SikaTile®: The Global Innovator for Tile and Stone Installation Materials

Sika® has led the industry with revolutionary technology, innovative products, and developing high-performance building materials for architects, builders, contractors, and construction professionals worldwide. Sika’s reputation for quality and reliability is illustrated through a comprehensive portfolio of technologies and solutions and our broad product range provides superior performance and value.

Through high-touch, personal service, SikaTile® offers professionals and end-users trusted solutions and expertise across a full line of innovative tile and stone installation systems. From liquid applied waterproofing and crack isolation membranes, to high-quality dustless mortars, and innovative grouts, you can trust Sika to have what you need to get the job done.

1. Installing Tile in Wet Areas

The most important thing for wet room projects such as bathrooms, showers, and tub surrounds is to ensure that the area is properly waterproofed to prevent water access and subsequent water damage, deterioration, and microbiological growth within the structure of the application.

Sika® provides a complete integrated system to fulfill the very demanding requirements of these areas. Surfaces are made waterproof using SikaTile®-100 Moisture Guard, a quick drying, one-component, elastomeric waterproofing membrane, providing a thin mil, continuous barrier to protect adjacent rooms and floors below from water damage. For common change of plane areas such as coves, corners, cracks, and drains, it can be combined with optional Reinforcing Fabric to provide additional protection. SikaTile®-100 Moisture Guard dries in 2 to 4 hours depending on ambient conditions and is then ready to receive any SikaTile® polymer modified or epoxy mortar such as SikaTile®-350 Flex Set or SikaTile®-450 LHT Secure Set.  Once tiles are set, finish installation by grouting with one of Sika’s premium grouts, such as: SikaTile®-800 Sanded Grout, SikaTile® 800-Unsanded Grout, SikaTile®-815 Secure Grout or SikaTile®-825 Epoxy Grout.  Finally, the system is completed with a Sika® high performance, antifungal, movement joint sealant.

Sealants
Sika® sealants are the product of choice when specific characteristics are desired in a sealant. Important characteristics include excellent adhesion, color retention and consistency, mold and mildew reduction, and heat and water resistance.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Underlayments

Sika® Level underlayments include a wide range of high flow and strength products. The range of SLU’s can be applied from feather edge up to 1.5” on a single lift, interior/exterior applications, low dust technology, rapid setting capabilities, and much more.

Waterproofing
Composed of low VOC modified elastomeric copolymers, Sika® waterproofing membrane systems are uniquely engineered to deliver waterproofing, crack-isolation and vapor-control solutions, addressing the demands of wet and high-moisture environments.

2. Installing Tile and Natural Stone on Balconies

The build-up and installation of tiled finishes on new balconies requires careful design and execution, to prevent commonly occurring problems such as uneven floors, inadequate drainage and/or incomplete waterproofing and detailing at the perimeters. 

The Sika installation system starts with the waterproofing layer, using SikaTile®-200 Fracture Guard Rapid a quick drying, one-component, elastomeric crack isolation membrane, providing a thin mil, continuous barrier to protect from any possible cracks.  Then the cementitious setting mortar is applied, which is specially designed for use on fully exposed balconies that are subject to extreme weather conditions. SikaTile®-350 Flex Set and SikaTile®-475 LHT Premium Set Mortar contains high polymer content to accommodate movement due to both wide and rapid temperature variations. Finish with SikaTile®-800 Sanded Grout, SikaTile® 800-Unsanded Grout, or SikaTile®-815 Secure Grout,  cement based tile grouts that contain a low modulus of elasticity to minimize stress transfer to the substrate, while retaining good mechanical strengths and abrasion resistance. A high performance, elastic sealant is used to seal any moving joints or connections and ensure that they also remain watertight.

Crack Isolation
Sika® offers anti-fracture protection in both fast drying liquid and sheet membranes. Used for installation under tile and stone for interior, exterior, residential, and commercial applications preventing cracks from transferring through the finished floor.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Underlayments

Sika® Level underlayments include a wide range of high flow and strength products. The range of SLU’s can be applied from feather edge up to 1.5” on a single lift, interior/exterior applications, low dust technology, rapid setting capabilities, and much more.

3. Installing Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Made from heated, refined clay, porcelain tile is one of the most durable tile materials. It is resistant to breaks from drops and damage suffered in high-traffic areas. From wood look to stone look and mosaics to hexagons, porcelain tile can be classic and timeless or trendy and modern. The success and longevity of tile installation relies on a solid base and installation techniques.

Ceramic and porcelain tile should be installed on a clean, level, and rigid substrate. If there are uneven areas or deflection in the floor, repair and add support where needed according to TCNA guidelines. Follow up with a cement board or fiber cement underlayment. Use appropriate Skimcoat or patching materials or one of Sika’s high performing Self Leveling Underlayments.

