Choosing the right tile adhesive
Standards are useful starting points for determining the suitability of a tile adhesive, but there are more factors to consider.
It’s important to recognise that the performance requirements and classifications in AS/ISO13007 describe a select range of physical characteristics of an adhesive that can’t be solely relied on when it comes to the selection and use of tile adhesives for the wide variety of projects we encounter.
For the most part, they should be seen as a starting point. There are other characteristics you should consider; compressive strength, shear capacity and immersed installation abilities are just a few that should be factored in when assessing options and making an appropriate selection.
I have noticed a growing trend over the years where tile adhesive selections are being determined solely by their classification and designation as outlined in AS/ISO13007.1.
The implication here is that classification and designation alone are sufficient to make an appropriate choice for a given project and that this is sufficient information from which to determine what product should be used for a project, without any investigation of the manufacturer’s information regarding the products features and limitations.
For instance, a specifier may simply ask for a C2TES1 adhesive for a driveway installation. Assuming tile and substrate compatibility, many C2TES1 adhesives may be suitable for this type of installation but some will not. Therefore, risk exists — especially if the chosen adhesive does not have (say) the compressive strength for the service conditions this application demands.
The specification and selection of tile adhesives can be very complex and requires more than a reliance on their AS/ISO13007 classification and general industry guides to gauge suitability for a given project.
Evaluating the installation environment, service requirements of the installation, tiles to be installed and the effects from the tiling background is an important part of the process in establishing the right adhesive properties for a project.
It is important that selections are made together with the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations and documentation to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. After all, we make the adhesives and have far more knowledge about the true capabilities of our products, especially given we tested our products above and beyond the requirements of the AS/ISO13007 standard.
Working with the manufacturer means accessing a greater understanding of what works because of history, depth of experience and a unique knowledge of our own product, which simply can’t be translated in a series of numbers on a bag. Involving the manufacturer in the specification process ensures that the selection is truly fit for purpose, so request a written specification for your next project.
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