Tile Fix Direct Blog


NEW BAL Flexbone VAried & 2Easy Uncoupling Systems

Great news – BAL Flexbone 2Easy and Flexbone VAried are now in stock at Tile Fix Direct! We’re excited to be able to offer you these two exciting new uncoupling products that will save you time and money on your next floor tiling job. BAL now offer a complete uncoupling package of solutions and say “Each and every project has different requirements. Maybe height build-up is an issue, perhaps time is an issue, or the substrate is particularly troublesome. Cavities or no cavities, lightweight or floating, water- proof or not – we have the uncoupling solution for you!”

BAL Flexbone 2Easy Floating Uncoupling Matting

Flexbone 2Easy is a unique uncoupling matting that requires no adhesive between the mat and the substrate. That’s right, as long as your floor is level and stable you can simply give it a quick sweep, roll out the matting and start tiling. Flexbone 2Easy is 3mm thick and has a bone-shaped structure that’s much easier to fill with adheisve than other cavity-style decoupling mats. Because there’s no adhesive beneath the matting it can be used in places where tiling was not an option before; for example rental properties, heritage projects or showrooms where the flooring might need to be changed frequently. You can even use it over new anhydrite or sand & cement screeds that are not cured as the moisture will evaporate through covering joints. The matting comes on a 20m roll but you can also buy it in 5m cut lengths.

BAL Flexbone 2Easy Perforation for Moisture Vapour Dissipation

Flexbone 2Easy Perforation for Moisture Vapour Dissipation

BAL Flexbone VAried Bonded Uncoupling Matting

Flexbone VAried is a bonded uncoupling mat but with the same bone-shaped structure as 2Easy that’s easy to fill and reduces installation time by up to 30%. This matting is perfect for floors subject to lateral movement; it stops tiles cracking or popping up and has 50% higher shear strength than other cavity mats. It’s also waterproof so it’s the ideal choice for wet rooms, showers and bathrooms as no additional tanking is required. Flexbone VAried is recommended for underfloor heating, new cement screeds, timber floors and existing floor surfaces and can be used to install large format ceramic & porcelain tiles, slabs & natural stone with a minimum edge length of 100mm. As well as domestic environments, it is perfect for high load bearing commercial projects such as shopping malls, airports, car showrooms, office buildings and hospitals.

BAL Flexbone VAried Griplock Technology

Flexbone VAried Griplock Technology

Find out more about the full range of BAL uncoupling solutions and which one is right for your project on the BAL Uncoupling Tip Sheet and shop the full range at Tile Fix Direct here.

How To Install The Eterno Ivica Adjustable Paving Support Pedestal System

After a steady rise in popularity over the last couple of years, it seems porcelain paving is here to stay. It’s easy to see why it has become the material of choice for homeowners; it’s available in a range of designs, has a slip resistant surface and isn’t affected by the changing British weather. But when it comes to installation, there is some debate around which method is best. A traditional solid base and tile adhesive seems the best route to go down, but if you are installing porcelain pavers onto a balcony or terrace this is not a practical option – this is where pedestals come in.

What is a paving pedestal system?

These plastic pedestals don’t look like much but they can be used to create a tiled area on balconies and terraces quite easily. Most systems involve using a series of plastic pedestals to support the tiles and create a raised floor. There are a number of different types available including adjustable, self-levelling and extendable. This system is relatively mess-free and uses no adhesive or grout, leaving the joints between the tiles completely open. The base will need to have the correct falls and be fully waterproofed to allow the water to drain away below the tiles.

Benefits of the Eterno Ivica paving pedestal system

There are a range of benefits of using Eterno pedestals on balconies and terraces, we’ve listed some of them below:

  • Self-levelling head for easy installation
  • Better thermal insulation
  • Improved acoustic insulation
  • Significantly lighter
  • Hides pipes and equipment
  • Flat & level surface
  • Excellent absorption of structural movement
  • Quick drainage through open joints
  • Very strong & resistant to loads
  • Easy to remove or replace a single tile

How to install Eterno Ivica paving pedestals

Eterno Ivica pedestals are relatively easy to install – we have outlined the basic instructions below.

  1. Measure the height you want your finished patio to sit at and take away the thickness of the tile – this will give you the height of the pedestal you will need. Patio height – tile thickness = pedestal height.
  2. Use a length of string to mark the finished patio height across the whole area –
    the pedestals will need to be adjusted in some areas to accommodate the falls in the base – check it is level using a spirit level.
  3. Place four pedestals at the corners of where you are laying your first tile. Remove the unused spacer tabs by snapping them so the only remaining one’s are in the joints.
  4. Place a spirit level on top of the tile and adjust the pedestal using a Pedestal Adjustment Key until it is level. Continue to do this as each tile is installed. Do not stand on the tile while adjusting the pedestal underneath it. The self-levelling head compensates for gradients up to 5%.
  5. In corners or around edges the pedestals can be cut using a saw.
  6. Use a length of wood or a long rule and a spirit level, check the finished area is level.

