PVA vs Primers

Which should I use for tiling? PVA vs Primers for Tiling on Walls.

A common problem in the tile industry is the old PVA vs Primers one.

People, and certainly plasterers (who are murder for it) tend to think and use PVA glue as a primer when tiling walls. If you’re tiling over plaster or plasterboard and wish to separate the tile adhesive (which may be cement-based) from the plaster (which causes issues; cement and plaster don’t mix) then you can’t use PVA to do that.

Here is the problem. PVA is water-based so will break back down with water, and all tile adhesive will involve water. It’s as simple as that.

A primer will reduce porosity of the substrate you’re tiling to. But you need to use an actual primer, not PVA glue. This then prevents water from being drawn out of the tile adhesive quickly as it cures, which in turn increases adhesion strength of the adhesive, and solidifies your tile to the substrate or surface you’re tiling to.

PVA glue does NOT use acrylic polymers. So the water-based glue should be thrown out rather than using for tiling.

All tile adhesive manufacturers will make a primer that’s compatible with their adhesive ranges. And as much thought should be given to this as you give to the choice of tile adhesive.

You wouldn’t want to spend £1,000 on tiles, £300 on adhesives and grout, and then pay £5 for PVA and your tiles fall off, or £50 on proper primer and they stay on.

It’s not worth the headache of risking your tiles falling off. Especially when you’re in the room you’re always naked in, the bathroom or shower-room. Sharp tile glaze or porcelain tile cut edges will break skin and could chop off your wiggly pale bits.

UK Tiling Forum Goes Global

How Much Do Tilers Charge?

What’s the going rate for wall and floor tilers? How much do tilers charge? And do they charge per job, charge per day, or charge per square meter?

We asked our forum members on TilersForums.com and found that we had a massive response from actual genuine wall and floor tilers right across the UK.

Do Tilers Charge Different Prices for Walls than Floors? Or Different Tile Sizes?

We found our thread got just over 295 replies when we asked them. We found that a lot of tilers will charge per job if it’s a domestic bathroom or kitchen or floor.

But then if it’s commercial they’ll get paid per meter as that’s what the company employing them will request in most cases.

Then if it’s a small job, perhaps a day rate. And the day rates seem to change massively depending on how busy the tiler is, where they’re based, how much competition there is in the area, and what tiles are being used etc.

How Much Do Tilers Charge?
How Much Do Tilers Charge?

How do I find out how much they charge?

Visit the forum and read the thread here.

How do I get a tiling quote from a tiler?

You can post your job to the forum here. It’s free of charge. We don’t charge you or the tiler anything at all for this service. There’s no commission to be paid like with some ‘rate my builder’ and ‘check my builder’ websites.

You can research the tilers who reply to your request via the forum. You can see their profiles, how much activity they’ve had on the forum, which sort of jobs they’ve done in the past, how knowledgeable they are by reading their tiling advice threads etc.

