There are many kinds of tile adhesives on the market but not all of them can be used in bathrooms. There are multiple factors that determine whether an adhesive is right for your shower. For instance, you cannot use the same adhesive for porcelain and ceramic tiles.
If you are renovating your bathroom, choosing the right adhesive is a crucial part of the process. This post provides much needed advice on how to identify the best tile adhesive for shower. We also review the best options available on the market.
Why Might You Need One?
There are many benefits offered by tile adhesives. For starters, they provide a protective layer that prevents the sand-cement mixture from losing moisture too fast. This in turn prevents white stain problems, increases bonding strength, and protects tile aesthetics.
The fact that adhesives have an optimum setting period means that you can adjust them slightly within a certain time frame. It allows you to lay tiles in line and achieve the desired aesthetic look.
When used with a notched trowel, adhesive requires a minimal amount of material. This leads to a lighter load that puts minimal strain on the structure. It also saves cost on materials.
Our Best Tile Adhesive Reviews
1. Red Devil 0498 EZ Squeeze Tile Adhesive
Red Devil is a brand that has been in business for almost 150 years, specializing in tool and chemical products. It is known for quality and innovative products that deliver reliable performance.
Their Red Devil 0498 EZ Squeeze is our pick for best ceramic tile adhesive. Available in a 5-ounce squeeze, this adhesive offers optimal performance. It is perfect for installing or repairing loose ceramic tiles. It takes minutes to work, making it incredibly effective in moisture-prone areas.
The compound is water resistant and great for repairing damaged or cracked floor tile and grout. The EZ Squeeze Tube packaging makes it easy to wind up as you work, ensuring a consistent and smooth flow of product.
This adhesive is versatile and can be used for more than just ceramic tiles. It also adheres to mosaic tile, masonry, wallboard and wood. But you have to know the correct ways of cutting glass mosaic tiles and how to do the mosaic tiling process.
The product comes in other formulations including Kitchen & Bath Caulk, Window & Doo Caulk, Patch-a-Wall Sparkling Paste and Wallpaper Seam Repair. Removing the silicone caulk won't be a problem.
2. Weldbond 8-50420 Multi-Purpose Glue
Available as a 1-Pack and 4-Pack, the Weldbond 8-50420 Multipurpose Glue has continually exceeded customer expectations. It is widely versatile as it can be used to bond almost anything. You can use on wood, glass, cork, brick, linoleum, tiles, ceramics, clay tile and more. It will be excellent for installing wood like tiles on concrete.
This is a steel tough adhesive that performs well on Styrofoam. It is also effective for plastics and expanded polystyrene. If used on wood, the compound takes 20 minutes to set and an hour to form a strong bond. It cures in 24 hours.
It is worth noting that this adhesive serves as both a priming coat and sealer. This is particularly true when working on porous surfaces like masonry, concrete and bricks. It comes in multiple sizes, hence different choices for varying applications.
If stored well in a warm environment, Weldbond 8-50420 can last for up to five years. It is also non-toxic. This is one of the best adhesives to tile your shower.
3. Dap 142 00142 WeldWood Multi-Purpose Floor Adhesive
This multi-floor adhesive by DAP is a great choice for renovating a bathroom. It comes in a gallon or quart sized buckets to satisfy varying needs. What really sets it apart from the competition is that it offers greater shrink resistance than most. In addition, repositioning during installation is considerably easier.
The adhesive is highly resistant to water, making it a perfect choice for the shower and other moisture-prone areas. It can also be used for bonding carpeting, plywood, concrete, tile and particle board.
This is a high strength, trowel grade adhesive that bonds different types of floor coverings. It is latex-based and offers extensive coverage. It hardens quickly and cures within 24 hours. Unlike other adhesives, this one doesn’t crack or become brittle.
4. Weldbond 8-50160 Multi-Purpose Adhesive Glue
The Wellbond 8-50160 Multi-Purpose Adhesive Glue is a universal adhesive that works on almost anything ranging from wood and tiles to ceramics and concrete blocks. It sets in 20 minutes and cures in 24 hours when used on wood. It is perfect for composite materials like Corian tile. Additionally, it doubles as sealer and priming coat when used on porous materials such as brick and masonry.
What we love most about this adhesive is that it is crystal clear when dry. It doesn’t hinder your bathroom’s aesthetics. In any case, it makes the tiles pop. It is incredibly durable and can last for up to 5 years.
The adhesive is available in multiple sizes to suit varying application and project needs. It is non-toxic and safe for Styrofoam. It doesn’t dissolve hard foam, and works well with plastics.
5. Tile Slim Adhesive – 3 Pack
The Tile Slim Adhesive is a one-of-a-kind product that attaches to anything. It is a custom adhesive that can be used on different surfaces. It works great in the bathroom, especially if you need to attach something to the tile. This may include a shower caddy, soap hold or tissue holder. It sticks exceedingly well and performs exceptionally, even with continued exposure to moisture.
