Can Tile Adhesive Be Used As Plasterboard Adhesive? 6 Steps


Plasterboards are a great option to use when tiling your walls because they are easy to install and save a lot of time; normal ways of plastering walls can take up to a week to be ready and tile over them.

Plasterboard adhesive is used to stick the board to the wall, but you can use other options such as tile adhesive if you are out of plasterboard adhesive.

Can Tile Adhesive Be Used As Plasterboard Adhesive?

You can use tile adhesive as a plasterboard adhesive, however, using a tile adhesive to fix plasterboard in wet areas like showers is not recommended because the tile adhesive has to be applied to dry areas where moisture can not reach them, as it will damage the adhesive and the board can fill off.

When using adhesive instead of plasterboard adhesive, you will use the same method used for fixing plasterboards using plasterboard adhesive; the direct bonding or dot and dab method. The dab and dot method is used when you are not using a stud wall; the plasterboards can be fixed to stud walls using screws. 

Direct bonding offers a much faster experience than the stud wall method because you wouldn’t need to build a stud frame and then fix the plasterboard. In addition, it will save you money and time when you do it yourself as it requires much less skill than other methods. 

6 Steps To Stick a Plasterboard Using Tile Adhesive

1. Prepare your wall

To apply tile adhesive, you need to prepare your wall; first, the surface must be cleaned from any soap scum or grease and dry and smooth. Next, suppose there are any loose, damaged, uneven parts you need to patch and repair before applying the adhesive. Next, you need to remove all appliances, trims, moldings, etc., which can interfere with the adhesive installation. 

Some walls can absorb the moisture from the adhesive you are using, which affects the curing of the adhesives; for example, masonry walls absorb much moisture from adhesives. Therefore, you need to apply a layer of PVA to the wall, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and let the layer of PVA completely dry.

2. Prepare the boards

You need to cut the boards, therefore, measure the wall you will be sticking the plasterboards to, and mark the measurements on the plasterboard; there are many ways that you can cut off plasterboards, for example, using a plasterboard saw and a hammer, a plasterboard rasp, a plasterboard knife.

When cutting your plasterboard, you need to be accurate because the adhesive dries fast, and you don’t want to keep cutting and editing the measurement after applying the adhesive. In addition, you also need to cut for switches, plugs, and any fixture that you use later in the board. 

3. Mix the tile adhesive

Each adhesive will have the instructions of the manufacturer on the packaging; you will need to check them to determine how much water you will need to mix with the adhesive; grab an empty bucket and pour the amount of water stated by the instructions on the package, and the empty the adhesive package into the water, this will make you avoid any unmixed powder.

Some adhesives can irritate cement-based powder; therefore, you need to wear gloves, protective eyewear, and masks. Next, stir with a mixing paddle the solution until there are no lumps or powder anymore, which gives the appearance of a smooth consistency solution.


4. Spread the adhesive

When spreading the adhesive on the wall, you have to use a small amount to spread first because the adhesive can set rapidly. After the adhesive dries, apply the tile adhesive to the wall. The amount of the adhesive to dab will depend on the thickness and the weight of the plasterboard you are using; heavier plasterboards will need more amount to stick properly.

If you have an uneven wall, you will need to put less adhesive in high areas than the adhesive in low areas; therefore, your plasterboard will be perpendicular or even. The dabs should be 8 inches to 12 inches from each other; you don’t need to fully line the board with adhesive; some people believe that doing this prevents the spreading of fire inside the plasterboard; however, the plasterboard can provide up to 30 minutes protection from fire.

However, you need to apply adhesive around its lines anyway to avoid insects getting behind the board and nesting. When the plasterboards are pushed down, the dabs will connect, which provides more stability for the board. The adhesive around the edges of the board is essential for the board because it protects its edges from damage; the edges of plasterboards are luckily the parts to be damaged first. At last, apply a line of adhesive above the skirting board where the plasterboard will be secured at the bottom of the wall.

5. Stick the plasterboard

You need to use a straight feather edge tool and a long spirit level to get the board leveled, perpendicular, and square. The first plasterboard needs to be taken care of in a particular way because it will be your guide for other boards. Don’t tape on the plasterboard with the spirit level because it can damage the board; you need to position the board first and then apply some gentle pressure to make it stick firmly to the adhesive.

Next, you need to create a gap between the plasterboards and the floor to allow for their movement when positioning them; in addition, the gap will protect them from any water on the floor; the gap can be between two to three inches, and the plasterboards are very hygroscopic which means if there is moisture will be absorbed. Finally, when installing the other boards, you have to be sure you flush them with the fixed boards. 

6. Finishing the wall

To finish the wall, you have other options; you can apply a thin coat of plaster to skim the wall, or you can dry line the wall; dry lining is easier and quicker than skimming; however, some people don’t see it as a great finish for the wall. 


To sum up, you can use tile adhesive instead of plasterboard adhesive to stick the plasterboard; however, you should not use tile adhesive to fix plasterboard in wet areas like bathrooms; tile adhesive can’t be applied to wet areas; it needs to be placed in dry areas because the moisture can in wet areas reach the adhesive and damage it, and this will cause the plasterboard to fall and get damaged. 

If you are not using a stud wall frame, the plasterboard adhesive method is the best solution for you; even if you use a tile adhesive, the method will have the same steps and procedures. In addition, you can fix the plasterboard using the direct bonding or the dot and dab method to apply the tile adhesive; this will save you from using screws and building a stud frame wall to fix the board on it. 

To stick the plasterboard to the wall, you will need to prepare the wall first by it from any soap scum or grease, and also dry and smooth if there are any loose, damaged, uneven parts, you need to patch and repair them before applying the adhesive. Then, cut the plasterboards to the measurements you need; you can use multiple options to cut the plasterboards like the plaster knife, and the last step is to apply the adhesive using the dot and dab method before fixing the plasterboard.

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