Recent tilers that have created listings on the forum

  • Dave submitted a new resource: David Howe Tiling, Professional Tiler in Newton Aycliffe / Durham / Darlington – Tiler in County Durham David Howe Tiling covers all areas of County Durham. David has been a professional tiler for 25+ years and prides in installing all tile types to a high standard. Tiling bathrooms / wetrooms […]
  • Protiler 68 submitted a new resource: Tiling solutions – Experienced,quaified tiler Qualified tiler,18 years ,all aspects of tiling undertaken Click to expand… Read more about this resource…
  • J K Tiling Cornwall submitted a new resource: JK Tiling – Bathrooms, kitchens, wetrooms and floors View attachment 109925JK Tiling specialize in all types of tile installation. Including Porcelain, Mosaic and Natural stone. From Slate to Marble all the work is carried out to the highest standard, working with the customer to achieve the personalised […]
  • MissTiler submitted a new resource: VIVA TILING-SHARON TAYLOR – Mosaic specialist Female Tiler specialising in mosaics, steam rooms and Spas etc. Based in North London but works Nationwide. Trained with Bisazza. TTA Tile Fixer of The Year 2017. NVQ Level 2 Click to expand… Read more about this resource…
  • Lou submitted a new resource: Stitson Tiling Specialist Ltd | Tilers in Isle of Wight – Isle of Wight Tilers | Stitson Tiling Specialist Stitson Tiling Specialist Ltd – Isle of Wight Tilers Our Mission at Stitson Tiling Specialists Ltd is to create high end ceramic interiors for both modern & classic lifestyles. Stitson Tiling […]
  • Lou submitted a new resource: Cedar Ceramics – Hertfordshire Tilers – Tilers in Hertfordshire – Cedar Ceramics Cedar Ceramics – Tilers in Hertfordshire Ross Mabbott is a professionally trained, domestic and commercial wall and floor tiling specialist, enthusiastically committed to providing high standards of customer service and workmanship. Many projects have been transformed, including conservatories, […]
  • Lou submitted a new resource: GB Walsh Tiling – Hertfordshire Tilers – Tilers in Herfordshire – GB Walsh Tiling GB Walsh Tiling | Tilers in Hertfordshire GB Walsh is a high quality specialist contractor installing large format and extra large format porcelain panels. We pride ourselves at being recommended by some of London’s finest tile […]
  • Lou submitted a new resource: APS Tile and Design – Tilers in Herefordshire – Herefordshire Tilers – APS Tile and Design APS Tile and Design | Tilers in Herefordshire Professional Tilers in Cheltenham All aspects of wall and floor tiling undertaken. From the design phase to installation we can provide the complete tiling package. Based […]
  • Lou submitted a new resource: CJ Ceramics – Tilers in Herefordshire – Herefordshire Tilers – CJ Ceramics Herefordshire Tilers – CJ Ceramics Your home is your pride and joy and CJ Ceramics will provide you with a realistic and competitive quote, source the best and most appropriate materials to use, advise you on the best […]
  • Lou submitted a new resource: SDH Tiling | Tilers in Hampshire – Hampshire Tilers – SDH Tiling SDH Tiling | Tilers in Hampshire SDH tiling is a company situated in Portsmouth and is run by Steve Holmes. Qualified and Part P Certified registered for the following: CIS registered with Inland Revenue and CSCS Government Construction […]

UK Tiling Forum

You can find more information on our UK Tiling Forum.

Tile Adhesive - Most used tile adhesive brand

Most Used Tile Adhesive Brands from 2007 to 2019

TilersForums.com has hosted an annual ‘most used tile adhesive brand’ poll for each year from 2007 to 2019, bar 2014 for some reason. We’ve seen some brands come and go in that time. Some changed positions massively, some stayed pretty much the same. There’s a table below showing you which tile adhesive brands were most used each year.

Which tile adhesive brand has won the most?

Mapei is the tile adhesive brand that has won the poll the most. They won in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and then 2019.

Is this the most used tile adhesive for both professional tilers and DIY tilers?

Well, the forum mostly has professional wall and floor tilers registered. There are DIY tilers included in the totals but the percentage will always be weighted towards professionals. The names of the professionals over the years have mostly been the same, but the DIY tilers will come and go over time.

Which is the most used tile adhesive for 2020?

We’re yet to run this poll. We’ll no doubt blog about it once it’s up and running, and we’ll let members of the forum know about it.

How do I vote on this years tile adhesive poll?

If you’re not registered, head over to the forum and register for free to get involved in the next adhesive poll. We’ll find out together which is the most used tile adhesive brand of 2020.

Is the ‘most used adhesive brand’ different from the ‘best tile adhesive’ to use when tiling?

It can be. The most used literally means we’ve asked people to tell us which adhesive they used most. NOT which adhesive they would have preferred to have used, or they thought was the best for the type of tiling they did mostly in a said year.

If a tile shop local to them does one brand, and they get a lot of customers from that shop, then that could be different to the brand they prefer to use if they have the choice themselves.

What are the adhesive classifications?

Adhesive classifications help specifiers and tilers specify which adhesive is required for a job, depending on the substrate (surface to be tiled) and the tile type that’s going to be used.
– C; Cementitious – Whether C1 (cementitious) or C2 (improved cementitious) – Both powder adhesives. Both you mix with only water.
– D; Dispersion – Either D1 (dispersion of the ‘standard’ strength) or D2 (improved strength dispersion adhesive) classifications. Both are ready-mixed adhesives in a tub. Both cure / set by the water evaporating out of the adhesive. Not recommended for large wall tiles or floors.
– E; Extended open timeE classification adhesive will not start to cure too quickly when spread with a trowel on the substrate. Handy for slower DIY tilers or perhaps commercial tiling jobs with large areas to tile.
– F; Fast setting – so the opposite of classification E classification, F classification is for fast-setting adhesives. Perfect for tiling jobs that need completing quickly. Or perhaps tiling in low temperatures where C or D classified adhesives wont set quick enough.
– S; Improved flexibility S classification adhesive has additives in it that make it flexible. S1 classification is for standard flexible adhesive, and S2 classification is for ultra-flexible adhesive. These are used when tiling to substrates that expand and retract, like plywood for example, or perhaps when using underfloor heating, whether electric under the tiles, or water under the substrate.
– T; Reduced Slip – T classification is for reduced slip tile adhesives. Large tiles require it, heavy tiles require it. Tiling walls with no tile supports of any type is a lot easier when using T classified adhesive.

