Adhesive for Gluing Foam Board to Plywood


I'm about to start gluing down 2" extruded foamboard to my plywood bench top.  I've been researching both the MRH and MR archives to try to find the best adhesive for this job, without much success.  I've seen mentioned Liquid Nails for Projects, the type specifically for foamboard (LN-604), PL300 foamboard adhesive, ordinary acrylic latex caulk and yellow carpenter's glue. 

If you've used any of these adhesives to glue foamboard to plywood, I'd appreciate hearing about your experience and opinion on those you've used.  One reference I read stated that they had a problem with the Liquid Nails product coming loose after about two years.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.


I used Yellow glue

Hey Bob, I tried the PL300 and found it worked well but it seamed to me to need a lot to get it done.  It also took a little longer than I expected to dry.  I wound up using Elmer yellow glue.  I got a gallon from Home Depot for like $13 and only used about a 1/4 of it. This was used to  glue down five 2' x 8' sections to the plywood and 5 more sections on top of that so I could have 4" of depth.  I made sure I had 100% coverage so when I cut into the foam to make contours I wouldn't have any unglued edges that could cause a problem.

While at Home Depot I got one of those little free Formica chip samples and used that to smear the glue over the foam

By the way, I used some the remaining glue to glue the cork RB to the foam.  I did use PL300 to put the track to the cork.

If I had to do it again (although I won't use foam again but that's a different thread) I would do it almost like that again.

The only difference I would do I recently just discovered and like it well.  I just tore out about 30' mianline and I am putting the foam back in that section. Now I glue up the whole piece except for a few spots about the size of a half dollar. On those spots I use low temp hot glue.  This holds the foam in place while the glue, any glue, dries.  Since it's such a large area that we are working with, the air has a hard time getting in there causing longer than expected drying times.  This way I can start lightly doing work in areas on the new foam in a few minutes.


Liquid Nails Heavy Duty 903

Liquid Nails heavy duty 903 (I think that is the product number) is a better product than the regular Liquid Nails. That is what I use to glue foam to wood and foam to foam. Weight or clamp the foam (using wood strips to spread the clamping or weight) to the wood or other foam you are gluing to.


Elmers Glue All

I used Elmers glue all to attach R1 blue foam to OSB as well as 1/2 inch blue foam to plywood. Its held great over several years now and can be removed with a large putty knife of changes come later.

Its pretty cheap too, I bought mine after the back to school sales....

I also used hot glue in a few places, but preferred the glue all to allow me to adjust if needed, and larger sections like a yard worked better with glue all.

Randy McKenzie

Virginia Southern

HO triple decker, 27x32

Randy McKenzie
Virginia Southern - Ho triple decker 30x32

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Scarpia's picture


Elmer's Glue All here. No complaints.

HO, early transition era local time GMT +4
On30, circa 1900    


skiloff's picture

Two different things

My first time, I used PL300 and it still stands up today, 10 years later.  The second time, however, I just used plain white glue on a module and that stood up quite well, too, but I ripped it apart after about 3 years.  However, it wasn't easy to pull apart.  If I do it a third time, I'd likely use Glue All like others here have said.


HO Scale '70s/80s era

there are some other things to consider:

I've used white or yellow in plenty of places... It's quite good, but as stated, slow to set (foam is such an airtight material!)  This stuff is quite good at making a reworkable surface... a bit of patience can peel thes 2 apart again.

I also use Gorilla glue (AKA, urethane glue) when I want permanence.  Just remember to dampen 1 surface for the glue to set-- It'll foam up, so some clamping Will be needed.

Also, why spend full price at the Depot?  I find the price at ACMoore, or Michael's is competitive... but when you present a 40% discount coupon (available in weekely papers), they beat the home centers every time.

(I do like the hot melt glue for tacking down... I've used T-pins for that, and I think I'll switch!)

- regards


I'd like to thank everyone

I'd like to thank everyone for their input.  What is Elmer's Glue All?  I don't think that I have seen it in Lowe's or Home Depot.

Again thanks for your help,


rfbranch's picture

Latex Adhesive Caulk


I have a setup EXACTLY like yours (2" foam board on 1/2" ply) and I attached all of it with regular white latex adhesive caulk.  If I can offer one suggestion:  if you haven't already purchased it go with 1" foam if it's available.  I find running wire through the foam to be rather difficult at times due to the way drill bits create ragged cuts in the foam with loose bits that hang up feeder wires when you are trying to put them through the foam.

Better yet, I'd even suggest either using just the ply or just the foam board on a wood frame if the bechwork isn't that far along.  My benchwork is totally over engineered and one or the other would be sufficient to build the layout in my mind. 

I know it's beyond what you asked about but I think my coffee has the best of me this morning!




Proto-Freelanced Carfloat Operation, Brooklyn, NY c.1974

For those interested come check out my Wisconsin Badger Football podcast: BuckAround

Rich try this

Trying not to high jack the thread but try this Rich  - I have 4" of foam so I can feel your pain.  I used a BBQ skewer and some blue painters tape. I  I just laid the wire along the skewer put a little tape on it to hold it while I threaded it through.  I would take the tape and put on my shirt first o take a little of the stickiness out of it.


rfbranch's picture

Thanks for the tip Steve!  I

Thanks for the tip Steve!  I saw on my recent post related to this someone pointed out using hollow brass rod (thread the feed down through it) so I'm glad to see others who have had this issue! 


**Steve and I will now step off this train and go hijack another thread**



Proto-Freelanced Carfloat Operation, Brooklyn, NY c.1974

For those interested come check out my Wisconsin Badger Football podcast: BuckAround

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