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Best Adhesive for Floor Tiles: The Ultimate Guide.

The best adhesive for floor tiles is a two-part epoxy adhesive. This type of adhesive provides a strong and durable bond, making it ideal for use with floor tiles.

Flooring is an essential aspect of any space, whether it be a home or a commercial property. Floor tiles provide a beautiful and durable option for flooring, but choosing the right adhesive is equally important to ensure they last. The market is flooded with numerous adhesive options, making it challenging to determine which is the best for floor tiles.

A two-part epoxy adhesive is considered the best adhesive for floor tiles due to its excellent bonding qualities. Epoxy adhesive creates a waterproof seal that is resistant to chemicals, impact, and moisture, and is ideal for areas with high foot traffic. In this article, we’ll explore more about the two-part epoxy adhesive and why it is the preferred choice for floor tile installations.

Best Adhesive for Floor Tiles: The Ultimate Guide.


Types Of Adhesives

When it comes to installing floor tiles, choosing the right adhesive is critical. With so many different options available, it’s essential to consider which type of adhesive is most suitable for your project. Here we’ll explore the different types of adhesives available to help guide you in selecting the best one for your needs.

Cement-Based Adhesive

Cement-based adhesive is a popular choice for ceramic and porcelain tiles. It’s made from a combination of cement, sand, and additives such as latex and polymers. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Cement-based adhesive is easy to mix and apply, making it a top choice for diy projects.
  • It’s also known for its strong bonding properties, making it ideal for high traffic areas.
  • Cement-based adhesive is water-resistant, making it ideal for areas prone to moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • When using cement-based adhesive, it’s important to wait for the mixture to dry before laying the tiles to prevent movement and ensure proper adhesion.

Epoxy Adhesive

Epoxy adhesive is a two-part mixture consisting of epoxy resin and a hardener. It’s known for its strong bonding properties, making it ideal for both residential and commercial projects. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Epoxy adhesive is resistant to water, chemicals, and extreme temperatures, making it suitable for many different applications.
  • It’s highly durable, making it ideal for high traffic areas or industrial settings.
  • Epoxy adhesive requires precise preparation and application, making it more suited to experienced installers.
  • The mixture must be applied and spread carefully to ensure proper adhesion, so it’s best to work in small areas to avoid mistakes.

Acrylic Adhesive

Acrylic adhesive is a water-based adhesive that’s easy to use, making it popular for diy floor tile installations. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Acrylic adhesive is easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for areas prone to spills and messes.
  • It’s also considered less harsh on the joints and muscles due to its lightweight properties.
  • Acrylic adhesive dries quickly, so you’ll need to work in small areas and apply the adhesive one section at a time.
  • It’s not suitable for outdoor use and areas exposed to moisture because it’s not water-resistant.

Pre-Mixed Adhesive

Pre-mixed adhesive is a ready-to-use adhesive that’s easy to apply, making it ideal for diy projects. It’s made by mixing cement, sand, and other additives such as polymers and latex. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Pre-mixed adhesive is suitable for ceramic and porcelain tile installations.
  • It’s ideal for small projects because it’s simple and easy to work with.
  • Pre-mixed adhesive is water-resistant, making it ideal for use in high-moisture areas.
  • It’s not as strong as other types of adhesives, making it unsuitable for areas with high levels of foot traffic.

Now that we’ve explored the different types of adhesives available, you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your floor tile project. Remember to consider factors such as bonding strength, resistance to water and chemicals, and ease of application.

With the right adhesive, you’ll be able to create a beautiful, long-lasting tile installation that will stand the test of time.

Factors To Consider When Choosing An Adhesive

When it comes to installing floor tiles, choosing the right adhesive is crucial to achieving a durable and long-lasting floor. There are several factors to consider when selecting the best adhesive for your tiles, including the tile type, subfloor, environment, and size and shape of the tiles.

In this guide, we’ll explore each of these factors in more detail to help you make an informed decision.

Tile Type

Different tile types require different adhesives. Here are some common tile types and the type of adhesive they require:

  • Ceramic or porcelain tiles: Require a cement-based adhesive.
  • Natural stone tiles: Require a latex-modified adhesive.
  • Glass tiles: Require a clear adhesive.


The type of subfloor you have will also affect your choice of adhesive. Here are some common subfloor types and the type of adhesive that works best with them:

  • Concrete subfloor: Any adhesive can be used.
  • Plywood subfloor: A latex-based adhesive is recommended.
  • Vinyl subfloor: A pressure-sensitive adhesive is recommended.


The environment in which the tiles will be installed is also an important factor to consider. Here are some common environmental factors and the type of adhesive that works best in these conditions:

  • High moisture areas: A moisture-resistant adhesive is recommended.
  • High traffic areas: A high-strength adhesive is recommended.
  • High temperature areas: A temperature-resistant adhesive is recommended.

Size And Shape Of Tiles

The size and shape of your tiles will also affect the type of adhesive you need. Here are some common tile sizes and the adhesive type that works best with them:

  • Small tiles: A pre-mixed adhesive is recommended.
  • Large tiles: A mortar-based adhesive is recommended.
  • Irregularly shaped tiles: A flexible adhesive is recommended.

When choosing an adhesive for your floor tiles, it’s crucial to consider the tile type, subfloor, environment, and size and shape of your tiles. By considering these factors, you can ensure that you select the best adhesive for your specific needs and achieve a long-lasting and durable floor.

How To Apply Adhesive


Before applying adhesive on your floor, it is important to prepare the surface. Here are some preparation tips to get you started:

  • Clean the floor surface thoroughly. Remove any dust, dirt, debris, or grease.
  • Level the floor if needed. If there are any uneven spots, fill them with a self-leveling compound.
  • Measure the area where you want to apply tiles. This will help you determine how much adhesive you need to use.


