Thinset For Ceramic Tile Floors Video
Mixing thinset is needed when you are laying ceramic tile. It is a powder that comes in 50 pound bags. It looks a lot like cement. And a little dusty when pouring it from the bag into the mixing bucket.
The bag will be marked with thin-set mortar. It is available in either gray or white. The white thin-set is useful if you are putting down a white floor. Just in case some of the thinset surfaces between the ceramic tiles.
Thinset is basically Portland cement powder and very fine silica sand. When mixed with water, it makes like a miniature concrete. That’s important when putting down ceramic floor tile. Why? If you were to use spreadable floor mastics, that look like cake icing, the mastic never really gets hard. Thus if you walk on the floor tile or place something very heavy on a tile, it could crack. That does not happen with thin-set. When thinset cures after about a day or two, it is just like concrete.
Some thinsets have water-based, powdered glues, called acrylic hardeners or modifiers, that make the thin-set very sticky. But regular thin-set, when mixed right, is very sticky.
All you have to do is a water to the thin-set powder. Use a mixing knife or a very stiff putty knife, as the mixture gets very density. A flexible blade could bend or break off while mixing. Slowly add the water a little at a time, stir and check to see if you have the right consistency. The proper consistency should be like pancake batter. Thick, but pourable. Don’t get it too wet, slowly add water and continue stirring.
Thinset works well in ceramic tile showers. Only mix up enough thinset that you can put down on the floor and cover with tile in 15 minutes. If it sits in the bucket too long, it will start to crystalize and hard. If you add more water to it, called retempering, that is bad. Only mix enough that you can use in that time frame.