Fabricators and installers have access to online forums, blogs, social media pages and industry groups for questions about adhesives. However, a single question may get dozens of different answers and dozens of incorrect answers. These “sponsor driven” outlets are driven by sales, self promotion and are opinion based. Do you want opinions or facts? We are the experts in adhesive technology and we are well aware of what our competitors are offering. Even if another brand is better suited for an application, we will tell you. We are here to help you, not sell you.
Please look through these F.A.Q. replies to see if your question has already been answered. If not, please contact us. If it is after hours, we will do our best to get back to you early the next day. Your reputation, and our reputation, depends on correct answers.
Q: What are the different types of adhesives manufactured at Superior Stone Products?
A: Modified Acrylic Vinyl Ester (GOLD), Modified Vinyl Ester (FUSION), 100% Vinyl Ester (V-MAX & PEARL), Modified Polyester (POLY-EPOXY), Acrylic (ACRYLIC PENETRATING), Polyester (SUPERIOR, SILVER, BRONZE) and Epoxy (E-1010) are all manufactured at our location in Byron Center, Michigan. Made in the USA.
Q: Many companies make adhesives, what makes yours special?
A: Our adhesives are the industry benchmark by which all other adhesives are measured. Our products have a competitive advantage over our competitors products in every category such as bonding strength, gel time, cure time, shelf life, color, clarity and polish ability. Maximizing the adhesive performance allows fabricators to complete more jobs in less time which results in more profit. While some of our competitors are content repackaging products made by their supplier, we control our formulas from beginning to end. Perfect for invisible seams, lamination’s, miters, rodding and repairing natural and engineered stone.
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 competitors that produce low quality adhesives want you to think that but it just isn’t true. We carefully select all of our raw materials and resins. While we have some competitors that 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 simple…options. Instead of making a one-size-fits-all product, we provide options.
Q: Which is the best adhesive to use for laminating stone?
A: Great question but we cannot narrow it down to only one adhesive. Due to the variety of stone surfaces available, it is best to use advanced chemistry adhesives to be able to handle your particular application. We recommend GOLD, FUSION, V-MAX and PEARL.
Q: Can polyester adhesives be used outdoors?
A: Do NOT use Styrene based adhesives for outdoor applications! Superior Polyesters contain Styrene so they should only be used indoors. For UV stability in outdoor applications, we suggest using GOLD or E-1000/E-1010 EPOXY.
Q: What should I use for filling porous stones such as Travertine or Limestone?
A: Most adhesives can effectively be used to fill holes in stone. Our Polyester Filled products are excellent for filling porous stones for indoor applications. These adhesives have been pre-colored and contain calcium carbonate so the adhesive cures harder and polishes to the same finish as the stone. We offer Buff, White, Black and Travertine and our coloring paste is available to help match other colors.
Q: What is your Water Clear Polyester used for?
A: Seaming and laminating porous stone. One of the first “clear” adhesives in the stone industry, this is an excellent adhesive but please know the cure time is 2-4 hours. If you need something faster, we recommend GOLD, FUSION, V-MAX or PEARL These adhesives are also clear/translucent, cure in about 20 minutes and provide much stronger bonding.
Q: I heard some people discussing “thin film”. What is that?
A: The layer of adhesive between two pieces of stone is the “thin film”. All of our adhesives 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. In addition, the bonding strength is greater in thin film as compared to a bond joint of 1/8″-1/4″.
Q: Does Superior make a product that solidifies stone that may be softer or have fine cracks and fissures?
A: Yes, Superior Acrylic Penetrating has a water-thin viscosity 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: Epoxy, Polyester, Vinyl Ester, Acrylic...isn't all glue "epoxy"?
A: NO! It is extremely important to know the difference. Epoxy is just one type of adhesive. In fact, there are even different types of epoxies in the “epoxy” category. We manufacture Epoxy but we also manufacture Vinyl Esters, Polyesters, Acrylics and various blends. Each type of adhesive has it’s own characteristics and suggested applications.
Q: What makes Superior Epoxies different than Vinyl Esters, Acrylics and Polyesters?