Ready-mixed (dispersion) or powder, which one do I need?

In nearly all cases when tiling a complete floor or wall, powder adhesive that cures chemically is favoured by most tilers. Whether DIY or professional. But in some cases, like when a small amount of tiles are being used, or perhaps when DIY aren’t too comfortable mixing their own adhesive, or either pro or DIY wish to work slowly and keep putting the lid back on the adhesive, then dispersion (so ready-mixed) is the way to go.

YearMost Used Tile Adhesive
2007BAL
2008BAL
2009BAL
2010Mapei
2011Mapei
2012Mapei
2013Weber
2014Unknown
2015Mapei
2016Tilemaster
2017Tilemaster
2018Tilemaster
2019Mapei
Most used Tile Adhesive brands from 2007 – 2019 / Source: TilersForums.com

How does the Tile Adhesive poll work?

TilersForums.com has held the adhesive poll each year. As it comes to the end of each year we write down all the adhesive brands mentioned in the forum, then create a poll.

We then email out the poll so that members can come and vote. They tend to vote for the brand they used most that year, rather than the brand they preferred. Which is mostly the same, but not always.

Due to their most local tile shop perhaps stocking a brand that wouldn’t be their first choice, but is fine, they will vote for the one they used most, so the one from their most local tile shop perhaps.

Another similar reason for voting for the most used tile adhesive brand rather than their preferred or most trusted adhesive and grout brand is perhaps due to their customers finding the tiles before the tiler, and then the tile shop that the customer found their tiles in has recommended an adhesive brand and the customer has bought and paid for the adhesives already.

What are the names of some of the adhesive manufacturers?

The names of some of the adhesive manufacturers over the years include (but are not limited to):-

  • Tilemaster Adhesive
  • Mapei Adhesive
  • BAL Adhesive
  • Ultra Adhesive
  • Weber Adhesive
  • Kerakoll Adhesive
  • Ardex Adhesive
  • Rocotex Adhesive
  • Palace Adhesive
  • Granfix Adhesive
  • Sovereign Adhesive
  • Dunlop Adhesive
  • Laticrete Adhesive
  • Bostik Adhesive
  • Norcross Adhesive
  • Nicobond Adhesive
  • Larsen Adhesive
  • Isomat Adhesive
  • Biscem Adhesive
  • Profix Adhesive
  • PCI Adhesive
  • Benfer Adhesive
  • Brit Adhesive
  • Python Adhesive
  • Butech Adhesive

Some of the other names might be related to home-brands in tile shops. So there’s a Topps Adhesive and perhaps even a B&Q home-brand, but they’ll nearly always be manufactured by existing adhesive companies and perhaps even the same as their named brands, but with re-branded packaging.

Which adhesive will I use on a tiling course?

Tiling Courses often use….

What are the common types of adhesives?

Dispersion adhesive cures by evaporation. So this is ready mixed in a tub upto 15kg (10ltr) and you can keep putting the lid back on the adhesive during tiling to slow the setting process down to give you enough time to do a wall a day for example.

Powder adhesive cures chemically once water is added. This will be a powder you mix with water, or powder you mix with an additive (to make it very flexible). Once it’s mixed it starts to cure.

So you tend to need to set out for tiling before mixing, make sure you’re ready to use the whole batch, and don’t ever mix more powder or water into the adhesive. You’ll need to throw a slightly cured adhesive away and mix fresh rather than do that.

The Tile Association

Who Are The Tile Association?

The Tile Association (TTA) was set up in January 2000 when a combination of Tiling bodies came together to set up the Association.

Since it was formed twenty years ago it has doubled in size and now has around 1000 members which are tilers, suppliers, shops and more. It is an Association for the whole tiling industry not just tilers themselves.

The headquarters of The Tile Association are in Stone, Staffordshire and the aim of it is to provide a well qualified and very skilled workforce across the tile industry from tilers to retailers and everyone in between. Many of the original members of the TTA board helped to establish the British Standards in tiling and now the TTA members themselves follow those standards.

