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Mixing floor tile adhesive

Floor Tile Adhesive: Best type for each case

You’ve put in the time and learned how to tile, and now you’re starting to get your own jobs. But which floor tile adhesive is the best to use for the job you’ve got? Your worst nightmare would be if your client calls you after two months to say the tiles you’ve laid have warped, cracked, curled, or moved. Where did it go wrong? The answer: the adhesive!

There are a few things to consider when it comes to floor tile adhesive, but by the end of this blog you will know all the tips and tricks for floor tiling and which adhesive is the best to use for the job at hand.

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floor tile adhesive
floor tile adhesive

British Standards

There are a few things to consider before starting this type of work. So, let’s go over the British industry standard for tile adhesive classifications that are in accordance with the British Standards 12004-1.

D = dispersion

C = cementitious

R = reaction resin

1 = normal setting (D1 / C1 / R1)

2 = Improved (D2 / C2 / R2)

Floor tile adhesive

F = fast setting

T = slip

E = extended open time

S1 = deformable adhesive

S2 = highly deformable adhesive

If you’re just learning how to tile, then we recommend that you take some time to get familiar with these terms as at a first glance they can be quite daunting.

Guide How to achieve the best tiling finishes


Next, we have to consider the material they you will be tiling onto. Tiling directly onto timber walls goes against the British standards, whereas tiling onto timber floors isn’t against the standards, but it is highly regarded as bad practice. In these cases, use of a cement backer board or anti-fracture matting is highly recommended first.

If you’re tiling onto screed, then there are more things you need to know. For gypsum-based screeds, our advice is to refer to the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for correct installation. Each manufacturer will provide instructions on the adhesive packaging. Specialist gypsum-based floor adhesive may be recommended in these cases.

Liquid screeds may require laitance to be sanded off before adhesive can be laid and tiling commences.

Underfloor Heating

Lastly, you have to consider the additional components to the room, such as underfloor heating – with this feature it can be electric or piped. In general, S1 adhesive is the minimum requirement.

Mixing floor tile adhesive

One last thing to consider with underfloor heating is the type of tile you use. Stone resin tiles should never be used on underfloor heating. For these tiles, and S2 adhesive should be used as water content and heating can cause stone resin tiles to curl or deform in shape. Underneath crack matting systems an S1 should be used as an S2 adhesive is too flexible and will make the mattings effectiveness and decoupling properties void.

S1 adhesive is suitable for internal and external use. This is also the minimum adhesive requirement for porcelain tiles due to the almost non-porous surface of the material.

Now you know our advice for tiling onto floors. Share our tips with your colleagues and stay tuned for more advice, tips and tricks for your tiling, landscaping and construction needs.

Guide how to achieve the best tiling finishes

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