Tile Adhesive vs Cement: which one is cheaper?
Melacoll 2021-01-29 05:30

Tile Adhesive vs Cement Mortar? the price of tile adhesive is high than cement.

With the active development of the ceramic tile industry, ceramic tiles of various textures, materials, and specifications emerge in an endless stream. However, no matter how beautiful the tiles are, if the wrong materials are selected, the effect will not last. For the performance requirements of tile adhesive materials, the most important thing is the adhesion and the durability of the bonding. Tile adhesive instead of cement mortar has gradually become a topic of concern. The correctness of this choice has also become a hotly debated topic. In this article, we discuss why tile adhesive instead of cement mortar, and what is the difference between tile adhesive and cement.

but why more and more people choose tile adhesive instead of cement mortar? what is the difference between them?

1. Tile Adhesive vs Cement Mortar

1.1. The scope of application of cement mortar is much smaller than that of tile adhesive.

Cement mortar is suitable for pasting rough ceramic tiles, while the current tiles have high density and low porosity. The water absorption rate of vitrified bricks is about 0.5%, and their weight is large. This kind of tile is becoming more and more popular in the tile market at present. The larger the tile, the higher the viscosity. Cement mortar is difficult to stick it firmly by mechanical anchoring. Tile glue is gradually promoted and used with the popularity of vitrified tiles. It can not only paste rough ceramic tiles, but also stick dense and hard vitrified tiles!

1.2. The water retention rate of mortar is lower than that of tile adhesive.

When using cement mortar for tile laying, it is necessary to fully soak the tiles for about one day in advance. The walls also need to be dampened. When laying tiles, it is also necessary to apply cement on the back of a single tile and lay it. Using tile adhesive does not require soaking the tiles.

1.3. Cement mortar requires a higher level of construction than tile adhesives.

No additives are added to cement mortar, which is particularly easy to dry. If the tiles are found to be in the wrong position after laying tiles, it is extremely difficult to adjust the tile position.

1.4. Mortar is less flexible than tile adhesive.

Cement mortar is suitable for thick paste method, its thickness is about 7-8mm, more materials are used and it is easy to cause uneven coating. By increasing the specific gravity to enhance its adhesion. During this process, mechanical fixation and reinforcement are required. But some tiles are more suitable for thin paste method in terms of decorative effect, the thickness of tile adhesive is 3-6mm. So cement mortar is not suitable for all types of tile paste.

1.5. The bonding effect of cement mortar is lower than that of tile adhesive.

The cement mortar itself has limited adhesion and the tiles will slide down. And when it meets water, it will undergo hydration reaction, that is, it will shrink and solidify continuously, which will cause hollowing, cracking and other problems. And the mortar is easy to push and accumulate in the cracks, which will pollute the appearance of the tile surface. The bonding strength of tile adhesive is 3-5 times that of cement mortar, which will greatly reduce the occurrence of such phenomena.

1.6. What is tile adhesive or cement?

Traditional tile paste uses cement mortar, a paste material composed of cement, fine aggregate, and water, and its principle is to achieve tile paving through mechanical anchoring.

What is the difference between cement and tile adhesive? Compared to cement mortar, tile adhesive  is currently an ideal tile paste material. In addition to cement, there is hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), starch ethers, rubber powders, water-reducing agents, etc., in tile adhesive, which has better adhesion and better durability.

tile_adhesive_vs_cement_mortar_1In the performance standard of tile adhesive JC/T 547 “Ceramic Tile Adhesive,” the adhesive is classified according to the size of the adhesive force and the lasting adhesive force. C1 and C2 are the two common tile adhesive levels, C1 is the ordinary type, and C2 is the enhanced type. C1 grade tile adhesive has an adhesive force of ≥0.5 MPa, and C2 grade tile adhesive has an adhesive strength of ≥1 MPa. The adhesion here refers to the bonding under standard conditions. After soaking in water, it went through high and low-temperature cycles, freezing and thawing cycles, that is, the adhesive is required to have lasting adhesion in various common environments.

Tile adhesive classification Adhesive force
c1 ≥0.5 MPa
c2 ≥1 MPa

What does 0.5 MPa adhesive force mean? In an area of 10cm*10cm, a tensile strength of 0.5 MPa is 500kg. As far as the current ceramic tiles are concerned, such adhesion is very safe. If you are pasting vitrified tiles with low water absorption, you can consider using C2 tile glue.

2. In summary

So what is the difference between tile adhesive and cement? cement have lower price. But in terms of scope of application, water retention, flexibility, and construction, tile adhesives are obviously better than cement mortar. Of course, tile adhesive instead of cement mortar is future development trend. a good adhesive is inseparable from the right raw materials! If you are looking for high-quality ingredients, MIKEM is your best choice!

MelaColl™ cellulose ethers and Mikrant™ re-dispersible powder (RDP) are specially designed for adhesive. They provide the following features in tile adhesive applications:tile

  • Improved sag resistance
  • Improved workability
  • Improved adhesion
  • Improved heat and freeze-thaw resistance
  • Improved water retention

MelaColl™ is a trademark for MIKEM’s cellulose products and derivatives.

Mikrant™ is a trademark for MIKEM’s re-dispersible polymer powder product.

We provide general and modified products for economical, standard, and premium formulations. Our tailored solutions offer you products that best suit your specific raw materials and special local requirements. Please CONTACT US now and get more information or a sample!


Posted by Melacoll

Hi, there, I have been engaged in the cellulose ether industry for 11 years.

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