What Wood Glue To Use In The British Climate

What Wood Glue To Use In The British Climate

While using fastenings like nails and screws is great in some situations, there are others that require a different approach, and that is where wood glue comes in. These powerful products are ideal for DIY projects but owing to certain factors, they may be more difficult to use.

It may surprise you to learn that the climate can have a profound effect on your wood glue and living in the UK, the climate goes through some pretty drastic changes. Even over the course of a few weeks, we can see insane temperature extremes and varying levels of humidity that are anything but consistent. Finding a wood glue that can handle these changes without too much of an issue is essential unless you have a fully heated shed or workshop.

How The Climate Changes In The UK Over A Year

Depending on where you live in the UK, you may experience different climates. For example, the beautiful weather that can be found on the English Riviera is vastly different to the wind whipped outer reaches or northern Scotland. If ever there was a country that saw such diversity where climate is concerned, the UK is up there with the best.


Now, since the UK is so diverse when it comes to climate, we have decided to base our research around the capital, London. In a southerly location, the city may experience slightly different weather to locations in the north, but we feel it is a good place to start.

Where humidity is concerned, there are some pretty decent extremes, even in London. For example, according to experts, London’s humidity can range between 70% and 89% at the height of summer and winter, respectively. That’s a pretty significant difference. That said, the average sits just above 79% meaning that the UK is a rather moist country.

Temperature Variations

When we think of a British summer, many of us think of a few chance weeks of scorching sun around June or July…although this is hardly the most reliable way of viewing summer in this country! With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that the average temperature in London annually is just a little over 10ºc; isn’t that depressing!

However, as with anything, there can be some very drastic variations, especially over the course of a year and when the UK weather wants to go to the extreme, it doesn’t do it by halves. With January being the coldest month with an average low of 2ºc, things can get quite chilly. On the flip side, July and August both have averages well above this at 22ºc. But if you live in the UK, you will know that temperatures can go far outside these figures.

How Does Climate Affect Wood Glue?

There are many ways that climate can have an effect on wood glue and it is important to be aware of these before purchasing any particular product.

Time To Go Off

When you purchase a bottle of wood glue, the good news is that it can last a long time. Usually, the shelf life is up to two years but it can last as long as ten years when it is stored properly ( we will look at storage in a little more detail later on ). However, since the temperature can affect the quality, it is vital that you don’t expose the glue to extremes.

If you want your wood glue to last as long as possible, you must avoid a freeze and thaw cycle. Now, the occasional freeze won’t harm your glue but most products aren’t designed to withstand these cycles more than four or five times. So if the temperature is an issue, this will shorten the life of your glue.


If you attempt to use wood glue in very cold conditions, this can stop it from forming properly. PVA glues are one of the most common types of wood glue and while there are some out there such as Titebond 3 that can be used in temperatures as low as 7ºc, most require at least 10ºc for the best results.


That said, wood glue will freeze when the mercury falls below zero making it far too thick and solid to use. However, in most cases, once the glue is warmed, its performance will be largely unaffected.

If glue gets too hot, this can cause the texture to become clumpy which of course, is going to affect how easily you can use it.

Ease Of Use

When using wood glue in very humid conditions, there is a risk that the glue will not hold as well. But this is more in relation to the condition of the wood since in humid conditions, it may swell, making it more difficult to get a good bond. That said, once the glue has set, the humidity shouldn’t have too much of an effect on its integrity.

There are epoxies that can be used in colder temperatures and some of these might work down to as low as 2ºc. However, you should keep in mind that the bonding time will be massively increased.

How To Store Wood Glue

Knowing how temperature extremes and humidity can affect the lifespan of your wood glue, it goes without saying that correct storage is a must. You should always keep your wood glue in a consistent, moderate temperature and in a dry environment.

We wouldn’t advise keeping your wood glue in a shed or outbuilding that may be prone to extreme temperatures. If possible, keep your wood in the house and ensure that the bottle remains tightly sealed.

What Wood Glue To Buy

There are a lot of options when it comes to wood glue and with so many different types, it can be tempting to just buy any old bottle and hope for the best. But since the UK is home to some pretty cold and wet days, it is worth choosing wisely.

Gorilla Wood Glue – For Everyday Use

Gorilla Wood Glue

This hard working glue from Gorilla is perfect for the UK climate as it has one of the best water resistances around. This means it can be used indoors and outdoors and won’t be affected when humidity is high. The bottle features an anti-clog nozzle which will ensure that you always get great consistency.

It is designed to work with a variety of different wood types and creates an excellently strong bond in a short amount of time. Great for reducing clamp-up time.

This relatively new manufacturer is fast becoming a favourite in my workshop due to its versatility and low price. 

Check the price on Amazon >

Titebond Original Wood Glue – For Faster Setting

Titebond Original

Sometimes, you don’t have the time to wait around for glue to set but in extreme climate conditions, this can be an issue. However, Titebond has you covered with their original glue that is designed to drastically reduce clamping time.

Moreover, the brand claims that the bond formed will be stronger than the wood it is holding, and we have to admit, this isn’t just a sales tactic; it really does hold!

This American brand, which was only previously available in the States, is now becoming more widely popular in the UK and worldwide.

Check the price on Amazon >

Titebond 2 – Perfect For Outdoors

Titebond 2

The Titebond 2 premium wood glue has been designed for versatile use both indoors and outdoors. This is largely due to its incredible water resistance and this makes it  the number 1 selling glue from the brand and offers an exceptionally durable hold even when used in slightly more extreme conditions.

What’s more, it has a very favourable setting time and with easy clean-up, you won’t need to worry about the mess.

Check the price on Amazon >

Titebond 3 Ultimate Wood Glue – Slower Setting

Titebond 3

One of the most renowned products from Titebond is this ultimate wood glue that is also suitable for bonding leather. This is a waterproof formula meaning that it won’t easily be affected when the humidity levels rise.

If you are looking for something that will form a tight bond then this is an excellent option. It features high viscosity which makes it ideal for use at lower temperatures. The setting time can be up to 24 hours but it has a tacking time of just  30 minutes.

Check the price on Amazon >


Wood glue is an essential product for any DIY lover or craft enthusiast but it can be a volatile material that is easily affected by humidity and temperature. Being in the UK, both of these things can be extreme so it is important to source wood glues that will perform just as well, regardless of the conditions.

If you would like to find out more about how to choose and use wood glues, see our related article, ‘Wood Glue FAQ – Your Questions Answered’

What Wood Glue To Use In The British Climate

Related Posts

Scroll to top