Mixing adhesive requires attention to detail. Here is everything you need to remember while preparing the mixture:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the adhesive. Use the correct water-to-adhesive ratio.
  • Mix only the amount of adhesive you can use within its working time. This will depend on the adhesive type you are using.
  • Use a mixer attachment or stirring stick to blend the mixture well until it is smooth and free of lumps.


Proper application of adhesive will ensure that tiles stick firmly to your floor. Here’s what you should keep in mind while applying the adhesive:

  • Apply the adhesive in a small area at a time. This will prevent the adhesive from drying out before you lay the tiles.
  • Use a notched trowel to apply the adhesive. The size of the notch will depend on the size of your tiles.
  • Lay the tiles on the adhesive immediately after applying it. Apply enough pressure on the tiles to ensure they bond well with the adhesive.
  • Use spacers to create an equal gap between tiles. This will ensure that the floor has a neat finish.


Maintaining the adhesive and floor after application is important for durability. Here are some tips for adhesive maintenance:

  • Allow the adhesive to dry completely before grouting the tiles.
  • Clean any excess adhesive that may have found its way between the tiles. Use a damp cloth or sponge for this.
  • Avoid exposing the newly tiled floor to heavy traffic or excess moisture for the first 24 hours after application.
  • Once the adhesive has dried completely, clean the tiles regularly with a damp mop and neutral ph cleaner.

Troubleshooting Common Adhesive Problems

While using adhesive for floor tiles, issues can arise that need to be resolved to ensure the tiles stick correctly. Here are some common adhesive problems that can occur and how to troubleshoot them.

Adhesive Not Bonding

One of the most common issues when installing floor tiles is adhesive not bonding. This can be due to several reasons such as:

  • Dirty or dusty surface: Ensure the surface is clean and free of dust and dirt before applying the adhesive.
  • Incompatible adhesive: Check whether the adhesive is compatible with the surface and tile material.
  • Insufficient adhesive: Apply the adhesive generously and uniformly to prevent voids or gaps.

Adhesive Drying Too Fast Or Too Slow

Timing is crucial when using adhesive for floor tiles. It should be neither too fast nor too slow. Issues related to adhesive drying can include:

  • Fast drying: Contact cement can dry too quickly and not allow proper time for tile placement. For this, consider the following:
  • Apply adhesive only to small areas at a time.
  • Work in sections and add tiles before the adhesive dries.
  • Slow drying: Too much water, high humidity, or the wrong adhesive type can cause slow-drying adhesive. The possible solution to fix this is to use a different type of adhesive, such as a rapid-setting adhesive.

Adhesive Staining Or Discoloration

Staining or discoloration of adhesive can happen as a result of:

  • Using low-quality adhesive: Make sure to use high-quality adhesive to prevent staining or discoloration.
  • Using incorrect cleanup methods: Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the surface and adhesive.
  • Applying adhesive too thick: Apply adhesive evenly, and do not allow it to pool or buildup in areas.
  • Damp surface: A damp or moist surface can cause discoloration. Ensure the surface is dry and free of moisture before using adhesive.

Surface Cracking Or Deflection

One of the most common issues with floor tiles is surface cracking, which can cause tiles to deflect. Some of the reasons and troubleshooting methods are:

  • Improper mixing of adhesive: Mix adhesive thoroughly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Inadequate thickness of adhesive: Applying too thin or uneven layers of adhesive can cause the surface to crack. Apply adhesive to the manufacturer’s recommended thickness, and do not skimp on quantity.
  • Use of low-quality adhesive or incorrect type: Use high-quality, suitable adhesive for the tile material and surface.

By understanding the common adhesive problems and their troubleshooting methods, you can ensure effective installations of floor tiles that are durable and long-lasting.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Best Adhesive For Floor Tiles

What Is The Best Type Of Adhesive For Floor Tiles?

When it comes to adhesives, polymer-based thin-set mortar is the best choice for floor tiles. It provides maximum bond strength and is ideal for heavy-duty installations on various surfaces, including concrete, wood, and gypsum board.

How Important Is Adhesive Selection For Tiling?

The right adhesive selection is crucial for a successful tile installation. Choosing the wrong adhesive can result in a weak bond that may cause the tile to delaminate or crack over time.

Can I Use A Ready-To-Use Adhesive For Floor Tiles?

While ready-to-use adhesives are convenient, they aren’t an ideal choice for floor tiles. They lack the necessary bond strength to withstand floor traffic and may result in failures.

How Thick Should My Adhesive Be For Floor Tiles?

The thickness of your adhesive will depend on several factors, including the type of tile and the substrate. It’s essential to follow the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations to achieve the desired bond strength.

Can I Mix Different Types Of Adhesives When Tiling?

It’s not recommended to mix different types of adhesives as they may not bond together correctly, compromising the installation. Always use the same adhesive type throughout the installation process.


After researching and analyzing the properties and performance of various floor tile adhesives, it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best adhesive for floor tiles ultimately depends on a variety of factors, including the type of tile, the substrate, and the environment in which it will be installed.

Whether you opt for a cement-based adhesive, a resin-based adhesive, or a specialty adhesive, it is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. Ensuring that you have chosen the correct adhesive for your specific project is essential for achieving a successful, long-lasting installation.

Taking the time to consider all of the necessary factors and making an informed decision will ultimately result in a beautiful and durable floor that will stand the test of time.

Rayhan Sarwar

I am a glass and ceramic engineering student at the Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET). I enjoy exploring science and technology, which is why I chose to study engineering!

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