Subfloor Adhesive Vs Construction Adhesive – 2024 Glue Review

Adhesives are an integral part of any construction project, big or small. They help bond so many different substrates together in a strong bond and provide long-lasting results. There are many different types of adhesives that are meant for a particular project. 

So, it is essential to know which type of adhesive is right for your project, and where to use it for. When it comes to using subfloor adhesive vs construction adhesive for your project, let us understand how these glues are different and their uses in any construction project.

It depends if you want to use construction adhesive that is specially formulated for your exterior construction and holding power or subfloor adhesive to install tiles/floors.

Subfloor Adhesive

  • A great option for subflooring projects
  • Can bond various structural elements
  • Bond is sturdy and durable
  • Can help with soundproofing and weatherproofing the structure

Construction Adhesive

  • Works well on many different substrates and materials
  • Provides great strength and durability in bonds
  • Waterproof
  • Quick curing time

To get started and discover the major differences between these two adhesives and choose one that is better suited for your project, let us first learn what each adhesive is and its varied uses and applications. 

What Is Subfloor Adhesive? 

 As the name suggests, subfloor adhesive is a type of glue/adhesive that helps bond the subfloor elements together with the truss/joists on the floor. This forms a base for the flooring to adhere to and layer on.

This flooring adhesive is a great choice compared to nuts and screws for subflooring and provides sturdy and durable results. You can use any type of subfloor adhesive such as a spray or foam type for your project.  

Know More About Subfloor Adhesive


For any building or construction, floors are an integral and important part of making sure they become the strength and solidity of the structural elements of that structure and this adhesive is specially formulated.

Hence, it is essential that the flooring is installed using a subfloor adhesive that can be applied below the floor panels to secure them at the panel-to-joist connection on wood floors. This is needed to prevent uneven flooring and cracks and squeaks in the main flooring. 

Tips To Use Subfloor Adhesive

  • Make sure to prep the surfaces in question and that they are thoroughly cleaned of any dust/grease. It is also advisable to pre-fit the panels if any before you start the application of deck construction adhesive. 
  • You may make use of a caulking gun and apply the deck adhesive in zig-zag patterns all over the surface to make sure that the adhesive is adequately coated on all edges. 
  • You can press into place all the panels you’re installing upon applying the adhesive and wait for the adhesive to cure. The curing time will be mentioned on the packaging but is anywhere around 15-30 minutes. 
  • If you want to reposition the panels due to some reason, you need to do that before the setting time mentioned on the packaging. 
  • Keep all the safety precautions in mind and consideration when using subfloor glues for your flooring and make sure you are using gloves, and are working in a well-ventilated area. 
  • Cleaning up post-application is easy too. You can scrape off the excess dried adhesive with a sharp-edged tool or use a paint thinner on the surface once the adhesive cures. 
  • Usually, wood floors move and thus this glue acts well to keep them in place. 

Advantages Of Using Subfloor Adhesive

  • Subfloor creates an important base layer for your flooring project. Thus choosing the right subfloor glue is crucial. Subfloor glue can help protect your flooring from creaks and cracks, as well as keep an even surface. 
  • Applying a subfloor adhesive can help protect your floor from moisture build-up and damage. 
  • Subfloor glues can help insulate the flooring, which can be a boon for both cold and summer seasons. 
  • Having a subfloor can also act as a soundproofing solution as it absorbs sound and vibrations between the floor and the room. 

Best Subfloor Adhesive – Our Recommendation 

Loctite PL 400 Subfloor Heavy-Duty Adhesive

This adhesive is primarily designed and formulated for interior or exterior, heavy-duty subfloor construction projects. The adhesive is temperature resistant and works well on dry, wet, or frozen lumber. It can withstand temperatures of 1.4°F to 120°F. 

The subfloor bonds formed are quite sturdy and durable. There is no need for reapplying and is suitable for varied applications such as drywall, masonry and plaster projects, metal, and wood assemblies as well as concrete surfaces.

Loctite PL 400 Subfloor Heavy-Duty Adhesive
Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

Quick Specs

  • Cure time: 24 hours
  • Size: 28 Fluid Ounces
  • Package Type: ‎Adhesive Cartridges
  • Color: pale yellow 
  • Compatible Surfaces: Metal, Wood, Ceramic, Brick/Concrete, Plaster, Drywall 


  • Can be used on various surfaces that are unique 
  • Can withstand varying temperatures and moisture conditions
  • It has a low VOC emission that meets stringent federal & state guidelines
  • Easily runnable formula and consistency 
  • Drying time of 15-20 minutes
  • A great option for subfloor and plywood decking to beam/brace


  • Works well even on frozen and treated lumber and seasonal changes
  • Creates a superior bond between an assortment of surfaces/materials
  • Low VOC content
  • Easy clean up of extra adhesive off the surface
  • Provides soundproofing benefits for the structure


  • The surfaces need to be cleaned and prepped correctly before the use of adhesive for the best results


This adhesive is the best option we have used for subflooring and we extensively used it for various bonding projects, big or small. We particularly liked the elastomeric properties and the fact that it emits minimal fumes and works well even on frozen lumber which was unique.

What Is Construction Adhesive?

