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DAP SmartBond Sub-Floor Adhesive Review

PL400 & DAP SmartBond sub-floor glues
PL400 & DAP SmartBond sub-floor glues

I’ve used PL400 Sub-Floor adhesive for almost 20 years now.  It’s generally regarded as the “Gold Standard” in construction adhesive.

Advantech Sub-Floor
Advantech Sub-Floor
I love using 1 1/8" Advantech Sub-Floor!
1 1/8″ Advantech on top, and 3/4″ Advantech below

I also really like Advantech Sub-Floor.  Huber makes this product in both 3/4″ and 1 1/8″ thickness and both are fantastic but I really like the thicker 1 and 1/8″ thick version.  I’ve used this sub-floor on all my framing jobs for about 5 years now.  It’s super heavy and makes for a stiff and squeak free floor.

Back to the Glue and my reason to try DAP’s new product… a few months ago I needed to pull a section of sub-floor up to do a repair to a pipe underneath.  As I pulled up that Advantech glued with PL400 I was surprised at how easily it pulled off the joists.  This lead me down a path to finding a better glue to use with Advantech.  In my research I found that the heavy Polyurathane glue in Advantech made it tougher for the PL400 glue to adhere.  In effect, we had two dis-similar glues trying to bond to each other.  I asked my Huber Rep about this and there was no “official” word about this issue, but it lead me down the path towards a Polyurethane based sub-floor glue.

PL Premium Polyurethane based Sub-Floor Glue. (My son John loves joining me for Saturday job site visits!)

I first switched to PL Premium glue.  It was an easy switch because the glue basically got applied the same as PL400.  Same 28oz caulk gun, & same process.  It’s pretty runny, but works great and guns easily.  What’s not so easy is the price tag.  Switching to PL Premium basically doubled our glue costs for a typical house.  Overall this is a fantastic product and if you’re not comfortable switching to DAP SmartBond I’d recommend this glue highly for use with Advantech sub-floor.

This leads me to the point of today’s post DAP SmartBond.  This is a foam based adhesive and it’s really a cool new product.  Basically it’s an Polyurethane based glue with no binders.  It’s kind of like using Gorilla Glue on your sub-floor!   (I did a really fun comparison video testing it’s hold strength on Advantech vs PL400)

You’ll get higher yield from the Foam Gun version of SmartBond.
Our first job we used the “Straw Can” version of smartbond and my framers loved the speed of application.

It looks a bit weird at first because it goes on like foam but falls flat into a puddle of glue in about 2-5 minutes.

Picture of Advantech glued with SmartBond then pulled apart. The SmartBond really adhered to the Poly based glue in the sub-floor.

As you’ll see in the video I made this DAP SmartBond holds tenaciously to the Advantech decking.  I have since switched all my crews to SmartBond.  Oh and by the way, this was a slight savings overall in cost!  I’ve found that one (gun applied) can of SmartBond is about equivalent to 6 tubes of glue.  (They say 8x on the can’s but that’s not exactly my experience)   Framers love it for speed of application, there’s less in the dumpster, and it’s less expensive.  No brainer to make this switch!

One last item on this topic, there is one downside to SmartBond that I’ve found.  I’m used to looking up at my sub-floor and seeing glue squeeze out.  That’s not longer an option when using this foam applied SmartBond.  There isn’t squeeze out to view.  I trust my framing carpenter so this isn’t a big deal for me, but if you’re a production builder I could see this being an issue for you.

For more information visit DAP SmartBond’s website.  http://dap.com/smartbond/

Matt Risinger
– Risinger Homes in Austin, TX

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.
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