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Factors affecting tile adhesion during tile installation

06 Jul 2020 by MAPEI

Substrate preparation

The presence of dirt and contamination on the substrate due to improper cleaning before tile installation can compromise good adhesion. Likewise, for the back of tiles. Other factors such as cracks in substrates or premature loading on substrates that are not fully cured can also result in adhesion issues.

Prevention: Ensure that the substrate is properly cleaned and prepared. The substrate must be free of dust, dirt of any deleterious material that will impede good adhesion. As for the back of tile, use a damp sponge to remove dust and dirt deposits before tile installation.

Insufficient adhesive coverage

Weak adhesion can be due to insufficient adhesive coverage. Gaps and air voids in the adhesive bed could lead to debonding of tiles as well as tiles being fractured when hit by falling objects or subject to impact and vibration.

Factors affecting tile adhesion during tile installation

Prevention: Apply sufficient adhesive for coverage and contact between substrate and the back of tile. Lay tile into the adhesive with firm pressure to ensure trowel ribs collapse to good compaction and rid of air voids. In particular for large thin tiles, one directional troweling is recommended (not the multi-directional troweling) so as to ensure that the trowel ribs compress in one direction to avoid air gaps between the ribs.

Factors affecting tile adhesion during tile installation

Poor Adhesive Contact & Compaction

Another situation of poor adhesion and contact is when the trowel ribs in the adhesive bed are not pressed down to full compaction. When tiles are placed onto the adhesive which has not been fully compressed to compaction, the contact is superficial and there will also be air gaps and voids in the installation.

Prevention: To ensure proper bonding of the tiles and substrate, the workman should press down the tile firmly using a rubber mallet to tap on the tile to eliminate trapped air gaps after laying. Watch the video on proper tile installation. Proper bonding between the tile and adhesive material behind the tile may reduce the stress concentration. 

Factors affecting tile adhesion during tile installation

Questions on tile and stone installation? Reach out to us: Contact Mapei Singapore.


About Mapei:

Founded in Milan since 1937, Mapei is today a world leading producer of adhesives and complementary products for the laying of all types of floor, wall and coating materials. Mapei’s specialty lies in products for ceramics and stone materials, among other product lines. Mapei’s tile adhesives are certified according to international standards and are SGBC certified in Singapore. Experience proven by numerous notable projects worldwide.

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Founded in Milan in 1937, Mapei is today the world leader in the production of adhesives and chemical products for the building industry. We implemented our internationalisation strategy in the 1960’s and this has enabled us to be closer to the needs of regional markets and reduce transport costs to a minimum. The Group now has 89 subsidiaries with 83 production facilities in 36 different countries. We have always placed a lot of emphasis on research. In fact, we channel 5% of annual turnover into Research & Development and 70% of our research work is aimed at the development of eco-sustainable and eco-compatible products.An unrivalled offerOur products offer clients the most specific and most advanced solutions in the world of building. Users of Mapei products can see for themselves, day after day, how this choice leads to optimising work, maximum application yield and perfect results, under all conditions. We are not just a supplier; we are also a partner for all those who operate in this sector with a comprehensive range without rivals. Our name is synonymous with innovation and every year we create thousands of new formulations to meet all your needs. We supply more than 5,000 technologically advanced products worldwide that take into consideration the widest variety of requirements imaginable and, in so doing, we help improve the characteristics of buildings, from anti-seismic upgrading to the healthiness of our surroundings.Expertise in the construction sector born from on-site experienceThrough a constant exchange of ideas and experiences with clients and builders’ merchants, we use their input as a starting point to shape innovation and reformulate their suggestions in the form of new products to expand the range of lines and references. From the smallest to the largest sales points for ceramics and building materials, our quality is not limited to the product itself, but extends to the competence of the sales team, the passion of our retailersand the value of their advice. Our clients can also take advantage of our Technical Services Department and their constant, expert support, from the design phase right up to the execution phase, to guarantee an end result that will always live up to their expectations.


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