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How to Select the Right Tile Adhesive

In the Philippines, many residential owners and contractors choose to use sand-cement mortar to bond tiles during tile applications. While on the surface level this seems more economical, this traditional practice has several setbacks that make it questionable in terms of cost-worthiness. Due to this, many professional tile setters now prefer and recommend the use of tile adhesives instead.

Relative to the use of tile adhesive, sand-cement is inconvenient to use. First and most notably, tiles must be soaked in water overnight when using sand-cement, whereas, for adhesive, this is no longer necessary. Sand-cement also requires lots of space. Unlike ready-made adhesive which has been formulated and pre-measured, sand-cement mixture is usually manually adjusted, resulting in wastage of unused bags of cement. Mixing is commonly also done in a separate location. In addition, the bonding strength is also an issue because sand-cement is incompatible to most low-absorbent tiles. The perfect consistency is also hard to achieve, due to the coarse texture of sand. With all these things considered, this might be the perfect time for you to switch to tile adhesive for your next tiling application.

Tile adhesive is a ready-made mixture made from Portland cement, polymers such as epoxy and selected aggregate particles with some additives added in it to improve its property for laying tiles. It comes in various types: reaction resin, dispersion, and cementitious adhesive.

In choosing the perfect adhesive for your specific need, you must consider the following factors beforehand:

Type of substrate

In selecting the suitable type of adhesive, the first thing to consider is the substrate where the adhesive will be applied. Substrates may come as concrete, cement, screed, existing tile, plywood, gypsum board, calcium silicate board, cement backer board, and metal, to name a few. Substrate pertains to the substance used as a background for coating systems and building walls. It is a solid surface wherein another substance is applied to and adhered on. Ensure that your chosen tile adhesive indicates its compatibility with the receiving substrate. Furthermore, the substrate should be stable and free of dust, dirt, laitance, oil, grease and any contaminant that may hinder good adhesion.

Different substrates also require different curing. For instance, for substrate like manufactured renders and screeds, sufficient curing is necessary and should be observed. The concrete needs at least 28 days to allow proper curing and for residual moisture level to drop to an acceptable level.

  • Thickness ≤ 40mm can take 1 day per mm to fully cured and matured
  • Thickness ≥ 40mm can take 2 days per mm

Type, size, and weight of tiles and area of application

The field of application is also another important factor to consider. Tiles such as ceramic, porcelain, mosaic, marble, granite, etc. have varying sizes, weights, materials, and porosity. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine if the adhesive is compatible with the type of tiles you are using. Moreover, duly consider where you plan to install the tiles. Is it indoors or outdoors? For floor or wall?

Choosing the right materials is vital for a strong foundation towards a safe and enjoyable living experience. Always go for a brand that sets the standard for quality.

Introducing the new Mariwasa Tile Adhesive — Uncompromising Bond you can trust.

MARIWASA TILE ADHESIVE REGULAR is a cementitious adhesive that comes in 25kg per bag for 5-6sqm of tiling area. This product underwent standard quality tests and conforms to ISO 13007-1.

Available in select home depots and tile stores.

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