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Top tools for flooring

There are many different ways to finish a floor, and the materials involved can vary widely in cost. For instance, depending on the floor area and quality of product, carpeting your home could cost anything between £2,000 and £12,000.

Whatever flooring you opt for, there are certain tools you will need to install it. Let’s take a look at them:

Tools for laying hardwood/laminate flooring

Retractable knife, metal straight edge, tape, circular saw, drill with spade bit, adhesive, handsaw, wood chisel, hammer

If you’re laying wooden flooring on a concrete sub-floor, you’ll have to put down a damp-proof membrane, followed by an underlay. Both these steps will involve cutting, so get yourself a retractable knife and metal straight edge. You’ll also need tape to stick together the sections of underlay.

For cutting wooden floorboards down to size to fit the room, use a circular saw. Make sure the saw is fitted with the appropriate blade for cutting the wood you’re using.

When it comes to fitting boards around pipes, use a drill fitted with a spade bit to create a hole for the pipe. Then use a saw to cut a wedge section out of the board, and stick it in place using adhesive.

You may need to cut down doors and their frames to accommodate the new floor. Use a handsaw to cut into the doorframe, then a hammer and wood chisel to remove the unwanted section.

Tools for laying carpet

Hammer, adhesive, retractable knife, metal straight edge, tape, carpet stretcher, carpet tucker

Fitting carpet involves placing a strip of gripper around the perimeter of the floor to help hold the carpet down. Gripper comes with nails already embedded in its surface, but you’ll need a hammer to bang them into the wooden floor below. If the sub-floor is screed or concrete, then you can use an adhesive to stick down the gripper.

Sizing the carpet and its underlay to the room will involve some cutting, so make sure you’ve got a retractable knife and metal straight edge to hand. Use tape to stick sections of underlay together.

When fitting the carpet, you’ll need a carpet stretcher and carpet tucker. These metal implements are used to stretch the edges of the carpet towards the wall and hook them to the gripper strips. You can also use the carpet tucker and a hammer to fit the carpet edge under the threshold strip in any doorways.

Tools for laying vinyl flooring

Retractable knife, metal straight edge, adhesive, sealant, sealant gun

Whether you’re laying vinyl flooring in sheet or tile form, you’ll need a retractable knife to cut it to size or to fit it around obstacles such as sinks.

To fix the vinyl to the floor, use double-sided tape or spray-on adhesive, but make sure the room is well ventilated before using the latter. If your vinyl floor is in a bathroom or other area that might get wet, you can use a waterproof sealant along the edges to prevent moisture collecting underneath.

Tools for laying ceramic/stone tile flooring

Tiling adhesive, gauging trowel, notch trowel, spirit level, circular saw, floor tile grout, grout float, grout-finishing tool, sealant, sealant gun

When fixing the tiles to the sub-floor, use a gauging trowel to apply the tiling adhesive to the floor, then spread it using a notch trowel. Check the flatness of the tiles as you lay them using a spirit level. For cutting tiles down to size, you’ll need a circular saw fitted with a tile blade.

Once the tiles are all in place, use a grout float to work the tiling grout into the gaps between the tiles, then smooth it off with a grout-finishing tool. Seal the edges of the floor with sealant.

General tools and safety equipment for laying flooring

Regardless of the type of flooring you’re installing, there is some equipment you will always need. A tape measure is essential for measuring the sections of flooring, and a soft broom and dustpan and brush can be used to keep floor surfaces clean before and after laying.

It’s important to stay safe during various stages of laying flooring. Protect your knees from hard floors with a pair of knee pads. When cutting or drilling any flooring material, wear safety goggles, gloves and a mask.

At Fixings and Powertool Center we stock a wide variety of tools and equipment for laying flooring. Whether you’re after the best tools for the job, or advice on how to go about it, our team of friendly experts is here to help. Contact us here.

Types of power tools and their uses

Electrically-powered tools have been around for over a century – without them, productivity and profitability in the building world would plummet. Before their invention, large teams of labourers were needed to perform tasks that today can be carried out much faster by one or two people equipped with power tools.