A: Bonding strength! Superior EPOXY “mechanically & chemically” bonds with stone and are excellent for outdoor applications. Superior EPOXY can be used with structural anchoring and supporting systems. Superior EPOXY has flex and toughness that is ideal for adhering two dissimilar items together (example: Granite to Steel* or Marble to Wood). Superior EPOXY is available in Flowing (E-1000) and Knife Grade (E-1010)
*Always TEST prior to application when working with metals due to variations in surface tension
Q: How do I avoid confusion as to what ratio to mix my Superior Epoxies?
A: Although there are many different types of Epoxies in the market, we make it very easy to use ours. E-1000 and E-1010 are a 1:1 mix ratio. Equal Part A to Equal Part B. We supply our Epoxies to our Distributors in matching quantities. Our Distributors should also provide them in matching quantities. The labels are clearly marked to make it even easier to differentiate between Part A and Part B. If you have a scale, it is recommended for accuracy.
Q: I heard from a supplier that you offer a POLY-EPOXY. What is that?
A: Superior Poly-Epoxy is a Modified Polyester adhesive which is a blend of our premium polyester resin and premium vinyl ester resin. Superior Poly-Epoxy provides the strongest bonds of any glue in the Polyester family.
Q: Is Superior POLY-EPOXY mixed using a standard 2:1 ratio?
A: NO. Although it has “poxy” in it’s name, it is NOT an epoxy. 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: Superior GOLD is a Modified Acrylic Vinyl Ester adhesive and is a truly unique adhesive that shares characteristics of our acrylics, epoxies and vinyl esters. It has an epoxy backbone which provides the strength and toughness as an amine-based epoxy but has a curing time of a polyester/vinyl-ester (tack-free under 20 minutes at room temperature) Using standard BPO as the catalyst, Superior GOLD is the preferred adhesive to use when you have a demanding bonding application and time is limited. This includes dense stones, engineered stones, sintered stones, freeze/thaw situations or running your stone through CNC/edge polishing machines. This single adhesive can be used for seaming, mitering, laminating, rodding, repairing and more.
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 3-5 minute gel time and cures in less than 20 minutes. Do NOT add more hardener than instructed! For maximum performance, we recommend using a scale for perfect mixing every time.
Q: Where should I use Superior GOLD?
A: Almost everywhere! With its unique chemistry, Superior GOLD can be used with quartz surface, solid surface, sintered, porcelain, natural stone, engineered stone and other ultra-compact surfaces. 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. The question could be “where shouldn’t I use it?”
Q: What is different about a 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.
Also, Vinyl Ester adhesives are stronger and tougher than polyester adhesives but there are important things to know when comparing to 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 (3) Vinyl Ester adhesives? (FUSION, V-MAX and PEARL)
A: Options! Each adhesive is unique giving you different options for different applications.
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.
FUSION – Modified Vinyl Ester
V-MAX – 100% Premium Vinyl Ester
PEARL – 100% Vinyl Ester
Q: What is Superior FUSION?
A: The easy answer is we combined GOLD and V-MAX. In reality, we blended the technology we use for GOLD with the technology we use with V-MAX. FUSION is a Modified Vinyl Ester that can be used with quartz surface, solid surface, sintered, porcelain, natural stone, engineered stone and other ultra-compact surfaces. With its toughness, it can handle the most demanding applications.
Q: What is Superior V-MAX?
A: V-MAX is a premium, 100% Vinyl Ester adhesive. V-MAX can be used with quartz surface, solid surface, sintered, porcelain, natural stone, engineered stone and other ultra-compact surfaces. With its toughness, it can handle the most demanding applications.
Q: What is Superior PEARL?
A: PEARL is a high quality, 100% Vinyl Ester adhesive. PEARL can be used with quartz surface, solid surface, sintered, porcelain, natural stone, engineered stone and other ultra-compact surfaces. With its toughness, it can handle the most demanding applications.
Q: What does it mean that 3 of your adhesives are "Neolith Approved"?
