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What are the different types of Tile Adhesive?

By: Mike Lovatt / Last UPDATED: November 4, 2022
What are the different types of Tile Adhesive?


Tile Adhesives are available at most tile shops and from a variety of different brands (of which Atlas recommend Weber ). One of the questions we get is why is there so much choice and what is the difference between them all.

This article is going to delve into the different categories of adhesive and try to put some definitive answers down to these questions.

Adhesives are governed by the BS EN 12004:2007. This European standard relates to adhesives for use with ceramic tiles and mosaics after a period of co-existence, and has been put together to easily classify adhesives in relation to their identified performance criteria.

Adhesives are defined in this standard by a combination of three variables: The Adhesive Chemistry ( Dispersion, Cementitious and Reactive Resin), the Level of Performance (Normal or Improved) and any other optional characteristics ( Rapid Setting, reduced slip etc).

The level of performance and the optional characteristics have defined performance and test requirements (heat ageing, freeze thaw, adhesion after water immersion).

table 1 - adhesive classifications

These classifications are then used in relation to a specific or combination of characteristics to provide a range of overall adhesive designations as found in the table below.

table 2 - adhesive classification

You can then work out what adhesive classification you need for the task in hand by using the table below, please note that this table only contains a selection of examples and the list is not exhaustive. From this table you can also tell which stock adhesives would be suitable for your task.

table 3 - adhesive classification

As with tile adhesive tile grout has also been classified under standard BS EN 13888. This was the first standard for the classification of ceramic tile grouts, and it splits the grouts into two chemistries ( Cementitious and Reaction Resin ).

For cementitious grout, there are two performance levels (Normal and Improved) depending on your needs with regard to resistance to abrasion, water absorption and compressive strength.

table 4 - grout classification

Should you have any further questions or require any advice on picking the correct adhesive please feel free to get in touch.



Article by Mike Lovatt

Here at Atlas Ceramics we import and distribute high quality products to support the tiling industry. These products include Polished tiles, Matt tiles or Satin tiles for the wall and floor, ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone and mosaics, from Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

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