Can Cement Be Used As Tile Adhesive? Read This Before Bonding Tile with Cement!

Charlie D Paige profile pic

Are you planning to tile your home?

Tiling will add an astonishing look to the house and make maintenance easy. There are various designs of tiles available on the market.

Gathering all the essential items is crucial if you are trying to DIY the tile installation process. Tile adhesive is one of the important items needed to bond the tiles to the substrate.

If you want to know whether you can use cement instead of tile adhesive, this article is for you! In this blog, you will find out if you can use cement as an alternative for tile adhesive and the pros and cons of doing so.

Many people used cement to stick walls and floor tiles back then. As the experts emphasised the benefits of using suitable tile adhesive, many people stopped using cement. Instead, they used tile adhesive.

Read further to learn why cement has not recently been used to bond tiles. 



Cement is a chemical substance often mixed with water, gravel, and sand to produce mortar. You can use this mixture to bind the materials together.

Manufacturers make cement through chemical combinations of iron, aluminium, silicon, calcium, and other ingredients.

There are different types of cement. Cement is a binding substance often used in building or house construction.

Tile Adhesive

Tile Adhesive
Tile Adhesive

By the term “tile adhesive” itself, you can understand that this product is used to adhere tiles.

This adhesive is polymer-based, and there are different types of tile adhesive.

Hence, depending on the tile’s size, material, and substrate, you must select the appropriate adhesive. Thin-set, mastic, and epoxy are some of the standard tile adhesives.

There are pre-mixed adhesives that you can apply without any pre-preparations.

Using Cement as a Tile Adhesive

Nowadays, people mostly use tile adhesive to stick the tiles in tiling projects.

In contrast, in the old days, most people used cement to bond tiles. Yes, you can use cement as a tile adhesive.

Cement also sets, hardens, and helps adhere objects. Since cement as a tile adhesive has some drawbacks, this method of installing tiles is not recommended.

Apart from cement, people also consider using grout when bonding tiles to the substrate. However this is also not recommended by experts.

How to Make Cement-Based Tile Adhesive

How to Make Cement Based Tile Adhesive
How to Make Cement Based Tile Adhesive

If you plan to use cement to bond the tiles, follow the steps below to make the adhesive.

Essential Items:


In a larger bucket, get the required amount of water. You can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the exact cement and water ratios.

Next, you can add the cement powder to the water. Now, using the plaster mixer drill, mix the mixture well. Mix until you get a lump-free, smooth mixture.

You can use this cement mixture as tile adhesive when sticking tiles to the substrate.

Note: You often need to mix cement with sand or gravel, as you cannot use it alone.

Can You Mix Cement With Tile Adhesive?

Can You Mix Cement With Tile Adhesive
Can You Mix Cement With Tile Adhesive

Have you ever tried using cement to bond tiles?

You know that cement and tile adhesive are two different products. Although they both are used to adhere to tile, this does not mean you can mix them.

Mixing cement and tile adhesive will make it obsolete so that you can use it for tiling projects.

Tile adhesive alone will perform well in bonding the tiles.

Why Using a Tile Adhesive is Better Than Cement

Why Using a Tile Adhesive is Better Than Cement
Why Using a Tile Adhesive is Better Than Cement

There are many reasons why it is best to use tile adhesive to bond tile rather than cement as tile adhesive.

By considering the pros and cons of cement vs tile adhesive, you will understand why many professionals encourage using a proper tile adhesive.

Benefits of Using Tile Adhesive

  • Easy to use. If you are using the powder adhesive, mix it with water before using it. The pre-mixed glue is even easier, as you can directly apply it to the substrate and bond the tiles.
  • Compared to cement, tile adhesives are lightweight.
  • The tile adhesive will not start drying soon after the application. As a result, the tile alignment can be done properly. This will help to produce a premium finish.
  • These glues last longer and have a higher bonding strength.
  • Tile adhesive has high coverage. Hence, you can use it in a large area.
  • The curing time of tile adhesive is 24 hours. Fast drying will only take around 4 to 6 hours.

Cons of Using Tile Adhesive

There are only cons to using a tile adhesive for bonding tiles if the cost is high. Compared to cement tile, glue is expensive but worth investing in.

Pros of Using Cement as Tile Adhesive

Using cement for bonding tiles is a cheap alternative. Cement adhesive is durable and has high strength. This is the reason why, for outdoor projects, cement is used. Further cementing requires low maintenance.

Cons of Using Cement as Tile Adhesive

  • After curing, the cement starts to shrink.
  • After applying the cement mixture, you must place the tile perfectly, as you cannot adjust it.
  • Using cement does not provide an aesthetic look due to air pockets and inconsistent laying.
  • The project is time-consuming.
  • It takes too long for the cement mixture to cure. Cement will take approximately 28 days to a month to become solid.
  • More material waste

Hence, considering these factors, it is best to use tile adhesive when sticking the tiles. It is impossible to say that you cannot bond tiles using cement. Instead, it is better to bond them using tile adhesive.

Bottom Line

Back in the day, almost everyone used cement as a tile adhesive. However, cement can bond tiles to the substrate.

Now, there are other options than this one. Instead, various tile adhesives are available on the market, making the process easy and providing a premium finish.

The only drawback of using tile adhesive is that it is expensive compared to cement. In contrast, the products are worth the extra cost because they have many benefits.

We hope you will use the best tile adhesive in your tiling project!


What Tile Adhesive Should I Use?

You can use thinset or mortar. These adhesives work well for bonding tiles.

You can choose the best glue depending on the size, tile material, and substrate.

Can You Use Cement to Fix Tiles?

Yes, you can use the cement and sand slurry to bond tiles.

Although this is an old method of sticking tile, it is better to use tile adhesive as it can produce a long-lasting result.

Is It Possible to Mix Tile Adhesive and Cement?

No, you cannot mix cement and tile adhesive.

Combining these two products will make them obsolete. Hence, you cannot use it for gluing tiles.

Charlie D Paige profile pic
About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.