Adhesives for tiling: Making an Informed Choice!

Date: June 22 2018 3:31PM

Adhesives for Tiling Making an Informed Choice!

With an abundance of products on the market and many types of substrates to tile onto, it is very important that you choose wisely when making your adhesive and grout purchases. It is always advantageous to seek professional advice if you are unsure or have any doubts, as mistakes made at this stage can prove costly.

The two main types of adhesives are cement-based (powder) and dispersion-based (ready-mixed). So let’s start with dispersion based adhesives, if you are thinking of using this kind of paste adhesive then it’s important that you understand the limitations. For instance the surface that you are tiling onto should be porous, as these types of adhesives require air to dry out to create a good strong adhesion that will ensure your tiles are securely bonded with your walls. Also because of this you should only use paste adhesives for ceramic wall tiles up to 300 x 300mmand also some porcelain 100 x 100mmkitchen wall tiles depending on the type and classification of the adhesive.

Dispersion type adhesives will either be classed as D1 or D2 this will signify the locations suitable for use, a D1 classification means that the adhesive has standard properties and will be suitable for dry areas only. If a D2 classification has been given then this is suitable for bathrooms and domestic showers.

Cement-based adhesives are a little more complex and will be classed as either C1 or C2 with C2 having superior adhesion qualities, further classifications such as S1 and S2, denotes improved elasticity. These cement based adhesives are mixed with water and sometimes special additives to enhance flexibility. The Mapei Keraquik adhesive has C2 S1 properties but can be upgraded to S2 by mixing it with Latex plus. These types of adhesives are different to dispersion adhesives because they dry by a chemical reaction and so this means that they don’t need air to create a strong adhesion, making them ideal for larger format tiles.

With many types of cement based adhesives available it is important that correct applications are adhered to! Flexible adhesives are available and are generally used where any movement is expected, for instance with plywood overlays and underfloor heating though you should always check manufactures instructions for suitability. Standard cement-based adhesives are more suited to stable substrates such as concrete screeds. The setting times of these adhesives can vary depending on the ambient temperature of the environment and specific properties of the adhesive.