About Ceramic Floor Tiles

Ceramic tile adhesives come in two basic types, thin set mortars or mastics. Each manufacturer will have different varieties available for specific needs. In general when installing ceramic tile on a concrete floor, a concrete based adhesive will be the best choice. For wood flooring applications, an organic or epoxy adhesive in normally recommended.

Thin set mortar:

Thin set mortar may also be called Portland cement mortar. Thin set mortar is a powder base of methylcellulose, cement and sand. Thin set mortars come in a variety of types with added ingredients. Mortars may be fortified with latex modifiers or with an acrylic. Some will provide more water resistance or faster drying time while others will offer a higher adhesive bonding. Look for higher water resistance when setting ceramic tiles in bathroom or kitchen areas.

Thin set mortars provide a strong adhesive bond that is also more flexible than many pre-mixed adhesives. Thin set adhesives are strong and will support the weight for flooring use. They are usually available in grey as well as white. Thin set mortars must be mixed water or an acrylic mixture if needed. A dusk mask should be used when working with powders. Add the required amount of water into a large mixing bucket and then add the powder to reduce the dust. Begin mixing the powder and water with a trowel. Once the initial mixing is done, final mixing can be finished with a drill and paddle bit.

The correct mixture should be a thick paste. It should not be runny but still soft enough to work with. Getting the exact amount of water to powder ratio may take require adding more powder or water. Once the adhesive is the correct mixture it should be allowed to sit for several minutes before use.


Organic adhesives are also called mastic. Mastic is usually pre-mixed and available in Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 can be used on floors and walls. Type 2 should only be used in areas that will not be subject to constant moisture. Pre-mixed mastic adhesives are also better for use on wall tiles. They provided a quicker bonding to hold tiles in place.

When choosing a ceramic tile adhesive read the label carefully to ensure that it is the correct type for the work you will be doing. Use the amount of adhesive recommended by the tile manufacturer. Using too little could leave gaps under the tile, which could lead to breakage. Using too much means having extra clean up before grouting.

By master