Repair loose tiles with an epoxy or Shalex Stickit?

Published by Shalex on 7th Sep 2015

We’re frequently told Shalex Stickit tile repair kit is not the best solution to repair loose tiles - the best way to repair de-bonded tiles is just a simple job of injecting an epoxy adhesive. We disagree. 

Epoxy is normally supplied in a caulking style 2 part tube or syringe that gives you little control and it is hard to deliver larger volumes continuously. Mixing in the correct ratio is critical to performance of the epoxy, so treating larger areas of loose tiles requires very expensive 2 part mixing equipment to accurately dose and mix the 2 parts. Using a small syringe may allow you to inject into tight spaces but you have limited adhesive and need to refill frequently, and larger caulking tubes give you little control.

Epoxies typically have excellent bonding strength, generally far greater than the original tile adhesive, but they provide a rigid repair and do not allow movement. A delaminated or drummy tile is an easier problem to solve than a tile bonded with epoxy that cracks in two. The risk of using epoxy is you’ll end up with bonded tiles but these will crack if there is any further movement in the substrate whereas Stickit is flexible to accommodate some movement (which is often the cause of the tile delamination in the first place). 

The viscosity of epoxy is also an issue – epoxies for crack injection are not ideally suited for injection under loose tile, they are designed for high pressure injection into dense concrete. As crack injection often requires the epoxy to act as both a gap filler and adhesive the epoxy is typically too thick so it won’t flow and penetrate deeply into the surfaces. Stickit is designed to flow and wet out porous surfaces moving into voids and gaps under the tile. Stickit is optimised for porous surfaces so it can saturate and consolidate loose and friable surfaces like crumbling mortar, grout, render and tile adhesives.

So whether you are a tiler, builder or homeowner think twice before reaching for an epoxy to solve loose tile problems. Shalex Stickit provides a simple kit suitable for DIY or trade use, contains a strong yet flexible liquid adhesive that is safe to use (epoxies typically contain dangerous isocyanates) and requires no mixing.