Watch the below video from Eterno Ivica for a visual installation guide.

Eterno Ivica paving pedestals at Tile Fix Direct

We stock a number of Eterno Ivica pedestal products at Tile Fix Direct for use on balconies and terraces:

Kerakoll BioGel Adhesives Now Available at Tile Fix Direct

We are very excited to now be stocking two adhesives from Kerakoll: both BioGel No Limits and BioGel Extreme are now available to order online at Tile Fix Direct. Kerakoll adhesives are fast becoming a favourite amongst UK tilers as they can be used with a wide range of substrates and materials. Read on to find out more about the Kerakoll BioGel adhesives available at Tile Fix Direct.

Kerakoll BioGel No Limits

Available in Grey and White Shock, BioGel No Limits is a gel based adhesive that can be used to fix almost any material to almost any substrate. The adhesive can be mixed to your preferred consistency and will not thicken or shrink. It is extremely easy to apply thanks to its soft texture, non-slip qualities and shape memory. BioGel No Limits contains pure white Carrara marble from the Kerakoll quarries that renders products workable, delivers incomparable performance, and gives the White Shock version an unmistakable uniform white colour. BioGel No Limits is eco friendly and has an Eco5 GreenBuilding Rating®. Kerakoll BioGel No Limits is available in single 25kg bags or full pallets of 42 bags.

Benefits of BioGel No Limits Adhesive

  • Thixotropic and fluid
  • Double open time
  • Shape memory
  • No slip
  • Water resistant
  • High and low thickness
  • Full wetability
  • Frost risk reduced
  • No shrinkage
  • High deformation
  • Structural adhesion
  • Distributes tensile strength
  • Increases the performance
  • Transfers the forces
  • Absorbs dynamic load
  • Eco friendly
  • Coverage: 1.25kg/m2

Kerakoll BioGel Extreme

Supplied in a bucket, this two part hybrid gel adhesive has been tested under the most extreme conditions. It provides fast bonding with adhesive strength that’s 5 times stronger than a standard C2 cement-based adhesive. It’s 10 times more deformable than a class S2 cement-based adhesive and really easy to apply thanks to its smooth gel-like consistency. Kerakoll BioGel Extreme is available in single 10L tubs or full pallets of 33 tubs.

BioGel Extreme is eco friendly, making it perfect for green building projects. It can be used over existing tiles, underfloor heating, concrete, gypsum & anhydrite, brick, plaster and most other substrates to fix all types of tiles, natural stone, insulation, metal and glass. For the full list of suitable substrates, materials and uses please see the data sheet.

Benefits of BioGel Extreme Adhesive

  • Very fast bonding
  • Long open time – 180 minutes at 23°C
  • Shape memory
  • Water resistant
  • Easy to spread
  • Maximum deformability
  • Full wettability
  • No shrinkage
  • Structural adhesion
  • Distributes tensile strength
  • Increases performance
  • Transfers force
  • Absorbs dynamic load
  • Frost proof

Browse the full range of Kerakoll adhesives available at Tile Fix Direct online here.

Find The One With New BAL Tile Adhesives

Last year BAL launched two new adhesives that they hope will reduce the number of products you need to keep on hand. An established adhesive manufacturer, BAL have been providing tiling solutions in the UK for over 50 years and are trusted by a range of industry professionals including tilers, contractors, architects and specifiers. Both Rapid-Flex One and Pourable One have already become fast favourites with tilers, but if you haven’t had a chance to try them out yet read on for more information.

BAL Rapid-Flex One

Rapid-Flex One is a high performance S1 tile adhesive that is super flexible and contains BAL’s Fibre Strand Technology (FST). It’s been developed to help you on the job with a 30 minute open time – 3x longer than most rapidsets – and 60 minutes working time – 2x longer than most alternatives. Not only are the open and working times improved, but it can be grouted after just 3 hours and has a super smooth consistency for easy mixing and application.

Available in new white technology, Rapid-Flex can be used with most types of tile and stone, both internally and externally. It’s also suitable for most backgrounds including those with limited movement, underfloor heating and areas of total immersion – both internally and externally.

Benefits of BAL Rapid-Flex One

  • Wall & floor adhesive
  • Suitable for internal & external use
  • 30 minutes open time
  • 60 minutes working time
  • Super smooth consistency
  • Extremely flexible
  • White colour suitable for all materials & grouts
  • S1 classified
  • FST technology
  • 25 year guarantee

BAL Pourable One

Pourable One is a rapid-setting and highly flexible tile adhesive that can be used to fix large and small format ceramics, porcelain and vitrified tiles, most natural stones and terrazzo. It can be used internally and externally in wet and try environments including areas of total immersion and is also perfect for use with underfloor heating, heated screeds or areas with limited movement or vibration.

