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Are you considering tiling a surface in your home but unsure about which tile adhesive to use? With so many types of adhesives available on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Don’t worry! We understand how daunting the process can seem. In this blog post, we will explain everything you need to know about tile adhesives and help make your decision easier.

Everything You Need To Know About Tile Adhesives

What is tile adhesive? 

Tile adhesive is the glue that bonds tiles to the underlayment, ensuring they stay firmly in place on your walls or floors. Some types of tile adhesive are premixed, while others come as a powder that you mix yourself. Source: Angi

Types of tile adhesive

Organic mastics are among the most popular kinds of adhesives. They are commonly purchased because they do not require mixing and they help wall tiles stay in place without slipping. Those who use them must be careful of where the tiles will be set, however, because this type of adhesive shouldn’t be used in locations that are exposed to heat or for tiles applied outside of the home.

The other most common type is thin-set mortar. It is usually mixed by the person installing the tile, and has a better bonding strength and offers more flexibility than organic mastics. This adhesive is applied to the tile in a thin layer, usually not more than 0.1875 inch (4.76 mm) thick. There are a wide variety of thin-set mortars available, so it is easy to find the right fit for almost any given job.

Water-mixed mortar or dry-set mortar is a form of thin-set mortar. It is a combination of Portland cement, sand, and an element that promotes water retention. This mortar is simply mixed with water and is beneficial because it allows the adhesive to hydrate. It is a favorite amongst the adhesives in the tile industry.

Latex mortar and acrylic-mixed mortar have additives that increase adhesion and lower water absorption, and either is perfect for wet or dry installations. Epoxy mortar is made from sand, cement, resins, and hardeners and is more expensive than most other tile adhesives. It is a good option when the setting bed is not compatible with cheaper adhesives. Medium-bed mortar is applied thicker than the rest — 0.25 inch (6.35 mm) — making it a strong option that is best for handcrafted tiles or those with uneven backs. Source: HomeQuestionsAnswered

Frequently asked questions

  • Are mortar and tile adhesive the same?

The difference between mortar and tile adhesive comes down to technicalities. Technically, mortar is a type of adhesive. The confusion comes from the fact that many people, including industry professionals and major brands, use the term “tile adhesive” to refer to tile mastic, which isn’t the same thing as mortar.

  • Can I use tile adhesive instead of grout?

Tile adhesive and grout are not the same thing and should not be used interchangeably. Tile adhesive will not wash away from tiles in the same way that grout does and, if left too long, may not wash off at all.

  • How long does tile adhesive last?

Premixed tile adhesives have a shelf life of around six to 12 months. Powdered adhesives will typically last longer, but you should always consult the manufacturer’s label to ensure you don’t use tile adhesive that is expired, as the holding power and performance will likely be compromised. Source: TheSpruce

Still unsure about which tile adhesive is right for your project? Our team is always happy to help! Give us a call today so we can assist you in finding the most suitable option for your needs.