Laying of ceramic tile on non-traditional masonry substrates

Because of ever-increasing technological advances, we are finding non-traditional substrates for construction: mortar, gypsum, etc.

Within this type of non-traditional substrates, there are some that, due to their nature (metal, polyester, fiberglass, epoxidic paint), the use of conventional adhesive materials for cladding or flooring with ceramic tiles, natural stone or mosaic is not acceptable.

We also find certain industries (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, laboratories, food, etc.) which cannot apply cementitious adhesives due to their aggressive use and treatment.

Preliminary analysis

Adhesives for ceramic tiles based on a hydraulic conglomerate do not adhere to a wide range of special substrates, since these are of a completely different nature and have unacceptable elasticity, absorption and expansion indices, etc.

The temperatures and treatments to which they are subjected, due to their situation in certain industries, in many cases involve chemical substances that would alter and even decompose traditional adhesives.

Due to all these circumstances and situations, reactive resin adhesives must be used, which adhere to all these non-traditional substrates and are also resistant to chemical and bacteriological attacks.

Technical considerations

Firstly, the substrate on which the ceramic tile will be laid must be differentiated and identified so as to proceed with the preliminary preparation thereof:

  • Metal surfaces: proceed to remove the oxide by means of sanding or sandblasting.
  • On polyester or fiberglass substrates in swimming pools: remove the dirt and micro-organisms and repair any cracks, paying special attention to the rigidity thereof.
  • Substrates with epoxidic paint: sand down the surface and eliminate inconsistent areas.


A second consideration, but nonetheless essential, to be taken into account is the design of the joints, making sure to:

  • Leave at least 2 mm joint spacing between tiles.
  • Execute perimeter movement joints in corners and changes in plane, height or material.
  • Execute expansion joints between door and structural cavities of the building.


All expansion joints should be filled with elastic mastics such as GECOL Elastic-MS.

Jointing mortar must be applied in accordance with the times marked in the Technical Data Sheet of the adhesive.

Commissioning will take place 48 hours after executing the joint.

Recommended products


Warnings: The data provided by this Constructive Solution were prepared based on standard onsite installation processes. However, we recommend that you consult our Technical Department in the event of any specific circumstance


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