Tile adhesive is a combination of fine sand, OPC and additives which have been ready-mixed and formulated specifically to improve the process of laying tiles. When it comes to high-performance tile adhesives, there are few limitations to the substrates you can lay tiles on.
From polished cement and wooden base to dry wall systems, existing tiles and other special substrates, tile adhesives can be used to fix tiles to most surfaces. Formulated according to the specific application, tile adhesives can be used to lay porcelain or ceramic tiles, large-size granito or glass mosaics.
One of the main benefits of tile adhesives is how easy they are to use. Bags of powdered tile adhesives are convenient to transport, don’t produce much dust and are ready to use just after mixing them with water. What’s more, tiles don’t need to be soaked in advance – just unbox and lay them using the tile adhesive!
You can apply the tile adhesive mixture efficiently using notched trowel, creating an area of notched adhesive upon which you can then continuously lay the tiles and easily adjust the lines. The full contact the tile adhesive has with the back of the tiles allows for greater bonding strength and long lasting tiling, while also reducing issues such as broken corner tiles, stains and water seeping.
Using powdered tile adhesive is also a lot more economical than laying tiles using a sand-cement mixture, since the adhesive layer is a lot thinner and therefore requires less material. On average a bag of 20 kg tile adhesive, such as the SikaCeram Stone, Porcelain & Large Format Tile Adhesive, is enough to cover an area of 4-5m2. What’s more, using tile adhesive allows you to grout your tiles within 24hours, doing away with having to wait for the moisture to evaporate.
The two main types of tile adhesives are powdered tile adhesives and ready mixed tile adhesives. The aptly named ready mixed pastes are very convenient as they can be used straight out of the tub; however, they have their limitations – generally, they can only be used for fixing small ceramic wall tiles.
While powdered tile adhesives require more time an effort since they need to be mixed with water before use, they provide a far stronger bond and can be used to lay a range of different tiles to a variety of substrates.
Depending on your project, there are different types of powdered tile adhesives to choose from. Often, powdered adhesives are classified as either ‘rapid’ or ‘standard’ setting, based on the working time you have to use the product.
Opting for a rapid set tile adhesive means you can get on with grouting and finishing the room quicker. On the other hand, if you are tiling a floor in a trickier pattern or want to assure precision and a flawless finish, it makes more sense to use a tile adhesive with a longer setting time to allow for corrections.
Tile adhesives also come in different degrees of flexibility. While the standard (S1) adhesives, as well as most unrated adhesives, are suitable for most applications, if you are tiling areas with more foot traffic or lots of vibration, using an S2 rated tile adhesive will give you more peace of mind that your floor won’t crack. Based on the colour of the grout you plan to use, you can also choose between white and grey tile adhesive.