When used properly, glues and adhesives can be stronger than the materials they hold together. Use hot glue in lightweight woodworking projects, carpenter’s glue for wood joints, and carpentry adhesive for preliminary installation of thin panels and lumber. Panel adhesive, a thinner formula that can be applied from a tube or with a brush, is used to install paneling, wainscoting, and other lightweight tongue-and-groove materials. Masonry adhesive is used for securing top courses of interlocking blocks.
Caulks are designed to permanently close joints, fill gaps in woodwork, and hide subtle imperfections. Different caulks are made of different compounds and vary greatly in durability and workability. Most caulk is applied with a caulk gun, but some types are available in squeeze tubes for smaller applications. While silicone caulks last longer, many are not paintable and are difficult to smooth out. Latex caulks are less durable than silicone, but are much easier to work with, especially when used to hide gaps. Caulks are available for bond to masonry, glass, tile, metals, wood, fiberglass, and plastic. Read the label carefully to choose the right caulk for the job.