At AboutMechanics, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Foam Adhesive?

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson

Foam adhesive is a polyurethane-based bonding agent that is used in construction work and is suitable for many common building materials. These adhesives are often used to secure roofs and can also be used for other materials, such as drywall and plywood. They provide a watertight, solid bond between materials and are bought in tubes or as a spray. They are available from many suppliers of building materials and are favored by many professionals because of the ease of application and the strength of the resulting bond.

Polyurethane is a durable material. It is resistant to weather, fluctuations in temperature, oils, fats and even gasoline. As a result of the reliability of the material, it is often used to secure roofs onto homes for hurricane protection. When made into a foam adhesive, polyurethane comes out as soft foam and quickly sets into a hard adhesive, forming a tight, permanent bond between the desired surfaces.

Many brands of form adhesives need to be attached to a caulking gun in order to be applied.
Many brands of form adhesives need to be attached to a caulking gun in order to be applied.

Many brands of foam adhesive come in tubes that need to be attached to a caulking gun to be applied. Caulking guns are cylindrical frames, with a large circular plunger that is used a trigger. There is a spout at the top of the tube, which concentrates the stream of foam and enables more precise application. Caulking guns typically are available in any hardware store.

Some types of foam adhesive also come in spray form. This makes application slightly simpler than it is with a caulking gun, but it doesn’t allow the same level of precision in the application. Spray foam adhesive is especially useful for bonding things such as drywall, where the foam used in the application will be hidden. The foam can be quickly and easily applied, and the slightly messier application won’t make a difference to the overall appearance. Any protruding foam can be removed by cutting it after it has set.

A foam adhesive virtually removes the need for nails, and it can be used for many building applications as a standalone adhesive. Also, most foam adhesives are nontoxic and environmentally friendly. Unlike many other adhesive products, foam adhesive is odorless and generally sets within 10 minutes of application.

Using foam adhesive also helps reduce heat loss in the home. The foam forms an airtight seal because it is so malleable before it sets. By reducing the amount of gaps between the surfaces that it bonds, foam adhesive reduces heat loss and increases the surface’s sound absorptive properties.

Discussion Comments


Foam adhesive is wonderful. I wish I had discovered it earlier. I've been using it around the house and even in my car to re-attach/fix various problems, and it has worked every time. The only downside is that the nozzle has to be cleaned after each use. Otherwise, the nozzle gets clogged and it doesn't spray. I learned this the hard way when I first bought it. Thankfully, I was able to get the spray to work after a few tries. Now, I make sure to clean the nozzle each and every time. This is the only issue I have with this adhesive. Otherwise, it's great, it holds very well, dries fast, and is durable.


@donasmrs-- I've used both and they are not the same thing. I think they work best for different things. Aerosol adhesive is usually clear and it is most often used for artwork or craft projects. Some even use it for mounting photos.

Foam adhesive, as the name suggests, comes out like a foam and sometimes it's colored. So it's not good for projects where the adhesive will be visible. The most popular use of this adhesive is to glue together pieces of styrofoam pieces and plastic.

What both have in common is that they're both messy adhesives and can easily get everywhere if not pointed and sprayed correctly. I suggest using both outdoors in fresh air and with an old t-shirt on.


Is aerosol adhesive better or foam adhesive? Is there a significant difference between them in terms of use and effectiveness?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Many brands of form adhesives need to be attached to a caulking gun in order to be applied.
      By: ganko
      Many brands of form adhesives need to be attached to a caulking gun in order to be applied.