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What is Best Adhesive type for Porcelain Tile?

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Whether you’re tiling a wall, a kitchen floor, or a bathroom floor with porcelain or ceramic tile, you need to use the correct glue. The tile must be able to stick to whatever surface you are covering for the years to come.

Furthermore, it should be easy to work with and should conceal the gaps between the tiles perfectly. Also, it should neither dry too fast nor too slowly.

When it comes to tiling your floors, there are a lot of different adhesive types to choose from. So, how do you know which one is right for your project?

The most remarkable adhesive for porcelain tiles is thin-set cement or epoxy tile mortar. Epoxy tile adhesive is a little more difficult to work with than pre-mixed glue, but it’s worth the effort if the area you’re covering is always moist.

What is Best Adhesive type for Porcelain Tile?

We’ll go over the different types of tile adhesives, how to pick the right one for your job, and why it’s crucial to do it precisely. 

Different Types of Adhesives

Installing a solid ceiling or wall tile is a good investment that you will never regret, and it is difficult to do without quality and the correct kind of glue.

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the best type to use, especially when dealing with fragile porcelain tiles.

Let’s look at the various adhesives available and what they’re great for.

Thinset Tile Adhesives

The thin-set adhesive is manufactured from Portland cement, sand, and water. It is one of the most popular adhesives for porcelain tile because it’s easy to work with and provides a strong bond.

The main disadvantage is the long setting compared tovother types of adhesives. You’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before grouting or walking on the tile.

Thin-set tile adhesives are classified into three categories: thin-set mortar, pre-mixed, and epoxy adhesives.

Pre-mixed Adhesive

To start, we’ll discuss premixed adhesives. These are ready-to-use compounds. They come in large containers and are immediately usable.

Premixed adhesives, despite being the most user-friendly, are not suitable for all types of applications. That’s because they dry rapidly and, in my opinion, aren’t a good fit unless you’re tiling a kitchen backsplash or putting only a small number of tiles.

Thin-set mortar adhesive

Thin-Set Mortar Adhesive

The traditional thin-set is a well-packaged powder that can be simply combined with water. It is also widely known as thin-set mortar. 

For most interior and outdoor tile installations, this is the standard tile adhesive. It has a mud-like smooth and slippery consistency. You will have to mix it with water before using it as an abrasive.

It will take about 24 hours for this type of adhesive to set. Once it sets, though, you have a very strong bond that will last for many years.

When compared to pre-mixed adhesives, thin-set mortar offers a stronger bond and a wider range of applications.

It works on a variety of materials, including wood, cement, drywall, and metal.

However, thin-set mortar has a few disadvantages.

  1. It takes longer to set (cure).
  2. It is more difficult to work with because it’s hard to achieve even consistency.

Epoxy Tile Adhesive

Epoxy adhesives, On the other hand, are much more versatile. They usually come as a two-part system: a base and a curing agent that you mix. 

They provide an incredibly strong bond, and are waterproof, making them ideal for use in high moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.

The main downside of epoxy adhesives:

  1. more difficult to work with than other types of adhesives.
  2. Shorter working time
  3. requires special mixing tools
  4. They’re not suitable for use on all surfaces, especially porous types like wood for example.

Difference between standard thin-set and epoxy tile mortar adhesive? 

difference between thinset and epoxy mortar

Standard thin-set mortar, as previously stated, produces a very strong bond and is water-resistant, making it ideal for floor tiles and other moist areas.

Furthermore, it is also heat resistant, so it won’t lose its grip in warmer weather. It helps you to level uneven surfaces to some extent because of the enhanced bond and flexibility.

On the other hand, Epoxy Tile Mortar comes in two or three parts that must be mixed before being used as an adhesive.

Moreover, it cures much faster than thin-set mortar. It does not require any special latex additives because it is waterproof.

Epoxy’s advantages include its great compressive strength, making it an excellent choice for heavy-traffic areas both indoors and out.

What Is The Best Adhesive Type for Porcelain Tiles?

Porcelain tiles are delicate and should be handled with caution while installing on your walls. My decision would be based on the type of room we require it for.

Suppose, for example, in a bathroom, where there is more moisture, I would recommend an epoxy adhesive. However, for a living room or kitchen backsplash, I would go with a pre-mixed adhesive or thin-set mortar.

