Is better to use Thin-Set mortar or pre-mixed adhesive for you tiling job?
Tiles will increase the value of your property if correctly installed. For any tiling project to be successful, choose the right material always. Tile adhesive is a vital product for your project to be successful. It’s used to perfectly and securely fix the tile on the wall, ceiling or floor.
It can be a daunting task if you plan to DIY or do it for the first time, and you don’t have the experience or skill sets.
Tile adhesives vary, and you should pick a type that will satisfy your tiling needs. Some tips for you to think about:
- Make sure you get an adhesive that can supiport the size and weight of the tiles you are laying out on the wall, floor or ceiling.
- The best types are easy to use, water-resistant, heat resistant and mold resistant.
- Adhesives that offer better bonding strength, can be grouted within the shortest time possible, or guarantee a thinner layer are a meaningful investment.
The type of adhesive you come across, may it be, pre-mixed adhesive or a thin-set mortar should satisfy your tiling needs for your particular project. Both have their pros and cons.
With this in mind, lets find out which are other best rated adhesives for tiles on the market right now.
My closely related post you might be interested: What is the best adhesive for floor tiles?
- 1 Best 5 Standard Thin-set Mortar Tile Adhesives
- 2 1. Schluter Set White 50 lbs Bag UNMODIFIED Thin-SET MORTAR
- 3 PROS:
- 4 2. Custom Building Products MTSG25 VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar Gray
- 5 PROS:
- 6 CONS:
- 7 3. PERMA K-Tone Filler White Color
- 8 PROS:
- 9 CONS:
- 10 4. CUSTOM BLDG PRODUCTS PBG507-4 7-Pound Nutmeg Sand Grout
- 11 PROS:
- 12 CONS:
- 13 5. LATICRETE 317 MORTAR 50LB GREY
- 14 PROS:
- 15 Best Pre-mixed adhesives
- 16 1. Dap Weldwood Floor Tile Adhesive, 1-Quart
- 17 Pros
- 18 Cons
- 19 2. Henry 314 Pre-mixed Mastic Adhesive 1 QT Ready Set
- 20 Pros
- 21 Cons
- 22 3. Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (LN903-QT), Low VOC,1-Quart
- 23 Pros
- 24 Cons
- 25 4 Custom Building Products AcrylPro Ceramic Tile Adhesive, 3.5 Gallons
- 26 Pros
- 27 Cons
- 28 5. SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar 1 QT
- 29 Why Won’t My Tiles Stick to the Wall?
- 30 What are most common mistakes when tiles are not sticking to a wall or ceiling?
- 31 Wrong type of adhesive
- 32 Dust on walls or tile
- 33 Irregular surface
- 34 Can You Use Tile Adhesive to Level a Wall Before Tiling?
- 35 Related questions
- 36 Other related blog articles:
Best 5 Standard Thin-set Mortar Tile Adhesives
Lets start by Thin-set Mortar powder type of adhesives. They are mostly used and recommended by proffesionals. For those of you, who want perfect result, I recomment applying uncoupling membrane as well.
More about read In my article talking about What is uncoupling membrane?
1. Schluter Set White 50 lbs Bag UNMODIFIED Thin-SET MORTAR
Schluter is premium unmodified thin-set mortar used for all sorts of tiles such as ceramic, porcelain and stone type. You should use it with uncoupling membrane.
Schluter is well known btand with great reputation so you won’t regret investing a bit more in to higher quality adhesive if your tiles are bigger or more premium type. With Sag-resistant, you won’t have any problems setting your tiles on both horizontal and vertical surfaces.
- High strength
- Can be used on all sorts of tiles
- Great for both horizontal and vertical surfaces
CLICK HERE and read other reviews from costumers who bought this product.
2. Custom Building Products MTSG25 VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar Gray
One of the finest all-purpose mortar that can be used for setting and fixing the tiles and floors is VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar. It can be used in any environment and even cures faster in the cold environment.
Being polymer-modified, this is one of the mortars which offers high strength and durability. Because it Exceeds the ANSI A1184 and A11811 standards, the mortar can be used by just mixing with the water with no requirement for ant added adhesives.
Being one of the quickest dryings it is more recommended for interior use.
Being one of the custom building products, it is not recommended over cushion resilient flooring, hardwood or parquet flooring, wafer board, masonite, metal, particleboard, linoleum, or plastic.
- Offers high strength
- Quick-drying property
- Easy to use and smooth application
- Acceptable for wide floor base
- Water-based powder
- Can be a little messy in application
- Consistency if not perfect can lead to trouble
3. PERMA K-Tone Filler White Color
If you are looking for an adhesive to grout the tile joints Perma is the best choice. With the water-resistant property that this product carries it is more used for fixing the tiles in the bathroom or of the swimming pool. With the varied variety of coverages, and sizes the powder is apt to be used for multiple purposes. The cementitious material in powder form is the best for using with stones, marbles, cut stones, and other such tiles.
