Now, adhesive is the most boring part of your tiling project (unless you are in the trade and into that sort of thing), so we are going to keep this as simple as possible.
First up - Be mindful of your substrate
Plasterboard (un-plastered/un-skimmed/bare) max weight is 32kg/m2, allow roughly 2-4kg/m2 for adhesive.
Plasterboard (plastered/skimmed) max weight 20kg/m2, allow roughly 2-4kg/m2 for adhesive.
There are various foam core and fibre-cement tiling boards available that provide much more strength and water resistance with max load weights of up to 60kg/m2.
A good tiler will know the best solution for your project.
Concrete or screed
Newly laid floors need to be allowed to dry before carrying out any tiling work, this can be up to 8 weeks but please consult the builder that carried out the work as different materials can require different drying times/treatment. There are many things to consider such as expansion joints for large areas and anti fracture/decoupling matting which absorbs any lateral movement in the floor and prevents it from transferring to the installed tiles hence reducing the chances of the tiles, adhesive, or grout cracking. All projects are different and should be surveyed by a professional prior to install.
Tiling directly onto floorboards is possible, but it is recommended to install a tiling backer board to give the floor much more strength and minimise any movement.
We can’t stress this enough, MOVEMENT in general on walls or floors needs to be eliminated as much as possible prior to install. A good tiler will ensure that the substrates are well prepared and the correct materials are used.
If the install is in a wet area such as a wet room please consult your tiler as it does become even more specialist due to various additional materials required such as a tanking kit and waterproofing the substrate as well as suitable adhesive and grout.
There are many aspects when choosing the correct tile adhesive and we recommend allowing a professional to review the project and advise on the correct adhesive to use.
We have kept the below as simple as possible but as stated we highly recommend that you consult a professional.
Small ceramic wall tiles (20x25 or smaller)
A tubbed (ready mixed) adhesive with classification D2 or D2T for wall only.
Or any of the below powdered adhesives.
Ceramic, Porcelain, Natural stone, large or small format, wall or floor.
Powdered adhesive with classification C2F, C2FT, C2FT S1, C2TE, C2TE S1, C2FTS2.
Always read the technical data sheet of the product prior to using as not all adhesives suit all projects.
The two most common types of grout are cementitious and epoxy.
A common cementitious grout classification is CG2WA, these grouts are cementitious, will keep their colour well, and will be water resistant. Note, no cement grout is waterproof and will need sealing in wet areas plus maintenance over time to maintain the seal.
An epoxy grout is superior to cement grout as it is completely waterproof, will not discolour, will be more flexible, and more durable.
There are many different classifications of tile adhesive and grout, the above covers the basics only. Each project is different and we recommend you consult a professional as many aspects come into play such as the area/room being tiled, the substrate, colour of adhesive required, material of the tile being used, will there be underfloor heating?, etc.
What do the classifications mean?
Type C - Cementitious (Cement based Adhesives)
Type D - Dispersion (Ready mixed / Tubbed)
Type R - Resin (Epoxy)
Extra characteristics are described by the numbers and letters below
Adhesive1 - Normal Adhesive
2 - Improved Adhesive
F - Fast Setting
T - Thixotropy (Reduced slip/ Slip Resistance)
E - Extended open time
G - Grout
S - Elasticity / Flexibility / Deformability
S1 - Deformable (Flexible)
S2 - Highly Deformable
GroutW - More resistant to water
A - Better abrasion resistance