Read below, my top 3 picks for the best adhesive type for porcelain tiles:

1. Roberts 5900-1 Tile Adhesive

If you’re looking for a Type I Mastic that sets quickly, Roberts 5900-1 is the perfect solution. You’ll appreciate how smoothly this adhesive spreads – making your tile installation a breeze.

It’s also easy to clean up, making it a great choice for backsplash, countertops, and shower walls.

Moreover, it is the best mastic for porous and semi-porous ceramic tiles. It can adhere to a variety of surfaces such as cement board, masonry, porcelain, etc. However, it is not suitable for green marble, ceramic tile fixtures, or lug back tile.


  • Good creamy consistency – no lumps
  • Sets quickly and creates a strong grab
  • Affordable and easy to work with and clean


  • Poor product packaging

2. AcrylPro Ceramic Tile Mastic

If you want to get rid of the constant worry about your tiles falling off, then this is the right product for you. It dries quickly and sets firmly so your tiles will stay in place no matter what.

You’ll be able to complete your tiling project quickly and easily with little mess and fuss. Plus, you can use it in areas with intermittent water exposure – perfect for tub surrounds and shower walls.

Acryl Pro has been serving its customers for over 25 years now. The best thing about this product is that it comes with a 1-gallon bucket, which means you don’t have to worry about running out of adhesive mid-project


  • Sag Free- Works great in high humidity areas
  • Water-soluble and easy to clean and spread
  • Strong bonding capability
  • Affordable


  • Setting time varies
  • Not suitable for large tiles

3. Simple Set – Thin-Set Mortar

Simple Set Premixed Thin-set Mortar is a no-mix, no-mess alternative to traditional thin-set mortar. It is easy to use and recommended for ceramic, porcelain and stone tile. Therefore, whether you’re tiling a wall or floor, this product is worth checking out.

Additionally, this ready-to-use mortar is created specifically for interior wall and floor applications, allowing you to complete the work fast and easily.  Plus, it provides excellent bond strength and is resistant to mold and mildew.


  • No mixing required
  • Strong bonding properties
  • No strong smell & dries fairly quickly
  • Easy to apply and clean up


  • Can emit harsh chemicals

Can I Use Ceramic Adhesive on Porcelain Tiles?

Yes, you can use ceramic adhesive on porcelain tiles. It is a type of glue designed specifically for bonding ceramic surfaces. It is often made of epoxy or polyurethane and comes in liquid or gel form.

While ceramic adhesives can be used on porcelain tiles, it’s important to keep in mind that not all ceramic adhesives are created equal. When it comes to installing porcelain tiles, some adhesives aren’t as strong as others, so it’s vital to pick one that’s made for the task.

Do You Put Adhesive on Tile or Wall?

You can apply adhesive to either the tile or the wall, but it’s usually best to start with the wall. This will help to ensure that the adhesive bond is strong and that the tiles are less likely to come loose over time.

When applying adhesive to the wall, you will need to use a notched trowel to spread it evenly over the surface. After using the adhesive, set the tiles and firmly push them into place.

Can You Tile Over Tile?

Yes, you can tile over tile, but there are a few things that you need to take into consideration before doing so.

  1. You need to make sure that the surface is smooth and level. If there are any bumps or unevenness, this could cause the new tiles to sit unevenly and may eventually lead to them coming loose.
  2. Mildew in the existing tiles can cause the new tiles to become discolored over time. To avoid this, it is important to make sure that the surface is clean and free from any mold.
  3. Finally, you need to choose the right adhesive. A stronger adhesive will be required if you are tiling over an existing tile surface, as there needs to be a good bond between the two surfaces.
TIP: You might want to read about mushrooms in the bathroom.

What Is the Best Adhesive for Tiling Over Tiles?

The best adhesive for tiling over tiles is an epoxy-based adhesive. This type of adhesive is extremely strong and provides a long-lasting bond between surfaces. It is also resistant to mold and mildew, making it the perfect choice for use in bathrooms and kitchens.

From my selection, Simple Set thin-set mortar will do a great job when tiling over tiles.

Can You Put Self Adhesive Tiles Over Tiles?

No, you cannot put self-adhesive tiles over tiles. Self-adhesive tiles are only suitable for use on smooth, level surfaces. If you try to apply them to an existing tile surface, they will not stick correctly and you will have to eventually replace or fix them with an adhesive.