Map out your installation. Once the beginning point is established, spread the appropriate SikaTile® Thinsets with the notched edge of a trowel. Larger tiles require a SikaTile® LHT mortar and a larger notched trowel. As you set the tile, use plastic spacers to help ensure straight grout lines. Remove spacers before the thin set dries and clean up any excess thinset mortar immediately.  Allow the tile to set, typically 16 hours then grouting can begin.  Chose the right grout for the job, SikaTile®-850 Ultima Ready-to-Use Grout is an excellent choice for ceramic and porcelain tile. Clean the tile surface with a damp sponge and clean water.

As with any flooring material, general cleaning techniques of porcelain and ceramic tile depend on the surface, texture, and condition of the surface. Water and a soft sponge will usually be enough to clean the surface of most ceramic and porcelain products.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

4. Tiling with Granite and Other Natural Stone

Natural stone tiles create seamless, timeless, natural, and contemporary looks that will last through the test of time. But laying these larger, thicker, and sometimes uneven natural material successfully for the long-term, requires not only good skills but also advanced solutions that guarantee maximum reliability and performance. SikaTile® installation systems contain products that provide flat and true surfaces by using patching compounds such as SikaLevel®-025 Patch or SikaLevel® SkimCoat.  Level substrates are achieved with Sika’s self-leveling technology of SikaLevel®-325 and SikaLevel®-425 designed to obtain an excellent finish to begin the installation.

Install granite or natural stone using one of Sika’s polymer modified LHT mortars such as SikaTile®-400 LHT Pro Set or SikaTile®-450 LHT Secure Set adhesives.  Once tiles are set, finish installation by grouting with one of Sika’s exceptional grout products, such as: SikaTile®-800 Sanded Grout, SikaTile® 800-Unsanded Grout, SikaTile®-815 Secure Grout or SikaTile®-850 Ultima Grout.  Natural materials can be softer than porcelain and may be stained by grout.  Always check for staining or scratching using a mock-up and make the appropriate adjustments by using unsanded grout or sealing the natural stone.

Sealants
Sika® sealants are the product of choice when specific characteristics are desired in a sealant. Important characteristics include excellent adhesion, color retention and consistency, mold and mildew reduction, and heat and water resistance.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Underlayments

Sika® Level underlayments include a wide range of high flow and strength products. The range of SLU’s can be applied from feather edge up to 1.5” on a single lift, interior/exterior applications, low dust technology, rapid setting capabilities, and much more.

5. Tiling on Exterior Facades

Installing tiles on building facades has long been considered challenging and risky work. However, Sika® has developed flexible tile adhesives and grouts that are capable of withstanding exposure to these demanding requirements, including accommodating the extreme weather conditions and the thermal movement of different facade materials.

The preparation of a substrate is important in any installation, but with large and heavy tile (LHT), a flat surface is crucial. Use appropriate SkimCoat and Patching materials or Sika’s high performing Self Leveling Underlayments.

Sika’s line of cementitious tile adhesives for external facade tiling has a high polymer content to ensure accommodation of the thermal movement due to the wide and rapid temperature variations. For best results, use SikaTile®-350 Flex Set or SikaTile®-475 LHT Premium SetSikaTile®-815 Secure Grout and SikaTile®-825 Epoxy Grout are high performing grouts for facades are efflorescence-free, color consistent, stain and abrasion resistant, and contain high mechanical strengths. Finally, the joints and perimeter terminations are sealed with high performance, elastic polyurethane based sealant, which is designed for joints that must accommodate high movement and maintain a good aesthetic appearance.

Surface Preparation

Sika®’s underlayments and patching compounds are specifically designed to prepare and repair surfaces so that they provide an acceptable foundation for the installation of tile and stone and other floor coverings.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Sealants
Sika® sealants are the product of choice when specific characteristics are desired in a sealant. Important characteristics include excellent adhesion, color retention and consistency, mold and mildew reduction, and heat and water resistance.

6. Installing on Crack Isolation and Sound Control Membranes

Crack isolation and sound control Peel and Stick (PNS) membranes are designed to solve well-known issues in flooring installation. Crack isolation products keep subfloor cracks from transferring into tile and stone floors. Sound control products are designed to minimize air born and impact noise from footsteps and other types of traffic, as measured by their Impact Insulation Class (IIC) rating.

