Best Glue for Ceramic Repairs

Don’t Panic! Read our Guide to the Best Glue for Ceramic Repairs

Whether you’ve just smashed that priceless figurine or want to create something new with old ceramic pieces, you need a reliable and strong ceramic glue to get the job done. So, don’t panic! You can fix, repair or create any ceramic object with a good glue.

But don’t settle for just a good glue. With a great glue you won’t even be able to tell that the object was broken in the first place. That’s what you should be aiming for.

We’ve done the hard research for you to find those great ceramic glues that leave a professional finish. Read our full guide below to discover which glue brands to trust, and how to use them correctly.

What is the Best Glue for Ceramic Repair?

Ceramic is a porous material. Take a look at your broken ceramics right now – do you see how the inner ceramic that’s been exposed is rough to touch? This rough texture is because ceramic is naturally porous. Whether your ceramic object has a nice shiny glaze on the outside or not is irrelevant – once smashed open, the porous inside is exposed.

To glue ceramic to ceramic, you need a glue that’s designed to for porous materials. A watery glue will just soak into the porous ceramic material and not give you the super strong hold you are looking for.

The best glues for ceramic repair, filling in cracks, and joining ceramic to other materials are usually quite thick. Look for high or thick viscosity glues and gels, as they’ll provide a strong hold but won’t “leach” into the ceramic or spread too much.

These types of glues are very strong and will just as easily stick your skin to the ceramic, as it will the materials. That’s why you should take safety precautions – read how to use ceramic glue below.

Here are our top 8 best glues for fixing ceramic objects and ceramic crafts projects.

Super Glue

Super glue is a very strong and reliable glue that you can use to fix ceramic objects or glue new ones together. It’s most people’s first choice simply because most households already have a tube of super glue in the back of a drawer somewhere!

As a multi-purpose glue, super glue is not specifically designed for ceramic. So, it’s sometimes best to buy a new tube of glue – look for clear, gel glues that won’t be so obvious when the ceramic object is fixed.

You can also find super glue tubes with very fine nozzles, to help fill in hairline cracks and gaps that are difficult to access otherwise. Here are our two top picks.

Gorilla Super Glue

Gorilla is a well-known and reliable brand that has a proven record of fixing ceramic objects. You can find less well-known brands that are cheaper, but we can’t guarantee that they’ll do a good job!

As Clear Gorilla Super Glue dries in 10-45 seconds, you just need to hold your ceramic pieces together rather than clamping them – it’s ideal for very small and fiddly pieces.

Guoelephant Super Glue

Another clear and odorless super glue that’s designed with ceramics in mind, is this Adhesive Glue by Guoelephant. It works amazingly well on rough and jagged broken ceramic pieces but is still strong enough to grip and hold two smooth ceramic edges together.

If Gorilla isn’t available, go for this one.

2 Part Epoxy Glue

If you are looking to get a very professional and seamless finish on your ceramic items, then a two-part epoxy glue is more suitable. You need to combine the two liquids to create the glue, which quickly starts to set. This gives you more control over the consistency and viscosity… although it can be a little messy if you are inexperienced!

This is the best glue for ceramic crafts projects or if you are fixing a vast number of ceramic items. A small tube of super glue won’t be enough!

Cyanoacrylate (Thick Viscosity)

Cyanoacrylate is a very strong glue that works for household DIY projects, as well as ceramic items. So, you can use this glue to fix much larger objects that need to be strong and reinforced. The glue we like best, the Glue Masters Thick Viscosity Cyanoacrylate, is just the right consistency for ceramic objects.

When ceramic breaks, the interior edge is slightly rough and ceramic itself is porous. This means that liquid glues tend to spread and soak into the ceramic. That’s why choosing a thick viscosity glue like this is super important if you want a strong hold and smooth finish.

Food-Safe Silicone Glue

Another great glue to use on broken ceramic items is silicone glue. This clear and super-strength silicone grade glue will hold together all manner of ceramic items, including ceramic kitchen worksurfaces, plates, even roofing and plumbing!

This is a really good option for ceramic in your kitchen. It’s UV-resistant, so won’t go yellow on your countertops, waterproof for splashes, and totally food-safe. That’s really important if your ceramic items are used to prepare or serve food. This glue is also safe up to 350F/176C, even though it cures at room temperature.

Weather-Proof Multi-Surface Glue

Our final favorite glue for ceramic repairs and fixes is this weatherproof option by Elmers. It’s a professional multi-surface bond that’s exceptionally good for gluing ceramic to other materials.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll have ceramic objects outside (the less-porous porcelain is usually a better choice for outdoor construction) it’s good to know that this glue can withstand some wind, rain and excess heat.

