Today, when fabricators and installers have questions, they have access to online forums, blogs, social media pages or industry groups. The problem is, when you ask one question, you will get dozens of different answers most of which are inaccurate. Typically, the sponsors of these outlets are more interested in selling you their products than to recommend the best product for your application.
If you have questions about stone adhesives, just ask the manufacturer. We are the experts in adhesive technology and we are well aware of what our competitors are offering. Our reputation, and yours, is dependent on the performance of our products so we are obligated to give you an honest answer. Even if another brand is better suited for your application, we will tell you. By giving you an honest answer, we hope that you will remember us the next time you need stone adhesives.
Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Take a minute to look through these replies to see if your question may have already been answered. Below the F.A.Q.’s is a link to a “Troubleshooting” document which addresses many issues fabricators and installers face each day. If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. If it is after hours, we will do our best to get back to you early the next day.
Q: What are the different types of adhesives you manufacture at Superior Stone Products?
A: Modified Acrylics, Vinyl Esters, Polyesters, Acrylics, Epoxies, Poly-Epoxies and Color Pastes are all manufactured at our location in Byron Center, Michigan. Made in the USA.
Q: Many companies make adhesives, what makes yours special?
A: Superior Adhesives are the industry benchmark by which all other adhesives are measured. Our products have a distinct advantage over our competitors products in every category including gel time, cure times, shelf life and clarity. Maximizing the adhesive performance allows fabricators the opportunity to complete more jobs in less time which results in more profit. Also, no other company makes glue as pure as ours. While some of our competitors are content repackaging products made by their supplier, we control our formulas from beginning to end. This makes them ideal for invisible seams and allows for perfect color matching when adding our color paste.
Q: Why do you offer 3 different polyester formulas? Isn’t all glue the same?
A: Let’s start by addressing your second question first. NO, not all glue is the same. Our lower quality competitors want you to think so but it just isn’t true. We carefully select all of our raw materials and resins. Where our competitors purchase off-the-shelf items, we control the entire manufacturing process and add each component separately. This guarantees that you are receiving a one-of-a-kind adhesive that cannot be duplicated. The reason we offer 3 different formulas is to satisfy the needs of the end user. Factors such as climate, geography, cost of living and education all play a role in what adhesives are being used. Instead of making a one-size-fits-all product, we give you options.
Q: Which is the best adhesive to use for laminating granite?
A: A large percentage of all laminations are done with Polyester. However, as more fabricators are using automatic edge machines and CNC machines, there are times when a polyester adhesive is just not strong enough. The pressure of these machines is so great that lamination failures can occur. If this is a concern, we suggest using GOLD, V-MAX, PEARL, Poly-Epoxy, Acrylic or Epoxy.
Q: Can polyester adhesives be used outdoors?
A: Superior Polyesters should only be used indoors. All adhesives that contain Styrene should NOT be used outdoors. For UV stability in outdoor applications, we suggest using GOLD, Epoxies or Acrylics.
Q: What should I use for filling porous stones such as Travertine or Limestone?
A: Our Polyester Filled products are excellent for filling porous stones for indoor applications. These adhesives have been pre-colored and Calcium carbonate has been added so the adhesive cures harder and polishes the same as the stone. We offer Buff, White, Black and Travertine and our color paste is available to help match other colors.
Q: What is your Water Clear Polyester used for?
A: Seaming and laminating. A common use of this product is for Carrara Marble. By adding a few drops of white color paste, it mimics the translucent look of White Carrara stone.
Q: I heard some people discussing “thin film” when referring to adhesives but I didn’t understand what they were talking about. What is “thin film”?
A: The layer of adhesive between two pieces of stone is the “thin film”. All of our products cure to a very hard “thin film” which allows the cured adhesive to polish with the stone. Most of our competitor’s products are very flexible in “thin film” cure which means some never fully cure. This will cause your grinding and polishing tools to gum up which results in a poor polish that leaves a dull, visible line.
Q: What makes Superior Acrylic Adhesives a good choice for laminating?
A: Superior Acrylics “mechanically” and “chemically” bond with the stone. This means a chemical reaction occurs between the adhesive resin and the stone creating a permanent bond. This is also true with Superior GOLD and our Epoxies.
Q: Can Superior Acrylic Adhesives be used outdoors?
A: Yes, Superior Acrylics are UV stable. Superior GOLD and Superior Epoxies are also ideal for these applications.
