Many tile adhesive products on the market trade under an explanatory name, but a more robust way to understand the differences between them is to use their classification. TAL gives some insight into the classification of tile adhesives as per European Standards EN12004.

Why use EN12004

As South Africa does not have its own version of the EN12004 standard, the European standard is recognized and adopted by reputable tile adhesive manufacturers as the benchmark for tile adhesive classification and performance testing. Industry professionals can therefore ensure that the adhesive specified is appropriate for the specific installation requirements, for a safe, durable and long-lasting installation.

The codes have two parts, the classification and optional characteristics. Let’s discuss each of these individually.


The designation of the tile adhesive consists of the letter for the different adhesive type (i.e. Cementitious (C), dispersion or ready-mix (D) or reactive resin (R), followed by the number of the class (1 – normal, or 2 – improved), and then the corresponding characteristics of the adhesive based on its properties and performance.

Optional characteristics

The next tier within the classification code identifies the specialist characteristic/s of an adhesive:

F – fast setting.

T – reduced slip / slip-resistant.

E – extended open time.

S – improved deformability (flexibility), explained further as:

  • S1 (deformation >2,5mm but <5mm).
  • S2 (deformation >5mm).

Practical use

By “reading” the combination of codes, one can identify exactly what the product does and choose a fit-for-purpose tile adhesive solution.

For example, TAL Goldstar 6 is defined as a C1TF adhesive: (C1) cementitious tensile strength adhesive, (T) slip-resistant and (F) fast-setting.

When modified with a latex additive such as TAL Bond, the code changes to C2TFS1: (C2) improved cementitious tensile adhesion strength, (T) slip-resistant, (F) fast-setting and (S1) deformable adhesive.

Issue: How to correctly differentiate and specify tile adhesives.
Solution: Use EN12004 classification of adhesives.

For more information, contact TAL:
Tel: 0860 000 825 (TAL)

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