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What is the Best Adhesive for Floor Tiles?

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For anyone other than professionals, researching and choosing how to do home renovations can seem impossible. Redoing your kitchen or bathroom can seem like a monumental challenge, luckily, we are here to help. So, what is the best adhesive for floor tiles?

What is the Best Adhesive for Floor Tiles?

Depending on where you are tiling, Thin-set mortar is the best for floor tiles. This requires you to mix it yourself, meaning it is a bit more complicated than premixed adhesives. Though it is more difficult to use, it is really important to use this when tiling floors, as oppose to tiling kitchen backsplash or any walls.

In this article, we will discuss different floor tiling adhesives, how to choose the right one, and what factors you have to consider when making these choices.

You might be interested as well in related blog post: how to remove glue residue from floor tiles and what is best adhesive for Porcelain Tile?

Let’s start from the beginning. When you start thinking about tiling any part of your home, there are a few questions you must consider before you begin.

Picking the tiles, unfortunately, is the only fun part of tiling!

  1. The first thing that you have to consider is if there will be any moisture in the space you are tiling.
  2. The second important factor is will there be any movement in the area.
  3. Finally, you have to consider if there will be any heat in the area.

Different type of Adhesive for Tiles

After picking your perfect tiles for your floor, unfortunately, the fun part of tiling your floor is over. Choosing the right adhesive is not the most fun, but it is absolutely the most crucial part of tiling your floors!

Premixed adhesive

The first kind of adhesive we will talk about is a premixed adhesive. These are ready-to-use, already mixed substances.

Though they are the easiest to use, they are not good for every kind of tiling.

These adhesives come in a fluid form and don’t require any additional treatment, making it appealing to amateurs!

Tempting as it may be to use the easiest option, it is absolutely not a fit for all applications. Pre-mixed adhesives are extremely quick to dry, so once a tile sticks to it is a huge pain to move.

Thin-set mortar adhesive

A second option for a tile adhesive is a conventional rapid set cement, also called a thin-set mortar.

This comes in a powder form that requires that you mix it with water before it can be used as an abrasive.

A thin-set mortar had a much stronger bond and has a more versatile use.

How to Choose the Best Adhesive for Floor Tiles

Now that we have covered the different kinds of adhesives, let’s discuss how to decide which one is the right fit for your project.

How to Choose the Best Adhesive for Floor Tiles

As we discussed before, there are a few factors we need to consider before moving forward.

Is there any moisture present in the tiling area?

Since you are looking to tile your floor, it is safe to say that at some point there will be some moisture!

Whether it be a spill, or water from shoes or cleaning products, there is always a chance that your floor gets wet.

Since the answer is mostly yes, then it is important to rule out the premixed adhesive.

These do not do well with moisture present, instead you should use a powder-based adhesive.

Is there movement in the area?

The second consideration is whether or not there is movement in the area. When tiling floors, you usually will be moving the tiles around a bit as you set them.

The premixed adhesives set extremely fast, meaning it would be difficult to use for floor tiles. They are best for areas such as a kitchen backsplash or other wall tiling.

Will there be Any Heat in the Area?

The last thing you must consider when deciding what adhesive to use for your tile location is whether or not there will be any heat in the area.

Areas where you usually lay floor tiles, such as a kitchen floor, are often subject to heat.

Though most people do not have heated floors, tiles may still experience a raise in temperature depending on their location. An example would be heat from the oven.


Between the risk of moisture in the area, the movement in application and the possibility of heat, the best adhesive to use for your floor tiles is a thin-set mortar.

Do You Need a Special Adhesive for Porcelain Tiles?

Since many chosen tiles happen to be porcelain, it is important to ask if you need a special adhesive for porcelain tiles. The short answer is, no.

Do You Need a Special Adhesive for Porcelain Tiles?

You do not need a special adhesive and you should choose thin-set mortar or them as well.

Since thin-set mortar has a stronger bond than a premixed adhesive, it can be used to fit porcelain to almost any substance or location!

Where Can I Find Thin-set Mortar?

Thin-set mortar can be found in most hardware stores. It is carried in Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Walmart , and it is easy to get off of Amazon. I highly recommend Schluter.

Some users say that the Schluter All-set Grey 50lbs Bag Modified Thin-Set Mortar is a bit more expensive than what you can get in a hardware store, but it is completely worth it.

It is extremely easy to use, which is important because when you have to mix it yourself, it can sometimes be hard to get it right.

This specific adhesive is extremely amateur-friendly and perfect for all your DIY home needs.

How to mix thin-mortar Adhesive?

Best recommend adhesive is thin-mortar. Since it is not a premixed adhesive, you must learn to mix the thin-set mortar yourself. This is a fairly simple process and usually they will just be mixed with water or sometimes an additional acrylic additive, though it is usually already blended in.
Great test of the consistency is to load adhesive mixture to your trowel. If it sticks well and doesn’t start to fall of, it perfectly consistent and ready for your upcoming tile project.

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