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Do I need to wet my ceramic floor tiles before laying?

Discussion in 'Tiling' started by abenn, 17 Aug 2018.

  1. abenn

    abenn

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    I'm about to start my first tiling job -- about 4m2 of ceramic tiles on a concrete floor in our utility room. My local builders' merchant is wickes, and looking at some of the reviews of their tile adhesives -- own brand and others -- I noticed several references to tiles not sticking.

    What are the likely causes of this? Could it be wrong adhesive for the type of tile, backs of tiles not clean, or do the tiles need soaking so they won't draw moisture from the adhesive before it's had time to set properly?

    I've read the first post in this sub-forum, and it makes no mention of having to wet anything, other than cleaning the concrete floor before starting.
     
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  3. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    As long as the tiles are clean and you use the correct adhesive ( which should be a powder that you mix with water ,not the stuff that is used for wall tiles and comes ready mixed in a tub ) you don't need to wet the tiles. The floor of course should also be clean ,free of dust / grease etc.
     
  4. abenn

    abenn

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    Yes, I'll be getting the powder rather than the readymix. Thanks for that confirmation terryplumb.

    So why are there so many complaints in on-line reviews of the adhesives about tiles not sticking? Most of them claim that with brand #1 they didn't stick, but with #2 they did, then I look at brand #2 reviews and I also see complaints about not sticking. Can the powder be date-expired, or is it simply that they probably haven't mixed it correctly?
     
  5. L95

    L95

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    wickes simply sell ****e materials. Get a decent brand name. Mapei is a bit ropey but better than the unibond quality crud in BnQ. If money is no object then pick up Kerakoll Biogel or BAL Rapid One/Rapid Fibre.

    And no, don't wet the tile. The moisture in the biscuit could, in theory, cause the adhesive to fail to bond to the wet surface.

    Best of luck dude :)
     
  6. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    To be fair I laid our kitchen floor with Unibond powder adhesive (normal and fast set) and it turned out very nicely.

    Poor prep and poor mixing probably play part in it, plus people plastering everything in PVA first..

    Follow the instructions and you shouldn't go far wrong.

    Grout wise I'd only use BAL.
     
  7. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Have never used wickes adhesives so can't comment. I would have thought problems relating to tiles " not sticking" would most likely be attributed to poor installation or incorrect adhesive for the tile / substrate ,possibly floor not prepared / clean.
     
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  9. abenn

    abenn

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    Thanks all. I'm sure for every bad review there's hundreds of people that are happy with the products but haven't commented. Strangely, when I went to get the adhesive this morning wickes didn't have any of their own-name brand in stock. I got a small bag of 'NX' regular-set so I hopefully don't have to rush things.
     
  10. L95

    L95

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    Norcros Standard Set?
     
  11. abenn

    abenn

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    Yes, I've just found out that 'NX' = Norcross. And it's standard, not fast, set.

    Edit: I laid just over 1 square metre today, and it seemed to go well. Hardest parts were mixing the adhesive and then cleaning the tools afterwards. Is this adhesive like cement, so that it goes hard in, say, 24 hours but continues to gain strength over a longer period of time?
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2018
  12. pilsbury

    pilsbury

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    always good to back butter your tiles for a good adhesion to your troweled adhesive.
     
  13. abenn

    abenn

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    Yes, I saw a post about back-buttering in another thread, but didn't bother because the adhesive instructions said it's only needed if the tiles have deep indentations on the back. Twice I needed to lift a tile to add a bit of adhesive to adjust the tile's height, and I was surprised at how much suction there was -- had to pry them up with a large screwdriver, and they're only 8" square.
     
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