So if you’re someone who uses a power tool on a regular basis, stop for a minute to think about all the time and effort that tool has saved you, and be thankful that someone had the bright idea to invent it!

All power tools are similar in their makeup. They’re basically a power source, connected to a motor, which then moves an implement. The difference is the motion they create. While other types of power tool exist, the examples below cover those that are most commonly used in building and renovation jobs.

Drills/drivers

Electric drills and screwdrivers primarily employ rotation either to bore a hole in a surface, or turn a screw or bolt. There are a few different types to look out for:

Also known as a drill driver, a rotary drill is your basic electric drill/screwdriver. With a chuck that holds either a drill or screwdriver bit, the two functions are combined in one tool for efficiency. You can go from one mode to the other with a flick of a switch, as well as change the direction of rotation from clockwise to counterclockwise.

Standard drill drivers are great for use in softer materials such as wood.

Drivers are dedicated to turning screws and bolts, and have a great deal of torque at their disposal, which means they can put a screw into dense hardwood without stripping the head. One caveat: they use special bits that cannot be used by other drill drivers.

Drivers are useful when you have a lot of screws to take care of.

Hammer drills include a selectable hammer action, which moves the chuck in a rapid forward and backward motion while it rotates the bit. This simultaneously pounds and grinds the surface area, making clean holes even in tough materials like concrete and steel.

With the ability to switch to standard rotary drill and driver modes, the hammer drill is a great all-purpose drilling tool that packs a punch.

If it’s serious drilling power you’re after, then look no further than a rotary hammer drill. These are larger and have a lot more power than standard hammer drills, and can even be used with a chisel attachment to break up concrete. Due to their high power, they utilise special drill bits, and operators need to wear ear protection.

Saws

When you need a portable tool to cut something, there are a couple of ways you can go:

Circular saws employ a rapidly rotating toothed circular blade. Depending on the type of blade used, they can cut wood, plastic, metal and masonry. Equipped with helpful cutting guides, they’re good at producing straight edges, which makes them especially suited to woodworking.

Reciprocating saws have a straight blade with a serrated edge that moves back and forth to saw through materials. While powerful, they lack finesse and manoeuverability, so they’re best used when neat lines are not the priority. They’re great for hacking off tree limbs or even cutting through nails embedded in wood.

Grinders and sanders

Another tool to employ a rotating implement is the angle grinder. Its variety of attachable abrasive discs can be used to grind, polish, sand or cut a range of materials including stone and metal. Angle grinders are generally used in construction and metalwork.

For smoothing wooden surfaces, use a sander. Whether it has a rotating belt, a spinning disc or a vibrating pad, a sander uses a piece of sandpaper attached to a rapidly moving surface to create friction. These are useful for removing layers of material, such as a finish that’s been applied to furniture.

When purchasing a power tool, we recommend choosing one with at least 12v of power, as well as more than a year of warranty. Some of our favourite makes include Makita, Bosch, DeWalt, and Milwaukee.

For more information on power tools and their uses, get in touch with our team of friendly experts. We also have a repair and servicing shop to keep your tools running. You can contact us here.

How to become a builder

Are you good with your hands? Does the idea of working outdoors appeal? Do you prefer your tea on the strong side? If the answer to these questions is yes, then a fabulous career in the building trade awaits you!

There are many benefits to becoming a builder. Thanks to the UK’s current construction boom, builders are in high demand, which means there is plenty of work to be had, and it’s varied; jobs range from residential and commercial building, to civil engineering and service to trade. Then there’s the teamwork and banter that building projects can provide, making for an enjoyable working day. And finally there is the pride to be had when looking at a completed build and knowing that you contributed to its success.

But just how do you go about becoming a builder? Do you have to go to building college? Is there a test? And where exactly do you buy a left-handed screwdriver?

We’ve put our heads together, carried out some detailed research, and whittled the options down to this essential list.

Apprenticeships

One in five construction employers uses apprenticeships to recruit new blood, which makes these schemes a reliable route to employment for inexperienced jobseekers.

