Home Tiles
15 Aug 2020

Which tile adhesive is right for your job?

You might not think there’s much to choosing tile adhesive, but there’s more to consider than you may expect. Before you buy, here are a few things you need to consider before working out which tile adhesive is right for the job you’re doing.

Getting the right mix

Adhesive comes in two different types – ready mixed paste and powdered. The advantage of ready-mixed is that it’s ready to use straight from the tub, saving you the time and trouble of mixing the adhesive yourself. However, the downside is that it’s really only suitable for small ceramic tiles (less than 30x30cm) and splashbacks.

Powdered adhesive, on the other hand, can be used on any tile and almost any surface. It’s also cheaper than ready-mixed and has a far stronger bond.

What colour?

Most adhesives can be bought in grey or white. Which one you buy will depend on your chosen colour of grouting. When you’re using a darker grout, it’s better to have a grey adhesive, and vice versa for white grouting.

Is there underfloor heating?

If the room you are tiling has underfloor heating, it’s crucial to use a flexible adhesive. This is because the warming and cooling of the heating will crack non-flexible adhesive. You also need to take into account the heating system itself – while most flexible adhesives are suitable for use with both electric and water underfloor heating systems, it is always worth asking for expert advice as to which one will work best with your system.

Taking your time to do a good job

When it comes to adhesives, you can get different setting speeds, often named “Standard” or “Rapid”. As soon as the adhesive sets you can begin with the grouting and finishing the job off, so you would probably opt for the rapid setting option. However, if you were tiling a room with a difficult pattern, you’d benefit from a slower setting adhesive to make sure you have time to get everything looking as it should.

Where are you tiling?

It is important to think about the area you are tiling. For wet rooms, showers, bathrooms and kitchens, it’s recommended that you use a water-resistant adhesive due to the amount of moisture in the room.

What are you tiling onto?

If you are going to tile onto fresh plaster, it’s essential to apply a primer before you begin. This will make sure the surface has been sealed and water isn’t drawn out, resulting in a stronger bond. If you’re tiling onto timber flooring, make sure there’s a tile backing board or strong plywood before starting, and do not use a ready-mixed adhesive – powder is best with timber. If you’re tiling onto a concrete floor make sure the concrete has fully dried first, then use a powered adhesive too.

When it comes to tiling projects it is extremely important to get the right adhesive as this will lead to the job looking great when you finish and stay looking great for time to come. It is always worth speaking to the experts for their opinion, so have a chat with one of our in-store advisors to make sure you are choosing the correct adhesive for your job. You can find your nearest store on the store locator on our website.


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