How Can The Tile Association Help Me?

I am a Tiler.

If you are a tiler then joining the TTA might be something you wish to consider. If you join them there is a membership fee and you will be featured on their directory. You will also have access to seminars and business advice. Their advice is impartial, however you can join TilersForums.com for free and get the same advice from over 6000 tilers and maybe even make a new friend or two.

The Tile Association

I want tiling work doing.

If you or your business need some tiling work doing in your home, office or leisure facility then The Tile Association can also help you too. The TTA has a directory which you can use to find a Tiler that provides the services that you need – whether it is a larger format tiler, mosaic tiler, home tiler and more. Just search the location you are in and Tilers will show up with the skills they have and their contact details.

You can also post on TilersForums.com that you are looking for a tiler and the job you need doing too.

Tiling Courses

Tiling Courses

Tiling Courses can be hard to find locally. Especially well established ones that are tiling-only courses rather than training centres that run all sorts of training courses such as plumbing courses and electrical courses too. Not that all those who run other courses are poor when it comes to running only tiling ones. Some have very established tiling training teachers and have plenty of honest legitimate feedback online. But others over the years have gotten too big too quickly and gone bump after they have taken honest money from trainees that are yet to start any of their course.

Tiling Courses by UK Pro Tiling Training
Tiling Courses by UK Pro Tiling Training

We often say make sure that you go visit as many training centre’s as you can, this way you will find out what they look like, get a feel for whether you’re having a sales-type push on you, and even if you can speak to previous course trainees to see what their view of the training centre is.

Established Tiling Courses Feedback and Reviews

TilersForums.co.uk started in 2006, and a massive advantage to that is we have a lot of training centre feedback over the years and you can see how long some of them have been running and what their past course attendees have said about them.

Tiling Courses and Tiling NVQ Level 2 in Wall and Floor Tiling
UK Pro Tiling Training Previous Course Trainee

Then of course years on, some are running quite decent tiling companies and are still forum members, so you can see which ones worked out for that individual person.

Some Tiling Courses Reviews and Discussion from TilersForums.com

Note that the following forum discussion is just that, open discussion. Don’t take it all as fact. Always do your own research into tiling courses whether independent courses or college tiling courses!

  • For quite some time we had dozens of websites. We closed a whole bunch (including tilingcoursescompanies.co.uk) some time ago due us (me) being so busy with the main few forums. That said; I bring you www.a1tilingcourses.co.uk – the website that will let you know who to spend your money with when tiling professionally or as DIY. Let's see if this one takes eh? lol
  • Hi all I am new to this so apologies if I have posted in the wrong place! I am currently do a Little DIY tiling, which I enjoy. My day job is in a rather precarious position due to what’s going on In the world, and I am looking at a change of career be it possibly part time initially In tiling. Can you recommend any courses, I keep coming across UK Pro […]
  • has anyone ever heard of the diy trade school in scotland at airdrie that offers tiling courses and if so is it ok
  • Hi there, I am looking for guidance, I am thinking about changing careers, I want to do tiling full time and set up on my own, so I am looking for the best fast track course that's available, any thots
  • Hi there, I am looking for guidance, I am thinking about changing careers, I want to do tiling full time and set up on my own, so I am looking for the best fast track course that's available, any thots
  • New to this site so forgive me if I have posted this in the wrong place basically I’m thinking of a change of career im in the building trade now but struggling to see anymore progress in the job earn decent money but fed up of sitting around waiting for 5 clock because we have finished the job and on a tracker I have tiled my kitchen and bathroom and really enjoyed the […]
  • Hi Guys, I'm here to ask for advice on on fast track tiling courses, such as, UK pro tilers, construction skills college and able skills. I'm leaning towards, construction skills and and able skills as they are only 2 hours away from me. I'm based in Oxfordshire, I have 5 years background in plumbing and heating. I currently have my level 2 and 3 in plumbing and heating and I also hold my […]
  • I recently attended a large format tile training day run by Ardex, at their Haverhill trading centre. The day was very well organised and run by Andrea King & Vince Ruffini of Ardex, with support from Rubi – rail and cutting system. It was also a good opportunity to see and try some of the alternative products that Ardex supply. I, like a few others I suspect, have shied away from large format […]
  • Hi, New to this page. Looking to take up tiling as a new career. Can anyone recommend the best place to go to for a tiling course in UK. Thanks in advance.
  • Just had this email and thought it'd be handy for BAL users perhaps. ​ ​ ​ ​ Up your game with BAL training Spaces Available on our February Courses ​ ​ At BAL we believe that quality workmanship is just as important as high quality products, which is why tiling training is at the top of our agenda. With ever changing technologies, legislation and techniques, we believe it is our duty to ensure […]
Checkout the UK Pro Tiling Training feedback and reviews on TilersForums.com

