Tile glue explained

Selecting and applying premixed tile adhesive

Giving your bathroom or kitchen a makeover? Need to fix a cracked or broken tile? You’ll need a tile adhesive - read our tips on selecting and using the best tile adhesive for your project.

What is special about tile adhesive?

Tile adhesives have some special demands made on them. They need to bond a rigid tile to a surface that may or may not be as rigid, and often have to stand up to moisture.

Tile mastic is often the best choice for most wall tile installations. It’s a strong adhesive, but is a little flexible whilst highly water resistant. Its creamy consistency is easy to work with, making it ideal for use in bathrooms, around tubs, and in the kitchen.

Floor installations require the sturdiest bond, as floor tiles tend to support the weight of people walking or standing on the surface. A fortified, mortar-type of tile adhesive, which often contains fine sand or grit to increase its strength, is often used for floor installations. Tile adhesive is applied the same way as tile mastic, but will have a different feel due to the aggregate it contains.

If your tiling project is outdoors, make sure you use outdoor tile adhesive. If the tiles you’re installing will be subject to a water environment (such as a swimming pool), make sure you use a submersible adhesive.

Installing tiles with premixed tile adhesive

Tile installation isn’t difficult if you take the time to prepare properly. Follow these five steps for hassle-free results:

  1. Locate the centre of the tiling area and strike a vertical and horizontal line (you’ll start tiling in the middle and work your way outwards, as we explain in Step 4).
  2. Make sure the surface is clean and free of dust. Prepare your pre-mixed tile adhesive according to instructions.
  3. Apply the tile adhesive with a notched trowel over the entire tiling surface.
  4. Start setting your tiles from the crossed lines at the centre. Ensure the tile rows are straight along the lines and that the tiles are lying flat. If there is a high spot, press down on the tile or gently tap with a rubber mallet to spread the tile mastic out underneath.
  5. Allow the tile to fully dry before beginning to apply grout.

 

Need to replace a broken tile? First, gently remove it with a hammer and chisel - using care not to damage adjacent tiles - and scrape out as much of the old tile adhesive as you can. Then, simply apply new tile mastic and insert the new tile.

The best tile adhesive for quick repairs

Whether you need to fix a broken, chipped or missing tile, Pattex has a great range of tile adhesives that can get the job done fast.

For a super versatile glue for tiles, try Pattex 100% Repair Gel. It bonds to almost anything including tile, plaster, glass, concrete, and more. Because it’s a gel, you won’t have to worry about dripping and sagging while it dries. This all-purpose repair gel also doubles as a floor tile glue!

If you need a powerful, water-resistant adhesive, Pattex Power Epoxy Clear Repair Tube 5 Min is a great choice for a quick repair. This adhesive dries clear and is resistant to water, oil, and most solvents. It can be used indoors or out and sets in just five minutes.