Just like Rapid-Flex One, Pourable One is only available in white but has been formulated for use with all colour tiles and grouts. Ideal for fixing large format tiles and natural stone to internal or external screeds, particularly those of uneven thickness such as slate or on difficult backgrounds which may usually cause cracking or de-bonding. It can be used up to 25mm bed thickness in one application and sets in 3 hours, no matter the thickness.

Benefits of BAL Pourable One

  • Pourable floor adhesive
  • Suitable for internal & external use
  • Up to 25mm bed thickness in one application
  • Suitable for use with underfloor heating
  • Sets in 3 hours at 3mm or 25mm thickness
  • Ideal for patch repair
  • White colour suitable for all materials & grouts
  • 25 year guarantee

See the full range of BAL products available at Tile Fix Direct online here and get free mainland UK delivery when you spend over £50.

How to Install Porcelain Tiles Outside

The last few years have seen a shift in the quality of tiles – from ultra-realistic stone and wood effect to huge slim porcelain panels. Another trend that is gaining momentum is the use of porcelain externally in place of traditional natural stone or slabs. Many paving suppliers are now adding porcelain to their portfolios thanks to the range of benefits it provides. Not only is porcelain extremely hardwearing, but it is also scratch, stain and fade resistant. The non-porous material does not need sealing and is available in a range of finishes including cement, stone and wood effect. External porcelain tends to be thicker than the tiles we’re used to indoors, generally around 18-22mm, to help them withstand outdoor conditions.

So, how do you install these tiles? The material is actually no different to a standard porcelain tile and therefore is treated much the same. We’ve outlined four of the most common installation methods for external porcelain tiles below. For areas that will be subject to commercial or vehicular traffic we recommend using tile adhesive with a solid screed base.

1. Tile adhesive onto a solid base

Essentially this method is the same as internal tiling and can be used for patios and driveways. It does require the concrete base to fully cured and expansion joints will need to be added where necessary. It’s easy to achieve a level and even surface with a solid base but keep in mind that falls will need to be added to help rain water drain away. Ensure you are using a polymer modified cement-based adhesive that is suitable for external use. On a solid base you can install rectified porcelain paving with a narrow joint for a semi-seamless finish.

  • Solid concrete base with suitable adhesive and grout
  • Suitable for patios and driveways
  • Narrow joints can be achieved with rectified tiles

Order tile adhesive online.

2. Wet bed onto prepared sub-base

This method is favoured by landscapers and paving installers, however it does require some extra steps when used with porcelain. Because the tiles are vitrified it makes the material non-porous so it will not adhere to a traditional wet bed. There are two options for helping the tile stick; mix an admix into your sand and cement or apply a primer to the underside of the tiles. If using a primer you need to be very careful to remove this from the surface and sides of the tile immediately. Check falls throughout installation and adjust by tapping the tiles with a rubber mallet. Care must be taken to avoid any voids beneath the tiles as residual moisture can collect and has nowhere to escape.

  • Sand and cement bed with added primer or admix
  • Suitable for patios
  • Narrow joints can be harder to achieve

3. PorcelQuick Adped adhesive pedestals onto prepared sub-base

This method involves using the PorcelQuick ‘Adped’ rings filled with a mix of sand and cement to create a series of adhesive pedestals. The tiles are then fixed to these using a suitable tile adhesive, and the joints are grouted after Grout Backer Rod is inserted. This method requires a self-draining sub-base beneath it to avoid water pooling, and is only suitable for foot traffic. Material requirement is around 80% less than solid or wet bed methods which also lowers the carbon footprint for the project and means a lot less material to move.

  • Cement ‘pedestals’ with suitable adhesive and grout
  • Suitable for patios
  • Narrow joints can be achieved with rectified tiles

Order PorcelQuick Adpeds online.

4. Eterno Ivica self-levelling pedestals on roof terraces & balconies

Adjustable pedestals are perfect for use on balconies and terraces. Each pedestal has a self-levelling head and can be adjusted slightly once the tiles are installed. Available in a range of heights which can be adjusted from 10mm up to 215mm using extension pieces. This is a ‘dry’ installation method as no adhesives or grouts are required and the joints are left open, allowing for easy drainage and removal of the tiles.

  • Plastic self-levelling pedestals
  • Suitable for roof terraces and balconies
  • Pedestals feature spacer tabs and joints are left open

Order Eterno Ivica pedestals online.

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