Q: Should we use Superior Acrylic Adhesives when we are going to put the stone through a CNC or an edge polishing machine?
A: Yes, Superior Acrylics have superior bonding strength and can withstand the pressure of CNC and edge polishing machines. When two pieces of stone are joined together using Superior Acrylics, the stone would likely break before the adhesive bond would fail. Superior GOLD and Superior Epoxies are ideal for this too.
Q: Does Superior make a product that solidifies stones that might be softer or have fine cracks and fissures?
A: Yes, Superior Acrylic Penetrating is water-thin in consistency which enables it to penetrate deep into the stone before curing. When cured, it consolidates and strengthens stone with fine cracks and fissures. Superior Acrylic Penetrating can be used for indoor and outdoor applications.
Q: What makes Superior Epoxies different than Acrylics and Polyesters?
A: Like Superior Acrylics and Superior GOLD, Superior Epoxies “chemically” bond with stone and are excellent for outdoor applications. Superior Epoxies can be used with structural anchoring and supporting systems. Superior Epoxies are very strong glues and ideal for adhering two dissimilar items together (example: Granite to Steel* or Marble to Wood).
*Always TEST prior to application when working with metal as there are so many variables
Q: How do I avoid confusion as to what ratio to mix my Superior Epoxies?
A: Superior manufactures both 1:1 and 2:1 Epoxies. Superior Epoxies are shipped in matching quantities. Our Distributors should also provide them in matching quantities. Our 1:1 Epoxy is (1) can of Part A and (1) can of Part B. Our 2:1 Epoxy is (2) cans of Part A and (1) can of Part B. The labels are clearly marked to make it even easier to mix. If you have a scale, it is recommended for accuracy.
Q: Why do you make Epoxies that have two different mixing ratios?
A: We offer both 1:1 and 2:1 in an effort to satisfy the needs of our customers. For decades, fabricators were using 2:1 ratio epoxies but there were always people wishing it could be easier so we introduced the 1:1 ratio. Whether it is 1:1 or 2:1, never add more of either Part A or Part B than what is instructed.
Q: I heard from a supplier that you offer a Poly-Epoxy. What is that?
A: Superior Stone Products has perfected Poly-Epoxy which is a blend of our premium polyester resin with an epoxy backbone. Poly-Epoxy provides stronger bonding strength than standard Polyesters.
Q: Is Superior Poly-Epoxy mixed using a standard 2:1 ratio?
A: No, Superior Poly-Epoxy requires the use of BPO (white paste hardener) which is the same catalyst used with all of our adhesives (excluding Epoxies). Poly-Epoxy has a 4-5 minute gel time and cures in 20-30 minutes.
Q: What is Superior GOLD? Is it a polyester, acrylic or epoxy?
A: Not an easy question to answer. GOLD is a truly unique adhesive that shares some characteristics of our acrylics. It also has an epoxy backbone which provides strength and toughness. GOLD gives you the same strength and toughness of an amine epoxy but has a curing time of a polyester or vinyl-ester (tack-free under 20 minutes at room temperature) Using standard BPO as the catalyst, GOLD is the preferred adhesive to use when you have a demanding bonding application. This includes dense stones, engineered stones, sintered stones, freeze/thaw situations or running your stone through CNC/edge machines. This single adhesive can be used for seaming, laminating, rodding, chip fill, repairing and more.
Q: What is Vinyl Ester glue?
A: Vinyl Ester glue is one of the newer adhesive technologies to the stone industry. Vinyl Ester is appealing to fabricators due to its lack of color (whitish / translucent). This allows you to use the adhesive “as-is” to match thousands of stone colors and it also makes it easier to color when you need a specific color match.
Vinyl Ester adhesives are stronger than polyester adhesives but there are important things to know that are different than polyesters…
Hardener: Vinyl Ester adhesives are more reactive than polyesters so you need to make sure you do not use more hardener than instructed. Vinyl Esters can easily discolor and you will lose bonding strength if you use too much hardener.
Storage: Proper storage is critical! It is very important to store Vinyl Ester adhesives in a climate controlled area. Extended exposure to temperatures over 75°F (24°C) will drastically reduce the shelf life (this includes other brands too)
Q: Why do you have (2) Vinyl Ester adhesives (PEARL and V-MAX)?
A: Choices. Similar to cooking, you can use the same recipe to make a dish but, when you get the ingredients from different sources, the finished products will taste differently.
