Tile Adhesive Formulation And Application

Tile adhesive, also known as tile bond, tile glue, tile cement, or thin-set mortar, is divided into ordinary type, polymer type, heavy type, mainly used for adhering decorative materials such as ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, floor tiles, etc. It is widely used in interior and exterior walls, surfaces, ground, bathrooms, kitchens, and other building decoration places.

The traditional tiling method mostly uses cement mortar, which has weak adhesion, poor durability, and is easy to peel off. Moreover, the method of mixing and thick-layer construction is used, and the ratio is unstable, which affects the durability of the tiles, wastes raw materials, also affects the construction speed.

Tile adhesive is a new material for modern decoration. It replaces the traditional cement yellow sand. The adhesive force is several times that of cement mortar. It can effectively paste large-scale ceramic or porcelain tiles to avoid the risk of falling off. That ensures the tile has good flexibility to prevent hollowing.

1.Reference formula

  • Ordinary tile adhesive C1 formula

Material Weight(kgs)
Cement PO42.5 330
Sand (30-50 mesh) 651
Sand (70-140 mesh) 39
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (MK150P or MK200P) 3
Redispersible polymer powder(MK3510N) 10
Calcium formate (not necessary in summer) 5

  • High-performance tile adhesive C2 formula

Material Weight(kgs)
Cement PO42.5 350
Quartz sand (40-70 mesh) 240
Quartz sand (70-140 mesh) 370
Heavy calcium powder 20
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (MK150P or MK200P) 2
Redispersible polymer powder(MK3510N) 18
Polycarboxylate superplasticizer 0.8
Hydroxypropyl starch ether 0.5
Calcium formate (not necessary in summer) 5


Tile adhesive contains a variety of additives, especially functional additives.

In general, cellulose ethers (HPMC/HEMC) are added to the tile adhesive to provide water retention and thickening, as well as redispersible polymer powders (RDP) to increase the adhesion of tile adhesives. The addition of redispersible polymer powder can greatly increase the flexibility of tile adhesive and improve the effect of stress, increasing flexibility.

In addition, other types of additives are added to the tile adhesives with special functional requirements. For example, adding wood fiber can improve the crack resistance and opening time of the mortar, adding modified starch ethers to provide anti-slip properties of the mortar, and adding early strength agents to make the tile adhesive more quickly improve strength, add water repellent to reduce water absorption to provide waterproof effect, etc.


Tile adhesives are featured with high adhesion, easy to use(no need to soak bricks and wet walls during construction), good flexibility, waterproof, anti-seepage, crack resistance, good anti-aging, high-temperature resistance, freeze-thaw resistance, non-toxic, economical, and environmentally friendly.

4.Application fields

Tile adhesives are formulated to lay tiles on various surfaces such as glass mosaics, polished substrates, drywall systems, existing tiles without removing them, parking areas, swimming pools, industrial areas, and much more.

5.Surface preparation

All surfaces should be firm, dry, clean, and free from shaking, grease, wax, and other loose materials.

The painted surface should be roughened to expose at least 75% of the original surface.

New concrete surfaces should be maintained for 6 weeks after completion before tiling, and newly plastered surfaces should be maintained for at least 7 days before tiling.

Old concrete and plastered surfaces can be cleaned with detergent and then rinsed off with water. The surface should be dried before tiling.


Start by pouring water into your bucket first. This cuts down on the amount of airborne particles. Pay attention to putting the water first and then the powder. If you put the powder in first and then add water, you’ll have a large cloud of dry adhesive floating around when you begin mixing, and it’s difficult to get the entire dry adhesive mixed up, it will stick to the sides of the bucket. Add the adhesive to the water, mix; add more adhesive or water as needed to reach a fairly thick consistency. A manual or electric mixer can be used for mixing.

The mixing time needs to be sufficient, get a consistent mix of the powder and water. Then let the mixed adhesive sit for about ten minutes, called slaking, which is critical to allow the chemical makeup of the adhesive to work correctly. Slaking also provides the maximum working time once the adhesive is fully mixed. If properly mixed, the adhesive should have standing ridges without slumping when spreading it with the trowel.

The adhesive should be used within about 2 hours according to the weather conditions (the dry skin on the adhesive surface should be removed and thrown away). Do not add more water or powder to the mix at this stage!

7.Construction technology

Apply the adhesive on the working surface with a notched trowel to make it evenly distributed and comb the surface at a 45-degree angle until the notches reach their full depth (adjust the angle between the trowel and the working surface to control the thickness of the adhesive). Each trowelling is about 1 square meter (depending on the weather temperature, the required construction temperature range is 5 ~ 40 ° C), and then put and twist the tiles into the position, ensuring enough pressure is applied for the adhesive to contact the whole tile within 5-15 minutes. (Adjustment takes 20-25 minutes).

After the tiling is finished, the joint filling process can only be carried out after the adhesive is completely dry (about 24 hours). Clean the tile surface (and tools) with a damp cloth or sponge. If cured for more than 24 hours, the stains on the tile surface can be cleaned with tile cleaner (do not use acid cleaner).

Technical parameters:

Indicators (according to JC/T 547-2005) take the C1 standard as example is as follows:

Tensile bonding strength ≥ 0.5Mpa (including initial strength, water immersion bonding strength, heat aging, freeze-thaw treatment, and bond strength after 20 minutes of drying).

The general construction thickness is about 3mm, and the dosage of construction is 4-6kg/m2.


  • The verticality and flatness of the substrate must be confirmed before application.
  • The construction wall should be moist (wet outside and dry inside) and maintain a certain degree of flatness.
  • The uneven or extremely rough surfaces should be leveled with cement mortar or other materials.
  • The base layer must be cleaned of floating ash, oil stains, and wax, so as not to affect the adhesion.
  • The adhesive should be used up at the fastest speed after mixing well.
  • Apply the mixed adhesive to the back of the tiles, and then press hard until it is flat.
  • After tiling, the tile can be moved and adjusted within 5~15 minutes.
  • Pay attention to keeping the expansion joints.
  • Never step in or caulk within 24 hours after the tiling is completed.
  • Never mix the dried mortar with water to use again.
  • The actual consumption varies due to different materials.
  • The suitable environment temperature is 5℃~40℃.