Learn the 2 Best Adhesives to Seal Ceramic Urns FOREVER

Cremation Customer Service Funeral Industry News Products & Services September 26, 2018
glue urns
Justin Crowe

Justin Crowe is the Founder and CEO at Parting Stone offering families a complete alternative to cremated remains that can be touched and held - no more “ash.” He is passionate about empowering families in their grief through meaningful experiences. Justin is co-host of the Deathcare Decoded podcast available here.

Learn the 2 Best Adhesives to Seal Ceramic Urns FOREVER

When I entered the funeral industry a few years back as a product manufacturer with an art education I took note of an odd question that funeral directors repeatedly asked me…

“What is the best adhesive for ceramic?”

At first, I politely provided my suggestions and didn’t think much of it. Maybe funeral directors were particularly clumsy under the stress of their jobs and had dozens of broken coffee cups that they had knocked onto the floor in haste? After a while, I realized something strange was going on and with a tiny amount of questioning learned that funeral directors were gluing on the tops of ceramic urns at the request of the customers. Duh.

The fragile nature of ceramic and insecure lids cause urns made of clay to be sparse in funeral home showrooms. Many customers, however, are in love with the natural feel of clay and dislike the cold and manufactured look of metal so they search for a way to have both aesthetic beauty and closure security. The solution? Adhesives!

From a user experience and design standpoint, the lid-gluing situation is infuriating and an absolutely ridiculous problem that manufacturers should be addressing. To put this in perspective, imagine that when you purchased an iPhone for $399, the first thing you needed to do was glue the home button on. If we can buy a small supercomputer for the same price we are paying for a clay pot surely we can figure out a way to manufacture it with a secure lid. There is no other product in our lives that we buy and then imminently glue… that’s insane.

That said, with a $90,000 education in ceramic art I know about some badass adhesives (finally, I get to put this degree to use) and I am going the share them with you…

The 2 adhesives below where chosen considering over 10 years of trial-and-error ceramic-gluing experience. There was even a fiasco where I had a gorilla glue smeared on my hands for over a month while I tried tirelessly to peel it off. These are the best glues for sealing ceramic urns taking into consideration clean-up, material properties, cost, and availability. Both the following adhesives (or versions of them) are available at your local hardware store. I  highly recommend having acetone on hand for super fast and precise clean up of accidental smears or drips on the product.

1. PC-7

PC-7 is my go-to adhesive. It is incredibly strong and designed for permanent jobs, it cleans up easily with dish soap and water, and its thicker than peanut butter after it’s mixed making it simple to work with. This is a solid epoxy so it can be susceptible to cracking if the material moves or the object is dropped – but I have never had this problem.

2. Loctite Go2 GEL

Some people prefer silicon-based adhesives for their ability to flex slightly after curing. If an urn is kept in a garage or basement where air temperatures can fluctuate causing the material to expand and contract, flexible glues might be an appropriate solution. Loctite G02 GEL can move with the expansions and contractions where other more solid epoxies might crack.

The downside to silicone and flex adhesives is that they are super sticky, clear, and seem to get everywhere every time. This definitely requires acetone for cleanup.

Adhesives NOT to use:

Avoid foaming adhesives like Gorilla Glue and Great Stuff. These adhesives foam after they are applied and you can end up with a very unappealing situation that looks like Slimer from Ghostbusters is trying to escape out the top of a closed urn…. except it’s someone’s grandmother. Awkward.

What is your favorite urn-sealing adhesive? Let us know in the comments!