Home generalStick polystyrene - explained in polystyrene panels

Stick polystyrene - explained in polystyrene panels

  • Materials and preparation
  • Working from the inside out
  • Rework with PU foam

How to stick Styrofoam correctly ">

Styrofoam for thermal insulation or decorative wall and ceiling cladding can be easily stuck. At the hardware store you will find special adhesives, which are already available ready-mixed and adapted to the material properties of polystyrene sheets. Special fixing materials for polystyrene are free of solvents. Solvents degrade the styrofoam strips and can cause contraction or hole formation during processing. But not only the right glue, but also the right technique for gluing takes a decisive influence on the hold and the appearance of the polystyrene panels on walls and ceilings. Get the tools and work materials ready so that you can proceed step-by-step, without interruption, during actual bonding.

Materials and preparation

It is advisable to cut all polystyrene sheets and strips in advance and place them in the format of your choice. With this step sequence, you can save a lot of time when gluing and can stick the prepared and finished polystyrene strips and boards one after the other.

Assembly adhesive especially for Styrofoam

Now you need:

  • the cut sheets and strips of styrofoam
  • a system in the form of a drawing that you follow
  • the polystyrene adhesive without solvent
  • a toothed spatula
  • a washable surface or table
  • PU foam for gap filling.

If you place the cut material in an orderly manner in front of the wall to be processed, you can proceed in sequence when gluing. At the edges and in the corners usually cut plates and Styrofoam strips are glued, which you can prepare in order and so easily attach according to the determined dimensions and the blank.

Important: When processing polystyrene panels on ceilings or walls, never start in the outer area, but always in the middle of your work surface.

In order to achieve an even surface and to avoid the breakage of the polystyrene panels during installation, the substrate must be smooth, free from bumps and dents. If the surface to be worked on is covered with woodchip or textured wallpaper, remove the paper backing and plaster the wall with fine plaster without visible grain. Styrofoam strips and plates are very thin and break when mounted on uneven ground. In the thermal insulation, however, no filigree plates of low strength, but blocks are used. Again, the surface must be even, but the risk of material fracture is much lower than with special panels for interior trim.

Working from the inside out

The biggest mistake in bonding Styrofoam wall or ceiling coverings is that you start in one corner and apply the panels one after the other on the surface. In most rooms it is necessary that the finishes must be cut to size. In order to achieve a straight and visually appealing surface with a good spatial effect, you begin with gluing exactly in the middle of the room. For this, you have already measured and marked the correct center before cutting. Often this is directly around the cable for attaching lights, so that the Styrofoam plate must have a recess for passing the cable. With a craft knife you have made the cutout and now put the plate at the center of the ceiling.

The selective bonding of polystyrene is not recommended. For larger plates, deformation and visible gap formation can occur. It is better to apply the adhesive evenly and in a thin layer on the entire substrate using a toothed spatula.

Apply glue with a toothed spatula

Leave enough space around the edges so that the pressure applied when mounting the plates and strips will not cause the glue to swell out.

Step by step:

  1. Put the styrofoam plate on the back in front of you.
  2. Remove the desired amount of glue from the packaging and distribute it on the toothed spatula.
  3. Apply the toothed spatula with adhesive slowly and evenly over the back of the plate in front of you.
  4. Leave around 1 centimeter around the edge.
  5. Lift the plate gently and apply it to the surface using light pressure with your palm.

Stick the first plate, put all other Styrofoam plates on each edge and proceed on the same principle. The adhesive layer can be thin, especially since the material is feather-light and does not require a thick primer. Styrofoam glue is a fast-drying material. This is an advantage in processing but requires a little bit of attention and the right amount of work from you. Styrofoam boards and strips already treated with adhesive must be applied to the wall immediately after application of the primer. After attaching the individual panels, check the area for any gaps and move the styrofoam panel without waiting to detect an unwanted gap and close it. After 5 minutes, the plates can no longer be moved, because the adhesive has already dried and the polystyrene plate is thus solid.

Apply polystyrene adhesive over a large area and avoid different heights of the adhesive. Processing with a notched trowel proves to be extremely practical and should be preferred to the application of glue with a classic spatula. Thanks to the teeth of the special spatula, you automatically achieve a surface evenly coated with adhesive, which appears in the form of adhesive lines and interruptions. As a base for the application of the adhesive is a clean table that you lay out at best with soft fleece. Especially with decorative coated polystyrene panels and Styroporleisten the substrate must be free of crumbs or bumps, as they can press on the application of the adhesive layer in the surface of the plate and leave visible indentations.

Rework with PU foam

Despite the greatest care and a correct cut, it is not always avoidable that show unwanted gaps at the edges or between two plates. To fill these and create an even surface, you can use solvent-free PU foam and use it very carefully and in a small amount to fill the gaps. If the outer edges are to be decided with polystyrene strips, the gap filling with PU foam is particularly important. Before sticking on the polystyrene moldings, let the foam dry for 24 hours and carefully cut away excess material with a sharp utility knife. Now apply the adhesive to the back of the polystyrene moldings and apply them very carefully around your area treated with polystyrene sheets.

Pu foam

Tip: Clean hands are especially important when sticking polystyrene.

So that the front of the plates and strips is not soiled with adhesive residues, check your hands for possible residues of the polystyrene adhesive before picking up each plate or strip. You should also avoid attaching Styrofoam to the wall with greasy or otherwise soiled hands. Dirty or glued fingers leave visible fingerprints that affect the overall picture and give the result a slightly professional touch.


Only use Styrofoam if the walls are dry and free of fungal spores. In wet and mold-prone walls, this material would result in air trapping that increases the risk of fungal spores and, moreover, would adversely affect the strength of the styrofoam on the wall or ceiling.

Tips for quick readers

  • Styrofoam sticking is easy with standard polystyrene adhesive
  • Start with blankets in the middle and glue the boards outwards
  • You need a notched trowel, the glue, a straight substrate for processing and a prepared, even surface for attaching the polystyrene plates and polystyrene strips
  • The adhesive layer must be applied evenly and thinly
  • Cut out 1 centimeter of edge when applying the glue
  • the glue dries quickly - must be considered at the speed of work
  • Sheets are pre-cut so that the plates can be subsequently processed one after the other
  • Gaps and gaps can be filled with PU foam
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