TIP: The best direction to make the mix is to use the proportion of 3.5 volumes of powder to 1 volume of water. Mix the paste to get the consistency and it is advisable to leave the paste for at least 10 mins to get the desired results.
- Highly resistant to dust, stains, and dirt.
- Provide resilience and rigidness
- With strength, the mixture is unshrinkable
- It is waterproof
- The best solution if there is a leakage problem.
- Hard to maintain the consistency and the color
- Inconvenient to keep the mixture for future use.
- Lack of precision can create a mess
4. CUSTOM BLDG PRODUCTS PBG507-4 7-Pound Nutmeg Sand Grout
Custom BLDG IS a very durable polymer-modified adhesive. With the dense and smooth quality, the spreading of the mix of powder and water is quick and straightforward. Creating a thin base for the tile, the finish it offers is unmatched.
The easy to spread property and the feature to clean it precisely makes the powder friendly to use and apply.
A product which is the powder-based mortar is quite easier to work with, especially when working with an uneven floor. The gumminess of the substance creates it the best for application and the quick-dry property makes this an uncanny match. Better used when applied at room temperature and way cheaper than the premixed mortar, this is one prime combination.
- High Resistance
- Durable and quick to dry
- Dirt and dustproof
- Smooth spreading and evenness
- Dense with easy cleanup
- Hard to store and keep for future use
- For floors only
5. LATICRETE 317 MORTAR 50LB GREY
Laticrete thin-set mortar can be used on Floor & Wall. It is made out of cementitious powder which can be mixed either with water or latex admixture. It has a smooth texture so it is very easy to apply.
- It won’t sag when applying on wall
- Because of the smooth surface, it will be easy to trowel
- Can be used for walls and floors
Best Pre-mixed adhesives
Pre-mixed adhesives are the go-to option for many people. They are great for indoor and outdoor projects, and you don’t have to spend time mixing them for use. They are ready for use and manufactured to meet your needs.
1. Dap Weldwood Floor Tile Adhesive, 1-Quart
The Dap Weldwood floor tile adhesive is great for your tiling projects that involve installing tiles on interior floors. You can use it for different floor surfaces. It is pre-mixed so very easy to use without spending extra time figuring out the right consistency.
TIP: With Pre-mixed adhesives, it is good to think ahead planning your tiles before sticking it down. After 20 minutes it starts to dry out so If you are still planning it may not stick to your tile properly.
- Water-resistant- This unique adhesive will resist the penetration of water as it forms a strong bond that can withstand any kind of exposure.
- Low odor while the surface cures after laying out the tile.
- Easy to clean up even if you decide to use water to do so.
- Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) adhesive that does not release a lot of chemicals into the air during application.
- You can NOT use it with any ceramic tiles larger than 8×8 in
2. Henry 314 Pre-mixed Mastic Adhesive 1 QT Ready Set
If you are looking for a fast-grab adhesive for your walls, floors, countertops, and showers, Henry 314 premixed mastic adhesive 1 is a great choice for you.
It is a strong type of adhesive, great for tile setting and bonding to concrete and will perfectly fit and drie on your wall, ceiling, or floor, without fear of coming off.
TIP: This tile adhesive is a great choice for standup showers, as the material will not slop around when installing and cause unexpected wastage.
It comes ready for use, and you don’t have to waste vital time mixing the mastic. Just take the lid off, get your trowel, and get started for a long day of tiling work.
- Convenience as the mastic is premixed and ready for use.
- High durable as the adhesive tends to be more solid when applied and fixed on a surface.
- Extremely easy to use, especially with the right tools, and you are ready to go.
- Premixed mastic is always going to be more expensive than other types of adhesives in the market.
3. Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (LN903-QT), Low VOC,1-Quart
Are you looking for a magnificent adhesive for your ceiling tiles, drywall, wood trim or plywood? Worry no more. Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive is a great option for you. This is a multi-purpose adhesive and should meet all your tiling needs.
Liquid Nails Quart adhesive is also excellent for bigger ceiling tiles and drywalls compared to previous reviewed Dab and will provide excellent final results.
TIP: When you apply it to your surface, let is sit fo around ten minutes and then stick your tile on. Results will be much better. TYou can use it both for interior and exterior use.
Applying this thick adhesive on your ceiling tile surface should not be a struggle. A trowel or a putty knife makes the entire laying out or spread task easy and effective, and the surfaces will be perfectly bonded.
