Tile Fix Direct Blog

June 2015

New Product: BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre

BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre

UK based adhesive supplier BAL have launched their brand new Rapidset Flexible Fibre adhesive range, which is now available to order online from Tile Fix Direct. The new and improved adhesive promises to save you time and money thanks to its extended open and working times, as well as its rapid setting time allowing you to grout just 3 hours after the tiles are fixed.

Often only small amounts of rapid-setting adhesive can be mixed up at at time to avoid it going off before it can be used, causing interruptions to jobs when more is needed. BAL hope to combat this with the increased open and working times of BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre. Head of marketing for BAL, Alex Underwood, says: “We are proud that BAL continues to lead the market with our innovations. BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre is another step-forward in technology for our customers and at no extra cost; our customers are effectively being offered a free upgrade.”

Benefits of BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre

  • Extended open time of over 30 minutes
  • Increased working time of 60 minutes
  • Rapid-setting: grout 3 hours after tiling
  • Increased strength and flexibility from Fibre Strand Technology
  • 25 year guarantee
  • Suitable for use with most tile and substrate types
  • Water and frost resistant

Bal Rapidset Flexible Fibre can be used with virtually any tile type and on most wall or floor substrates. It is suitable for both interior and exterior projects in either wet or dry conditions, making it a perfect solution for many tiling situations. BAL wants tilers to be able to fix more tiles fast with bigger mixes, less stopping and starting and avoiding costly waste from adhesive that ‘goes-off’ too soon.


The fast setting adhesive is made using BAL’s FST Fibre Strand Strand technology, which combines micro fibres with high quality smooth fillers. This gives unparalleled strength and flexibility with the ultimate consistency for ease of use. BAL Rapidset Flexible Fibre is available in 20kg bags of either grey or white adhesive from Tile Fix Direct.

Brand Focus: Bostik

Bostik Showerproof A100


Earlier this year in February it was announced that Arkema has acquired Bostik, which is one of the top four adhesive and sealant producers in the world. In 1889 Bostik began as the Boston Blacking Company in Massachusetts, specialising in the shoe industry and shoe adhesives. Since then it has been bought and sold by the United Shoe Machinery Company (1929), Emhart, Black & Decker (1990) and Total (1990). As a result of the merger of Total Fina and Elf Aquitaine, and their two adhesive companies, Bostik and Ato Findley, Bostik Findley was formed in 2001. After a rebrand in October 2004, Bostik became the official name.

Bostik in Focus

  • Founded in 1889
  • Based in Paris, France
  • Presence in 40+ countries
  • Develop and supply a range of smart adhesives and sealants
  • Committed to their “Green in Motion” campaign to reduce their environmental footprint by eliminating their usage of hazardous substances and minimising environmental impact.
  • Also manufacture popular household adhesives, such as Blu-tac, Super Glue, Sticki Dots and PVA glues.

Bostik Products on Tile Fix Direct

Tile Fix Direct stocks many of the leading Bostik adhesives, including:

Bostik Gripfill

Bostik Gripfill is an adhesive developed to bond almost any surface, including uneven surfaces. It is suitable for internal and external use, provided when used externally the bond is covered.

Bostik Vitri-Flex

Available in white and grey, Bostik Vitri-Flex Rapid adhesive is ideal for use with concrete, cement screeds, WBP plywood and other substrates, and takes just 2 hours to set. It is suitable for fixing most types of stone and tiles (porous and non-porous).

Bostik Showerproof

Bostik Showerproof is a wall tile adhesive ideal for use with internal ceramic wall tiling applications. If you are applying tiles in an area with a power shower, Bostik also supply Bostik Power Showerproof

Bostik Stone Flex Rapid

Suitable for both interior and exterior use Bostik Stone Flex Rapid can be used with most substrates. It is ideal for use with porcelain and ceramic tiles, natural stone, terrazzo and concrete tiles. This adhesive has an average setting time of 2-3 hours, and once set is able to withstand limited vibration or movement, and occasional wetting.

See the full range of Bostik products available to order online at Tile Fix Direct.

When To Add Expansion Joints To Tiled Floors

Schluter Dilex Expansion Joint

Referred to as a movement, expansion or stress relieving joint, expansion joints are often used when tiling large floors to break up the floor covering in to separate sections. A tiled surface is similar to a sheet of glass in its rigid nature, and this can cause problems when there is movement. Using an expansion joint allows each block or section to move independently from the others.

