What Is the Best Glue for Ceramic Repair

What Is the Best Glue for Ceramic Repair? The Complete Guide

Have you ever broken a favorite piece of ceramic? Maybe your cat knocked your beloved flower vase off the table? Yes, it happens to all of us. But don’t throw away that broken piece just yet. You might be able to salvage your ceramic household items if you can find the right glue for your repair needs. In this guide, we will cover the different types of ceramic adhesives, what options are available on the market, and how to use them. By the end you should know how to put your treasured item back together. Read on to learn what is the best glue for ceramic repair.

What is Ceramic Glue?

In general, there are three types of glue to choose from for repairing ceramic items. These include epoxy resin, cyanoacrylate (super glue), and polyvinyl acetate. Each type of glue has different properties, strengths, and weaknesses, which we will describe below. What Is the Best Glue for Ceramic Repair

Epoxy Resin

Epoxy adhesives are the most durable, most impact-resistant, and most heat resistant of the three types described here. They’re also great for ceramics because they fill in the tiny holes and gaps that characterize the material. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult to work with. Epoxies consist of two components: hardener and resin. To use epoxy resin glue, you must mix the two components together, which then react to form a bonding agent. This means you have to work quickly and precisely to make sure you get everything in place before the reaction takes hold and the epoxy starts to harden Once the glue is mixed and the item is fitted together, it can take a while before the glue is fully set. But once it is, it’ll create a super-strong, water resistant bond that is durable enough for everyday use. Epoxies also come in different subcategories, with some types designed to mend broken items, while others are designed to fill in chips or small cracks. Be sure you find the one that best suits the task you are trying to accomplish. In general, though, if you have a ceramic piece that shattered and the pieces no longer fit together perfectly, you will be better off using epoxy because it fills in the small gaps created by the damage while also bonding the various pieces together.

Cyanoacrylate (Super) Glue

This is a product most people are familiar with. Cyanoacrylate, more commonly known as super glue, is a strong adhesive that is easy to use and best for quickly repairing ceramic products. The drawback is that it’s less durable than epoxy resins. Super glue is great because unlike epoxy, it doesn’t require mixing. Super glue products are already packaged and sold in tubes. You just need to apply it to the two halves of the broken item, hold it together for a few minutes, and you’re done. The other benefit of super glue is that it’s quick setting and dries much faster than epoxy resins. Depending on what you are trying to fix, you may need a solution that sets faster, like super glue. Super glue is not great for filling in gaps and voids. Super glue works best when you have something that cracked or broke, but the pieces still fit perfectly together, like the pieces of a puzzle. If you lost some pieces during the break and there are gaps in the ceramic, you are better off using epoxy. Another thing to remember about super glue is that because it dries very stiff, it has strong tensile strength, but is relatively weak and brittle when a shearing force is applied. Keep this in mind if you are choosing it for repairs. Take a coffee cup for example. Maybe you knocked it off the counter and the handle broke. There are no missing pieces and the handle fits back on perfectly. You apply super glue to repair it. The bond will be strong if you were to pull the handle perpendicular to the mug. However, the bond is weak if you apply any lateral pressure or torque. Depending on how you handle your coffee mug would determine whether or not super glue is an effective solution.

Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) Glue

PVA glue, commonly known as wood glue (or that white glue you used in school), can be used to mend ceramics in very specific situations. For most of your ceramic repair needs, you will want to use epoxy or super glue. Perhaps you happen to own some kind of archeological artifact made from ceramic and you broke it. In this case, you may not want to subject the artifact to the harsh chemicals of epoxies or super glues. PVA is great in these minority cases because it easily fills in the porous ceramic material and dries clear, so from afar, the damage might be invisible. Plus, PVA glues are gentle and non-toxic, which is why they are used in school. The drawback is that PVA glue is not particularly durable. But if you don’t intend to use or otherwise handle the broken ceramic piece and it will just stay on a shelf for display, PVA is a great clean, easy-to-use, low-cost mending solution.

Top Epoxies for Ceramics

Now, let’s take a look at our top epoxy choices:

1. Loctite Instant Mix 5-Minute Epoxy Glue (2-pack)

Loctite is one of the top names in the glue business. This formula is easy to apply and sets in just five minutes. Within an hour, the high-strength bond is cured, and it’s safe enough to handle. The design is convenient in that the two components are kept separate in two syringes that then mix when applied to your broken item. No need to mess around with different bottles. Loctite makes it easy with this special applicator. This glue can also be used as a filler and is durable enough to be painted and sanded once it has cured. Product Details:
  • Brand: Loctite
  • Type: Epoxy resin
  • Volume: 0.5 ounces
  • Delivery: Syringe

2. Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy Glue (2-pack)

This product by Gorilla is very similar to the Loctite product described above. It takes six minutes to set but otherwise shares the same excellent features of the Loctite epoxy. You have plenty of time to reposition the item to get the perfect fit. The Gorilla cap system is better, so you will likely run into less trouble down the road if you need to use the glue multiple times. Product Details:
  • Brand: Gorilla
  • Type: Epoxy resin
  • Volume: 0.9 ounces
  • Delivery: Syringe

3. Araldite Multipurpose Epoxy Glue (2-pack)

This professional-grade multipurpose epoxy glue is super strong, setting in just five minutes and curing after three hours. Once dried, the glue is resistant to chemicals, water, impacts, and temperatures up to 176 degrees F. Product Details:
  • Brand: Araldite
  • Type: Epoxy resin
  • Volume: 1.0 ounce
  • Delivery: Tube

Top Super Glues for Ceramics

Here is a list of some top choices for super glue.

1. Loctite Extra Time Control Super Glue Gel

This particular super glue is in gel form, which makes it much easier to use. Typically, super glues have a consistency similar to water, so they will drip or run if you put too much or need to apply it at an odd angle. This gel stays right where you want it, so you avoid making a mess. Another benefit of this product is the extra-long time control. Usually, super glues set very fast, so if you misalign what you are trying to fix, you might end up locking it in the wrong place before you have a chance to correct it. This product gives you the time you need to get it right. Finally, this super glue dries clear and has a low odor formula, so you won’t get light-headed or sick while you are trying to fix your broken ceramic. Product Details:
  • Brand: Loctite
  • Type: Cyanoacrylate Super Glue Gel
  • Volume: 0.14 ounces
  • Delivery: Tube

2. Gorilla XL Super Glue Gel

As with the previous entry on this list, this glue is in gel form, which makes it great for use at odd angles, particularly vertical surfaces. This glue also contains special rubber particles in the formula to give the dried glue more flexibility, durability, and impact resistance than typical super glue formulas. The glue dries in 10 to 30 seconds so your job is done fast without a lot of waiting around. Just apply the gel, hold the pieces together, and the repair is complete. Finally, this glue has a special cap that won’t get clogged even after repeated uses. A common problem with super glues is that excess glue dries in the nozzle. You won’t have that problem with this product. Product Details:
  • Brand: Gorilla
  • Type: Cyanoacrylate Super Glue Gel
  • Volume: 1.8 ounces
  • Delivery: Tube

3. Glue Masters Professional Grade Cyanoacrylate Super Glue

The previous two entries on the list were consumer-grade glue, but Glue Masters makes products at the professional level, claiming to deliver the strongest bond on the market. While this formula is not in gel form, it has a high viscosity, which helps prevent running and other problems typical to super glues. This product also has the highest volume on our list, so if you need to make a lot of repairs, this might be the right choice for you. Product Details:
  • Brand: Glue Masters
  • Type: Cyanoacrylate Super Glue Gel
  • Volume: 2.0 ounces
  • Delivery: Tube

Top PVA Glue for Ceramics

Finally, let’s look at the best PVA option for ceramics:

1. Elmer’s Glue-All Multi-Purpose Liquid Glue

This multi-purpose glue is a product most people will be familiar with. It’s very easy to use, non-toxic, holds strong, and dries clear. Of course, it’s not durable enough for fixing ceramics that are handled regularly, but it will get the job done for items that are mostly for display. Product Details:
  • Brand: Elmer’s
  • Type: PVA
  • Volume: 16 ounces
  • Delivery: Bottle

Best Glue for Ceramic Repair FAQ

Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about ceramic repair.

What Glue Works on Ceramics?

Almost any glue could work on ceramics, but the most useful options are Epoxy glue, Super glue, and PVA glue. Each glue serves a slightly different purpose depending on what type of ceramic will be repaired and what the piece will be used for.

What Is the Best Glue to Repair Ceramic?

In most cases, epoxy glue is the best choice for repairing ceramics. It’s stronger, more durable, more waterproof, and less toxic than super glue, and it’s much stronger than PVA. For most ceramic repair jobs, stick with epoxy.

Is Gorilla Glue Good for Ceramics?

Yes. Gorilla makes both epoxy glue and super glue so you can easily find the right product to solve your problem. Gorilla is a trusted brand by consumers and consistently receives high ratings on Amazon.

Can You Fix Ceramic With Super Glue?

Yes. Super glue is strong enough to quickly bond and repair ceramics. However, super glue is not always the best choice. Depending on the circumstance, you could use super glue, epoxy glue, or PVA glue to repair your ceramic item.

What Is the Most Aesthetic Glue for Broken Ceramic?

This depends on what kind of item you are trying to mend. If the item is purely functional, the appearance won’t matter much. But, if the item is decorative, be sure to test how the glue will look when it dries before using it to salvage your piece. To do this, just put some of the glue on a hidden area of the item, wait for it to dry, then check the results. Test different glues until you have a result you are happy with.

Best Glue for Ceramic Pots?

If you have a ceramic piece that is purely for display and will not be handled, PVA is a great choice. It dries quickly, is very cheap, and you might have this bottle of glue available in your house already.

Best Glue for Ceramic Mug?

Epoxy glue is the best choice for repairing a ceramic mug. Epoxy glues have better waterproofing properties than super glues, so they are more suitable for items like vases that will regularly encounter water.

Food Safe Ceramic Glue?

If you will be using the repaired item in the kitchen, you definitely want to stay away from toxic chemicals. Be sure to check the label of whatever glue you buy to see if it’s safe for contact with food, though most super glues and epoxies are not. Proceed with caution. When it comes to kitchen use, it’s best not to use any strong chemical adhesive for repair. At high temperatures, epoxy begins to break down, which releases toxic chemicals. Save the health of you and your family by spending a little money to buy a new plate.

How to Glue Ceramic Back Together?

The steps vary slightly depending on which type of glue you plan to use. Here is the process for using both epoxy glue and super glue. Fumes released as these glues dry can be unhealthy so make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.

How to Use Epoxy

Using epoxy is a fairly simple process. Here are some steps to follow so you can get it right with your first try.
  1. Clean the surface areas you intend to bond. This is important because it ensures the epoxy has as much grip as possible to create a tight seal. Also, use sandpaper to rough-up the bonding surface to give the epoxy a better grip.
  2. Get all the pieces of your broken item ready. Once you mix the epoxy, you will have a limited amount of time to put the glue in place before it hardens. To make this as easy as possible be sure everything is set up and ready to go.
  3. Mix up the epoxy. If you chose one of the products from our list that uses a dual syringe design, the mixing step isn’t necessary because the hardener and the resin are mixed as they exit the two nozzles. Other products require manual mixing.
  4. Apply the epoxy to the broken surfaces. If your glue has an applicator nozzle, this should be fairly easy. If not, you can use a toothpick or popsicle stick to put the epoxy in place.
  5. Attach the pieces. Once the epoxy is applied, you have less than five minutes to join the pieces the way you want them. Due to this limited time window, complex repair jobs are best done in multiple stages to ensure you have plenty of time to make adjustments.

How to Use Super Glue

This is pretty simple. Simply apply a layer of glue on the broken edges, stick the items together, wait five minutes, and you’re done. However, to get the best results, you want to be sure the area you are trying to attach is clean and free of oils or debris. Plus, you might want to rough up the surface a little with sandpaper in case the break is particularly smooth. Super glue works best if it has some pores it can fill in to create an extra-strong bond.

Final Word

If you’re staring at your favorite broken coffee mug, we hope the situation seems a little less dire. Now you should have a good idea of what is the best glue for ceramic repair, which situations require which solution, and some products on the market that should help you get started. We hope you have found this guide helpful. For more information on ceramics, check out our other informational pages and review guides.

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