How to Tile Over Tile?

Tiling over tiles can be a money and time-saving way to update the look of your home without having to rip out the existing tiles. However, there are a few drawbacks as well such as

  • It will increase the height and weight of your floor
  • If not done correctly, it can lead to cracking
  • The new tiles may eventually come loose
  • If you decide to renovate in the long run, it will be a big hassle

If you still decide to go with this option, read on and follow the step-by-step process.

1. Inspect the existing tiles 

Assuming that you already have the new tiles, you first need to take a good look at the existing tiles. To tile over them, they need to be in decent condition with no cracks or chips.

NOTE: If any of the tiles are damaged, they must be replaced before you may proceed.

2. Clean and prepare the surface 

Once you have checked the condition of the tiles, the next step is to clean the surface. This is a vital step as any dirt or debris on the surface could prevent the new tiles from sticking correctly.

Take a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the surface of the tiles. Once you have finished cleaning, make sure to rinse the area with clean water and allow it to dry completely.

TIP: Apply a primer to the area. This will help to create a smooth surface for the new tiles to adhere to.

3. Install New Tiles 

Now, it’s time to install the new tiles. You will need to use a notched trowel to spread a layer of adhesive over the surface. After the adhesive has been applied, you can set the tiles in place and firmly press them down.

Tip: When using the adhesive, make sure to only do small sections at a time. This will prevent the adhesive from drying out before you can place the tiles.

Once all of the tiles are in place, you will need to wait for the adhesive to cure. This usually takes around 24 hours.

4. Seal the grout

After the adhesive has cured, you can then apply the grout to the joints between the tiles. You must wait for the grout to dry completely before using the area once it has been applied. Finally, use a sealant to protect the grout and tiles from moisture.

Watch the video below by TAL official for the step-by-step procedure of tiling over existing tiles.

What Is an Uncoupling Membrane and When Should We Use It?

To keep tiles from cracking, an uncoupling membrane is often used. It separates or isolates the substrate from the tile, allowing the substrate to move independently of one another, preventing your porcelain tile from cracking.

Additionally, it also evenly distributes the weight across the tiles, lowering the risk of a weight-related break.

The uncoupling membrane is commonly used while installing tile over concrete. Because concrete holds a lot of water and it shrinks and expands, which puts a lot of strain on porcelain tiles, causing them to break.

Moreover, it can also be used to waterproof substrates such as wood, but that is not what we are looking for.

To install it. You need to roll out the uncoupling membrane over the floor and trim it to size, then apply a layer of adhesive on the membrane and stick it to the tile.

KEEP IN MIND: To avoid your tiles from cracking and having to be replaced, an uncoupling membrane can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Can I Use Liquid Nails on Porcelain Tile?

Liquid Nails is a multifunctional, heavy-duty construction adhesive. It can be used to adhere to porcelain tiles, however, it takes a long time to dry and cure and is more expensive than thin-set mortar.

A tube of spot-adhesive, for example, costs around $2.00, but the amount required to tile a floor or a large area would be extremely expensive.

Additionally, the liquid nails will loosen after a few years especially if there is a lot of foot traffic or if you were carrying a lot of weight. Then you’ll likely need to redo the work you to adhere them again.

Does Super Glue Work on Porcelain?

It is possible to use Super Glue to mend cracks in the porcelain, however, it cannot be used as a wall adhesive. If the shattered components were broken into large chunks, a few drops of superglue might be enough to repair them. Else it is not an adequate or strong enough adhesive to keep the tiles in place.

Does Hot Glue Work on Porcelain?

Hot glue, like super glue, can be used to repair tiny cracks in porcelain tiles. However, it is not a recommended method for holding the tiles in place because it is not strong enough.

Can You Use Ready-Mix Adhesive on Porcelain Tiles

Yes, you can use ready-mix adhesive on porcelain tiles. There are many ready-mixed adhesives available in the market. However, you need to ensure that the product is suitable for use on porcelain tiles.

Can You Use Liquid Nails on the Tile Backsplash?

Yes, liquid nails designed specifically for porcelain surfaces are available. However, there is a risk of liquid nails not adhering properly to the surface and eventually coming loose.

Additionally, the chemicals in the liquid nails can damage the tile, making it more susceptible to cracking and breaking.

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