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Tile adhesive is important and it’s always a good idea to learn about the different materials you will be using when completing a DIY job. Here we look at the main types of tile adhesive.

What Type Tile Adhesive to Use

Tile adhesive is important, in fact, it can be considered just as important as selecting the correct tile for the job. Understanding more about the different types of tile adhesive will help you complete your project more adequately, as knowledge and preparation is always key when it comes to DIY.

Tile adhesive secures the tile to the surface and in recent years amazing improvements have been made to tile adhesives making the job of laying tiles much easier for the average at home DIY enthusiast. The three main types of tile adhesives are mastics, thin set mortar, latex, acrylic and epoxy.

When choosing a tile adhesive, the type of project is key. You need to know where the tile is going to be applied, whether it’s floor tiles or wall tiles and whether or not it will be used in a dry or a wet area. The surface the tiles will be laid onto is also a key consideration.

Mastics are one of the most popular kind of adhesives and do not require any mixing. Although mastics are incredibly strong, they aren’t generally suitable for floor tiles or wall tiles used outside, or where the tiles will be exposed to heat.

Thin set mortar is another popular type of tile adhesive. It needs to be mixed before use, creates a stronger bond than mastics and is also more flexible with its use than mastics.

Thin set mortar can be called ‘water mixed’ or ‘dry set’ and tends to be made up of cement, sand and a chemical that helps it retain water.

Latex and acrylic mixed adhesives have added ingredients that help create a strong bond and reduce water absorption. This type of adhesive can be used for both indoor floor and wall tilings and when using porcelain tiles outdoors.

Epoxy adhesive is the most expensive type of tile adhesive and contains resin, sand, cement and special chemicals enhancing its hardness when dry.

All of these types of tile adhesives can come in different forms where various chemicals have been added to improve performance or make them applicable to different projects. When selecting an adhesive for your floor tiles or wall tiles it is important to consider the following:

  • Where will the tiles be laid (outdoor or indoor)
  • Will the tiles be exposed to heat or extremely cold temperatures
  • Will the tiles be exposed to moisture or direct water
  • What type of tile are you using
  • Are the tiles particularly delicate or uneven at the back
  • What type of surface are the tiles being placed onto

Understanding the type of project you are undertaking will help you understand which adhesive is best for you. If you are ever unsure about which type of tile adhesive to choose, consider speaking to someone at your local DIY store who will be able to help you. Never select an adhesive as a guess – this may ruin your tile project and cost you a lot of money in replacement materials.

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