Why the tiles fall.

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Falling Tiles in a Bathroom

The most common problem with tiling work in our apartment and houses is tiles falling after some time.

Falling tile is a common problem these days for the tile applicator as well as the final user. Falling tile are also a danger as they can cause injury 

Falling Tile
Unfortunately builders / developers and even tile contractors in India are not aware about the proper method of tile installation and the new systems and options available to them.

These days tiles are of multiple sizes, various materials and textures and are exposed to changing weather.

Tiles are also installed on varied substrates such as

  1. Concrete Walls,
  2. Fly Ash Bricks / Concrete Bricks
  3. Plaster Boards
  4. Cement Particle Board / Wooden Boards  etc

All the above substrates need specific tile adhesion systems, to install tiles in a professional manner, so that they look good and stay on for long years understanding following reasons as key.

Ignorance: In India 90 to 95% of tiles are installed using cement mortar prepared at site which has following problems
  • The recommended mixing ratio of cement with sand for making  tile installation mortar is 1 : 2.5, that is, 1 part of cement and 2.5 parts of sand. But on the work site there is no quality control on how the labor is mixing the mortar.
  • This leads to improper bonding and lowers the reliability of adhesion.
  • Curing Issues : Standard mortar prepared in cement and sand needs moisture for curing to develop bonding  strength. At work sites, to finish work faster sometimes the tile mason do not do water curing or wetting of the surface on which the tiles are to be installed. Also tiles themselves absorb moisture so the water required in the bonding mortar is not available for the expected quality and life.
  • Although the tiles stay initially but after sometime they start falling.
  • Thickness & Levelness : The standard practice of using cement and sand mortar to install tile leads to tile mason applying very thick layer of this mortar the leads to following issues
  • Slower work due to larger quantity of sand and cement mix required.
  • Longer fixing time is needed in standard sand & cement to fix tiles
  • The thick mortar also leads to more margin of error in installing tiles on an accurate line and level
    • See below uneven level of tiles.
      • Uneven Level of Tiles on Wall
      • See below uneven level of tile on the floor
      • Uneven Floor Tiles
      • Many of the tiled floor we observe in flats, apartments and even in commercial spaces has this kind of problem of unevenness.

        Above are some of the issues we see everywhere around us in when tiles are not properly installed.

        Apart form this in a tropical Climate like ours, building go through extreme temperature that cause expansion and contraction between building and tile material. This also leads to failure of tile bond that is prepared with regular cement and sand mortar.

        Simple reasons to understand for better finish & safety of tile adhesion works.

        1. A good quality tile adhesive is a premixed cement based powder that is easy to apply and requires no curing. This does away the curing need and saves time in tiling work
        2. No need to apply Half inch or One inch mortar layer as some of the tile adhesives can work even with 1mm adhesive layer. This leads to space saving.
        3. Waterproofing quality, the tile adhesives also come in waterproofing grade that is helpful when tiles are installed in wet areas such as shower, bathrooms or kitchens
        4. Tile adhesives comes as easy to use packaging between 20kg to 30 kg that makes it easier for mason to handle the material on site and also one can check the consumption due to defined coverage.
        5. Adhesion to multiple substrates, modern tile adhesives can adhere to surfaces like ply-board and cement particle board directly
        6. Compatibility with various tiling material such as stone tiles, vitrified tiles is a factor helps in having no problems later on.
        7. Tile on Tile adhesion capability for fast works or renovation project where one cannot remove old tile or marble floor. These modern tile adhesives can be used to bond the the tiles on the smooth surface.
        8. Economy: Using tile adhesive not only is helpful in improving the quality but also provide economy and reduction of cost caused to lesser quantity of mortar required, time saving up to 30% to 40% against regular tile installation methods.


        Some of the Tile Adhesive Brands in India are as following

        1. BASF: MasterTile Range
        2. MC Bauchemie: Waterproofing Tile Adhesive
        3. MYK Laticrete :  290 / 335 etc
        4. Buildsmart: BS Tileasy
        5. Mapie
        6. SIKA SIKA CERAM

        Grades of Tile Adhesives

        There as various grades of tile adhesive that are designed according to use and substrate conditions etc.

        We hope from the above you have got an Idea about the importance of using tile adhesive on your construction project.

        Please free to comment and connect with us if you need more information. You can use our experience and knowledge to improve quality and save on your cost using right specifications of products



        Hemant Chauhan

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