Tile Flooring - Selecting Adhesives and Grout

Monday June 02, 2008
Article Word Count:514 Comments (8) Permalink

Once you select the perfect floor tile for that area of your home that needs a facelift, you still have some decisions to make concerning how to keep it in place for many years to come. If you are going to tackle the tile floor installation yourself, picking the proper adhesives and grout can be as important as the floor tile that you choose.

Here is a look at some of the tile floor adhesive and grouting options:

  • Selecting the right adhesive – When selecting an adhesive for your tile floors, there are a number of things to consider. Normal and rapid-setting adhesives differ in the time that is required to set the tiles. A good guide for determining the best adhesive for different installation situations is:
    • Tiling walls
      • Drywall, plywood, and tile backing - Wall adhesive Type 1
      • Cement or concrete backing - Multi-purpose mortar
    • Tiling floors
      • Concrete or cement slabs - Thin-set Mortar 1
      • Tile or plywood subfloor - Floor tile adhesive Type 1 or multi-purpose mortar
    • Tiling countertops
      • Plywood or tile - Wall tile adhesive Type 1 or multi-purpose mortar
      • Cement board - Thin-set mortar or multi-purpose mortar
  • Grouting options – Before any joint grouting takes place, the tile flooring should be securely set with the proper adhesive or mortar. Waiting at least 24 hours before grouting your tile floors will ensure that it is properly set. For grouting wall or counter tile, the type of grout you select should be based on the width of the joints between the tiles. For joints of 1/8" or less, a non-sanded grout is the best option. For joints of more than 1/8", a fine-grain sanded grout will work best. For grouting floor tile, non-sanded grout is the best choice for joint widths of less than 1/8". A fine-grain sanded grout is best for joint widths of 1/8" to 3/16", and a coarse-grain sanded grout is the best option for joints with more than a 1/8" in width.
  • Mortar and grouting tricks – As with any type of home-improvement project, there are certain tricks that can make your job easier and leave your project looking better. Tile floor adhesive and grout selection is no different. When selecting your mortar and grout combination, be sure to use a gray mortar if you are using a dark grout. This will ensure a better color match when the tile is installed. If you are going to use a light grout, be sure to use a white mortar.
  • Should I mix it myself, or buy it pre-mixed? – When buying thin-set mortars, you have to mix them yourself (they usually come in a powder form in 50-pound bags). It requires more work to mix the mortar, but it is stronger than pre-mixed adhesives. The advantage of pre-mixed adhesives is that the work in creating the right mixture is already done for you. Pre-mixed adhesives are normally a better choice for wall or countertop tile that will not receive foot traffic.
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Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 8 comments

August 16 2017
Best Adhesive
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August 13 2013
thank you for this wonderful tips you gave. We could learn a lot from this. - a JustFab/a
April 2 2013
thank you for this wonderful tips you gave. We could learn a lot from this.
April 2 2013
tile adhesive
Great article, now I know everything about a tile adhesive/a
November 30 2012
tile adhesive
Great article, very helpful
November 30 2012
thank you for sharing!!! You help me a lot to think what is the right for me. thanks for the options
June 20 2012
Bostik is the Best Adhesive
Im a very stubborn do-it-your-selfer and I want to recommend an adhesive for anyone to use! Bostik has a great reputuation for developing innovative, technological solutions for flooring installations.Bostik's brand is Durabond and it covers everything from carpet, rubber,and hard surface adhesives. Its great and easy. I just wanted to recommend it to anyone hoping to install your own floor in your home.The Bostik brand, Durabond, is also backed with a 10 year warranty so if anything goes wrong you're covered. Hope this makes dcisions a little easier on people! GOOD LUCK!
March 30 2009
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