Construction adhesive is a type of adhesive that is mainly used for fusing two materials or surfaces together with a strong and rigid bond. It works well for both indoor and outdoor projects, in wet or dry conditions, and on varied surfaces such as drywall, metal, and wood.

Know More About Construction Adhesive

construction adhesive

As the name implies, construction adhesive is widely used in construction projects to bond different materials and surfaces together. Construction adhesives can work well on a wide variety of surfaces, materials, and projects, and the bond formed is considered three times stronger than the traditional adhesive bonds created on construction substrates. 

Construction adhesive typically comes in and is usually available in cartridges/tube form and applied using a caulking gun. Construction adhesives are designed with ergonomics in mind and thus help provide long-lasting and sturdy results for projects. 

Tips To Use Construction Adhesive 

  • You can use construction adhesive on indoor and outdoor projects. Make sure the surfaces are prepped and cleaned before use. 
  • Applying urethane adhesive at the joists/joints can provide a rock-solid foundation or bond between surfaces.
  • The adhesive typically comes in cardboard packaging and can be applied using a caulking gun. 
  • The materials need to be cut and pre-fit prior to the installation of the panels
  • You can apply a continuous bead of a good amount of adhesive from a sausage tube to your surface.
  • Once the construction adhesive is applied evenly on the surfaces, you can push the panel surfaces into place and hold/clamp them for about 10 seconds.

Advantages Of Using Construction Adhesive

– Construction glue is compatible with many different surfaces and substrate combinations.

– It is water resistant in nature thus making it a great choice for water-prone areas. 

– It is a great temperature-resistant adhesive type that can handle temperatures from -20 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

– It is generally cheaper than a subfloor adhesive, thus making it an affordable option.

– It is also moisture, chemicals, and alkali-resistant.

– Curing time is short (up to 24 hours) 

Best Construction Adhesive – Our Recommendation

Loctite 1390595 Polyurethane Construction Adhesive

This amazing construction glue is a polyurethane-based adhesive that helps bond a variety of surfaces and materials with strong and durable results. This adhesive is also suitable for subfloor installations and can be used in both indoor and outdoor construction projects. 
It works well on brick/concrete, wood, masonry, and subflooring projects and is waterproof. It also works best on the on-site joining of the subfloor and plywood decking to beams/joists.

Loctite 1390595 Polyurethane Construction Adhesive
Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

Quick Specs

Cure time: 24 hours 

Size: 28 Fluid Ounces

Package Type: Cartridge

Color: Tan 

Compatible Surfaces: Metal, wood, vinyl, gel coat, frp, plastics, fiberglass, and polycarbonate


  • A great option for masonry and subflooring projects
  • The best option for heavy-duty construction work and joining of dissimilar materials
  • Up to three times stronger than available ordinary construction adhesives 
  • Can also cure well in cold temperatures


  • 30 minute setting time and a quick curing time of 24 hours
  • Weather and water resistant
  • Best option for installation of composite boards or laminate flooring
  • No need to use a fastener or pre-drill holes in panels to apply adhesive


  • Once applied, quickly the adhesive will bond so be wary of any realignment needed. 
  •  The cartridges tend to ooze and are specially formulated to be easy to use glue quickly.


We used this construction adhesive to fix broken roof tiles and to waterproof the reinforced concrete slab outdoors, and it did a fabulous job at it. We definitely recommend this for your subflooring projects and other construction repairs and fixes.

Subfloor Adhesive Vs Construction Adhesive- Choosing Between These Types Of Glue

Subfloor adhesive is the best choice when you want to repair, reinforce or build new floors or want to refinish an existing subfloor/ floor. This glue is mainly beneficial as it creates a super sturdy bond between the underlayment flooring and subfloor boards. Subfloor adhesives as the name suggests are mainly formulated and work best for subflooring projects. 

Construction adhesive is a great option for any of your flooring needs. It can be used to bond together various types of flooring substrates together and results in a sturdy long-lasting bond. Also keep in mind that some construction glues are designed for vertical surfaces and some for horizontal surfaces specifically, so make an informed decision depending on the job at hand. 

FAQS- Subfloor Adhesive Vs Construction Adhesive

subflooring layout

 Is using subfloor adhesive necessary?

Yes, using a subfloor adhesive can help prevent floor cracks/squeaks and any kind of floor movement at the panel-to-joist connection. They also allow soundproofing and weatherproofing solutions to the room above. 

 Even after applying subfloor adhesive should I use nails or screws?

There is no hard and fast rule that you need to fasten the bond with nails and screws even after applying subfloor adhesive. These glues create a strong and long-lasting bond between the subfloor substrates.

What is construction adhesive used for?

Construction glue is used over a myriad of projects such as drywall applications, subfloor bonding, floor repairs, and fixes, etc. There is no need to use nails or fasteners when using construction adhesive for your project. 

How long does construction adhesive last?

Construction adhesive jobs are permanent in nature and lasts for years to come. It is a versatile glue that can be used for varied applications and projects. 

Subfloor Adhesive Vs Construction Adhesive- Final Verdict

Choose a subfloor adhesive when you are working on a subflooring project in particular as it is specifically designed for that. Use a construction adhesive for any construction project to help bond a variety of materials and substrates. Good luck with your masonry project! 

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