Tiling NVQ Level 2 Wall and Floor Tiling

If you’re looking for a Tiling NVQ, which is called the NVQ Level 2 in Wall and Floor Tiling, then you’ll need to either look for a local college course that runs the Tiling NVQ. Or look for an independent training centre that can help build your personal tiling portfolio, and then help with getting you some onsite assessment via the OSAT route. (more info needed)

Plumbing Courses Top Tips

Plumbing NVQ Courses can be found at local colleges and within private plumbing training centres. But you could do with checking out these plumbing course tips before booking with just anybody.

Electrical Courses Top Tips

Electricians NVQ Courses aren’t hard to find, but good quality courses can be. If you’re looking for an Electrical NVQ of any type, then please do checkout our electricians blog.

UK Tiling Forum

UK Tiling Forum is for Professional and DIY Wall and Floor Tilers in the UK. Our tiling forum is more than just an advice website with a one-off answer to a one-off tiling question.

Our UK Tiling Forum is a community that provides tiling education and tiling courses to those who are in need of learning how to tile properly to a professional tiling standard.

Who’s UK Tiling Forum Rocks?

Our UK Tiling Forum rocks.

UK Tiling Forum for all things to do with the UK Tiling
UK Tiling Courses – Tiling courses for the United Kingdom

TilersForums.com is the World’s largest wall and floor tiling advice community. Whether a Tiling Forum Facebook Community Group or Page, a Twitter Tiling Forum Account, a Google Places Tiling Forum Page; TilersForums.com is still number one.

Started in 2006 TilersForums.co.uk was not the first tiling forum online. The founder actually created another website, TileForums.com, first. That website was created as part of a much wider business model whereby trainee wall and floor tilers who paid to learn how to tile would visit the forum after attending the course to ask and answer tiling questions.

Once one tiling question was answered, all other tiling questions of the same nature would be directed to the forum thread, therefore the answer, and the phone calls to the tiling training centre would minimise.

How One Tiling Training Centre Became A Whole Tile Industry After A Few Months, Not Years

Before a Wall and Floor Tiler could get advice for free online one would have few options. One could register to a local college tiling courses, and hope a placement became available that suited ones time schedule.

Often, tiling courses were provided during 9-5 hours at best, 9-3 (school hours) otherwise. And during the working week, so Monday to Friday.

Independent Tiling Training Centres Teaching Independent Tiling Courses to Trainee Wall and Floor Tilers

There becomes the issue.

A person who is already in work, therefore work-driven, is unable to carry out training within their working schedule.

A training centre was required that fitted within that model.

Building Adhesives Limited (BAL), under their known and trusted brand (at the time they supplied the most adhesives in the UK, more than all other brands put together!) they created a FREE, yes free! – Free of charge wall and floor tiling course for all who wished to attend.

This soon became a bit of a standard.

The first independent tiling training centre that wasn’t part of an adhesive manufacturer was setup by the guy who set up BAL’s training centre many years prior.

I happened to work for the guy as a tiler at the time and he explained that this training centre thing might be viable. I built a website for it that ranked well. We built the centre in units. And took course bookings for a weekly fee. About 16 tilers per course.

A massive industry was then made through very similar structures and they all do well. People need these courses. And forums are good places for the trainees to attend after the courses.

About Tilers Forums

You can find a little bit of information about Tilers Forums here.

Other UK Trades Forum include PlumbersForums.net and our Talk Electrician Forum is ElectriciansForums.net

Our UK Tiling Forum, TilersForums.com, has always been the biggest forum online this side of the JohnBridge.com forum which is Canadian primarily, but serves Americans quite well. Though not the British due to our climate in any one City being quite different throughout the seasons. We can have minus zero temperatures over the tail-end of winter. And then mid 30 celcius come summer. And that’s getting hotter as climate change takes its toll on our seas.

Our tile adhesives need to be more suitable and often quite flexible compared to the ‘mud’ you’d see mixed in Canada and USA.

TilersForums.com has helped thousands of members with hundreds of thousands of jobs over the years. And though some other forums come and go from time to time, we tend to beat them all off in the end.

This thread tells you more.