Is Mixing Your Own Countertop Adhesive the Best Practice?
Depending on the adhesive you use for countertops, you may be mixing a two-part glue (bi-component adhesive) for the projects. In fact, there are a number of professionals that have the custom of mixing their own adhesives for countertops. If you prefer that method, there is nothing wrong with it. However, you be surprised to learn that there are other methods for mixing countertop adhesives. In this article, we will talk about some of those alternatives and then we will compare mixing your own with the other methods. Afterward, you should be able to answer the question, "Is mixing your own countertop adhesive the best practice?"
Why Mix Your Own Countertop Glue?
Many professionals might say that they prefer to mix their own countertop adhesives because it is more cost effective. And it may appear to be that way - on the surface. However, putting a dollar amount on what an adhesive costs your business is not as simple as comparing the price you pay for a product. There are other factors involved as well. Comparing the cost effectiveness of mixing your own countertop glue with other mixing methods requires knowing about those other methods. Let's look at an alternative to mixing your own countertop adhesives. Then, we will compare the two methods so you can decide which is best for you.
Alternative Glue Mixing Method
Have you been mixing your own countertop adhesive and are seeking better ways of mixing? Or, perhaps you are not looking for a better way because you aren't aware of any better methods.
One of the alternative methods for mixing countertop glue is using a glue cartridge for countertop glue. This method is a bit different than mixing your own countertop glue. Using this method, you simply place the cartridge in the cartridge gun (similar to a caulking gun) and then, after dispensing a bit of glue to make sure the mixing tip is giving you a good mixture, you begin using the glue. Simple, easy, guaranteed proper mixture, every time. If you are still trying to determine if this is a better option, keep reading as we compare mixing your own with using pre-dosed cartridge glue.
Benefits of Using Glue Mixing Cartridges
Glue mixing cartridges are an alternative method to mixing your own countertop glue. But how does mixing your own compare to using cartridge glue guns? Let's compare.
Ease of Mixing
The first comparison we will make is that of ease. How easy is it to mix your countertop adhesive? No matter how easy it is, pre-dosed cartridges that mix perfectly as they are dispensed are easier. Since the cartridge has both components in it and the mixing tip blends the two parts as they pass through it, there is really no effort required on the part of the person using the cartridge.
Which Mixing Method Is Faster?
This aspect is closely related to the one we just considered. Yet it is a bit different. Which method of glue mixing takes less time? Again, cartridges win since the mixing takes place as the adhesive is dispensed. Mixing it yourself, means having to measure out the two parts and getting the mixture exactly right. Which leads to our next point of comparison.
As we touched on in the last aspect of comparison, getting the mixture correct is important. And when you mix it yourself, this requires not only time, but also care and know how, to get it right. Additionally, each batch must be mixed as it is needed. This leads to consistency problems between batches. Changes in the mix affect the performance of the adhesive. The viscosity of the adhesive, its ability to adhere, and the color from one batch of glue to the next will change depending on the mix.
However, when you use a cartridge for mixing your adhesive, it is consistent. And not just consistent, but consistently perfect. Glue cartridges mix the adhesive exactly right, every time. This means that there is no special knowledge about mix ratios, or blending techniques needed. The cartridge is pre-dosed and the nozzle mixes the two parts automatically. As you can imagine, this means that there is less opportunity for wrongly mixed batches
What About Adhesive Waste?
In addition to the other aspects of mixing glue for countertops, there is the need to consider the amount of glue wasted. There are several factors that can contribute to wasted glue when you mix it yourself. Perfection in the mix ratio, as mentioned above, is one thing to consider. But also the size of the batch can create waste. Furthermore, what if the color is wrong? The fact of the matter is, everything has to be exactly right for the adhesive to be useful. If any part of the mixing is wrong, the glue gets scrapped.
What about using a glue cartridge though? When you use a glue cartridge you don't have to worry about perfection or waste. As we have already mentioned, the mix is exact.
Colors are matched and are available in a variety and they are formulated for specific materials. That means, once you get the correct color, you know exactly what to expect the next time around. You don't have to mix the adhesive to a perfect color. It is already mixed to specification. Additionally, if there is a partial cartridge left, the two parts are not yet mixed inside the cartridge, therefore, you can simply remove the mixing tip and save the rest for the next job. Yes, less waste is possible with cartridges.
Now we come to the point that really resonates with business owners; the cost. All of the previous aspects that we have mentioned in this article play a part in the cost of the adhesive. Here they are in an easy to read list. These are the factors that affect the cost of your countertop adhesive:
- Ease of Mixing: the ease of mixing means there is no need to train someone to specifically mix the adhesive and since cartridges are pre-dosed and mix as they are used, they are ready to go and anyone can sue them.
- Speed of Mixing: the faster the adhesive is mixed, the less time it takes to mix it and the less money is spent on paying a person to mix the adhesive.
- Consistency of Mixtures: the more consistent the mixtures are the less time workers spend re-mixing and adjusting mixes to get the right color, adhesion strength, and viscosity. This again is time that costs money.
- Mix Accuracy: the more accurate the mixture is, the less product that goes to waste and if there is extra left in the cartridge, it is not yet mixed, so it can be used later.
When to Mix Your Own Countertop Adhesives
So, the big question to consider regarding mixing your own countertop adhesives is, "Why are you mixing your own countertop adhesives?" There might be good reasons for it in very specific scenarios. But as we have seen here, there are a number of reasons to use the alternative method of glue cartridges. If your crew is capable of mixing perfect batches of two part adhesives every time, then you may already be using the best method for your crew. But for everyone else, those of us that are not achievers of perfection, the cartridges are the way to go.
How would you answer the question, "Is mixing your own countertop adhesives the best practice?" Many would say that the speed and ease of use, less waste, and more consistent adhesive performance equates to a better way for mixing countertop adhesives.