choosing the right tile adhesive

A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide To Choosing The Right Tile Adhesive

Tiles are an essential aspect of décor for all types of buildings – from offices to homes and others. The right type of tile adhesive can not only enhance the aesthetics of the building, but also determine the durability of its wall and floors.

Conventionally, tiles used to be attached using a mix of sand slurry and cement. However, there were numerous problems associated with using this technique, such as cement shrinkage upon drying, hollow gaps beneath tile surface creating weak points, etc. These problems can be effectively avoided by making the right choice when buying tile adhesives.

In the global construction and interior design industry, choosing the right tile adhesive is extremely important. This is because the tile adhesive choice has noticeable impact on the longevity and durability of surface installations. At Sakshi Chem Sciences Pvt. Ltd. we know the importance of using the best tile adhesive to ensure effective applications over different surfaces and environments.

In this blog, we have provided a comprehensive buyer’s guide to choosing the right tile adhesive, so your construction projects get the desired attractive finish and long-lasting strength.

About Tile Adhesive

A tile adhesive is a special dry powder that produces a consistent paste when mixed with water or a latex additive. It is usually pre-mixed with specially formulated OPC, additives and fine sand to ensure smooth and easy tile installations. A high-quality tile adhesive is necessary to fix tiles to different types of surfaces and substrates.

Tile adhesives are the solutions for fixing tiles on any surface. These are especially crafted to bond tiles with floor and wall surfaces through strong adhesion. They are designed to secure different types of tiles to various substrates. However, there are differences in application procedure for different environments and surfaces as each comes with its range of unique challenges. Thus, the type of surface and environment determine choosing the right tile adhesive, mainly determined by the latter’s adhesive properties.

Tile fixing compounds also come in various types. There are several forms of classification methods used for categorizing tile adhesives in different countries and regions. However, the most common types of tile adhesives globally include –

  • Cement based
  • Polyurethane based
  • Water based (dispersible)
  • Epoxy based
  • Tile adhesion mat

Each type of tile adhesive has advantages and disadvantages that are unique to it.

choosing the right tile adhesive

Let’s check out some of the benefits and drawbacks of tile adhesives –

Advantages Of Best Tile Adhesive

  • Easy to use – Tile adhesives are easy to use. You only need to mix the adhesive with water, and they are ready to use on-site. You will not need to soak tiles in water when using tile adhesives but can simply unpack and lay the tiles directly.
  • Affordable to use – The tile adhesives can easily spread to cover an area of 1 square meter, which makes the product affordable and economical to use.
  • Multiple applications – Tile adhesives can bind tiles to almost any type of surface and location, including floors, walls, swimming pools, etc.
  • Longer surface durability – Using tile adhesives to fix tiles ensures that the tiles remain in position for a longer time, thanks to the incredible adhesion properties.

Disadvantages Of Best Tile Adhesive

  • Maintenance – Some surfaces to which tiles are attached using adhesives may require regular maintenance to ensure longevity.
  • Regrouting – At times, water may seep under the tile surface and damage the tile and substrate, which may require regrouting.
  • Looseness – Choosing the wrong tile adhesive can cause the tiles to become loose, and eventually crack or get dislocated.

Now that you know the basics of tile adhesives, let’s look closely at some of the major factors to consider for choosing the best tile adhesive in 2024 –

Understanding Tile Types

Usually, stone, ceramic, porcelain, glass, and metal tiles can be attached using a multi-purpose tile adhesive. You can check the manufacturer’s label to find the type of tile the adhesive is made to support.

However, there are instances when you may need to buy tile adhesives with specific properties.

For instance, a white cement adhesive is highly recommended for transparent tiling and mosaic tile designs as it has better aesthetics and is easier to clean too. Porcelain tiles tend to be heavier and have lower adhesion. Hence, it is crucial to use a tile adhesive with stronger bonding abilities to fix porcelain tiles. Similarly, large-sized tiles for walls will also need tile adhesives with higher bonding strength, while a normal bond-strength tile adhesive is sufficient for attaching floor tiles.

Apart from this, there is also a wide range of high-quality wall putty available from renowned brands, such as Sakshi Chem Sciences. These wall putties are designed to give smooth and strong surfaces for interior and exterior walls.

Assessing Substrate Conditions

The substrate, or surface to which tiles are attached, is another important factor to consider when making a tile adhesive choice.

Tiles are fixed to indoor and outdoor surfaces. Outdoor surfaces are obviously subject to extreme changes in temperature, moisture and harsh weather conditions. Additionally, outdoor construction is also subject to strict emission control regulations, which are necessary to preserve the health of workers and residents alike. These regulations also control the type of tile adhesive you can use.

