Green Glue Application: Dispenser vs. Trowel

We created this article to help resolve any confusion regarding the application of Green Glue Compound from five gallon pails. Below we compare the contact adhesive advantages and disadvantages of using a dispensing gun vs. a 1/8″ notched trowel.


The fact is, you can use our Green Glue Dispensing Gun or a 1/8″ notched trowel to apply Green Glue Compound. Assuming the surface is near flat, the performance will be the same with either method of application. View our Green Glue Compound pails and Green Glue Dispensing Gun product page. Debate over which will yield better performance is based on extremely limited testing, it shows almost no testable difference, and is not even close to an audible difference between the two application methods.


  • Loads and dispenses quickly. Operates like a syringe while loading and a caulking gun while dispensing.
  • Our Green Glue Dispensing Gun is exactly 28 ounces so it is equal to 1 tube of Green Glue Compound. The math of 2 tubes per 4×8 sheet stays the same as if you were applying with standard tubes.
  • Our gun is a quality syringe for glue dispensing that can be used for years if properly maintained and cleaned after each use.
  • Creates a larger bead when applying (3/8″ to 1/2″) allowing for better contact between the two surfaces. This is particularly useful if the framing is uneven. It is crucial for the Green Glue Compound to compress between the two layers, air pockets do not help the Green Glue Compound.


  • Can be difficult to clean if you don’t have access to water pressure.
  • You will ruin the glue dispenser syringe for future use if you do not clean it properly.


  • Familiar tool for flooring installers that trowel similar materials on a regular basis.
  • Easy to source a notched adhesive trowel from most any hardware store.
  • Easy to cleanup regardless of access to water pressure.
  • Could be ideal for small jobs without having to get a dispensing gun out, use it, and clean it up.


  • Hard to gauge application amounts. The recommended 56 ounces of product per 4×8 sheet can be difficult to estimate without additional measuring tools.
  • Green Glue Compound is a pretty thin material so using a trowel could get messy.
  • Most trowel appliers will use about 325 square feet per 5 gallon pail compared to the recommended application that would yield 365 square feet per 5 gallon pail. That's about $35 in material lost to over applying material (the cost of a dispensing gun).


Taking all of the above into consideration, for most projects we recommend the use of our Green Glue Dispensing Gun or a similar dispensing gun when applying Green Glue Compound from five gallon pails. Application is quick, easy, and accurate. This will help attain proper performance and keep the project on track by not under-applying or over-applying material.