It may look cloudy at first, but it dries completely clear and you can paint over it too, so it will be like you never dropped Grandma’s ceramic vase in the first place…

Key Features to Look For

If you decide to buy a glue that’s not on our list, here are some key features to look for:

  • Materials – most professional glues give a list of materials that they are suitable for. Double check that ceramic is on the list.
  • Viscosity – you want a gel-like or very thick glue that works well on porous materials.
  • Bond Strength – if the glue isn’t as strong as your ceramic, it will wear down quicker. This is especially important for ceramic floor tiles and other ceramic items that receive a lot of wear.
  • Drying Time – most super glues will set in under a minute, so you only need to hold the pieces together by hand. If the glue takes longer to cure, then you may need clamps to hold the item in place.
  • Resistance – check if the glue is resistant to the following effects:
    • Water
    • Solvents
    • UV-rays
    • Weather
  • Purpose – some ceramic glues are specifically designed for repairing figurines, for example. Naturally, that glue can be painted over. Other multi-purpose glues may not be as versatile as they are designed for any use, not just delicate repair jobs.

Gluing Different Ceramics

To help you figure out which of our top 5 ceramic glues to use, we’ll take you through some of the most common ceramic objects that get smashed. If you don’t see your ceramic object on this list, then think carefully about how it is used and go through our ‘Key Features’ list above to narrow down your options.

Best Glue for Ceramic Pots

Best Glue for Ceramic Pots

Ceramic pots, whether they are plant-pots or just used to hold objects (like pencils), are easiest to fix. As they aren’t generally used to eat out of, or support the weight of a human, you can use super glue and most other light gel-based glues.

There are a few important considerations:

  • Water-tight – if the pot holds water, you need to choose a glue that’s waterproof and won’t create leaks.
  • Root-proof – if your pot holds a plant, you need to make sure that all the little cracks are completely filled in with ceramic glue. Otherwise, your plant may try to break free and put pressure on the weaker holes!
  • Can be painted – if the pot is decorated on the outside, choose a glue that can be painted over.

As pots are mostly decorative, it actually looks quite cool when you can see how they’ve been smashed and put back together. Own it!

Best Glue for Ceramic Mugs

Best Glue for Ceramic Mugs

Mugs are very easy to replace, so if you are going to lengths to fix one, it probably has sentimental value. Don’t worry – we can fix that ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug in a flash! The best glues for mugs are food-safe, strong, and can be painted over. So choose a food-safe silicone glue or food-safe epoxy glue that’s designed for arts and crafts (because they are perfect for painting over).

When repairing your mug, be careful:

  • Make sure you have all the mug pieces that broke (check under the fridge) so there are no gaps.
  • Be liberal with the glue, so there are absolutely no gaps that liquid can leak out of.
  • Choose a glue that’s safe at high temperatures and won’t dissolve into your coffee or tea!

Best Glue for Ceramic Tile

Best Glue for Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are often found in the bathroom and kitchen, areas that get wet and messy! As a result, you should make it a priority to find a glue that’s very water-resistant. Furthermore, it also needs to be a very strong glue. On the walls, it needs to be strong enough to hold up. On the floor, it needs to be strong enough to hold weight and not wear down faster than the tile itself.

As a result, we recommend choosing a silicone or cyanoacrylate glue. Simple super glue may not be enough, and you won’t get much done with a tiny 20g tube!

Best Glue for Ceramic Ornaments and Figurines

Best Glue for Ceramic Ornaments and Figurines

When priceless ornaments break, they lose their value. Gluing them back together won’t restore their monetary worth, but it does restore their sentimental worth. For figurines and ornaments, you have two choices depending on the damage:

  • For a clean break with large pieces that fit together with no gaps, choose any clear ceramic glue or clear super glue.
  • For shattered ornaments with many small fragments (some of which may be missing) choose a very thick epoxy or cyanoacrylate This will hold together even the smallest of pieces and create a smooth filler for gaps.

You should also invest in some good quality paints, if you want to try painting over the glue. You can find tiny tubes of acrylic paint, so you don’t need to waste money on a gallon of Dulux!

Ceramic and…

If you like to create things, arts and crafts style, then you might be looking for a glue that will securely attach ceramic to another material. If you work in construction, you may have the same need but on a larger scale.

So, here is a list of the best glue for ceramic and various other materials it can be joined to.

Gluing Ceramic and Glass

Ceramic can certainly be attached to glass with glue. It’s actually quite common! Many people like to create a nice border around a glass mirror with tiny ceramic tiles.

To do this, you should use a strong and clear glue. You should also practice first and lay the glass flat before attaching any ceramic pieces. Depending on the glue you use, there will be a short wait for the glue to set – so don’t let the ceramic tiles slide down the mirror and create messy, gluey marks.

For attaching ceramic to glass you can use super glue, however it becomes costly when you have a lot of tiles to attach or if you are creating a mosaic. So, a silicone or epoxy glue is also a good idea.

Remember to consider the environment as well – if it’s a bathroom mirror, it should be waterproof ceramic glue.

