As winter truly sets in and the weather turns colder it is crucial to understand the importance of adhesive selection and how this will impact both on product performance but also project time when tiling in cold temperatures.
A reduction in air and specifically ground temperatures will mean that adhesives take longer to set, but conversely giving fixers longer working and open times (time in the bucket and time on the floors).
Selecting a traditional standard-set adhesive could see set times increase to anything from 16 to 24 hours or even more – which would significantly set-back completion time.
Please be aware though that ANY tiling below 5°C is not recommended, with installers and contractors recommended to maintain a stable temperature on site from between 5°C and 29°C, with best product performance occurring at 20°C.
Not only can tiling in cold temperatures create longer curing times, if the adhesive, grout or sealant is allowed to freeze during the initial curing process it affects the chemical reaction, which is vital for the permanent bond that occurs under ideal conditions.
On the contrary, higher temperatures can cause adhesives and grouts to literally flash set, and dry far too quickly, drawing the moisture out of the mixed product before the elements have had a chance to chemically cure. Both tiling in too cold, or too hot temperatures can cause tiles to crack or pop off walls and floors.
To ensure fast-track completion when tiling in colder weather, for all floor tiling applications it is crucial to select a rapid-setting solution such as BAL Rapid-Flex One or BAL XL Floor One.
BAL Rapid-Flex One
BAL Rapid-Flex One is a highly engineered, high performance S1 wall and floor tile adhesive, that ensures that projects can be completed in time and on budget – even in winter conditions.
Rapid-setting and ready to grout in just 3 hours (at 20°C), BAL Rapid-Flex One is different to your bog standard rapid-setting adhesive by the fact that it has 30 minutes extended open time and 60 minutes working time. This is 3x longer and 2x longer than most rapid sets respectively.
Crucially this gives fixers speed and control of their tiling. It means that the adhesive will last longer in the bucket and on the walls or floor before skinning over, meaning bigger mixes for speed and suffering less waste.
Formulated with FST for enhanced performance, a super smooth consistency provides easier and faster spreading.
With superb flexibility and just one white colour for use on any installation, this means it can be used on most jobs – even with water-sensitive natural stone tiles.
As well as a high-performance formulation, BAL Rapid-Flex One comes with BAL’s unique 25-year product guarantee. This means when used correctly, BAL Rapid-Flex One won’t let you down.
Every adhesive, grout, preparation product, sealant: every single product bearing the BAL name is guaranteed for a quarter of a century, subject to the usual ‘correct use’ conditions.
BAL XL Floor One
When tiling with large format or natural stone floor tiles in colder weather – you may want to consider BAL XL Floor One.
BAL XL Floor One a pourable floor tile adhesive that is perfect for fixing natural stone and large format ceramic, porcelain and terrazzo floor tiles.
Like all the “One” range of BAL enhanced tile adhesives, BAL XL Floor One is available as just a white adhesive – meaning that only one bag is needed – making it the perfect solution for floor tile installations of most tile types.
BAL XL Floor One can be grouted in six hours, even in colder conditions.
It has a pot life of 1.5 hours before it goes off in the bucket, to allow plenty of time to fix and spread large mixes, to reduce both waste of materials and speed up the installation time.
Because it uses less water in the mix, it is recommended for stone and tiles that are water sensitive – such as limestone and marble.
BAL XL Floor One is has a smooth rheology making it easy to mix in the bucket, easy to apply – by simply pouring it out onto the floor – and then smooth and easy to spread.
Because of its fluid formulation, as well as being trowelled easily, 100% coverage can easily be achieved even without the need to back butter (on flat, level surfaces), giving fixers confidence of a solid bed – first time, every time – and saving on the timely and laborious need to check coverage beneath every tile.
A key benefit of the product is its suitability to be used at 25mm bed depth in one application, making it ideal for patch repair and for use with uncalibrated stone or uneven floors. BAL XL Floor One can also be used similarly on uneven floor substrates up to 25mm depth (recommended maximum of ½m² areas) without the need for a separate leveller – meaning you can use just an adhesive and save on the leveller.