These days there are so many tiles available, with porcelain being a hugely popular choice. From stone effect porcelain tiles to large format, marble effect and rustic and vintage tiles, the durability and versatility of porcelain tiles means they are perfect for any area of the home. But, to make sure your tiles look great and stand the test of time, you need to use the appropriate adhesive. Here’s a guide to porcelain tile adhesives and how to use them for your particular project.
Types of porcelain tile adhesives
The best adhesive for using with porcelain tiles is a powdered one. Although it would be tempting to use ready mixed for ease, it doesn’t offer the strength of bond that a powdered adhesive does. Ready mixed adhesive should definitely not be used for tiling onto floors and also not with large format tiles on walls. With the beauty of marble effect porcelain tiles, stone effect and large format porcelain tiles, you don’t want to compromise on their installation by using the wrong – or a poor quality – adhesive. You should also opt for a flexible adhesive, particularly in busy areas or if you’re using your tiles with underfloor heating, so it can withstand the footfall, heating and cooling.
Working and preparing with different substrates
When laying porcelain tiles on extant concrete/screed floors that don’t have underfloor heating, the tiles can be fixed using a good quality powdered adhesive. For new screeds or those that have underfloor heating, we recommend installing a decoupling membrane between the tile and the screed which will absorb the extra contraction & expansion you get with new screeds and/or underfloor heating. When laying onto a timber sub-floor the same decoupling membrane must be used and a higher grade flexible adhesive too. In addition a layer of tile backing board or marine ply may be advisable to stabilise the floor.
Fixing your porcelain tiles with adhesive
You should never cut corners when it comes to applying your porcelain tile adhesive. Take time to ensure there’s a full bed of adhesive between your tiles and substrate, as any missed bits could lead to your tiles cracking at a later date. Porcelain tile adhesive is available with standard or semi-rapid setting times – whichever you’re using, make sure it has completely cured before walking on any new floor tiles to avoid movement that can cause unevenness. While rapid setting is convenient, for more intricate patterns, solid colour porcelain tiles or metallic tiles, you may want a longer opening time for a flawless finish.
Visit our large showroom in Cirencester, where you can view our extensive range, including outdoor porcelain tiles, flagstone look porcelain tiles and concrete tiles and get advice on the right tile adhesives and grouts for your project.