No matter if you are using porcelain tile or ceramic tile, whether tiling wall, a kitchen or bathroom floor, you need to be sure that you choose the correct adhesive. Whatever surface you are tiling, that tile needs to stick on there!
The adhesive you pick must hold the tiles for years without fail. It should be easy to work with, must fill the gaps between the tiles, and it shouldn’t dry too fast, but also shouldn’t dry too slowly.
In short, you need to figure out the perfect adhesive for your project. So, what is the best adhesive type for porcelain tile?
The best adhesive to use for porcelain tiles is a standard thinset mortar or epoxy tile mortar. Epoxy tile mortar is a bit more difficult to use than a pre-mixed adhesive, but it is worth the extra effort if your room Is very wet with a lot of moisture.
In this article, we will discuss different kinds of tile adhesives, how to choose what kind is perfect for your project, and why it is so important to make the correct choice.
Different Kinds of Adhesives
Installing a sturdy ceiling or wall tile is a wise investment you will never regret and without quality and the right kind of adhesive the impossible. Unfortunately, many don’t know what kind is appropriate to use , especially if we have delicate porcelain tiles.
Let’s talk about the different adhesives out there and what are they best for.
Very closely related post you might be interested: What is best adhesive for floor tiles?
Thinset tile adhesives
These are most popular and widely used types of tile adhesives. They are excellent for indoor and outdoor use, and they are made of cement, water-retaining agents, and sand. Thinset tile adhesives are further classified into standard known as thin-set mortar, pre-mixed and epoxy adhesives.
First, we will talk about a premixed adhesive. These are ready-to-use, already mixed substances. They come in big containers and are ready to use right away.
Though these are the easiest to use, they are not a fit for all applications. Pre-mixed adhesives are extremely quick to dry so they are not by my opinion great fit unless you are tiling a kitchen backsplash or some smaller area of tiles.
Thin-set mortar adhesive
The standard thin-set comes in the form of a well-packaged powder that is easily mixed with water. It is widely known as thin-set mortar.
This is the default tile adhesive for most indoor and outdoor tile applications. It has a smooth, slippery consistency, like mud. You will get in a powder form that requires mixing it with water before it can be used as an abrasive.
A thin-set mortar has a strong bond and has a more versile use compared to pre-mixed adhesives.
Epoxy Tile Adhesive
Epoxy tile adhesive will add extra strength and hardness compared to others. These modified adhesives can be used indoor or outdoor. More so, they are great for industrial applications as they are corrosion resistant.
Difference between standard thin-set and epoxy tile mortar adhesive?
As we noted, standard thinset mortar provides a very strong bond and is water-resistant, making it great for floor tiles and other locations that will frequently get wet.
Thinset mortar is also heatproof, so it will not lose its grip in hot environments. Because of the increased bond and flexibility, it allows you to level uneven surfaces, to some degree.
Epoxy Tile Mortar comes in two or three separate components that you need to mix before using as an adhesive.
Compared to a thinset mortar, epoxy sets quickly. It is waterproof so it doesn’t need any special latex additives.
The pros of Epoxy are the high compressive strength so it is definitely best choice when we are talking about high traffic areas indoor and outdoor
What is Best Adhesive type for Porcelain Tiles
Porcelain tiles are very delicate and should be glued well on your walls. My choice would depend on type of room we need it for.
If our room is extremely wet and in danger of moisture, epoxy adhesive is best option. For everything else standard powder thinset mortar would be my go to choice. Best example would be Schluter, which I love and you can read more about on Amazon.
What is uncoupling membrane and when should we use it?
An uncoupling membrane is used sometimes to prevent cracking in tiles. The uncoupling membrane un-couples or isolates the substrate from the tile and that allows the substrate to move independently of each other, so that the movement doesn’t cause your porcelain tile to crack. It also disperses the weight equally over the tiles, reducing the chance of a crack caused by weight.
Usually, the uncoupling membrane is used when laying tile over concrete. Because concrete holds a large amount of water and it shrinks and expands, this will cause stress on the porcelain tile, causing it to crack. It can also be used to waterproof substrates like wood, but that is not our purpose.
To install the uncoupling membrane, you roll it out over the floor and cut it to size, apply a layer of your adhesive, and then attach the membrane.
This is a small step that will save you a lot of hassle later on, since your tiles won’t crack and need to be replaced.
Related Questions regarding Porcelain Tile
Liquid Nails is a heavy duty, multipurpose constructive adhesive. You can use this adhesive for porcelain tiles, but it is very time consuming and more expensive than using a thinset mortar.
It cost about $2.00 per tube, making it perfect for a spot-adhesive, but the amount you would need to tile a floor or large area would make the project ridiculously expensive. With heavy foot traffic or heavy weight, the liquid nails would loosen after a few years and you would likely need to redo the work you did to adhere them.
Super Glue can be used on porcelain to mend breaks or cracks, but you could never use it as an adhesive to the wall. Using a few dots of super glue can repair the broken pieces if they were broken into big enough pieces, but it would not be a strong enough adhesive to hold the tiles in place.
Like Super Glue, Hot Glue works to fix a broken porcelain tile, but not to adhere it to a wall or on the floor. If you break a porcelain tile, Hot Glue and Super Glue would work to mend it, but not to adhere it into place.
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