Most IKEA furniture is designed as flat-packed simple assembly items, but sometimes once you’ve put everything together, that new coffee table isn’t exactly as sturdy as you’d hope. Often this comes down to joins and dowels not being fully pressed together, but other times you can get an item that just doesn’t seem to want to stay steady, no matter how closely you follow the instructions.
The best glue for IKEA furniture is a durable wood glue. Since many IKEA products are made from wood materials, wood glue can sufficiently reinforce joints and enhance the material’s strength. Plastic and epoxy glues can also increase sturdiness but are better suited for plastic and metal furniture.
For more information on the perfect glue to use for your IKEA furniture, check out our recommendations below.
The Best Glue for Wooden Furniture: Gorilla Wood Glue
Most IKEA furniture products are made of pressed wood or cardboard material, so wood glue is usually the best glue to use. It fills in the gaps, is absorbed slightly by the material, and creates a strong bond between pieces.
Take care not to use too much, though. Otherwise, the tight pressing of pieces will cause the glue to spill out of the seam. This can be difficult to clean up before it begins to adhere and may leave a mark on the furniture – take care when applying!
Gorilla Wood Glue is a great choice for general use. It is rated for both indoor and outdoor use, so it works with pretty much any wooden furniture you would need it on. It’s also quick to apply – it only needs 30 minutes of clamp time and is fully cured within 24 hours. Also, its natural wood color means you don’t have to worry about ugly white lines ruining your nice new IKEA coffee table.
The Best Glue for Plastic: Loctite Plastics Bonder
Some items, like plastic, may not bond well with wood or general-purpose glue. If you’re having trouble joining plastic together, try using a plastic-specific bonding compound.
These are similar to epoxy in that there are two elements: an activator and a glue. Mixing the two causes a chemical process that cures the glue and hardens the joint. Loctite Super Glue Plastics Bonder dries super-quickly and transparently without any clamping needed.
Make sure to follow the instructions carefully, as the more specific you go with glue, the more specific chemicals are used. There are special instructions to follow with a glue like this to make sure the bond works correctly and that the glue is used safely.
The Best Glue for Metal: Loctite Two-Part Heavy Duty Epoxy
If you need to glue metal items together, wood glue or polyurethane glue might not cut it. The next level of adhering strength is epoxy. Epoxy is a two-part compound with a hardener and a resin. They are kept separate until needed, whereupon they are mixed and cause a chemical reaction to cure.
Loctite Two-Part Heavy Duty Epoxy begins to set in five minutes, creates a super high-strength bond, and can be used on metal, glass, ceramics, wood, some plastics, china, tile, even concrete, stone, and fiberglass – pretty much anything and everything you could ever possibly find at IKEA! It takes a bit more preparation to use epoxy, but the bond strength is second to none.
The Best Glue for Humid Areas: Franklin Polyurethane Glue
If you need to glue wooden furniture that is going into a high humidity environment, like a bathroom, you might need to look at polyurethane glue rather than wood glue. Polyurethane glue is activated by moisture which causes it to cure faster, but a tradeoff is that it creates a foam that can leak out of any joins, especially when clamped.
Polyurethane glue does have a longer curing time than wood glue, so make sure to let it cure for the right amount of time for the strongest join.
Franklin Polyurethane Glue is a fantastic choice for this kind of job as it’s completely waterproof and has a non-drip formula. It also has a curing time of only forty-five minutes, meaning you don’t have to wait around forever for it to dry.
Best Glue for Small Repairs (Furniture Joint Repair): Wonderlokking Tite Chairs
Wonderlokking Tite Chairs Glue is perfectly sized for easy joins and repairs on not only wood but metal, rubber, glass, and most ceramics. It has a clear color when dry so it doesn’t impact the finish or look of your repair if used correctly, and it sets in seconds for a quick fix.
This kind of glue is perfect to use for small repairs or to strengthen loose furniture joints, as it is specifically designed for the job and offers the best guarantee of a good fix.
The Best No-Show Glue: Gorilla Clear Glue
For a more professional fix, especially on items where you don’t want any glue visible, you can try a product like Gorilla Clear Glue. It dries crystal-clear and is simple to use. Just lightly dampen the surfaces and apply a small amount of glue, wipe off any excess within fifteen minutes, and then clamp for two hours and leave it for another 24 hours for a full cure. It is also water-resistant and can be used for indoor or outdoor projects.
This kind of glue is the perfect choice for any furniture that is very delicate, in a prominent position, or made of a lot of clear materials like glass or plastic.
The best glue to use for IKEA furniture depends on what material the furniture is made of, the size of the repair required, and where the furniture is designed to go. With our handy round-up of the best glue products available, no longer will you need to worry about that wobbly leg on your IKEA side-table.