Tile adhesive

5 Feb 2007
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United Kingdom
I am going to be putting up some 600 x 300 ceramic wall tiles. I was looking at using a cement based rapid set tile adhesive. My girlfriends dad is saying he has tiled alot and I am going to be making the job harder with this and I should be using ready mix .

Whats the right stuff to use ?
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Cement based powder.

Does he also recommend dabbing? If so then take a rain check on future tiling advice from him as to put it bluntly, he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

If you were to use ready mix, the adhesive would fail. There's science behind it that I'm sure someone will explain. and lastly, just cause someone has done it loads can mean they've just screwed up loads.
most dispersion adhesives aren't strong enough for tiles over about 300 x 300 and they bond and set by evaporation, which means they don't work well with modern sealed substrates and glazed tiles, as there's nowhere for the water to go. Most say they are suitable for wet areas, but any water penetrating whether through leaks or through the grout essentially re-wets the adhesive and it fails.
Your first instinct was correct, a full combed bed of powdered adhesive on the wall and it wouldn't hurt to give the back of tiles at that size a light buttering too to ensure bonding to the entire surface.
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The guys here are right you should never use ready mixed adhesive with anything larger than a 300x300mm tile. I always use an S1 class of adhesive on bathroom walls because it's a good all round solution. It is important though when using any cement based adhesives onto a gypsum plaster that the substrate is primed with a suitable primer (Acrylic or SBR) DO NOT use a PVA as this breaks down very easily and can form a skin with little mechanical strength to bond to. I used to use Mapei products (Keraflex and Keraquick) But I now use Larsons standard set S1 Adhesive, the best price I have found for it is here https://totaltiles.co.uk/standard-set-flexible-plus-grey-floor-wall-tile-adhesive-s1-grade.html but you may find it locally or an equivalent.

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