Additionally, the type of substrate will also determine the best choice of tile adhesive for the situation.

Let’s check the type of substrate and its compatible tile adhesive –

  • Plaster/Plasterboard walls – Usually, small ceramic tiles are attached to wall surfaces and splash-backs, which require using ready-mixed paste adhesive. However, for large-sized tiles and porcelain tiles, you will need to use a powdered tile adhesive for a stronger bond. These are available in varying colors, setting speeds and flexibility. Construction experts recommend fixing tiles directly onto plasterboard, as opposed to fresh plaster, for the best results.
  • Timber/concrete floors – Our construction experts recommend installing a layer of marine-grade plywood over timber floorboards before fixing tiles. For this, you should always use powdered adhesive, even when using ceramic tiles. Similarly, to affix tiles to concrete floors, it is advised to use powdered tile adhesive.

Considering Environmental Factors

Another important factor to consider for buying the best tile adhesive is the type of environment the surface will be usually subjected to. For instance, if the outdoor surface is likely to face harsh weather and temperatures, then the choice of tile adhesive differs than that required for interior use.

Apart from this, the climatic conditions of the building’s location should also be considered. Buildings in moist, wet climates will require stronger bonding adhesives as compared to buildings in drier climates.

Examining Project Requirements

Like the above point, the specific requirements of the building project will also help to determine the right choice of tile adhesive. As mentioned previously, the type of tile and adhesive will depend on its use, location and environment.

Evaluating Adhesive Properties

Evaluating the adhesive properties of tile bonding agents is also very important. Normally, tile adhesives are classified into different categories according to varying standards and types, including –

  • C Type Adhesive – C-type adhesives are cementitious tile adhesives. They are made from cement, sand and other additives. C-type adhesives are commonly used for fixing stone and ceramic tiles. They are further classified according to tensile strength, flexibility and setting time into C1 (Class 1) for normal adhesive and C2 (Class 2) for stronger adhesive.
  • D Type Adhesive – D-type adhesives are dispersible tile adhesives. They are made by dispersing special polymers in a liquid formula. This type of tile adhesive provides excellent bonding with materials like fabric, paper, and wood. Dispersible tile adhesives are further classified into different classes based on adhesion strength, such as D1 for normal adhesion and D2 for stronger adhesion.
  • R Type Adhesive – R-type adhesives are reaction-resin tile adhesives. They are produced through a chemical reaction between multiple components. Usually, R type tile adhesives are also classified according to their performance and properties into R1 for standard adhesion and R2 for enhanced adhesion.

The second type of adhesive is normally used in projects that require higher strength, more flexibility and other enhanced features.

Apart from these, tile adhesives are also classified according to their special characteristics, such as –

  • F Type Adhesive – F type adhesives are meant for fast-setting. These tile adhesives tend to set or dry quickly, which is helpful for swift progress in construction projects.
  • T Type Adhesive – T type adhesives are slip resistant. These tile adhesives are usually applied to fix tiles firmly in place on vertical surfaces.
  • E Type Adhesive – E type adhesives have extended open time, which is the amount of time it takes the adhesive to set. Extended open time gives more flexibility while working.
  • S Type Adhesive – S type adhesive is special deformable and can flex and accommodate slight shifts and movements in the surface. These are further classified into S1 for normal deformable, and S2 for highly deformable.

Adhesive Cleanup And Maintenance

The choice of tile adhesive should also consider any cleanup or maintenance that may be required long after the tiles are fixed in place. For instance, powdered tile adhesives may require you to put a finishing touch by removing additional grout after fixing the tiles. Some adhesives may often require polishing and buffing to remove all traces of tile adhesives from the tile surface.

Budget Considerations

Last, but not least, the budget to buy tile adhesives is also an important factor. For choosing the right tile adhesive, you should consider the overall budget of the construction project too. Make sure to buy tile adhesives that not only fulfill your construction requirements but also help you to keep overall expenses within the project’s budget.

Conclusion

Choosing the best tile adhesive requires considering several important factors. For instance, you need to consider the type of tile being used, assess substrate conditions, environmental conditions, eco-impact of product, requirements of the construction projects, and adhesion strength. Apart from these, you should also consider the level of cleanup or maintenance needed, as well as the overall budget of the construction project for choosing the right tile adhesive. Only by buying the right tile adhesive you can ensure strong, durable and aesthetically pleasing constructions.