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to learn while you earn, meaning you get paid to train on the job, and at the end you get a useful qualification to show for it. There are many levels of education available through apprentice schemes, and the better your experience and qualifications, the greater your opportunities.

As an incentive to employers, the government offers grants to help companies meet the costs of providing apprentice schemes. Its website also has a useful search function for finding an apprenticeship.

Building courses

If you’d rather just concentrate on the studying side of things, you can get your qualifications before you find work. Institutions like City & Guilds offer a wide range of courses that teach everything from essential skills like plastering and decorating, to specialist trades such as heritage construction. Along with the variety of subjects and the value of a certified qualification, the benefit of these courses is that they provide students with a theoretical understanding of a trade before they head out to test it in the world of work.

Just have a go

There’s a lot to be said for jumping in at the deep end; it’s the quickest way to learn. For those that prefer to get stuck into work straight away, they need only go online or scan the jobs pages of their local paper for entry-level building positions. Granted, they will probably find themselves performing menial tasks at first, but they’ll soon get to try their hand at a range of more skilled jobs, and there really is no substitute for hands-on experience. If you’re willing to learn, you’ll soon find yourself picking up a whole host of skills that will form the basis of your new trade. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.

Before you start applying for jobs, make sure you’ve got a professional-looking CV and a couple of good references. If you’re just starting out these can be from a teacher or a family friend in a reputable position. For help creating a CV, check out this site: https://www.fish4.co.uk/career-advice/construction-worker-cv-template/.

If you’re in need of further advice on how to embark on a career in construction, then why not pop in and bend our ear about it? We deal with members of the trade on a daily basis, so when it comes to the latest goings-on in the industry, we’ve always got our finger on the pulse. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and they’re always happy to help – they’ll even show you where we keep the left-handed screwdrivers. Get in touch here.

How to maintain your power tools

When it comes to power tools, the secret to a long life is proper regular maintenance. A well-maintained drill could last 15 years, but treat it shabbily and it will cost you time and money, until it ends up on the scrap heap.

What’s more, a faulty tool can be a safety hazard. Keep tools in good condition and you’ll keep yourself safe, while also complying with Health and Safety standards.

Sometimes repairs are unavoidable, but the better you treat your equipment, the longer it will stay out of the repair shop. Here’s a list of common maintenance tips designed to help prolong the life of your power tools:

  1. Keep tools clean

Construction areas aren’t the cleanest of places, so keeping your power tools clean requires regular effort. Before and after using any power tool, give it a check over to make sure there’s no crud stuck to it. Have a rag handy to wipe off any sawdust, grease, etc., and use a can of compressed air to blast debris out of hard-to-reach parts.

  1. Look after cords, hoses and batteries

Plugs, cords, air lines and batteries are the weak links in most power tools. Check plugs and cords are intact before attaching to mains power, and don’t be tempted to use anything that seems damaged, or bodge a repair. When not in use, roll up cords and hoses to avoid kinks that can lead to faults. Keep batteries away from extreme temperatures, and don’t let them run all the way down before recharging.

  1. Check safety features

Inspect safeguards before use to ensure they’re in place and intact; not only can a faulty guard damage the tool, it can also injure the user. Never tamper with or remove a tool’s safety guard, and unless you know what you’re doing be sure to have repairs carried out by a professional.

  1. Don’t use old or broken attachments

The friction and stress that attachments like drill bits, saw blades and sanding discs experience make wear and tear inevitable, but continuing to use worn or damaged parts can break the tool or, worse, cause injury. Check the business end of the tool before use for excessive wear, cracks or missing parts, and be sure to replace anything damaged. Not only will you help prevent further damage and possible injury but you’ll also get better results from the tool.

Don’t forget to protect yourself with safety equipment when dealing with power tools.

Follow these simple tips and you should find that your tools last longer. However, if they do suffer a breakdown, or if you decide it’s time they had a tune-up, then don’t forget our site includes a repair and servicing shop. Our highly-trained team of experts are on hand to diagnose, repair and service a wide range of makes and models of power tool. To book an appointment, or to find out more, get in touch here.

Our simple guide to screws and bolts

There are so many varieties of screws and bolts that sorting through them all can be something of a headache. That said, we’re always up for a challenge, so we’ve put together this handy guide to everything with a thread.

Types of screws and bolts:

  1. Wood screws

Sharp-tipped screws for use in wood. Outdoor varieties include stainless steel, zinc-coated, and Japanned.

  1. Decking screws

For fastening outside decking. Covered in a waterproof coating to protect them from the weather.

  1. Coach screws

For fixing large, heavy pieces of structural wood. Masonry use requires a pre-drilled hole and a plug. They have a hex head that is turned with a socket or wrench.

  1. Carriage bolts

These bolts have a rounded head and a square anti-spin shoulder. Used in fastening timber, they’re turned with a socket or wrench.

  1. Drywall screws

Specially made to be used in plasterboard. These have a trumpet-shaped ‘bugle’ head that goes into the board without tearing up the exterior.

  1. Machine screws

Straight-shanked and shaped like a bolt. Slotted head is turned with a screwdriver. Pre-drill a hole to provide a strong fastening.

  1. Roofing bolts

Mushroom-headed bolts used for fixing roofing and guttering. Double slotted with a square nut.

  1. Self-tapping screws

These create their own thread as they are being driven. Often used for fixing metal. Stainless steel or zinc-plated self-tappers are recommended outdoors to prevent rusting.

  1. Tek screws

Drill point enables them to tap their own hole. Used in sheet metal and cladding. Usually hex-headed or Pozi-headed. Also available with a bonded washer to create a water-tight seal for outdoor applications.

  1. Hex bolts

Hex-headed bolts with a partial thread. A popular choice in construction and machinery. Tighten with a socket or wrench. Also available as fully-threaded hex set screws.

  1. Concrete screws

Self-tapping screws for concrete, brick, and masonry, they don’t require a wallplug. Hex-headed; use a socket driver or wrench to turn them.

  1. Blue concrete screws

These specially-treated concrete screws are resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for long-term outdoor use.

  1. Socket screws

The head contains an internal hex connection that is driven with a socket. They’re handy for when a lack of space makes screwing difficult.

  1. Security screws

Designed to stay put permanently, these non-reversible screws feature a special head that can only be turned clockwise.

  1. Mirror screws

These come with a chrome cap that covers the head once installed to provide an attractive finish. Used in mirrors and glass.

We stock a wide range of screws and bolts for all your fixing and fastening needs. If you have any more questions, our team is always happy to help, so get in touch at our Redhill store.

DeWALT Demo Day – June 21st 2019

Don’t miss our exclusive DeWALT Demo Day on Friday June 21st!

We’ll have all the latest new DeWALT products and will be doing demonstrations in store. Plus there will be special offers on the day:

  • 4 Customer Experience days to be won
  • Buy any Flexvolt kit and claim a FREE XR Flexvolt 6Ah battery
  • Spend £400 and get a FREE 4Ah 18v battery
  • Spend £500 and get a FREE 5Ah 18v battery
  • Spend £600 and get a FREE 6Ah 18v battery
  • Spend £900 and get a FREE 9Ah 18v battery

 

The 7 most important tools for self-builders

Do you aspire to live in a home built with your own two hands? Or do you just like the idea of making a tidy profit from building a house and selling it on?

If maximising profit is the prime goal of your self-build, the more time you spend doing jobs yourself, the more money you save on labour. Your level of expertise will determine how much you need to rely on professionals, but there are plenty of jobs that even a novice builder can undertake themselves. Of course, you’ll need the right tools to tackle them.

Here’s a list of the most essential tools for self-builders:

  1. Drill driver

Having a cordless drill driver in your toolkit can save you a lot of time and effort. These gadgets combine an electric screwdriver with a drill, and the cordless variety runs on rechargeable batteries, giving you the freedom to drill and screw wherever you like! Make sure you get at least 12v of power and a hammer action to give yourself enough grunt to get into tougher materials like masonry.

  1. Paint brushes

Painting and decorating a house can take up to three months, so if you’ve got the time you can save labour costs by doing it yourself. Although a set of brushes can be bought quite cheaply, don’t scrimp too much as cheaper ones tend to shed their hairs quicker than a dog in summer. For large walls and ceilings purchase a roller with an extending pole, and don’t forget some dust sheets to protect surfaces from unwanted paint splatters.

  1. Adhesive

When it comes to the finishing stage of your build you’ll find there are countless things that need fixing in place. Tiles, skirting boards, rails, or even squeaky staircases can all be stuck down using adhesives. Some multi-purpose adhesives double as a sealant, which is handy when you’re looking to save pennies.

  1. Retractable knife

A razor-sharp blade is a must-have. From cutting plasterboard to sharpening your carpenter’s pencil, a good retractable knife can perform countless tasks. Make sure you go for one with a good grip to help ensure both comfort and safety, and keep a stock of spare blades too.

  1. Plastering trowels

Plastering can be responsible for around a tenth of labour costs on a typical self-build, so you can save a tidy sum if you have the skills to do it yourself. Get a couple of different sized trowels to cover both rendering and finishing, and go for ones made of stainless steel. This material will deliver a sharp-edged finish, is easy to maintain, and has enough flexibility to make it easy on your joints.

  1. Bucket

Whether you’re mixing plaster, measuring materials, or just lugging stuff around the site, you can’t go far wrong with a heavy duty builder’s bucket for a great general-purpose container.

  1. Shovel, broom, dustpan & brush

Even if you’ve delegated most of the jobs on your self-build to professionals, one area where you can still save on labour costs is site maintenance. Every seven to eight hours spent building requires one hour of site servicing, which includes keeping it tidy. By purchasing a good shovel, broom, and a dustpan and brush you can pitch in when it’s time to clean up, allowing your labourers to concentrate on the job at hand.

Of course, this list barely scratches the surface; you could fill a fleet of shopping trolleys with useful tools for housebuilding, but this lot should at least be a good start. If you’ve got any questions about these items or any other aspects of self-building, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Choosing the right screw for the job: our easy-to-follow guide

We’re often asked about the right screws to use when fastening to certain materials. With so many options out there to choose from, knowing which one is right for the job can be a bit of a conundrum. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to help you find the best screw for the material you’re working with.

  1. Best screws for wood

This depends on whether the wood is used indoors or outdoors. Brass and stainless steel woodscrews are rustproof, making them ideal for outdoor use. Their non-corrosive properties also make them suitable for hardwoods like oak and chestnut, which contain acidic tannins.

Japanned screws have a black lacquered coating that also protects from weather, and can be used outdoors with wrought iron, or for when you want a dark screw head.

MDF and chipboard screws are for use with MDF and chipboard, funnily enough. They are designed to deliver maximum grip in fibrous wood materials, but extra retention can be gained by drilling a pilot hole before driving the screw in. MDF and chipboard are not for outdoor use.

For fastening outside decking, use specialised decking screws. These are covered in a waterproof coating to protect them from the weather.

  1. Best screws for plasterboard

Drywall screws are specially made to be used in plasterboard. These have a trumpet-shaped ‘bugle’ head that goes into the board without causing excess damage to the exterior.

  1. Best screws for metal

Use a self-tapping screw. These create their own thread as they are being driven, but need a pilot hole to give them a headstart. Drill one slightly narrower than the gauge of the screw. If used outdoors, go for stainless steel or zinc-plated self-tappers to prevent rusting.

  1. Best screws for plastic

When screwing into plastic or fiberglass, first drill a pilot hole. Although you can use self-tapping screws, screwing straight into the plastic without pre-drilling will tear a rough hole, which could lead to further damage.

Other screws available:

Mirror screw

A two-part screw used for mirrors or bath panels. Once the screw is in, a rounded chrome cap is screwed over the head for a neat, decorative appearance.

Coach screw

Used for fixing large, heavy pieces of structural wood, these require a pre-drilled hole the length of three-quarters of the screw. Coach screws have a hexagonal-shaped head that is turned using a spanner.

So, what materials can you screw directly into, and which need to be drilled first? Here’s a rundown of the most common ones.

