How to Use Floor Tile Adhesive

  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Floor tile adhesive
Mixing attachment

Floor tile adhesive is something that you are going to have to be able to use if you plan on installing tile. Working with the tile adhesive is not complicated, but it does take a certain amount of knowledge and skill to do properly. You also have a limited time to work with it because it will dry out as you go. Here are the basics of how to use floor tile adhesive appropriately.

Step 1 - Check for a Proper Subfloor

When you are working with floor tile adhesive, you need to make sure that you are working with the proper type of subfloor. Floor tile adhesive can be applied directly to concrete or cement. These subfloors are strong enough to prevent the tile from moving when someone walks on it. You cannot apply this directly to a wood subfloor. If you are going to install tile on top of wood, you are going to have to install cement board first. You can then apply the tile adhesive to the top of the cement board.

Step 2 - Mix Up the Adhesive

Before you can start using the floor tile adhesive, you are going to need to mix it. In order to do this, you are going to need a bucket and some water. You will need to read the side of the bag of adhesive in order to determine how much water you need to mix with it.

Pour the adhesive mix into your bucket. Then pour the appropriate amount of water into the bucket as well. At that point, you need to start stirring it. If you have a large stirring spoon, you can stir it with that. This can get pretty difficult as the adhesive begins to get harder. Another option that you have is to use a drill with a mixing attachment. This is going to be the easiest way to mix up the adhesive. This will be similar to using a blender while cooking. When you are mixing up the adhesive, you want to stop when it feels like the consistency of peanut butter. You do not want it too hard or too soft. At that point, you will be ready to start using the tile adhesive.

Step 3 - Apply the Adhesive

You will then want to apply the tile adhesive. Use a notched trowel to apply the adhesive. You will grab some of the adhesive with your trowel and put it out onto the floor. Then you can use the trowel to spread it around evenly on the floor. You should be able to see rows or notches in the adhesive on the floor.

In some cases, you may want to apply the adhesive directly to the back of the tile instead of onto the floor. This works well when you are trying to fit a tile into a small space such as up against the wall.