Why is MCB adhesive so popular?

MCB adhesive is the tool of the trade that tilers won’t leave the house without. To a layperson, it’s just another bag of something that resembles cement. Oh, if only they knew how invaluable it was.

MCB stands for modified cement-based adhesive. Cement is a key ingredient in concrete. The stuff itself is made of lime, silica, and alumina. When used for concrete, it’s combined with sand and stones, called aggregate. This gives the final product more texture and bonding power. This mix, though, is detrimental to a tiler’s job. They need a tiling adhesive that has the long lifespan but not  the ‘lumps and bumps’ found in traditional concrete.

Another property of MCB adhesive is that it’s polymer-modified. Polymers are naturally tough molecules, and the amount of them (or lack thereof) in a product determines its strength. In tiling adhesive, polymer-modified product is essential because it won’t crack, even when it’s spread thinly. In liquid form, it spreads as smoothly as butter. Curing time is usually 24 hours, depending on how thinly it’s spread. After this time, foot traffic and grouting is allowed.

MCB adhesive is popular because even though the title remains the same, the product has different types for different uses. Indoor, outdoor, ceramic, or terracotta tiles, there’s something for everyone. Darren and the team at Glues ‘n Tools are the best people to ask if you’re unsure about what to get, or need to source a specific product. MCB adhesives are categorised by number. Below is a small list of them and what they’re suitable for.

Number Area of use Compatible with
A-100 Indoor and outdoor Terracotta, porcelain, stone
A-66 Indoor and outdoor Terracotta, ceramic, naturals
A-20 Indoor and outdoor Slate, quarry, glass
M-1 Interior and undercover Ceramic, porcelain, marble
G-3 Walls only Stone, ceramic, marble

Modified cement-based adhesives are popular for their versatility and strength. Tilers’ warehouses like Glue ‘n Tools in Brendale on the Northside has the MCB adhesives tradies need. We have the super-tough A-100 down to the G-3 grout and lots more in between.