Sticky Situation: The Know-How on Tile Adhesives

Tile AdhesiveSo you got a new house and you found the perfect tiles to go with it. Now, what? Those tiles won’t adhere themselves to the floor or the walls. Even if you have professional homebuilders to worry about that, it’s still a good idea to know a thing or two about how and what materials were used in building your house.

In a nutshell

A tile adhesive is used to stick the tiles to the walls or floor, says Waterproofing Direct. The two major categories of adhesive are organic mastics and thinset mortars. The type of adhesive to be used will vary according to the tile you are using.

  • Organic mastics – These are pre-mixed adhesive made from either latex or petroleum. This kind of adhesive is typically used for wall tiles because they will hold the tile instantly. This will prevent the tiles from slipping since they are set vertically. But, this kind of adhesive is not advisable when your tiles are outside or will be exposed to heat constantly. And since this is organic, it can easily mold when it continually gets wet so avoid using it in areas where it will be exposed to direct moisture.
  • Thinset mortars – These come in powdered form and are not pre-mixed. Organic mastics may be more convenient to use as it is already pre-mixed but thinset adhesives have a stronger and more flexible bond. It also has the capacity to support heavy weight. And for those reasons, this kind of adhesive is ideal for floor tiles. Use this to install tiles in areas exposed to frequent heat and wet areas.

Other types of adhesive

  • Flexible adhesive – This kind of adhesive is needed when you need to install tiles in areas such as on top of wood floors where there will be slight movement due to temperature change. Other types of adhesives may crack under the same situation. The recommended kind of flexible adhesive is a latex thinset.
  • Waterproof adhesive – As the name implies, this kind of adhesive is ideal for areas that constantly gets wet such as a kitchen countertop and in a bathroom. It’s advisable to use a thinset in this instance.
  • Heat resistant adhesive – Used for areas exposed to high heat such as a fireplace. High heat can easily damage a normal adhesive, so heat resistant adhesive is needed. Use a thinset, which can handle the heat of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit, in this scenario.

Installing tiles need not be difficult. To avoid any issues, though, you must know what to do and what not to do.