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For the latest technical or health and safety data on all ARDEX products, please consult the relevant technical or health and safety datasheet on our product pages.
NOTE: In addition to our guidance on this page, tiles should be installed in accordance with the relevant parts of BS 5385 and BS 8000: Part 11 Workmanship on Building Sites.
Tiling to Specific Substrates
How do I tile to anhydrite screeds?
After confirming it is dry, abrade the surface with suitable mechanised equipment to remove any laitance, loose debris and dust, and reveal the aggregate underneath.
The anhydrite screed should then be primed with a single coat of ARDEX P 51 diluted 1:3 with water, applied in one continuous coat using a brush or broom. Once the ARDEX P 51 is dry, tile as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I tile to gypsum floorboards?
How do I tile to bitumen adhesive residues?
How do I tile to asphalt?*
*Internal, dry areas only
Before tiling to asphalt*, check to ensure it has an adequately adhered sand keyed surface. If it is in good condition and is well adhered, it can be tiled as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive. If however the sand key is poor or worn away, it should first be primed with ARDEX P 82. Once the ARDEX P 82 is dry, tile as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I level over sand and cement screeds and concrete?
Before levelling over sand and cement screeds and concrete, prime with single coat of ARDEX P 51 diluted 1:3 with water for sand and cement screeds or 1:2 for concrete and applied with a brush or broom. Once the ARDEX P 51 is dry, it can be levelled with an appropriate ARDEX Levelling Compound and then tiled with an ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I tile to existing tiles?
If levelling is required on floors, level over existing tiles with ARDITEX NA applied 3mm+ deep direct (without priming). It will dry in as little as 3 hours, and can then be tiled as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I tile to fibreglass?
How do I tile to plaster?
How do I tile to plywood floors?
If levelling is required, level over the plywood with ARDITEX NA applied direct (without priming). It will dry after 3 hours and should then be over sheeted with a suitable mechanically fixed tile backer board, which can then be tiled as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I tile to plywood walls?
How do I tile to steel?
Alternatively, in indoor & dry areas only, prime the steel using ARDEX P 82. Once dry, it can then be tiled as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I tile to painted substrates?
How do I tile to uncoupling membranes?
Uncoupling membranes with cavities can be pre-filled to produce a flat surface ideal for tiling. For this application, smooth over the uncoupling matting with ARDITEX NA up to the top of the cavities using a smoothing trowel. ARDITEX NA can be applied thicker if additional levelling is required, but along with the subsequent tile adhesive application, the depth should not exceed 10mm. ARDITEX NA will dry in as little as 3 hours and can then be tiled as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
How do I tile over electric underfloor heating systems?
How do I make uneven walls flat before tiling?
How do I fill holes before tiling?
What are the maximum weight restrictions for wall tiling?
Gypsum plaster: 20kg/m2
Gypsum plasterboard (12.5mm thickness): 32kg/m2
Sand and cement rendering: 64kg/m2
Lightweight foam-cored tile backer boards: 60kg/m2
Glass reinforced cement-based boards: 50kg/m2
Gypsum fibreboards: 40kg/m2
Other rigid tile backer boards: Consult manufacturer
Why do I need to wait so long before tiling to certain substrates?
Concrete: at least 6 weeks
Traditional sand and cement screeds: at least 3 weeks
Traditional sand and cement renders: at least 2 weeks
Plaster: at least 4 weeks
These backgrounds shrink as they dry; to avoid the risk of debonding, tiles should be fixed after these times.
Alternatively, drying times can be significantly reduced when ARDEX Screed Cements and Renders are used in the construction process. For example, ARDEX AM 100 Render can be tiled after 2 hours and ARDEX A 38 Screed after 4 hours!
When should I commission underfloor heating?
How do I tile to heated sand and cement screeds?
How do I prepare a concrete base before tiling a patio area?
- Where just a thin smoothing layer of 2-20mm is required, firstly use suitable mechanised equipment to remove any contamination and reveal the aggregate underneath. It should then be levelled with a suitable external levelling compound such as ARDEX K 301.
- When up to 50mm is required, first prepare as above and then screed with ARDEX A 38 or ARDEX A 29 bonded with ARDEX A 18.
- When over 50mm is required, mechanical preparation is not required and ARDEX A 38 or ARDEX A 29 screed should be used unbonded.
