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Tile adhesive or cement mortar ? Which one is a better choice for tiling?

 2021-12-22 LANDU

Today we will deeply analyze the relevant knowledge points of “tiles”. This article is expected to solve the following problems for you:

1. Wet pasting with cement mortar or paste with tile adhesive? Which method can make the tiles stick more firmly?

2. How to use the “tile adhesive” for ceramic tiles?

3. What is the tiling process of tile adhesive?

01.Tile adhesive and cement mortar. Which do you prefer?

The installation method of ceramic tiles is similar to that of marble. There are three main types: dry hanging, wet pasting, and adhesive pasting. Today we will focus on the two processes of wet pasting and adhesive pasting. In this article, we will focus on the two processes of wet pasting and adhesive pasting.

First, let’s know more about these two materials. I believe many friends don’t know the difference between them.

Cement mortar: one of our commonly used materials for decoration and construction. It is cheap and used in places such as building walls and tiling bricks. But the paving thickness is large, the pasting is not firm, the material used is too much, and it is easy to hollow. These shortcomings make the status of cement mortar begin to decline.

Tile adhesive (tile glue): a newly produced auxiliary material for paving tiles. Its main characteristics are high adhesive strength, water resistance, aging resistance, good flexibility, thinner paving effect, and better performance than cement mortar. It saves space and is more convenient for construction. But the cost is higher compared to cement.

In the actual construction process, which is stronger, tile adhesive or cement mortar?

1. Material comparison

Comparison of cement mortar and tile adhesive powder:

The shape and color of cement mortar and tile glue are similar, and the tile glue is slightly thicker and has no pungent odor. 

2. Slurry comparison

The tile glue and cement mortar are proportioned separately, add water, and stir to form a slurry. The tile glue is smooth and creamy, has a high viscosity, and flows slowly; the cement slurry has agglomerates and particles, and quickly breaks off.

3. Comparison of construction effects

Cement mortar in construction: For the traditional cement mortar tiling, the construction steps are complicated, including wetting walls, foaming bricks, supporting, and other steps. Not only the construction efficiency is relatively low, but the bonding effect also is not good, and the tile hollowing , falling off will appear soon.

Tile adhesive in construction: You can omit the steps of wet walls, soaking bricks, etc. And because it is full of grout, there will be no hollowing or falling off. Of course, the pasted tiles are more beautiful and stronger.

4. Pasting effect comparison

When open the well-paved wall tiles, the cement paving is uneven, the surface has air holes, it is easy for the tiles to be not firmly pasted, hollowing, and fall off; the tile glue is evenly distributed, the full grout rate is high, and the hollowing and falling off are not easy to occur…
After so much analysis, you may have been dizzy. Which one is stronger, tile adhesive or cement mortar?

The answer is shown in the picture below:

As shown in the picture above, the tiles laid with cement mortar appear to chipping and falling off, because the tiles are separated from the water when they encounter vibration, and the tiles and cement are very hard and cannot differentiate the impact of the impact drill in detail.
The tile glue has been drilled with 6 consecutive holes, and the tiles are still very stable. This shows that the tile glue has good flexibility, and the tile glue is closely combined with the ceramic tiles, which effectively absorbs the impact force.

02. What is the technological process of tile paving?

After talking about the materials, let’s take a look at the process flow of using tile adhesive.

1. Wall surface treatment


a . The first step in any technological process must be the cleaning of the base layer of the construction interface; before the main process, the base layer must be cleaned up. In many cases, the empty drum of the tiles falls off because of the improper processing of the grassroots.

b. Strictly speaking, the flatness requirement for the base layer of paving bricks is that the flatness error under the 2m ruler shall not exceed 3mm, otherwise it must be leveled with mortar.

c. I believe that many people have encountered it in previous projects. The original wall surface is severely sandy and can be rubbed off with your hands. At this time, if you do not deal with it, even if the tiles are pasted, the tiles will inevitably fall off. This is the place that friends need to pay attention to.

2. Brush interface agent

a. Use a roller to evenly paint the wall surface to increase the surface roughness and strength of the base layer, so as to improve the adhesive strength between the ceramic tile and the base layer.

b. The function of the interface agent is to texture the concrete matrix, so as to better increase the adhesion between the cover layer and the base layer.

3. Pre-arranged tiles

After the grassroots treatment is over, we can pre-arrange the tiles according to the drawings, and find the rules for the elastic lines on the wall. This step is very important. Friends need to understand that this is to place non-whole bricks in unobvious corners.

Note: The non-whole bricks arranged horizontally and vertically on the same wall shall not exceed two rows. If you know these, you will have something to see when you go to the construction site.

4. Glue Mixing

The tile glue we choose will be different for different tiles. When mixing the tile glue, it is necessary to strictly follow the proportion of water added in the instructions, and use an electric mixer to mix evenly. Note: It is strictly forbidden to add cement, sand, and other materials during the mixing process.

Generally, the mixed glue should be left for 10-15 minutes. The rubber powder is fully matured and stirred again for 3-5 minutes before it is ready for use. The mixed glue must be used up within 2 hours. It is strictly forbidden to continue using the dried glue after adding water.

5. Find the base point

Before sticking to the tiles, use a level ruler to measure the base level point, and use the cartridge line to pop out the base level line. This step is also to ensure the verticality and horizontality of the tiles.

6. Tiling

When tiling, you need to follow the wall control line, first paste both ends, and paste from the bottom layer. Use the straight edge of a toothed spatula to apply an appropriate amount of glue on the surface of the base layer to make a base, and then use the other side of the toothed spatula to scrape into stripes.

Appropriately apply glue on the tiles, lay the tiles flat on the scratched stripe base layer, align the joints of the tiles, press, and then use a rubber hammer to hammer them firmly.

7. Leave gaps

Gaps must be left when tiles are laid to prevent the tiles from expanding and contracting due to heat, bulging, falling off, and so on. At the same time, errors in tile size and construction process are avoided. Also, the tiles with gaps look more beautiful.

8. Clean the tiles surface

After the tiles are pasted, in order to avoid pollution to the tiles during the paving process, which affects the appearance. The surface of the tiles should be cleaned up in time, especially if there is residual glue.

9. Caulking

After the tiles are pasted for 24 hours, the caulking process can be carried out. The choice of a caulking agent can also be determined according to our brick environment.

10. Cleaning and maintenance

After caulking is completed for 10-20 minutes, after the caulking agent dries, clean the surface of the tile with a wrung-out towel or sponge to make sure that there is no residue of caulking agent on the surface of the tile. After 24 hours, use a dry cloth to clean the surface of the tiles again.
Such a complete set of tile adhesive tiling process is completed.

03. Summary of the main points of the article


Okay, that’s all for the content of this issue. Let’s summarize the main points of the content as below.


1. Tile adhesive and cement mortar:


Tile adhesive can be said to be an upgraded product of cement mortar. The tile glue ingredients are relatively simple, and they can be used only by mixing water on-site and mixing it evenly.


The thickness of tile adhesive is about one-fifth of the thickness of cement mortar. The thickness of cement mortar is generally about 20-30mm, and the thickness of tile glue is generally between 1.5-5mm. The resistance of tile glue is stronger.


2. Tile adhesive tiling process:

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