Carpet glue is used to hold rolls or tiles of carpet in place over a subfloor or padded base material. Choosing the right carpet adhesive can have a major impact on the durability and performance of the installation, and may even impact air quality within the home. Before purchasing glue for your carpeting project, consult the manufacturer's specifications to find out what type of adhesive they recommend. Once you understand the manufacturer's recommendations, you may also wish to consider factors such as drying time, toxicity, and the area where the carpet will be installed prior to making your purchase.
The majority of carpet manufacturers provide comprehensive installation instructions to customers. These instructions often include recommendations on the best carpet glue to use based on the type of carpet you are installing. Some manufacturers warn that using the wrong glue can not only void your warranty, but also impact the appearance or durability of your carpet. The manufacturer may suggest using a specific glue, or simply recommend a few types that will work with your product. Always follow these recommendations to maximize your results and help reduce problems.
Next, consider the environment where you plan to install your new carpet. If moisture is a problem in this room, stick with marine glues, which are often made for moisture-prone areas. Think about the expected temperature during the period when you plan to install the carpet. Some glues are designed to work in extremely hot or cold temperatures, while others are not recommended for use when temperatures falls below freezing. Of course, outdoor carpet should only be adhered using an indoor/outdoor carpet glue product, while indoor rugs can be affixed with either.
If you plan to install the carpet yourself, keep your own installation skills in mind as you select carpet glue. Some varieties are labeled "quick drying" or "fast acting" and are not designed for novice users. Steer clear of these products if you are relatively inexperienced at this type of project.
Finally, choose a glue that meets your requirements in terms of safety and air quality. Many carpet glue products contain formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals, which off-gas over time to harm the air quality in your home. If you are concerned about off-gassing, choose water-based carpet glue and avoid solvent-based products. Check for products that are free of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which should be labeled "Zero VOCS" or "VOC Free."