Tile is an excellent choice for bathroom floors since it's water-resistant and very easy to keep clean. One downside, however, is that water on the bathroom floor can leak through cracks between the tiles, and this becomes more common if the grout begins to fail. In order to prevent the adhesive from being damaged by water, you'll need to use a waterproof tile flooring adhesive to attach the tiles to the substrate. Using the wrong adhesive can lead to your tiles quickly detaching from the floor. To learn more about the right adhesive to choose for your tile bathroom floor, read on.
What Is Waterproof Tile Flooring Adhesive?
The vast majority of tile flooring adhesives that describe themselves as waterproof are actually water-resistant. When most homeowners hear the term waterproof, they assume that it means that water won't be able to pass through the adhesive into the flooring substrate it's attached to.
However, water-resistant tile flooring adhesive is slightly porous. Some water will pass through it. The term "waterproof" in this case refers to the fact that the adhesive won't lose its adhesive strength when it's exposed to water. Some forms of tile flooring adhesive, like organic mastic, are not water-resistant and will be quickly broken down by any water that seeps through the grout.
One form of tile flooring adhesive that's truly waterproof is epoxy. Epoxy is completely impervious, so water can't pass through it. It can also be used both as an adhesive and for the grout in-between the tiles.
Unfortunately, epoxy tile flooring adhesive is expensive and difficult to work with. It's also not necessary to use epoxy adhesive for a bathroom floor—it's more suited for pools and showers that are exposed to standing water for long periods of time. In the majority of cases, water-resistant tile flooring adhesive is sufficient for a bathroom floor.
Why Is Using Waterproof Tile Flooring Adhesive Important?
If you were to use a tile adhesive for your bathroom floor that isn't labeled as being waterproof, water that seeps underneath of the tiles will quickly cause the adhesive to deteriorate. Once the adhesive has weakened, tiles will begin to pull up from your bathroom floor. This can sometimes cause tiles to crack when one edge of a tile begins to pull up while the rest of the tile remains securely attached.
Using waterproof tile flooring adhesive for your bathroom will dramatically increase the longevity of your tile floor since the adhesive isn't affected by any water intrusion.
What Is The Best Type of Tile Flooring Adhesive for a Bathroom?
Powdered modified thinset is considered to be the ideal adhesive for bathroom floors. Thinset is a type of adhesive made from cement, and it has additional chemicals added (often latex) that make it smoother and easier to spread onto the flooring substrate.
In order to use it, you just mix the powder with water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the thinset is mixed, it will immediately begin to harden. You'll need to work quickly in order to avoid having all of the thinset in your bucket hardening before you have a chance to apply it to the floor.
For easier application, you can also use pre-mixed modified thinset. It doesn't dry out as quickly, so you can tile your floor at a more relaxed pace. The downside is that it's more expensive and it takes longer to fully cure compared to powdered modified thinset—you won't be able to grout the tiles or use your bathroom until it has fully cured.
Overall, thinset is the best choice for bathroom flooring. It's less expensive than epoxy, and epoxy typically isn't necessary for bathroom floors. It's a waterproof flooring adhesive in the sense that water won't cause the adhesive to deteriorate. With proper installation, your bathroom will have a durable tile floor that won't begin to pull up from the flooring substrate it's attached to.
If you have more questions about waterproof flooring adhesive, contact your local professional.