How to Choose the Right Adhesive

In our first article, we discussed How to Choose the Right Tiles so if you haven’t yet read that, you can do so here.

If you’ve made your tile choice, you may be wondering now the best way to adhere those tiles and finish them so that they not only look great but they remain that way for years to come.


The way in which buildings are constructed has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and because of this, the tile adhesive and grout manufacturers have had to adapt and create adhesives suitable to combat most scenarios. The time and financial investments we make when choosing the correct tile can be very quickly lost by simply choosing the wrong material to fix them.

Choosing Your Adhesive

Manufacturers of adhesives produce a broad range of products and choosing the correct one may seem daunting however, here are some questions to ask yourself to help choose the correct adhesive and grout.

Where is it going?

Internal Walls: Ready mixed paste or power based adhesive depending upon tile type.

Internal Floors: Powder based adhesives.

External Tiling: These require a bit more thought and our experts are more than happy to advice on your individual circumstances.

What are we fixing?

Glazed ceramics (smaller than 300mm x 300mm): Ready-mixed (paste) adhesive on internal walls only.

Glazed ceramics (larger than 300mm x 300mm): Powder based adhesive.

Porcelain tiles: Powder-based adhesive with high strength is ideal due to limited absorbency.

Natural Stone: Flexible fast-setting material.

Agglomerated stone: 2 part powder and liquid mix adhesive.

What is the construction material we are fixing to?

Plaster, plasterboard and cement boards: Both ready mixed and powder based adhesives can be used. When using powder based a primer must be used particularly on to plaster including skim coats.

Timber: Ideally timber materials should be exterior grade plywood at a 15mm minimum thickness. Flexible powder based adhesives must be used in this instance.

Concrete and sand & cement screed: Powder based adhesives should be used in these instance, with flexible adhesives being selected where under floor heating is installed.

We hope this guide has been helpful but of course, our experts are always on hand to help with any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us if there is still any doubt which adhesive you should choose.

Check out the post below to learn how to find the right grout for your project:

How to Choose the Right Grout