Manufacturers have developed a lot of specialized mortars to maximize performance in different applications. To get the most out of your installation, you’ll need to find a thinset that was made just for you.
Modified Thinset Mortar
comes with some bonus benefits you won’t find with standard mortar. Additional products, like latex polymers, mix into dry thinset powder to increase the performance and bond strength
. That means your tiles will adhere better to the subfloor, and the thinset will have a lower potential for absorbing moisture than un-modified thinset.
Un-modified Thinset Mortar
Simply enough, un-modified thinset is a tile mortar that doesn’t contain any additives in the dry powder mix. People choose to use this type when they’re working with a moisture barrier over the subfloor, such as a schluter system.
If you still want all the cool bonuses of a modified mortar, you can use liquid additives in place of water when mixing the thinset. These liquid polymers can boost flexibility, water resistance, and bond strength.
Large Format Tile Mortars
This type of thinset is also known as a medium bed mortar
, and it’s made from a mix of water, cement, and coarse sand. Medium bed mortar is applied in a thicker layer than other types of mortar, typically at least 1/2” thick. The thickness increases drying time and creates a buffer between the tile and subfloor.
These qualities make medium bed mortar perfect for large format tiles,
which have at least a single edge that’s 15” or longer. A slower drying time reduces the risk of shrinkage as the mortar cures, so larger tiles achieve a stronger bond without any “lippage,” or an uneven surface. The thicker separation between the subfloor and the tiles can also keep your large format tiles from cracking if the subfloor shifts over time.
Glass Tile Mortar
Since glass is transparent and nonporous, glass tiles require a special thinset adhesive. White, latex-additive thinset mortar is the prime choice for backsplashes and other glass tile applications. The color of the thinset will be visible behind the glass, so a white adhesive works as a neutral backdrop.
If you wanna go fast and pick up the pace of your installation, a fast-drying mortar is the choice for you. Designed with a faster cure rate, rapid-drying thinset mortar lets you get to the grouting stage faster
than other products. With fast-drying thinset, you can get your tile down, get a head start on grouting, and get on with you life.
No Slump Mortar
Also known as non-sag mortar, this tile adhesive is designed to have a strong hold. Use no slump mortar when you’re installing tile on a wall
and you want to reduce the risk of slipping and sagging. You can also use no slump mortar as a medium bed thinset for large format tiles.
Looking for a thinset that will hold up in a tough environment like a commercial kitchen, a warehouse, or a garage? Epoxy mortar is your guy. It offers a stronger chemical resistance than other types
, so it’s a great choice for areas that might have a lot of fumes or chemicals. You can also use it to adhere tiles with resin backing, since typical mortars won’t bond with this material.
Mastic is a type of ceramic tile adhesive, and it has a different texture from all other thinsets. It’s tackier and even a little bit gluey. This stickier texture is perfect for tiling a wall, since there’s less of a chance for sliding.
It’s not all gluey goodness, however. Mastic has a couple of limitations you should know about. First, it’s not a great option for larger tiles. Try to stick to tiles no larger than 12” x 12” wide. Second, mastic doesn’t perform well in high-moisture areas. Avoid using mastic in places with lots of exposure to water, like showers and bathrooms.