How Much Tile Adhesive Do I Need Per Square Foot? Everything That You Need To Know!

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When tiling the house, you must check how much adhesive, grout, and the number of tiles you need. Tile adhesive calculating formulas will help you decide on the adhesive quantity.

Budgeting the project before starting the work will help you estimate how much you will be spending and whether you need to make any changes to reduce the budget.

Although there are methods to calculate and budget the project, this is not a fact but rather an estimation. A professional tiler can estimate the quantity of the essential materials required to tile a specific area.

On the other hand, figuring out the necessary amount of essentials and budgeting for the project might be slightly complicated when you DIY the project.

You don’t have to worry. This blog will help determine how much tile adhesive you need per square foot.

The quantity will differ according to the type of tile you are using. The 20 kg Ultra Pro Set wall and floor tile adhesive will cover approximately 5 square meters or around 54 square feet.

Budgeting the Tiling Project

Budgeting the Tiling Project
Budgeting the Tiling Project

Imagine that you are planning to tile the living room by yourself. In most cases, you will measure the surface area and calculate the number of tiles necessary.

In contrast, people also need to pay more attention to figuring out how much they will spend on other special equipment, tile adhesive, and grout.

A rough estimation of all the necessary items will help you budget the entire project. Knowing the budget beforehand will ensure you have enough money.

You can also get the help of a professional to determine the number of supplies you will need to complete the project.

By reading further, you will find an approximation of the tile adhesive needed to bond the tiles to the subfloor.

What is the Standard Ratio of Water to Tile Adhesive?

The ready-mixed tile adhesive is less messy as it comes in a ready-to-use format. So you don’t have to do any premixing.

When using the powder tile adhesive, mixing it with the right amount of water is essential.

For 20 kg of tile adhesive powder, you can use 4.4 to 4.6 litres of water. The amount of water will also change according to the quantity and brand of tile adhesive.

What is the Standard Ratio of Water to Tile Adhesive
What is the Standard Ratio of Water to Tile Adhesive

Hence, checking the instructions printed on the tile adhesive packaging is better.

Important: During tile adhesive preparation, you must get the required amount of water in a huge container and then add the tile adhesive. Stir the mixture well until it is lump-free.

Wear the Safety Gear

When mixing the tile adhesive, cover yourself with a protective cloth. Wear a pair of gloves, goggles, and face masks.

Since the cement-base adhesive causes skin irritation, wearing the safety gear will prevent contact with the mixture.

Factors That You Need to Consider When Calculating the Quantity of Tile Adhesive

When tiling a surface, you must check the factors affecting the quantity of tile adhesive you will need.

Size of the Trowel

Size of the Trowel
Size of the Trowel

The size of the trowel is a primary factor in determining how much adhesive you will need, as it will help determine the thickness of the adhesive.

On the packaging of the tile adhesive, you will find information about how much coverage you can obtain by using various sizes of the trowel.


The rough surface has more grip and will help to bond the tiles more strongly.

Levelling the surface and cleaning it before applying the adhesive is necessary.

An uneven, cracked surface may require more tile adhesive than usual.

Wall or Floor Tiling

Wall or Floor Tiling
Wall or Floor Tiling

First, check whether you will be tiling the wall or the floor. Generally, applying a thin layer of adhesive for wall tiling will be sufficient.

The thickness of the adhesive must be 3-6mm. In contrast, floor tiling requires more glue as the stress on these surfaces is comparatively greater.

Hence, according to the surface, the thickness of the tile adhesive will change. This will affect the total budget for the tiling process.

Type of Tile Adhesive

The coverage might change slightly according to the adhesive you are using.

Hence, the quantity will vary depending on whether you use the ready-mixed or powder-based tile adhesive.

How Much Tile Adhesive is Required Per Square Foot

How Much Tile Adhesive is Required Per Square Foot
How Much Tile Adhesive is Required Per Square Foot

Usually, a gallon of tile adhesive will cover 27 to 32 square feet.

As mentioned, check on the type of adhesive when calculating how much floor glue required per square foot.

Powder-based Tile Adhesive

The 20 kg bag of powder-based tile adhesive will cover an area of 3 square meters (32.2 square feet) if you use it for floor tiling.

In comparison, wall tiling will cover approximately 6 (64.5 square feet) square meters. 

Ready-mixed Tile Adhesive

You will require around 2–3 kilograms of ready-mixed tile adhesive to cover one square meter. You can cover approximately 10.7 square feet using 2–3 kg of tile adhesive.

Generally, 1.5 litres of premixed tile adhesive can cover a 10-square-foot wall. At the same time, 3 kg of glue can cover ten squares of the floor.

Will Using Grout Instead of Tile Adhesive Save the Cost?

Can you use grout as an alternative for tile adhesive?

Yes, you can use grout to bond the tiles, but most professionals do not recommend using grout as tile adhesive.

Tile adhesive and grout are two different products. Although the grout can bond tiles, you cannot ensure reliability and durability.

However, using grout instead of tile glue will save money as grout is cheap.

It is more important to limit the budget than to overspend. In contrast, using alternatives like grout to stick tiles is not recommended as you might have to spend on frequent repairs.

Final Thoughts

Now you might understand how much tile adhesive you need per square foot. The quantity might slightly change as the data provided here are rough estimations.

You can calculate the required quantity of tiles by considering the coverage area. This will help you estimate the money you will spend on the adhesive.

If you find it hard to calculate, get a professional’s help.


How Many Square Meters Will a Packet of 20 Kg Tile Adhesive Cover?

20 kg of powder-based tile adhesive will cover approximately five square meters.

Here, the thickness of the glue will be 3mm. If you increase the thickness, then the coverage will be reduced.

Does Floor Tiling Require More Adhesive?

Yes, compared to wall tiling, floor tiling requires more adhesive.

This is mainly to ensure the durability of high-traffic areas.

Is Ready-Mixed Adhesive Costly?

Yes, the ready-mixed adhesive is more costly than the powder-based product.

Since ready-mixed bonds do not require pre-preparation, they are expensive. If you are trying to reduce the budget, use powder-based adhesives.

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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.