With so many different types of building adhesives available, Andrew Scanlon, Applications Manager from Sika Everbuild, takes a closer look at the solutions merchants can offer their customers.
Working closely with product manufacturers is one of the best ways for merchants to arm themselves with the most up-to-date knowledge and technical information, ensuring that they can not only meet their customers’ needs but be able to successfully identify opportunities for both cross and upselling.
Offering a great product range is essential, but too much choice can lead to confusion and when it comes to adhesives, understanding where the product is to be used and what it is to be used for can make all the difference between creating a strong bond with your customers, or coming unstuck.
A key element of most building projects for both the trade and DIY customer, from attaching skirting boards and hanging mirrors, to fixing plasterboards and floor panels, there are a multitude of adhesive products available for a variety of tasks. Although some are easier to identify than others, such as those that are clearly marketed as wood or tile adhesives, the extensive world of grab adhesives can be a little harder to navigate.
Categorised by their fantastic ability to create a strong bond with the surfaces, grab adhesives are by far the most popular product on the market. The very first products available to the market, and which still have a strong following, are the solvent-based adhesives. These are often the product of choice for the trade user as they dry by evaporation into the air and so are suitable for use on non-porous surfaces such as metals and ceramics.
A good example of a solvent-based adhesive that is still going strong is Everbuild Pinkgrip, one of our first flagship products which offers high-bond strength and excellent weathering-resistance. Solvent-based adhesives also tend to cure much faster so are ideal for busy building sites and the professional trade customer.
Non-solvent, water-based adhesives — often referred to as acrylic based — have very little odour and are also better for the environment as they have a lower VOC content than their solvent-based counterparts. Suitable for both professional trade users and DIY customers, products such as Everbuild Gun A Nail or Pinkgrip SF are suitable for a wide range of projects but must be applied to a porous surface in order to dry — and they will cure a little slower than solvent-based adhesives.
They are still a popular choice though, and a great all-rounder as they are easy to use and offer great results.
Hybrid Polymers are where the adhesives market has really evolved to allow manufacturers, and merchants, to offer their customers a premium high-performance solution that combines the best of both solvent and water-based products and so much more.
This new generation of adhesives, such as Everbuild Stixall Extreme Power, are characterised by their ability to create a high-strength bond on almost any surface and their ability to be used in both wet and dry conditions, making them great for larger projects both inside and out.
Other advanced hybrid adhesives such as Sika Everbuild’s own EB25 offer even more flexibility as, in addition to being suitable for use with various surfaces and materials, they can also be used as a sealant. Although the terms are often used together, sealants and adhesives are designed to perform in very different ways and traditionally, one product would not do the job of the other — as their name suggests, adhesives are strong and bond two materials together, whereas sealants are much more flexible and efficient at filling small gaps to protect from the ingress of water.
Although many solvent-based adhesives can be used to fill small gaps, the innovative development of these dual-function hybrid products also allows them to be used to bond and seal, providing a convenient solution for the customer and a reliable recommendation for merchants.
By understanding the benefits of each type of product, merchants are better placed to advise their customers based on their budget and the work they are planning. It’s also important to check if they have other specific requirements, such as an EC1 Plus certification to prove its green credentials — an increasingly important criteria for commercial jobs. And don’t forget the little details, like recommending the use of a clear adhesive to give a more subtle finish to interior jobs.
The adhesive market has been revolutionised by multi-purpose polymer-based adhesives, thanks to their strength and suppleness. We know that this is a huge growth market, which is why Sika UK has invested in manufacturing facilities so we can make our own PVA, wood adhesives and acrylic polymers to better meet demand.
Sticking closely to your supplier of choice is great way to stay up to date with the latest product development to help increase your adhesive sales, as well as gaining access all the latest product guidance, application advice and point of sale material.
To find out more about Sika Everbuild’s range of adhesives, go to: www.everbuild.co.uk