There are two main methods for adhering ceramic tiles, one recommended for thick layers (TL), and the other advocated for thin or medium layer (TL/ML). Let’s review the measures, tools and tips for each technique.
The thick layer technique is suitable for adhering ceramic tiles with formats of 900 cm2 (30 x 30cm) or less, with a capacity of water absorption of more than 3%, placed on supports with low, expected movements and compatible with cement mortar. The pavements and tilings laid down by using this technique must have low mechanic requirements and deviations of less than 20mm in 2m. The most adequate tool in this case will be the brick trowel. The glue mortar applied should have a thickness of 20 or 30mm.
On the other hand, when applying the thin or medium technique for adhering ceramic tiles, you should always use a notched trowel . Also, it is recommendable to employ a thickness of up to 5 mm and up to 15 mm in the thin and medium layers, respectively. This technique is necessary when dealing with large format tiles (larger than 900 cm2), but it is also favored for laying down smaller tiles. Additionally, use glue mortars and reactive resins, but never cement mortar.
To make it simpler, apply the holding material only on the support, spread it using a notched trowel, and then lay down the tile. You should also use the different tooth sizes of the notched trowel, depending on the type and quality of the support. To help you out, RUBI® provides a wide range of notched trowels manufactured with either special steel plates or endurable stainless steel for longer life. These notched trowels also come a useful variety of handles, sizes and notches.