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Old 05-10-2016, 20:56   #1
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Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

Looking to replace my headliner this winter and install inspection ports. Will be using vinyl textured wallpaper on marine ply applied prior to installation same as PO had. What is your experience with best adhesive that will resist sagging, separation, peeling, etc.?

Would scuffing back of vinyl help prior to applying adhesive? or sealing ply first? I don't want to have to do this again for many years.
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Old 05-10-2016, 22:54   #2
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

I re-did the headliner on the hull of my Ranger 33' quite a number of years ago, & used 3m 77 spray adhesive. The old liner looked like cheap old burlapc, & was half falling off. So with my neighbor as a mentor I went & picked up some short nap automotive liner carpet, a bunch of cans of the spray adhesive, & some vinyl edge trim.

I was able to pull off all of the old liner by hand, & then went over the hull with a putty knife, & a wire brush. Vacuuming up the dust & debris afterwards. Followed by cutting the carpet to size, & then installing it in sections with the spray glue. Then tidying up the edges, & stapling the vinyl trim in place.

The glue worked supremely well, & gave me no trouble at all. With the carpet staying in place perfectly for the 3 years that I owned the boat after installing it. With the only difficult thing about the glue being that it's best not to breath it, which was a challenge when putting the carpet on in some of the more confined areas like the quarter berth. But I managed.

Were I to do what you're contemplating, I would definitely seal the plywood. Probably with epoxy, though varnish, or even paint should work. And I'd do this first for 3 reasons. In order to seal the wood against mold, or anything which might make it rot/prone to rotting. As well as to aid in preventing checking in the wood. Plus to also make it a bit easier to pull off the vinyl if I had to later, & so that there would be less of a risk of pulling off a lot of small pieces of the wood's surface along with the headliner material.

I'm not sure whether scuffing of either the wood or the vinyl would be necessary. And that's something which would be simple enough to test, which is what I'd do. And testing would also ensure that all of the components will work well together. Plus it'll give you a good feel for how much, or how little glue that you want to use, prior to doing the real panels themselves.
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Old 05-10-2016, 23:42   #3
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

My liner is attached to stringers and is a textured burlap, but in vinyl. It is more of a hanging ceiling system, therefore I do not hope to have to scrape anything off the interior deck or coach roof/hull. Just carefully debung wood trim and unscrew from stringers, but I will give it a coat of mildew resistant cabin paint prior to hanging the marine ply/vinyl headliner.

The actual interior cabin vinyl that will be showing is a bit on the pricey side so I do not want to muck it up with inferior adhesive. The texture is a nice accent to the wood interior. It is my home so I do not mind the extra price for the aesthetics if I can get enough years out of it. Plus the vinyl is mildew resistant, washable and such.

The edges are all capped with wood trim, but even so it is starting to peel in some places where moisture from deck fittings needing rebedding have wept or from condensation buildup were pieces glued together with open seams instead of being one piece. And some places it looks like the tannin from the ply has leached through into the vinyl. Also PO added new stain to trim and was not careful on edges and it bled onto vinyl.

So all will come down, rebed deck fittings, add access/ventilation ports at fittings, decide which insulation will best fit needs between deck and ply and put all new in place.

I actually had the liner in one of my older vehicles start to peel at window edges recently and used Elmer's Adhesive spray which sprays purple to show coat then disappears to clear. Messy and is holding, but is not long enough of a timeframe for me to decide if that will be best answer for boat. Hence the inquiry for durability of adhesives here. The point of purchase does not have a clue as they are interior design firm for homes and businesses without track record in marine setting to give qualified advice. Nor does manufacturer. Doubtful most of the adhesives they use are designed for repeated and extreme temp cycles on their product as the 4 season climate the boat endures.

I should probably be inquiring about best thin insulation too before installation.
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Old 06-10-2016, 03:57   #4
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

A few rules of thumb with adhesives:

1) their primary failure mode is peeling
2) more is less. If you are fighting gravity then your adhesive needs a tensile strength sufficient to carry the weight of the thing its holding. Domt expect cheap spray adhesive to support a heavy headlining.

I personally would avoid a vinyl type headliner. They exist because they are cheap to manufacture. Not because they are a good solution.

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Old 06-10-2016, 08:09   #5
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

My understanding is that any adhesive you use under the deckhead there has to be heat resistant. The deck gets hot in the sun.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:11   #6
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

also, Velcro is good for keeping your deckhead panels in place.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:22   #7
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Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

Contact cement.
Waterproof
Heat proof
No sanding need, as it stick to anything.

Down side is that you only have one shot at a putting it down in a good location.
Whatever you glue with Contact cement WILL NOT COME apart for a 2nd try.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:45   #8
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

The headliner on our boat is made this way and has stood up well for 30 years.
No idea what they used but I believe 3M77 is recommended for automotive use and a vehicle interiors get really hot.
I'd check with people in the automotive or RV reupholstery field for suggestions.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:51   #9
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

Check with an automotive trim shop. I've found the plasticizer in the vinyl eventually turns the glue to goo.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:29   #10
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

I used a solid fiberglass product which means there is no future risk of glue or plywood issues going forward.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:43   #11
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

For the OP, maybe you should do a bit of digging in order to figure out how best to test the adhesive prior to using it for the job. That way you'll know that it will last under the conditions which you're going to subject it to. Much like one test wood glues, or plywood via a boil & bake test, prior to using it to construct key boat parts.

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Contact cement.
Waterproof
Heat proof
No sanding need, as it stick to anything.

Down side is that you only have one shot at a putting it down in a good location.
Whatever you glue with Contact cement WILL NOT COME apart for a 2nd try.
Contact cement may be okay for this application, though I'm far from certain. So I'd make some inquiries, as well as testing it.

As to the part about not being able to pull apart things glued with it. I think that that's more of an urban legend than anything else. As I've long since lost track of the number, & kinds of things glued with it that I've taken apart. Not that all of them are necessarily re-glueable or reusable after seperating them. But a good number are, & can even be glued back in place, after applying another layer of adhesive. Be it contact cement or something else.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:50   #12
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

I have used Evostik Safe 80 water-based adhesive. So far OK but in a UK environment.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:27   #13
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

"Check with an automotive trim shop. I've found the plasticizer in the vinyl eventually turns the glue to goo."

I used Ados general purpose spray on epoxy sealed ply- It is peeling off on all the edges. Re-stuck it twice still peeling. NOT impressed.
Product is weatherspan vinyl. Something going on to reduce bond strength. Washed for amine.
High Strength Glue Spray NZ | ADOS Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive
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Old 06-10-2016, 14:05   #14
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

Whatever you use, you need to ensure it does not react with vinyl and 'leech' the vinylester out of the vinyl. This stops the glue form setting and it remains gooey and is an absolute pain to remove...ask me how I know!
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Old 06-10-2016, 14:39   #15
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Re: Best Adhesive for headliner in your opinion?

A couple of years ago I was chatting with a boat builder re cabin trim - He recommended vinyl over ply with contact adhesive, then the ply panels located on blobs of Sikaflex adhesive/sealant, prop in place for an hour. To remove, use a long knife and cut the sealant as you peel.
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