A: Superior GOLD, Superior FUSION and Superior V-MAX are all Neolith Approved. Neolith is the leading, premium, “sintered” material (similar to porcelain). This material is very dense and requires adhesives with exceptional bonding characteristics. Through extensive testing, these (3) adhesives were approved by Neolith for bonding their material.
Certification is pending with other sintered material manufacturers but it’s quite an accomplishment to have (3) approved adhesives by the leader in the industry.
Q: Which of your products are UV stable?
A: Superior GOLD, Superior Epoxies and Superior Acrylics. However…there is a difference between “UV stable”, “UV resistant” and “UV colorfast”.
Stone adhesives are not 100% UV colorfast but NOTHING is 100% UV colorfast. Even stone slabs can change color over extended periods of time being exposed to sunlight and damaging UV rays. The keys to creating the best seams for outdoor applications is as follows…
- If you are using Superior Coloring Paste, it will impart some additional UV stability masking modest changes in color due to UV exposure
- Creating very tight seams also helps keep seams invisible or only slightly noticeable
- Geography and weather conditions affect UV exposure. South facing applications in the Arizona desert allows for more UV exposure than North facing applications in Minnesota. Southern exposure to seams should be minimized for maximum performance and reduced discoloration
Q: Can your adhesives be used in extreme heat or extreme cold conditions?
A: Yes and No. Sorry, the answer isn’t as easy as “yes” or “no” so please allow us to explain.
- Proper storage is critical! ALWAYS store your adhesive in a climate controlled room
- Thermal cycling (cold nights/hot days) negatively affects adhesive performance and reduces shelf life
- Extreme Heat: Keep the adhesive cooled/refrigerated prior to using. Try to cool the stone prior to applying adhesive. Create a shade canopy if possible.
- Extreme Cold: Keep the adhesive warm prior to using. Try to warm the stone prior to applying adhesive.
- Our 1:1 epoxies require a minimum of 55°-60°F (10°-13°C) for the reaction to occur.
- When adding hardener, use the low end of the recommended amount in heat and the high end of the recommended amount in cold. DO NOT exceed the recommended amount of hardener in cold temps.
- Know your working time. Different adhesives have different gel times. If you are unfamiliar with the gel time, practice with a timer. This is critical as the two pieces of stone must be pulled/clamped together BEFORE the adhesive starts to gel. This is very important when temperatures are above 70°F (21°C)
- Extreme temperatures will cause the bond joint to expand and contract so you need an adhesive that can flex with that movement. We recommend Superior GOLD, Superior Epoxy, Superior FUSION, Superior V-MAX and Superior PEARL for these conditions.
Q: What is BPO and how is it used?
A: BPO (Benzoyl Peroxide), also known as White Hardening Paste, is the catalyst added to most adhesives to activate the adhesive. Normal usage is 1% – 4% by weight 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.
There is another type of catalyst MEKP (Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide), also known as Clear Liquid Hardener, which is used with our Polyester Water Clear Flowing and Knife Grade.
Q: Sometimes I need extra hardener. Can I purchase hardener only?
A: Yes. Superior Stone Products includes the correct amount of hardener with each shipment of adhesives to our distributors. Therefore, they should include the correct amount of hardener when you purchase your adhesive. We STRONGLY recommend that you adhere to the ratios listed on the product label when adding hardener as too much hardener will cause the adhesive to burn, become brittle and could cause bonding failures. Our adhesives are very reactive and do not require extra hardener even in cold temperatures. Our white paste hardener (BPO) is available in 1 oz. and 4 oz. tubes. Our Polyester Water Clear adhesives use clear liquid hardener (MEKP) which is available in 1/2 oz. tubes.
QUART = (1) 1oz. Tube BPO
GALLON = (1) 4oz. Tube BPO
5-GALLON = (5) 4oz. Tubes BPO
THE BIG BOX = (5) 4oz. Tubes BPO
Polyester Water Clear = (1) 1/2oz. Tube MEKP
Q: Does Superior offer coloring paste to tint your 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 (10) 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: We warranty the shelf life for 1 year from the date of manufacture. The shelf life is dependent on storage in a controlled climate. Extreme heat or cold will negatively affect on the quality, performance and shelf life of our adhesives.
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 allowing the edges to 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