Innovations in Tile Adhesive technology have made it easier to meet the specific demands of a variety of jobs. However, Thinset Tile Adhesive is only as good as the installer, and forgetting installation fundamentals can result in callbacks and job failures. Help avoid these issues with the following four basic - but crucial - techniques. 


Technique 1. Prepare the substrate.

Help achieve a proper bond and reduce callbacks by properly preparing your substrate before installation begins. Surface preparation can be easily achieved by sweeping the floor or wiping it with a damp, clean sponge. We also recommend using a primer. By using a primer you ensure that all dust and debris are sealed in prior to Tile Adhesive application. It also helps to meet the manufacturer's warranty requirements. If your substrates variation exceeds acceptable flatness tolerances, its preparation will require additional actions. In these cases use a patching mortar or self leveling mortar as needed.

Technique 2. Select the correct Thinset Tile Adhesive for the job. 

You have a vast array of Tile Adhesives to choose from. Too often, Tile Adhesives are based on cost factors alone. But choosing the wrong mortar can ultimately result in installation failures whose costs far exceed the initial savings. For example, installers may run into trouble when they use a modified Thinset Tile Adhesive, rather than using a “Large Format Tile Adhesive” to install large or heavy tiles. For installation of stone a “Fast Setting Tile Adhesive” should be used. Due to stone being porous it is likely to soak the moisture out of the Tile Adhesive causing it to become weakened. Fast Setting Tile Adhesives will reduce this occurrence.

Technique 3. Control the Climate

Outdoor Installations in four season regions present a particular set of installation challenges. If left under the hot sun, Tile Adhesive will set too fast - as if you mixed it with Hot Water. Direct sunlight on hot, dry days can cause the Tile Adhesive to lose its moisture through evaporation. The result from these occurrences is weakened mortar that may not hold up over time. For better results, protect the installation from direct sunlight by ensuring you store in a shady area and use a tent or cover over your working area at all times. Cold temperatures present the opposite problem. Optimal temperatures are between 10-20 Degrees Celsius prior to installation and 48 hours after. Do not install tiles if freezing is imminent or cannot be protected against. Whenever installation is being done in cooler temperatures, be sure to keep the extended cure time in mind during and after the installation.

Technique 4. Achieve Proper Coverage

If you have followed our techniques 1 and 2 for preparing your substrate and selecting the correct Tile Adhesive for your project and taken climate control into consideration, you are ready to begin tile installation. It is important to remember that the average contact area for adhesive on the back surface of a tile should be at least 80% generally and increases to 95% in exterior, shower or wet area installations, this is to meet Australian Standards. Natural Stone installation and pool mosaic installation, however, require a contact area of 100% coverage. For natural stone this can be achieved by using the correct size notch trowel and also by back buttering each piece prior to installation. For pool mosaics you can use a rubber float to gently tap mosaics into place and ensure they have been correctly bedded into the Tile Adhesive.

The larger the tile, the larger the notch trowel should be. For example a tile that is 100mm x 100mm you should use a 6mm or 8mm notch trowel, for tiles 300mm x 300mm or larger you should be using a 10mm or 12mm notch trowel. To check correct coverage is being achieved, periodically lift a tile immediately after placing it and inspect the backside to see how much coverage you have achieved. In the end each project is unique, even more reason to ensure the product and installation methods are correct. If you are unsure Tile And Bath Co is here to support you with any questions, concerns or enquiries you may have. 

Happy Tiling!