For PEARL and V-MAX, the “recipe” is very similar but we procure the resins from different sources. Where other manufacturers are using “off-the-shelf” resins, we have secured special formulations for our Vinyl Ester adhesives. Taking that one step further, we add our own “technology-twist” to each formula making them exclusive to our company.
PEARL – We use high quality resin for our PEARL formulations
V-MAX – We use premium, high quality resin for our V-MAX formulations
Although this results in two product lines with different price points, it was important for us to continue offering fabricators choices.
Q: Where should I use Superior GOLD?
A: Almost everywhere! With its unique chemistry, GOLD can be used with quartz surface, solid surface and natural stone. Best of all, it is UV stable so it can be used outdoors and indoors. With its toughness, it can withstand freeze/thaw conditions without cracking.
Q: Is Superior GOLD mixed using a standard 2:1 ratio?
A: No, Superior GOLD requires the use of BPO which is the same catalyst used with our Polyesters, Vinyl Esters and Acrylics. GOLD has a 4-6 minute gel time and cures in less than 20 minutes.
Q: What is BPO and how is it used?
A: BPO (Benzyl Peroxide), also known as White Hardening Paste, is the catalyst added to most adhesives to make it harden. Normal usage is 1% – 4% by volume depending on the formula. NEVER use more or less BPO than instructed. Rule of thumb: A pea size application of BPO to a golf ball size amount of adhesive.
Q: Sometimes I need extra hardener (BPO), can I purchase hardener only?
A: Yes. Superior Stone Products includes the correct amount of hardener with each shipment of adhesives. We STRONGLY urge you to adhere to the ratios listed on the containers when adding hardener as too much hardener will cause the adhesive to burn and become brittle which can cause bonding failures. Our adhesives are very reactive and do not require extra hardener even in cold temperatures. Our hardener is available in 1 oz. and 4 oz. tubes. Our Polyester Water Clear adhesives use a different catalyst called MEKP (clear liquid hardener) which is available in 1/2 oz. tubes.
Q: Does Superior offer coloring paste for adhesives?
A: Yes, Superior Stone Products manufactures coloring paste utilizing our resin technology to stabilize the shelf life and allows it to blend better with our adhesives. We offer (1oz. tubes) (2oz. bottles) (8oz. bottles) in the following colors: Black, White, Red, Red-Brown, Green, Blue, Brown, Ochre, Buff and Gray.
***Note: always add color paste before adding the hardener***
Q: What is the average shelf life of Superior Adhesives?
A: Typically, Superior Polyesters and Superior Epoxies sustain a shelf life of 2+ years. Superior Acrylics, Superior PEARL, Superior V-MAX and Superior GOLD have a shelf life of 1 year. The shelf life estimates are dependent on a controlled climate. Extreme heat or cold will have a negative effect on the quality, performance and shelf life of our adhesives.
Q: Why don't you put the E-Z Flow Lids on all of your flowing adhesives?
A: Great question, For our “gallon” and “1.25 gallon” sizes, we have both “round” and “F-style” shaped cans. The F-style can is designed to pour without making a mess. There are some circumstances where you may encounter a “flowing” glue in a “round” can and find it difficult to pour without making a mess. For example, we invented THE BIG BOX and the “flowing” adhesive cans inside are round.
Due to the advanced engineering, there is a significant cost associated with the E-Z Flow lids. We could apply them to our “round flowing cans” and raise the prices but not everyone wants them. It doesn’t make sense to us to charge people for something they don’t want. We have a competitor who applies them to all of their flowing products so hopefully people understand they are paying for them whether they want them or not.
E-Z Flow Lids are great and reusable. If you have problems with messy glue from pouring out of a round can, the E-Z Flow Lids are a great solution. The best part is you only need to buy the number of lids you need which saves you money in the long run.
Q: ICE, FIRE, LIGHTNING. What are these all about?
A: Many years ago, quarries started treating the polished surfaces of stone with various types of resins to show off the characteristics of the stone. Unfortunately, after the slab is cut into smaller pieces, the cut edges do not have that same resin treatment. Even with proper polishing, it is very difficult to get the untreated edges to match the treated surface. This is where we come in.
ICE, FIRE & LIGHTNING enhance the natural color and characteristics of these untreated edges making it so the edges match the surface.
Unlike some “agers” or “transformers”, ICE, FIRE and LIGHTNING provide permanent enhancement without wearing off.
3 unique products for maximum performance…..ICE – For natural stone…..FIRE – For exotic stone…..LIGHTNING – For engineered stone