Once the screed and/or levelling compound is dry, tile as normal using ARDEX X 78, ARDEX X 78 S or ARDEX X 325 PTB Tile Adhesives.
How do I waterproof or tank bathrooms, showers and other wet areas* before tiling?
*Does not include swimming pools
Wet areas should be waterproofed before tiling using ARDEX WPC to protect moisture-sensitive backgrounds behind the tiles, and also prevent moisture-ingress into adjacent rooms. Holes, gaps and joints should be waterproofed using a slump-free mix (MIX ONE) applied with a trowel, which will dry in approximately 1 hour. Overall surface waterproofing can then be achieved with two coats of a flowing/paintable mix (MIX TWO) applied with a paint roller or brush, with 30 minutes allowed between each coat. The second coat will dry in approximately 60 minutes, and can then be tiled as normal using an appropriate ARDEX Cement-Based Tile Adhesive.
Why should I waterproof or tank bathrooms, showers and other wet areas* before tiling?
*Does not include swimming pools
The underlying substrate in wet areas, or substrates adjoining wet areas, is often moisture-sensitive e.g. plaster, plasterboard and even some proprietary tile backer boards. Even when they’re tiled, water can still get to the background through cementitious grout joints and adhesive bedding, as they’re porous in nature and allow moisture to be absorbed through them. Ultimately, this results in damp and mould; and over time, it can transfer to adjoining rooms and/or cause the tiles to de-bond. As recommended by BS 5385-1: 2018 and BS 5385-4: 2015, ensure wet areas in both domestic and commercial installations are waterproofed (we recommend ARDEX WPC) to prevent unsightly and costly water damage.
How do I waterproof plywood floors before tiling?
Using Tile Adhesives
Can I use ready-mixed tile adhesives to fix large format tiles?
Which adhesive should I use to install large format tiles?
Can I use ready-mixed tile adhesive to fix floor tiles?
How do I fix mesh-backed porcelain tiles?
How do I stop large format tiles slipping down the wall?
How can I reduce tile adhesive waste?
How do I prolong the open time of my tile adhesive?
Alternatively, the range of ARDEX MICROTEC Tile Adhesives provide extended-open-times from the outset and on all substrates; ARDEX MICROTEC X 77 for example has an open time of up to 60 minutes!
How do I achieve solid bed fixing?
How do I stick down uncoupling membranes?
How do I stick uncoupling mats to anhydrite screeds and gypsum floorboards?
What is the difference between pot life, working time, open time and adjustment time?
Open time is the length of time that tile adhesive ribs remain wet and able to receive tiles (before skinning over) after being spread onto the wall or floor.
Adjustment time is the amount of time in which a tile can be adjusted or moved after it has been fixed into the freshly applied tile adhesive.
Using Tile Grouts
Which tile grout should I use?
For areas where chemically resistant or waterproof joints are required, or where the client is looking for a reduced maintenance schedule by minimising the build-up of dirt, fungi and mould, opt for an easy-to-apply epoxy grout such as ARDEX EG 8 PLUS.
When installing moisture-sensitive natural stone, use ARDEX MG, our RAPIDRY Technology tile grout which helps to eliminate the risk of water staining and warping.
How do I avoid colour streaking in tile grouts?
How do I prevent my tile grout going mouldy?
How do I stop efflorescence?
Efflorescence is aggravated by excessively damp conditions after installation and by prolonged delays in drying out. The modern trend of large format tiles means there are now fewer grout joints over the tiled area and drying is slowed; it is therefore not unexpected for efflorescence to occur.
Efflorescence cannot be avoided; however, steps can be taken so as not to exacerbate the problem: 1) Do not exceed the water requirements of the tile grout 2) Do not use excessive water during cleaning down and 3) Warm and dry conditions following installation will assist the drying process.
Fortunately, where you do experience efflorescence, it can be removed easily using an appropriate proprietary cleaner designed for this purpose.
Why has my tile grout turned white and how do I stop it?
How do I ensure a tile grout colour will complement a tile?
How do I make it easier to clean off epoxy tile grout residues?
Using Silicone Sealants
Fixing Natural Stone
How do I fix and grout natural stone tiles?
How do I fix mesh-backed natural stone tiles?
How do I fix granite and other heavy stone floor tiles in a patio area?