TAL’s Materials and Methods Specifications and recommendations are based on SABS 0107:1996 - Code of Practice for the Design and Installation of Ceramic Tiling.

What adhesive must I use with porcelain tiles?

As a porcelain tile is classified as a fully vitrified tile and has a very impervious body and an impervious, dense back it requires an adhesive with far stronger bonding characteristics than a conventional (standard setting) cementitious adhesive. 

We therefore recommend the use of TAL GOLDSTAR 6, a rapid setting adhesive which has a higher bond strength than a conventional adhesive.

TAL GOLDSTAR 6 is the preferred and specified adhesive system for porcelain tiles as, due to the impervious nature of the porcelain tile body, a  latex-modified conventional adhesive system will take longer to cure. If the tiles are disturbed (trafficked) before the adhesive has fully cured, the adhesive bond may be broken, resulting in the tiles being loose or hollow sounding.

What adhesive must I use with natural stone (sandstone/slate) tiles?

Natural stone tiles show varying mineralogy depending on the source and metamorphic conditions of that particular environment. This impacts on the porosity of the natural stone showing variations within a classification, and between classifications.

TAL GOLDSTAR 6 (and TAL GOLDFLEX) are specially formulated to give good adhesion to varying tile surfaces and this, coupled with the higher bond strength, makes TAL GOLDSTAR 6 the preferred choice to conventional (standard setting) adhesives for installing natural stone tiles, which are also generally heavier than normal ceramic tiles.

This is especially important in instances where tiles of varying thicknesses are to be used, as the adhesive system will have to be built up behind some of the tiles to ensure a level finish.

What adhesive must I use with light coloured marble tiles?

Marble and travertine tiles tend to be porous and can leach the moisture out of the adhesive, adversely affecting the performance of the adhesive. Using a rapid setting adhesive will mean that the adhesive will cure before any moisture can be leached into the tile. Light coloured marble and travertine products, because of their porous nature, should be installed using a light-coloured adhesive, as a grey adhesive might show through the tile in the form of ‘staining’. It is for this reason that TAL formulated a light coloured rapid setting adhesive, TAL MARBLEFIX, for use with white or light coloured marble or travertine tiles.

What adhesive must I use with glass tiles or mosaics?

Since the introduction of glass mosaics and glass tiles to the local market, TAL has undertaken testing of various tiles to determine compatibility of these products with our adhesives.

Fusion-Type Glass Products
Good results have been obtained when fixing fusion-type glass products using TAL MARBLEFIX (light-coloured rapid setting, shrinkage compensated adhesive) mixed with TAL Bond (latex based additive) as a total water replacement, or TAL MARBLEFLEX. (TAL MARBLEFLEX is the preferred system as it only requires mixing with water, alleviating possible errors on site from incorrect mix ratios, ie diluting TAL BOND with water). Glass products are very brittle and rigid and therefore require a flexible adhesive system.  Failure to use a flexible adhesive system will result in any movement being transferred directly to the glass. Glass products, being reflective and translucent, will immediately show defects that might not be as visible with opaque tiles. Also, due to the translucent nature of glass tiles, a light-coloured adhesive is recommended for fixing the tiles as the aesthetic finish of the installation could be adversely affected when using a dark-coloured (grey) adhesive.

Resin-Bonded Glass Products
Resin-bonded products have proven to be problematic, and epoxy based adhesives, such as TAL EPOXY ADHESIVE & GROUT, are required for this product.  However, it must be noted that TAL cannot be held responsible for any problems associated with the coloured resin backing delaminating from the glass body.

Due to the translucent nature of glass tiles, any inconsistencies in the surface will show through after the tile is installed. Glass tiles must be installed over a clean, sound, flat surface, with a solid bed of adhesive behind each tile – any voids or cavities in the adhesive may show through as dark patches or spots. Always use the least abrasive grout possible and make use of soft applicators and cleaning instruments as any grit or hard particles may cause scratching. Due care must be taken when apply the adhesive and grout to ensure that the face of the glass products do not get scratched. Movement joints must be created at maximum two meter centres in both directions, as well as at interfaces between glass tiles and other finishes (ie other tiles, metal trims, etc). These joints must be a minimum of 5mm wide, must extend through the tile and adhesive layers, and must be filled with a good quality resilient sealant.

How do I use TAL Bond?

TAL BOND is a modified latex additive which, when used as a total water replacement in the mix, enhances the bond strength, flexibility and water resistance of cementitious adhesives and grouts (refer to the packaging instructions for the correct mix ratios). Any water added to TAL BOND dilutes the polymer and will weaken the mix strength. Always add the adhesive or grout to TAL BOND while mixing, and mix until a smooth, lump-free paste is obtained.

TAL BOND should be used in the following applications: areas subjected to thermal stresses, exterior and/or exposed areas, high traffic areas, flexible backgrounds, swimming pools, showers, all permanently wet areas, coldrooms, and areas where temperature changes are expected (e.g. under tile heating).

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