SikaTile®-225 Fracture Guard PNS is a 40 mil and SikaTile®-700 Sound Shield PNS is a 90 mil, thin, flexible, self-bonding, fabric reinforced, load-bearing membrane that reduces sound transmission and isolates ceramic and natural stone tile from cracks in the substrate. Suitable for both full and partial coverage applications. They reduce the transmission of impact and airborne sound through floors when installed under ceramic tile, stone, or wood floor coverings.  It is also a crack isolation membrane that exceeds the requirements of ANSI A118.12 and protects tile from in plane movement up to 3⁄8” (9.5 mm). Its strong self-adhesive backing and uniquely designed surface provide secure bonding for all types of ceramic, natural stone, and terrazzo tile. After application, ceramic tile or stone can be installed immediately using appropriate SikaTile® polymer-modified cement-based mortar. Additionally, glue-down wood flooring can also be installed with approved SikaBond® adhesives.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Peel & Stick Membranes 

Sika® offers thin, flexible, fabric reinforced, peel and stick (PNS) membranes that reduces the transmission of sound through floors when installed under various coverings while also isolating your tile and stone from cracks in the substrate up to 3⁄8”.

7. Installing Tile and Natural Stone on Pools, Fountains and Spas

The installation of tiles in and around swimming pools and other wet applications has always been a critical function and Sika has extensive expertise and experience of providing the ideal solution with a complete system.  First, the substrate needs to be properly prepared, flat, leveled, and/or sloped to drain with an appropriate cementitious mortar bed, surface smoothing patching compound such as SikaLevel®-025 Patch or SikaLevel® SkimCoat.  Once prepared it is ready to begin tile installation but since the tile itself does not create a complete waterproof condition, additional measures need to be taken as part of the installation process. For the most part, the tile surface, either glazed or unglazed, does repel water, but other than a porcelain product, the body of the tile is absorptive to some degree. The only way to stop the movement of the water absorbed through the grout joints and into the tile body is to provide a positive water barrier behind the tile, while also providing a load-bearing capacity by using SikaTile®-100 Moisture Guard, a fast drying, elastomeric waterproof and crack isolation membrane.

Install tile or stone using one of Sika’s polymer modified or epoxy mortars such as SikaTile®-475 LHT Premium Set or SikaTile®-500 LHT Lite.  Once tiles are set, finish installation by grouting with one of Sika’s exceptional grout products, such as: SikaTile®-800 Sanded Grout, SikaTile® 800-Unsanded Grout, SikaTile®-815 Secure Grout or SikaTile®-825 Epoxy Grout. Finally, the system is completed with a high quality, flexible, and chemically resistant, neutral curing Sika® silicone joint sealant.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Waterproofing
Composed of low VOC modified elastomeric copolymers, Sika® waterproofing membrane systems are uniquely engineered to deliver waterproofing, crack-isolation and vapor-control solutions, addressing the demands of wet and high-moisture environments.

Waterproofing
Composed of low VOC modified elastomeric copolymers, Sika® waterproofing membrane systems are uniquely engineered to deliver waterproofing, crack-isolation and vapor-control solutions, addressing the demands of wet and high-moisture environments.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

8. Installing Large and Heavy Tile and Stone (LHT)

Architects, designers, and end-users welcome the clean, monolithic look of large format tile on their new projects and renovations. Choices for large tiles have grown and now include extremely large thin tiles (panels) that can measure up to 4' wide by 10' long. These panels are thin and robust but require special care and methods in their installation. Large format tiles, primarily porcelain tiles, have grown significantly and can be greater than 4 square feet.  These sizes have become common for wall and floor installations. The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) defines a large format tile as any ceramic or natural stone tile with one edge greater than 15", and the TCNA Handbook offers specific recommendations for their installation.

Sika offers several LHT (formerly medium bed) mortars for the installation of large ceramic and natural stone tile.  Install using one of Sika’s polymer modified LHT mortars such as SikaTile®-400 LHT Pro Set, SikaTile®-450 LHT Secure Set, or SikaTile®-500 LHT Lite adhesives.  Use SikaTile®-475 LHT Premium Set Mortar for setting thin porcelain tile (also known as gauged thin porcelain tile/panels GPTP).

Once tiles are set, finish the installation by grouting with one of Sika’s exceptional grout products, such as: SikaTile®-800 Sanded Grout, SikaTile® 800-Unsanded Grout, SikaTile®-815 Secure Grout or SikaTile®-850 Ultima Grout. Finally, the system is completed with SikaSil N-Plus, a high performance, antifungal, movement joint sealant.

Grouts
Sika® offers a range of tile grouts from traditional Portland cement products, 100% solids epoxies, and ready-to-use products. Complete today’s most popular colors and technologies, the SikaTile® family of grouts provide solutions for any grouting application.

Adhesives
Sika® tile setting mortars and adhesives feature a wide variety of applications for all shapes and styles of your tile. SikaTile® mortar features include: rapid setting, mold and mildew resistant, Dustless Technology, lightweight, and high flow attributes.

Crack Isolation
Sika® offers anti-fracture protection in both fast drying liquid and sheet membranes. Used for installation under tile and stone for interior, exterior, residential, and commercial applications preventing cracks from transferring through the finished floor.