adhesive onto tiles?

19 Feb 2009
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I am just curious as to why the general advice is to spread the adhesive onto the wall and then place the tile, rather than spreading the adhesive onto the tile? Does it really matter?
I am working with heavy porcelain very large tiles and i'm reluctant to spread too much of a large area on the wall as the adhesive is rapidset and it may go off before ihave time to get to the next tile. Can I just make enough for a tile at a time and spread it onto the back of it?
Sponsored Links
It really does not matter which way around you do it....the tile will stick either way providing you bed it down properly. You should not have big blobs on the tiles though...there needs to be some air gaps in the adhesive....use a spreader to get a nice level layer with peaks and troughs. Also make the peaks and troughs in the adhevive run horizontal (90 degree) to the wall. just makes the tile slip less initally.

Personally i like to spread it onto the wall if the wall is a flat surface as it makes it far quicker to put tiles on. If the wall is uneven then i like to add it to the tiles to get a level finish.

With regardto Rapid set depends how quick you can get tiles on as to how much you need to mix up. I would start with a small amount and see how you can always mix up larger amounts if you find you can get them on quickly.

Put the adhesive on the wall or the tiles may end up uneven; large tiles can be particularly tricky & the wall needs to be fairly flat. If you’re not confident, put a pencil mark on the wall for just one row of tiles + 1 inch at a time & spread up to it using a notched trowel; only mix up a quantity of adhesive you can comfortably use within a ½ hour or so. If it’s started to go off, scrape the excess adhesive above the tile off the wall before you move to the next row.
Sponsored Links
when you say heavy very large porc tiles, how large / heavy are they?

its best to spread the wall, but not always able to, as instructed make up only a bit at a time till your confidence and speed gets up.
they are 600 x 300 x 10. dont know the weight but i can only carry one box of 5 at a time!

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local