Their usefulness extends beyond the bathrooms. You can use them on laptops, tablets, remotes and travel chargers. It is easy to use since all you need to do is remove the protective foil and press onto the object. Realignment may be necessary after placing the adhesive.
It should be noted that Tile Slim Adhesive is very strong and not easy to remove once the time comes. Contrary to popular opinion, your purchase doesn’t include Tile Slim tracker.
6. Henry FP00356030 EMW0011687
Concluding our list of best tile adhesives for the shower is this premium multipurpose floor adhesive by Henry. Sold in a quart sized bucket as 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 packs, it is a great purchase for renovating your home. It is ideal for the bathroom, kitchen and other moisture prone areas.
The product is specially designed for painting supplies, paint, stains accessories and more. It can also be used for carpet installations by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. The adhesive offers excellent open time and sticky grab, which comes handy when tackling stubborn spots. Its extraordinary strength and water resistance makes it a good choice for bathroom tiles.
Application is easy and the adhesive remains stable in sub-zero temperatures. Other notable features include non-flammable, low VOC content, and odorless. This product is free of ammonia and petrochemical solvents.
What to Look for Before Getting:
Type of tile
Man-made tiles: These include porcelain and ceramic. There are a couple of adhesives you can use to bind man-made tiles. If larger than 12 inches, a latex-modified thinset mortar adhesive is your best bet. Mastic adhesives are good for tiles smaller than 12 inches. Your choice of thinset adhesive may vary depending on whether the tiles are regular sized (8-12 inches) or 14+ inches.
Dark natural stone: Latex-modified thinset mortar adhesive will suffice if installing dark natural stone tiles such as bluestone, dark marble and slate. The same rules as those man-made tiles apply in this case.
Light natural stone: If installing travertine, light granite, cream marble or other light natural stones, it’s best to use granite and marble thinset. It is similar to regular thinset, with the main difference being that it’s specially formulated for granite and marble. These adhesives can also double down for a granite sealer.
Type of tile adhesive
There are two main types of adhesives available on the market i.e. powdered adhesives and ready mixed pastes. The latter are easy to use and often come in a tube. The only downside is that they aren’t ideal for large scale projects. Powdered adhesives need to be mixed with water before use. While they take more time and effort, these adhesives are stronger and can be used to fit tiles onto any substrate.
Substrate you are fixing to
Most homeowners use small ceramic tiles for installing backsplashes and in such instances, it’s best to use a ready mixed paste. Larger porcelain tiles measuring 12x12 inches require powdered adhesives. They are available in multiple colors, flexibilities and setting speeds. When fitting tiles onto a wall, it’s important to ensure that it can handle the weight.
Tiling directly onto floorboards is a common practice. It requires either a tile backing board or layer of marine-grade plywood for added strength and stability. Ready mixed pastes are not an option when doing this type of installation.
You will always need a powdered adhesive when tiling onto the floor. Ensure that the floor dries completely before starting installation. A minimum of six weeks is enough for a concrete base.
Under floor heating
A flexible tile adhesive is crucial if installing wet under floor heating. It does a better job of handling the stress caused by heating and cooling processes.
As previously mentioned, these come in multiple colors, flexibilities and setting speeds. Most come in white and grey. The former is the better choice for light natural stone.
In terms of flexibility, powdered adhesives are rated S1 and S2. The latter offers more flexibility, hence ideal for high traffic rooms. Those rated S1 can be used on floors with minimal vibration and movement.
Powdered adhesives can be standard or rapid setting. Rapid setting adhesives set faster, allowing you to get on with grouting. They take an average of 30 minutes to set, which is shorter than the 3-hour duration taken by standard setting adhesives.
While picking a rapid setting adhesive most of the time makes sense, there are occasions when a standard setting adhesive is the better choice. These include when installing large format tiles onto a wall.
Your choice of powdered adhesive will depend on desired flexibility, amount of working time and grout color.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I fit tiles over a concrete floor?
The most important thing when doing this kind of installation is to ensure that the floor is completely dry before proceeding. Concrete requires a minimum period of six weeks to dry.
2. What is the difference between ready mixed pastes and powdered adhesives?
Ready mixed pastes come in a paste form and ready to use right out of the tube. On the other hand, powdered adhesives have to be mixed with water before use. They are great for large scale projects and provide a stronger, longer lasting bond.
3. Why use an adhesive to lay tiles?
Traditionally, tiles are laid using a sand-cement mixture. Adhesives provide a protective layer that prevents the mixture from losing moisture too fast. Consequently, they help prevent aesthetic problems and increase bonding strength.
Choosing the right tile adhesive is crucial to ensuring lasting bondage and appealing aesthetics.
The products reviewed above offer incredible strength, flexibility and keep tiles bonded for a long time.
In addition, they are reasonably priced.
We made sure to include the best powdered adhesives and ready mixed pastes to suit varying project needs.
The guide section offers a closer look at factors to consider when shopping for an adhesive. They’ll help narrow down the choices and identify what’s best for your bathroom.