- Robust and durable bond and your tiles will not slip or fall off the ceiling.
- Water-resistant and weather resistant adhesive great for even wet surfaces like your bathroom or shower wall.
- Flexible product that perfectly bridges gaps in the wall or ceiling surfaces.
- Effectively bonds with a wide range of construction materials and you can utilize it for many tiling projects.
- Instant holding power will keep your tiles in place without any worries about your project becoming faulty.
- Low VOC adhesive that does not emit harmful gases or chemicals.
- Not convenient if looking for a fast set time.
4 Custom Building Products AcrylPro Ceramic Tile Adhesive, 3.5 Gallons
Acrylpro ceramic tile adhesive is ideal choice for walls thanks to its tremendous bonding strength. You just need to plan installation quickly because it dries fast.
- Quick setting– You don’t have to wait for hours for the adhesive to set on your wall showers.
- Easy to use– This acrylpro Cera tile adhesive is super easy to work with and spread on your wall.
- Water-resistant and ideal for applying on shower wall tiles.
- Resistant to mold or mildew thanks to the Gard technology used to make this adhesive.
- Temperature-sensitive- Even though it holds perfectly on the bathroom wall, it will require a minimum temperature to set.
- Takes long to cure if the temperatures are less than ideal.
- This product can expose you to chemicals including Silica and Crystalline so protection is advised during installation
5. SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar 1 QT
SimpleSet premixed thin-set mortar 1 QT is a great choice for different surfaces. It easily bonds stone, marble, ceramic, concrete, and porcelain tiles.
- Can withstand mold and decay thanks to the Moldguard technology used to manufacture this adhesive.
- Spreads fast and
- Easy bonding strength
- Dries a bit slow as it depends on evaporation.
Why Won’t My Tiles Stick to the Wall?
When installing tiles on walls or ceiling, it’s wise always to prepare and educate yourself as much as possible about whole installation process or hire professional to do the job for you.
What are most common mistakes when tiles are not sticking to a wall or ceiling?
Wrong type of adhesive
For best possible performanceI highly recommend using thin-set mortar like Schluter because it’s stronger and you have more time to stick tile on it. Use it in combination with uncoupling membrane to achieve best results. At the end it will cost a.bit more but your tiles will last forever.
If you are using premixed adhesives some react really fast. By the time you press your tile on the adhesive, it might be already exposed to air to long. When skin on the adhesive itself, it does not offer the necessary bond and strength to the tile.
Read manufacturer instructions carefully and try to plan everything upfront.
Dust on walls or tile
Wall surface or backs of the tiles could have been dusty before you applied the adhesive. Dust and adhesive don’t work together or in unison. The dusty surface will try to absorb all the adhesive for itself.
The tile won’t stick if the surface was irregular or had bumps in it. You have to make sure the tile is flat, and the wall or ceiling surface perfectly matches it.
Can You Use Tile Adhesive to Level a Wall Before Tiling?
At all times, you have to prepare and level your walls or ceilings as great as possible for upcoming tilling project. It is possible to level a wall with the adhesive but only small imperfections.
Before starting to tile your walls , they need to be dry, clean, and level.
To measure how leveled is your wall, take long and straight wooden plank. If the gaps are not bigger than 5mm, go on and tile them using your prepared adhesive.
In case the gaps are bigger than 5mm between the plank and the wall, apply reparation mortar to fill the cracs and level the wall or ceiling surface.
Knowing which adhesive to use is essential, as failure is inevitable if you pick the wrong one for your project. Whether you use ready-mix tile adhesives, standard powdered, or rapid set multi-flex type, you must read it’s instructions and see, if it is appropriate for your tiling job.
Some adhesives can only be used on floor and you can not place them on wall or ceiling.
You should always put adhesive on the wall and not on the tile. This way you will ensure wall is fully covered with adhesive equally.
When applying adhesive to each tile, you are risking, you won’t cover the complete surface and making gaps between tile and wall. If gaps are to big and adhesive not spread equally, you are risking tiles falling down.
It all starts by cleaning the ceiling, get exaxt dimension, and figure out how many tiles your need.
If your tiles are not placed threw entire ceiling, Ledger board can help you place them under right angle.
You should use standard thin-set mortar adhesive and mix it little bit siffer, so tiles could stick more easily on it.
Make sure you covered complete area equally to back of tile is covered as much as possible.
Don’t apply to much adhesive, so it won’t come threw the grout lines.
The thickness of the wall tile adhesive matters a lot. It should be approximately 3mm thick, and this is when the tile is observed. A notched trowel that is 10-12mm is perfect for spreading the adhesive if the tile is greater than 6mm variations.