in your tub surround, meaning you’ll have to replace it in no time.

Therefore, makes sure you choose an adhesive that resists moisture as well as mildew and mold! 

Adhesion 

Choose a sealant that offers excellent adhesion to ensure it forms a strong bond between the tub surround and bathroom walls. This will also ensure that the tub surround remains bonded to the wall for a long time to protect your bathroom from moisture, mold, and mildew. 

Application 

There are various types of adhesive tubes out there. Some types require the use of caulking guns during the application, while others do not. Either way, you should choose an adhesive that is easy to apply. 

how to apply tub surround adhesive

When you’re repairing a small part of the bathroom, you can opt for adhesives that don’t require a caulking gun to apply.

However, when you handling a heavy-duty bonding task like installing a tub surround, go with options that need caulking guns for application. Besides, choose a sealant that comes in a cartridge that fits in standard-sized caulking guns. 

Drying & Curing time 

Some tub surround sealants take less than 30 minutes to dry while others take up to 12 hours. If you can’t restrain yourself from using the bathtub or shower for a long time, a slow-drying adhesive may not be perfect for you. In that case, go for a fast-drying sealant. 

When it comes to curing time, adhesives take from 12 hours up to 10 days to cure fully. Similar to drying time, choose a sealant with a fast curing time so that you don’t have to wait for many hours or days to use the bathroom or shower. 

Cost 

The other thing you need to consider when buying a tub surround sealant is whether it’s reasonably priced or not. With different types of adhesives in the market, some are more costly than others.

While this may be caused by the difference in strength, that’s not always the case. You can invest in an affordable adhesive and still get excellent results! 


Frequently Answer Questions

What features should the best adhesive for tub surround possess?

The ideal tub surround sealant should have excellent adhesion with the type of material in your bathroom. Moreover, it should be waterproof, mildew, and mold-resistant and withstand various temperatures in the bathroom. 

How long should a tub surround adhesive last? 

If you apply the ideal type of adhesive and use it correctly, it can last for about five to ten years. 

Which is the best brand of adhesives for tub surrounds? 

With so many quality brands in the market today, it’s hard to settle on only one brand as the best. However, the most reputable brands include Loctite, Liquid Nails, and so on. 

What is the difference between tub surround adhesive’s curing time and drying time? 

Drying time refers to that interval between applying an adhesive up to when it does not stick when touched. On the other hand, curing time refers to the time the adhesive takes to settle down. 

What’s the difference between adhesives and caulks? 

Caulk usually describes the general products with low contraction and expansion qualities that are intended for gap filling. Such products feature moderate adhesion and they are ideal for interior applications. 
Contrarily, adhesives tend to adhere to various surfaces and they’ve strong adhesion properties. Moreover, they’re ideal for both exterior and interior applications since they can tolerate most weather elements and conditions. 

Final Word 

Whether you’re planning to renovate or install new tub surrounds in your bathroom, make sure you have got the best adhesive for tub surround by your side. Trust us, if you choose the wrong kind of adhesive, it will not protect your bathroom walls from mold and moisture effectively. 

Thankfully, by choosing any product on our list, we can assure you that you’ve got one of the most suitable adhesives for your bathroom and tub enclosures. Besides, each of these sealants is specifically designed for that task, so you can rest assured that they’ll get the job done! 

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