How to Glue Particleboard

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Wooden blocks add extra pressure to glued particleboard.
Wooden blocks add extra pressure to glued particleboard. (Image: sever180/iStock/Getty Images)

When particleboard underlay is glued properly, it provides a consistent, flat surface for the placement of floor coverings. Particleboard countertops are another common application that relies on glue for strength and the subsequent placement of laminates. Products and equipment involved when gluing particleboard can be hazardous so wear breathing and eye protection.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Breathing protection
  • Table saw
  • Construction adhesive
  • Adhesive gun applicator
  • Sawhorses (optional)
  • Drill/driver
  • Screws, 1 1/2-inch
  • Carpenter's glue in glue bottle
  • Brush
  • Clamps
  • Rubber mallet
  • Two-by-four studs
  • Clean cloth
  • Jigsaw
  • Contact cement
  • Dowels, 3/8-inch

Underlay

Measure then use a table saw to cut one sheet of particleboard to fit evenly along walls and joists. Split the difference along the top of joists so a single joist supports two pieces. Measure and cut additional pieces so four corners of particleboard do not meet at a single location.

Run a zigzag pattern of construction adhesive with a gun applicator around the perimeter where you wish to place the first piece.

Place the first piece of particleboard on top of the joists. Square the edges and use a drill/driver to place screws around the perimeter to secure the particleboard to the joists.

Countertops

Measure then cut two pieces of particleboard to size with a table saw. Place them across two sawhorses or along the top of cabinets.

Spread carpenter's glue liberally, randomly across the surface of one piece of particleboard in a zigzag pattern. Spread the glue flat across the surface with a brush or flat stick.

Place the two pieces of particleboard together. Square the edges and ends. Place clamps around the perimeter of the two pieces and apply light pressure.

Use a rubber mallet to bump the sides and ends of the two pieces to square them if they begin to slip in the wet glue. When the two pieces are square to each other, apply enough pressure to the clamps so glue oozes out around the perimeter. If the piece is wide and the clamps do not add enough pressure to the center, place two-by-fours on edge, opposing each other along the top and bottom. Clamp the studs together to add pressure to the center.

Wipe off the wet glue with a damp cloth. Allow the clamps to remain on the particleboard for at least one hour before removing them. Cut the particleboard to the shape needed for the overhanging edge using a jigsaw.

Laminates

Brush the back of plastic laminate and the surface of the particleboard with contact cement. Allow the contact cement to dry for 15 minutes or until the contact cement is dry to the touch.

Place a row of 3/8-inch dowels parallel to each other, 6 inches apart across the surface of the particleboard.

Place the plastic laminate on the dowels, centered over the particleboard. Pull the dowels out one at a time, allowing the laminate to settle onto the particleboard. Contact cement bonds on contact. Do not allow the laminate to touch the particleboard unless it's square and exactly where you want it.

Bump the surface of the laminate randomly with a rubber mallet to finish bonding the laminate to the particleboard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Particleboard is manufactured in differing thicknesses and densities. Some particleboard products may be referred to as medium or high-density fiberboard. Do your research before choosing one.

References

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