Guide to Adhesives & Grouts
October 31, 2013.
It is important to use the correct type of adhesive and grout for your particular tiling job.
For walls you can use a ready mixed adhesive which has self priming in it – so there’s no need to prime the wall beforehand or to mix the adhesive. If, however, you are using larger wall tiles (e.g. 30cm * 60cm) then you will need to use a powdered adhesive which will need mixing.
A standard adhesive can be used on walls in a dry area that has little condensation, but for wet areas such as a shower or bath or where there is a condensation problem, then you will need a water resistant adhesive.
Floor adhesives are all water resistant and come in powdered format, so will need mixing as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Non flexible adhesive can be used on concrete, but for surfaces such as floor boards where there will be movement you will need a flexible adhesive.
For both wall and floor adhesive you will need to choose between normal or rapid set. Rapid set allows you to do the grouting within a few hours of finishing laying your tiles, whereas for the normal type you will need to allow about 24 hours. The normal type, however, is easier to use, as if you work in areas of one square metre at a time, you don’t need to worry about the adhesive hardening before you’ve had time to lay your tiles.
Adhesive comes in a choice of colours, but if you are using natural stone tiles you will need to use white adhesive, to avoid staining the tiles.
As a guide, 10kg of wall adhesive will cover approximately 4-5 square metres of tiling. For floor adhesive 20kg will cover approximately 5 square metres, but this will depend on how level your floor is and whether you need to use more adhesive to help level it.
The Tile Depot has a full range of tile adhesives for a multitude of purposes.
Grout is used between the tiles as most surfaces move and expand/contract over time and as tiles are rigid there needs to be a space between them to allow for this movement. This space is then filled by grout to prevent water and dirt getting in and also for aesthetic reasons.
Choose between standard or flexible grout, which allows for more movement. If there is a lot of movement, then you could add an extra additive to the grout.
Most Grout is water resistant, but for areas such as showers and around the bath you will need to use a water proof grout or seal it, which will also help make the grout stain resistant.
You can choose from a wide choice of colours for your grout to match or compliment the colour of your tiles.
The amount of grout you will need will depend on the size of tiles you are using and how wide the space is between the tiles.