Ceramic wall tile adhesives

Wall tile adhesives are usually PVA (polyvinyl acetate), acrylic or cement-based compositions. The standard PVA thin-bed adhesives, typically to 3 mm, will only tolerate moisture, whereas the thin-bed water-resistant acrylic-based adhesives are suitable for fixing wall tiles and mosaics in damp and wet conditions associated for example with domestic showers. Some acrylic-based products evolve ammonia on setting. The water-resistant cements and polymer-modified cement products are appropriate both for internal and external use and can usually be applied with either thin or thick bedding. The polymer-modified cement adhesives are also suitable for fixing marble, granite and slate tiles up to 15 mm thick. For chemical resistance thin-bed epoxy-resin-based adhesives are available. In all cases the substrate must be sound with new plaster, brickwork, concrete, fully dried out for 2-6 weeks. Plasterboard and timber products must be adequately fixed at 300 mm centres horizontally and vertically to ensure rigidity. In refurbishment work, flaking or multi-layered paint should be removed and glazed surfaces made good. Where the tile adhesive is classified as waterproof, either acrylic or cement-based, it may be used as the grouting medium. Alternatively, equivalent waterproof grouting is available in a wide range of colours to blend or contrast with the wall tiles. Epoxy-resin tile grout is available for very wet conditions.

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