Gluing Ceramic and Wood

Gluing Ceramic and Wood

You can most definitely glue ceramic to wood. Just like ceramic, wood is a naturally porous material (unless it has been treated) so you can use many of the same glues listed above. If you are attaching ceramic to wood for a crafts project, go ahead and choose your favorite super glue or simple epoxy glue.

For construction, where the ceramic tiles or components need to be very firmly stuck to the wooden surface, use an industrial glue that’s designed for wood. This will ensure the glue stays solid on the wood side.

You may also want to consider using mastic glue or a thin dry-set mortar, if you are working on a large scale.

Gluing Ceramic and Metal

Unlike wood and glass, gluing ceramic to metal is notoriously difficult. While ceramic is porous, metal is impervious. Ceramic isn’t usually resistant to weather, while most metals are hardy and resistant. The types of glue you’d use for metal and ceramic are very different.

In fact, if you were combing two metal objects, you’d probably consider welding before gluing!

Nonetheless, you can glue ceramic to metal. To do this, you need to consider the object:

  • It needs a strong hold but won’t be moving much (or at all) – use a small amount of cyanoacrylate that becomes brittle once cured.
  • It needs a strong hold that’s also flexible – silicone glue is the best option, as it has a little give once cured but retains its strength.
  • The shapes are wrong – if the ceramic doesn’t quite lay flush against the metal, use an epoxy glue that will fill the gaps and stay strong. Bear in mind that it may take longer to cure if you need to use a thick layer of epoxy glue.

How to Glue Ceramic Pieces Back Together

How to Glue Ceramic Pieces Back Together

When you have your ceramic pieces ready to be assembled, here’s what you should do:

  1. Create a clean and well-ventilated workspace and lay out all the ceramic pieces,
  2. Clean your ceramic pieces with a damp cloth to remove any dust and debris that can’t be stuck together (if you don’t clean away the dust, this can prevent the glue from creating a strong hold),
  3. Reassemble the ceramic item without glue, just to work out how it goes back together and what pieces should be glued first,
  4. Read the complete instructions for how to use the glue before you start,
  5. Follow our safety instructions below,
  6. Combine or open your glue ready for use,
  7. Apply a small amount to one ceramic piece, spread it using an applicator or brush, then press it to the adjoining ceramic piece,
  8. Let it set for however long the glue takes to cure,
  9. Attach the next ceramic piece using the same process.

Safety Tips

Glue may seem harmless, but it’s not. A study into ocular super glue injuries found that half of people were injured while just opening the glue container! So, here are some important tips to follow:

Choose the Right Glue

If you are using the glue to fix a ceramic dish that goes in the oven or comes into contact with food, you must choose one that’s non-toxic and heat resistant. The glue could melt or explore in the oven, and a standard glue will start to leach chemicals into your meals.

Wear Safety Goggles

If you don’t have safety goggles, wear sunglasses and turn all the lights on so you can see clearly. If you have prescription glasses, wear those too. As mentioned above, eye injuries aren’t that uncommon…

Wear Gloves

Super glue is amazing at sticking skin to skin. It’s even used to repair wounds in hospitals. So, wearing a pair of gloves (preferably latex) will prevent any trips to the emergency room. Likewise, you should never touch the glue directly, even if you are wearing gloves. Let the applicator or brush included with the kit do the spreading!

Wear a Mask

Besides keeping your workspace ventilated (open a window) you may also want to wear a mask if the glue releases fumes or a nasty chemical smell.

Obviously, don’t inhale the glue!

Store the Glue Correctly

Store your glue according to the manufacturer’s instructions, so you can use any leftovers for ceramic repairs in the future. This usually involves sealing the package or tube so it’s airtight and storing it somewhere dark and cool.

You don’t want to reach blindly into a drawer that contains an open tube of super glue!

FAQs

What’s the best glue for ceramic?

Superglue is a good choice for convenience and will do the job for most small projects. For larger projects, consider a 2-part epoxy glue or silicone glue.

What is the strongest glue for ceramic?

Epoxy glue creates a very strong bond, but it really depends on the materials you are combining. Superglue is strong enough for binding ceramic to ceramic. An epoxy or silicone glue is also a good solution for attaching ceramic to wood, glass or metal.

Does Gorilla glue work on ceramic?

Yes, Gorilla super glue will stick ceramic pieces back together. Look for gel consistencies that will work best on the porous ceramic materials.

How can I repair broken ceramic?

Use our steps above to select a glue, clean the pieces, reassemble them, and stick them back together. The glue that will hold ceramic back together is very strong, so take safety precautions too, such as wearing gloves and eye protection.

Is porcelain the same as ceramic?

No, porcelain is different. Ceramic is lightweight and porous. Porcelain is non-porous, very hard, and durable. Thin porcelain, used to create teacups, is translucent. Thick porcelain tiles are not and are even strong enough to be used for outdoor construction. Ceramic, on the other hand, is best used on interior construction and for figurines, ornaments, and other trinkets.

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