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Community and Q&A

Alternative to Drywall Adhesive

DavidDrake | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

Ready to hang drywall on a 6:12 cathedral ceiling, and it turns out drywall adhesive (Liquid Nails brand, Dap brand, OSI F38, etc) is unobtanium in my area; local building supply store has never even heard of it. And online sources are either out of stock, or leads times are too long.

Any experience with other products that work well? Caulk, standard construction adhesive, others?

Am I over thinking this? Are there plenty of products that do an adequate job?

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    I use polyurethane caulk from loctite’s “PL” line. I like it because it’s stretchy and durable. Good stuff. I’ve used “White Lightning” before too. Ive used “Big Stretch” too. I avoid silicone since if you get a fingerprint in it on the drywall surface, you’ll mess up your paint job.

    Which sealant you use isn’t super critical. Ideally you just want something that will stay at least a little stretchy over time, so that it won’t separate with thermal cycling as the years go by. That’s why I like polyurethane sealants — I’ve found them to hold up very well over time. They are also easy to find and not super expensive.

    I would avoid acoustical caulk. That stuff is really messy. You’ll get it on everything, even your neighbors. It’s the mess that keeps on making messes.

    There is also drywall gasket made by the great stuff people, but I’ve never tried that myself. I probably should sometime though, it looks interesting.


  2. Expert Member


    The function of what you are looking for isn't attachment, it' air-sealing. So you wouldn't necessarily use it n the same places you would use drywall adhesive. As Bill said, you want something stretchy. Caulks or gaskets both work.

  3. DavidDrake | | #3

    Thanks, Bill and Malcolm. That helps a lot. Especially since the caulks you've mentioned are readily available.

    Just curious: would gaskets be something like sill seal, or self adhesive foam, or perhaps butyl rubber sealant strip? The last is pretty interesting; I've used butyl rubber strips to seal speakers cabinets before. Seeing prices for 1" x 1/8" x 50' rolls around $7. Per LF., this seems similar to some caulks, and cheaper than others.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #5


      As Boris said, the Conservation Technologies gaskets are purpose built for this situation and very high quality. Butyl tape works well. A production builder I know halved his ACH rate using just common sill-seal.

  4. jamesboris | | #4

    David, check out the EPDM drywall gaskets from Conservation Technologies. They aren't really expensive, will last forever (same material as gaskets used in full UV exposure on many commercial plate glass windows), and can be put up in advance... meaning that when you're drywalling, you don't have to stop and mess with glue, you just put the drywall up as normal. As long as you position them right, to get full compression, it's a nice system.

  5. plumb_bob | | #6

    The products from Conservation Technologies look really cool, I would be interested in using or recommending them. Anybody know of a Canadian supplier?

    1. jamesboris | | #7

      They're a small company that's really easy to communicate with, just give em a call or email.

  6. DavidDrake | | #8

    Thanks to everyone who responded. For expediency, I've gone with sill seal and caulk—started hanging drywall yesterday.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #9


      For next time:

      1. DavidDrake | | #10

        Appreciate it, Malcolm. Initial blower door testing is in a couple weeks, prior to insulating stud bays (dense pack cellulose) and attic (loose blown cellulose). So there should be some opportunity for further improvement to air-sealing.

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