As anybody in the home improvement trade will tell you, bonding different materials together can be tricky to say the least – particularly with regards to heavy duty materials, such as concrete.
But what are you supposed to do if you need to bond concrete with wood, for example? Are there any steps that can be taken to make this simpler?
What Are The Best Methods?
The best methods are:
How To Attach With Nails
While not the simplest method, this can be effective for bonding wood to concrete.
Materials & Tools
Before you get started, there are certain tools and materials that will be needed. This will generally consist of a sledgehammer and masonry nails – which are strong enough to permeate the concrete without bending or breaking under the pressure.
You could also use an air-powered nail gun if you have access to one. This is also one way to make this even simpler, and can be the best way to avoid causing damage to the concrete.
Before you begin this method, it is also important to check the quality of the concrete you are planning to use.
If it has a consistency that is prone to chipping and cracking, then you are better opting for a less invasive method.
When using this method, there are two things to remember – to always nail in straight (not at an angle), and to use power tools for heavy duty concrete.
It is important to nail straight into the concrete, as going in at an angle is the best way to crack the concrete, cause damage to the nails, and to just wind up with a poor end result.
Nailing in straight will ensure a clean channel is drilled, a firm finish, and a good, tight seal between the wood and the concrete.
Similarly, when working with heavy duty concrete, it is best to use power tools – like a drill – to bore the holes first, and then use the appropriate nails to attach the wood.
How To Attach With Adhesive
For a cleaner finish with less chance of mishaps, many people opt for adhesives to stick wood to concrete. However, there are still certain preparations that need to be made.
Materials & Tools
When choosing this method, it is obviously important to choose an adhesive that is effective with both materials. There can be differences based on the type of concrete, so it is always best to read the small print before making a purchase.
Brands such as ‘Quickrete’ are good bonding agents, as is ‘Liquid Nails’ which can be purchased through sites such as Amazon.com.
The most important thing to remember before gluing, is to make sure the surfaces are both clean and free from dust and grit before starting. This will help to ensure a stronger hold, a smoother finish, and an all round better job.
If the concrete is covered in dirt (or the wood for that matter) then the glue is more likely to adhere to that instead of the surfaces you wanted to bond. This will result in a less stable hold that could break or come loose after a relatively short amount of time.
When using this method, there are three main things that need to be remembered.
The first is to ensure the working area is dry. While this might not always be possible, finding the driest location possible will help the process, encourage quicker drying times, and ensure a firmer hold.
The second thing to remember is to use clamps when gluing the two surfaces together. This only really applies when the concrete in question is accessible in this way.
Ensuring a tight bond to a concrete wall might be tricky, and could involve physical pressure being applied by you.
When bonding something wooden to a concrete floor, use something physically heavy, like a weight, or the equivalent. This will ensure that the bonding process has all the help it needs.
How To Attach With Cement
If the concrete is fresh, or still wet, then this can be an equally effective way of bonding it with wood. But of course, this only applies with fresh concrete.
This is also the least effective method on this list, and while the wood will stick, it should not be relied upon as a weight bearing surface.
Tools & Materials
This works best with good quality cement. It is also important to have something to hold the wood in place, to ensure that it doesn’t fall over, migrate through the cement, or dry in angle that isn’t appropriate for your needs.
The best way to prepare for this method is to be realistic about your needs and wants.
This method can be great for adding a little extra support to a wooden fence, and similar instances where there needs to be rigidity.
However, as stated above, this shouldn’t be used to bear any sort of major weight – for example that a human might stand on – nor should it be considered a permanent option.
The bondage that the concrete will have on the wood (depending on the depth it is set) will not last forever, due in part to the perishable nature of wood, and the inability for microscopic movement at the point of bondage.
And there we have it, everything you need to know when bonding wood to concrete.
As you can see, each of the methods shown have different pros and cons, and are ultimately best suited in specific situations.
This is why it is always best to consider your needs, and the function of the bonded materials, before opting for the right method. This will help to ensure things run smoothly, and that you get the finish you want.