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What is the right tile adhesive?


This guide will help you pick the right type for your job - or just call Emma, Peter or Cameron on

0113 2310 218 if you need more help 

Tile adhesive works in 2 ways

1. Dispersal - The adhesive sets and bonds the tile to the substrate when the moisture in the adhesive is dispersed.

Moisture in the adhesive is both absorbed into the body of the tile or sustrate plus the moisture evaporates thought the grout joints.

So thats why when you use this type of adhesive you grout the tiles the day after you have fixed them

This type of adhesive is the ready mixed paste type that comes in buckets, and is commonly for use when fixing wall tiles

2. Chemical Reaction - The adhesive sets due to a chemical reaction which starts when you add water to it, and continues until it bonds the tile to the substrate. 

It can be used to fix wall tiles or floor tiles and is the cement powder that comes in bags.

These extra notes are here to assist you!

Porcelain tiles - do not absorb moisture so the best adhesive to use is the single part flexible rapid set powder type.

Larger wall tiles (bigger than 30x30)  - Moisture cannot escape easily to the grout joints so the powder type would be better

Floor Tiles - when fixing to a suspended (wooden) floor movement is a possibility and so FLEXIBLE adhesive will allow this without the tiles becoming loosened as a result.

With Rapid-Set/Fast-Set powder adhesives the chemical reation is speeded up which means you can grout sooner, or in the case of floor tiles walk on the tiles after a few hours.

Some powder adhesive has both flexibility and speed of setting incorporated into its characteristics

Glass wall tiles require the chemical reaction type, and there are specific Glass- Fix adhesives available too

Paste adhesives are available for tiling onto woodedn floors.These are polymer (plastic) based not cementy and so remain flexible after use ( well for ever actually). Often you can also use this type to grout with, although diligence is required when cleaning off as once cured, the residues can be difficult to remove

As you might expect the higher performance types cost a bit more money -

but then you do want the tiles to be properly stuck dont you?


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Unlike many other tile suppliers, the tiles from Ceramique Internationale Ltd are sourced directly from some of the best Italian and Spanish tile manufacturers. We have visited them all personally to find you the right tiles for your project whether it's for the home, the office or a major commercial project. We have been in business since 1974 so you get all the tips, experience and advice about tiles and mosaics that we have built up over the last 38 years! Just call us on 0113 231 0218 or
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