  1. Screwing into brick

When fastening to brick, you need to consider the weight of the object you’re attaching. For light and medium weight attachments such as hanging basket brackets, a stainless steel screw driven into a plastic wall plug will do the job. For heavier objects, it’s advisable to insert a more heavy-duty anchor into the brick to create a stable fastening.

Start by drilling a pilot hole using a hammer drill and a masonry bit. Clear out any debris using a vacuum cleaner nozzle. Now add the wall plug or anchor. Wall plugs are made of flexible plastic and can be squeezed into the hole with just your fingers, but metal anchors usually require a hammer to install. Once the anchor is in, all that’s left is to add the screw.

  1. Screwing into mortar

Although mortar is less dense than brick, you still need to drill a pilot hole and add a wall plug or anchor before you can screw into it.

  1. Screwing into concrete

Once you’ve drilled a pilot hole using a hammer drill and masonry bit, add a wall plug or anchor, depending on the weight of the object you’re attaching. Alternatively, use a masonry screw to screw straight into the pilot hole. These sturdy self-tapping screws are resistant to corrosion and have a fierce thread to help them bore into stonework.

  1. Screwing into plasterboard

No pre-drilling necessary, but use a drywall screw.

We’re confident that no matter what the job, we can help you find the right screw to get it done. Our experts are on hand at our Redhill store to help with any questions, so just drop by or get in touch.

10 essential tools for building contractors

Whether you’re just starting out in the building trade, or you’re a veteran looking to splash some cash on a new toy, it’s always worthwhile finding out what other contractors are carrying in their toolkit. Some like to keep things old school by putting their trust in more manual tools, while others are always in search of the latest gadget.

Although your tools depend largely on the type of projects that you do, there are some you shouldn’t be without. So kick back with a brew and let us run down our list of the 10 absolute essentials.

  1. Drill

A must-have piece of kit. Most people choose the hassle-free option of a cordless drill, though if you’re going to follow suit, make sure you get an 18-volt model with a couple of batteries, as this will give you enough power and battery charge to last throughout the day. Many drills also double as an electric screwdriver, saving you space and money. Top tip: Go for a drill with more than one year’s warranty on both drill and batteries.

  1. Reciprocating Saw

When it comes to woodworking, a saw is a basic requirement. However, there’s no need to wear yourself out by using a manual hand saw. A reciprocating saw is an extremely versatile power tool that can deliver around 3,000 strokes a minute. This allows it to cut through most building materials, from wood to steel and copper. Just remember when using one to protect yourself with adequate safety gear.

  1. Oscillating multi-tool

Using rapid side-to-side movement, the versatility of these gadgets lends them to a wide variety of tasks. From cutting and sanding, to polishing and wood detailing, the range of interchangeable accessories available means you can replace several tools with just one device. Investing in one can save you both money and hard work.

  1. Tape measure

There aren’t many jobs that don’t require an accurate measurement at some point, so purchasing a good retractable steel tape measure is a no-brainer. Go for one with a minimum extendable length of 5 metres, though the longer the better.

  1. Spirit levels

Liquid bubble levels can be bought in packs that include a long and short version, ideal for when you need to measure straight levels in confined spaces. If you’re more technologically-inclined, then you could plump for a laser level for better accuracy and adaptability.

  1. Vacuum

With stricter regulations surrounding construction dust coming into force, it’s essential that you’re able to keep your work area free of harmful materials. Whether you’re drilling, sawing, or sanding, you’re guaranteed to be working in an atmosphere of dirt and dust. Help keep the site clean and safe by investing in a trustworthy industrial vacuum or dust extractor.

  1. Hammer

While nail guns take away most of the effort, you can’t beat a trusty claw hammer for giving things a good old whack. Avoid those with wooden shafts, as these tend to deliver more of a shock to the hand on impact; fiberglass or steel is a better bet for comfort. Comes with a range of swear words for when you hit your thumb.

  1. Step ladder

Unless you’re over seven feet tall, chances are you’re going to need a step ladder. Resist the temptation to stand on a piece of furniture and get yourself a durable set of steps for those hard-to-reach tasks. Some models are made with non-conductive materials like fiberglass to reduce risks on electrical jobs.

