What Is the Difference Between Tile Adhesive and Tile Back Glue?

Tile adhesive and tile back glue are two completely different things. What are the differences between them? Let’s take a look together.

When we traditionally install tiles, we use cement and sand to mix them into cement mortar. However, the adhesion of cement mortar is limited, and the wall will become thicker after the bricks are pasted.

MilaCell HPMC for tile adhesive
MilaCell HPMC

At this time, we can ask for tile adhesive. Tile adhesive, which can be understood as cement mortar that has been mixed. It has some admixture such as HPMC (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose), or HEMC (Hydroxyethyl Methyl Cellulose) added to the cement mortar to make it more sticky. HPMC or HEMC is a water-soluble non ionic cellulose ether polymer. The main role of it added to tile adhesives is water retention and thickening.

Tile back glue itself is a kind of glue, and the price is much cheaper than the tile adhesive. As we said earlier, the viscosity of cement mortar is relatively poor. In order to prevent the tiles from falling, we can first apply a layer of glue on the back of the tiles to enhance the adhesion of the tiles. This layer of glue is the tile back glue.

MilaCell HPMC for tile back glue

In other words, tile back glue is an added material on the basis of traditional cement mortar paving. It can not replace cement mortar like tile adhesive. Therefore, compared with tile adhesive, the scope of application of tile back glue is much smaller – only when the adhesion is insufficient, tile adhesive can be used. For example, on a relatively smooth wall that has been painted or waterproofed, or when a tile with a low water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) and a large size.

Besides, their form is different. Tile adhesive is powdered and the packaging is similar to cement; Tile back glue is a milky white liquid material, sold in a bucket, you can directly paint on the back of the tile by opening the lid.

In brief, tile adhesive can be used alone, to replace traditional cement mortar for pasting tiles, but tile back glue must be combined with tile adhesive or cement mortar. For manufacturing quality tile adhesive, HPMC and HEMC is one important part of it. Michem is the premium manufacturer of HPMC and HEMC in China. We look forward to working with you to develop innovative solutions for your products.

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