Why Are Expansion Joints Needed?

In any construction there is some degree of movement, and this can affect the different materials and surfaces that are used within the building. Movement can be caused by:

  • Physical movement of the building
  • Shrinkage of concrete
  • Moisture expansion
  • Transitions between materials
  • Changes of plane
  • Thermal movement
  • Movement within the substrate

All tiles will expand and contract due to changes in temperature and moisture, and almost all substrates will move differently to their coverings. These movements can transfer to the tiled surface, causing cracks, bulging, debonding, and/or tenting. By using expansion joints you are creating smaller tiled areas, or ‘fields’, therefore significantly reducing the risk of movement affecting the surface.

When Should I Use Expansion Joints

The larger the tiled area, the more the tiles will expand and contract. When deciding whether you need to use expansion joints there are a number of factors to consider. Firstly how big is the space you are going to tile? We recommend using expansion joints at intervals of at least 6m for heated floors, and 8m for unheated floors. Therefore if your room measures only 3m wide but is over 8m long, you will need to add an expansion joint.

The number of expansion joints should be increased in areas subject to significant temperature variations, and you should avoid placing them in areas of high traffic if possible. When using stress-relieving joints on suspended floors, they should be positioned over supporting walls and beams.

For additional protection, expansion joints can be used in conjunction with an uncoupling matting or membrane. Order the Schluter Dilex Expansion Joint online at Tile Fix Direct.

Product Feature: Schluter DITRA Matting

Schluter DITRA Matting

Schlüter DITRA Matting is an innovative uncoupling matting that also serves as a waterproofing layer beneath tiled surfaces. The polyethylene membrane is made up of a grid of square cavities cut back in a dovetail configuration. These cavities, combined with the anchoring fleece that is laminated to the underside of the matting, give DITRA matting enhanced adhesion as well as fantastic uncoupling properties when used on problematic substrates.

Uses for DITRA Matting

  • Waterproofing
  • Uncoupling
  • Vapour pressure equalisation layer
  • Load distribution
  • Enhanced adhesive properties

DITRA Matting for Waterproofing

When used with a suitable thin bed adhesive DITRA Matting creates a waterproof layer beneath the tiles that protects the substrate from damage due to moisture penetration and aggressive substances. DITRA Matting is therefore a good choice of waterproofing membrane for wet rooms, walk in showers, laundry rooms and other wet areas.

DITRA Matting for Uncoupling

Some problematic substrates can cause problems when tiling – uneven surfaces or movement can cause cracks in grout or the tiles themselves. DITRA Matting creates an uncoupling layer between the substrate and the tiles, neutralising any tension that may cause cracks or other problems on the surface.

DITRA Matting for Vapour Pressure

If moisture penetrates the substrate it can cause vapour pressure which can affect the tiled surface. The interconnected air channels in the DITRA Matting remain open, allowing the moisture to evaporate.

DITRA Matting for Load Distribution

The adhesive creates column-like structures within the cavities in the DITRA Matting which allow the load impact to be transferred directly to the substrate from the tile covering. Schlüter say: “The ability of DITRA installations to support and distribute heavy loads while preserving the integrity of the tiled surface has been verified through extensive laboratory and field testing, including applications exposed to vehicular traffic.”

DITRA Matting for Adhesion

DITRA Matting can be used in the application of tiles to both walls and floors, thanks to the anchoring fleece which creates a strong bond with the thin bed adhesive. This combined with the added grip created by the adhesive-filled cavities in the matting make DITRA Matting the perfect choice for ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles.

Installing DITRA Matting

Installing DITRA Matting is quick and easy, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • DITRA Matting can be installed on concrete, mortar screeds, gypsum screeds, radiant heated screeds, masonry, stucco, plaster, balconies, terraces, plywood, chipboard and more!
  • Before installation, the substrate much be clear, even and load bearing.
  • Make sure you are using an adhesive that is suitable for the substrate and tiles you are installing.
  • Apply adhesive using a 3 x 3 mm or 4 x 4 mm notched trowel.
  • When installing DITRA Matting make sure the anchoring fleece is fully engaged in the adhesive.

Schlüter DITRA Matting is available to order from Tile Fix Direct with free shipping on orders over £50.

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams