Here's what you need to know for your next tiling project

TIle adhesive or tile grout for mosaic

If you’ve ever considered tiling or even fixing up a few tiles, then you would’ve come across these terms: tile adhesives and tile grouts. 

These product terms are often mistaken for one another, so let’s break down the purpose of both and how they’re meant to be used as they are part of two completely different steps in the tiling process. 

Essentially, tile adhesive is the compound used to stick the tiles down, to the wall or floor.  Tile grout, however, is the mortar used to fill in the gaps/spacing between the tiles and create a uniform finish. 

Tile adhesive can form part of the step of laying new tiles or over existing tiles. It is basically the glue that gets the tiles to stay in place and last long without cracking. Hence, the quality of the tile adhesive used is of utmost importance to ensure the longevity of your tiling application. Tile adhesive is made up of compounds called mortar and there are 3 main types:  thin-set, mastic, and epoxy tile adhesives.  Thin-set is the most commonly used and epoxy is the strongest. 

What are the two types of tile adhesive?  There are two different types of tile adhesive: ready-mixed pastes, and powdered adhesives. Whilst both varieties have their advantages and disadvantages, each is best suited to slightly different projects. The real difference is in the chemistry of how the products dry. Ready-mix adhesives dry a bit slower than powder adhesives due to the evaporation process. From our experience, it’s clear that most tilers favour a powder adhesive.

What are the requirements for a tile adhesive?  Their adhesion strength must be at least 0.5 MPa (0.5 N/mm2). As a general rule, you need around 3 mm thickness of tile adhesive for most wall tiles. Typically wall tiles need less adhesive than floor tiles because they endure less stress than a floor tile. It depends on the nature and flatness of the surface on which you are applying your tiles and the method of application.  On a level background, you can expect to use 6 m2 of 20 kg adhesive for a wall using a 6 mm notched trowel and 4 m2 of adhesive for floors, wet areas, and exteriors using a 10 mm notched trowel.

Tile grout, on the other hand, is a cement-based mortar that fills the space between tiles which provides a clean finish to your tiling job and prevents the tiles from moving over time or getting cracked along the edges.  Tile grout is available in a range of standard colours including white, grey, beige, or black – in a variety of different shades.  Use a tile grout calculator to determine how much tile grout you need.

For a thorough, neat, and finished tiling job, both tile adhesive and grout are equally important to make sure that your tiling not only looks flawless but also remains durable. 

The Weber-tylon range has been designed and developed for professional tiling contractors and offers a wide range of solutions for all setting times and types of tiles.

The additive range includes standard-setting adhesives, high-strength rapid-setting adhesives, and ready-mixed adhesives. The use of the correct tile fixing adhesive is crucial when using a variety of tiles such as porcelain, natural stone, marble, or ceramic tiles.

Weber-tylon adhesives can be used on a wide range of surfaces, are easy to mix, and provide a strong, reliable bond for a long-lasting finish.  For more advice on tile adhesives and grouts or training, call Weber-tylon.

Whether you’re working with ready-mix or powder adhesives, there’s a method of classification that means it’s quick and easy to choose the right adhesive for the job. 

Normal or improved cementitious (C)

C1 (normal cementitious) and C2 (improved cementitious) classifications refer to the strength of powder adhesives.

Normal or improved dispersion (D)

D1 (normal dispersion) and D2 (improved dispersion) classifications regard the strength of ready-mix adhesives.

Fast setting adhesives (F)

An F classification refers to a tile adhesive which is fast-setting in nature, this is useful when tiling in lower temperatures where the setting process may take longer, or where there is a tight deadline.

Improved flexibility (S)

Flexible tile adhesives are denoted with two classifications: S1 (improved flexible tile adhesive) and S2 (ultra-flexible tile adhesive), which are suitable on substrates which are subject to deflection and movement.

Reduced Slip (T)

T classifications refer to tile adhesives which have reduced slip – useful for applying larger or heavier tiles onto walls, keeping them firmly in place throughout the tiling process.