  1. Safety gear

The most important bit of kit you’ll ever own is your body; if you get injured you might find yourself unable to work until you recover. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re equipped with reliable safety gear. A strong pair of gloves will help protect your hands, goggles will shield your eyes, steel toe cap boots will safeguard your feet, and a mask will keep you from breathing in harmful materials. Also, when you’re working on a construction site, PPE regulations require you to wear a hardhat to protect your noggin.

And last but not least –

  1. Pencil

Perfect for marking up materials or for just doing the crossword. Ideally perched behind one ear, or tucked into a pocket away from light-fingered workmates.

We hope our list has given you some food for thought for when the time comes to treat yourself to a new tool. If you’d like to find out more about any of the options out there for contractors, then get in touch.

And if any of your power tools need a little TLC, don’t forget we have our own repair workshop where our engineers service and repair a wide range of professional power tools.

What’s the difference between sealant, adhesive, and filler?

It’s a question we often get asked here at Fixings & Powertools Center. When you’re in need of something to plug a gap or bind materials together, the huge selection of products available on the market can make the selection process overwhelming. Shelves are packed full of tubes all claiming to have the answer. So how do you pick the right one for the job without wasting time and money?

Follow our guide to help you make the right choice.

1. Sealant: forms a barrier between materials

Sealant is a substance with a close molecular structure that creates a watertight barrier, and is available in liquid, foam, powder or paste form. It is designed to close gaps between surfaces and keep out dust and dirt, while still allowing a degree of movement. This makes sealant suitable for situations where the surface requires some flexibility, such as building joints. Mastic sealants also stick materials like wood, metal and glass together.

Watch out for different classifications termed ‘low mod’ and ‘medium mod’ sealants. Low mod will stick to porous and non-porous materials, whereas medium mod is suitable for use on smooth and non-porous substrates only, such as glass and metal.

2. Adhesive: permanent bonding solution

Adhesives are often supplied in liquid form, and are designed to grip and bind two surfaces together. Different adhesives suit different materials. They solidify on application to provide a permanent and rigid bond. Less supple than sealants, adhesives are stronger, harder and generally longer lasting.

3. Filler: fills gaps and cracks

Typically used to fill holes, polymer filler or decorators’ caulk, as it’s also known, comes in a variety of forms, from powder-based to more expensive ready-mixed formulas. Although convenient, fillers can have limitations, such as being slow to dry. Aim to choose a product that won’t shrink or crack after application.

With all this said, wouldn’t it be great if there was a single product that could do all these jobs on its own? We think we have the answer.

CT1 is a sealant and construction adhesive that can be applied to all surfaces both indoors and outdoors, from metals and glass, to wood and granite. Whether you’re looking to stick a mirror to stone tiles in a bathroom or sealing around a window or door frame, CT1 can do it all.

Effective in both wet and dry conditions, CT1 is trusted by tradespeople as a reliable, effective, fast-acting agent with the flexibility to withstand the toughest conditions. Developed by C-TEC, a specialist in high quality, problem solving products for use in a wide range of different scenarios, CT1 is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a general multi-purpose product.

Why choose CT1? This product is:

  • Odourless
  • Resistant to fungus
  • Flexible
  • Resistant to chemicals
  • Food safe (can be used in areas where food is prepared)
  • UV-resistant
  • For use in wet or dry conditions
  • Solvent-free
  • Environmentally compliant
  • Non-corrosive on surfaces

From day-to-day projects to specialist uses such as underwater bonding, CT1’s strength and versatility make it ideal for use in the construction and engineering industries, eliminating the need to buy various products to suit different uses. It also comes in nine different colours including clear, to provide a discrete join on any substrate, and can be easily painted over.

So if you’re looking for a reliable all-round sealant that can save you time, space, and money, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice than CT1.

If you’re still unsure which product is right for your needs, remember we’re always here to help with any questions you might have. Drop us a line or visit us at our Redhill store to speak to one of our experts.