Tile adhesive coverage

Adhesive coverage is usually quoted as an approximate measure, as the actual consumption is subject to factors such as site conditions, floor levels and workmanship.  

TAL’s materials and methods specifications and recommendations are based on SANS 10107:2011 – Code of Practice for the Design & Installation of Ceramic Tiling. A solid bed of adhesive at least 5mm thick is stipulated beneath floor tiles, with TAL advocating a bed thickness of 6mm. 

Tile adhesive coverage


The following coverage is obtained under controlled laboratory conditions, with flat/level surfaces, and should be used as an estimate for ordering purposes only: 

Adhesive type  Tile type  Coverage 
Cementitious powder adhesives  Porcelain, Ceramic, Glazed Stoneware, Marble, Granite, Natural Stone, etc (to walls and floors)  Wall tiles (small format/lightweight only): ±3kg/m² when applied using an appropriate notched wall trowel (circa 6m² per 20kg bag) 

Floor tiles & larger format wall tiles: ±6kg/m² when applied using an appropriate notched floor trowel (circa 3m² per 20kg bag) 

Large format tiles: 7-8kg/m² when applied using appropriate notched trowels (circa 2.5m² per 20kg bag)

Cementitious bonding and grouting systems Mosaics, including porcelain, ceramic and glass  4-5kg/m², including pre-grouting 
Epoxy adhesives Resin-backed / resin conglomerate tiles (Typically specialised installations) ±4kg/m² when applied in a solid bed of 4mm thickness 

Key factors 

Tile adhesive coverage

Variations in floor levels 

Thicker tile adhesive beds may be required to compensate for variances in floor levels to achieve a level tiled finish. Working with thicker beds of wet adhesive is more labour intensive, and the higher adhesive consumption has a cost implication on the installation. 

NB: The maximum adhesive bed thickness as indicated by the adhesive manufacturer should never be exceeded. Should large variations in levels be found, these should rather be rectified prior to tiling. 

Large format tiles 

These tiles may be “bowed” and require “double-trowelling” of the tile adhesive, ie where the adhesive is applied onto both the substrate and the back of the tiles, using suitable trowels, to ensure full contact and a solid bed of adhesive behind each tile.  This will result in increased adhesive consumption. 

Tiling contractors therefore frequently quote on a coverage of circa 2m²/20kg bag to accommodate these factors. 

Top tip: Factors like floor levels, and installing large format tiles affect tile adhesive coverage. 


For more information, contact TAL: 

Tel: +27 860 000 TAL (825) 

Email: taltech@tal.co.za 

Website: www.tal.co.za 

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