Thinset is a cement based adhesive
you mix with water OR an liquid polymer additive for added
flexibility and durability. Note: Some thinsets already have an additive
and should be mixed with water. Check the manufactures
recommendations. Thinset is totally waterproof
and is the perfect choice for all projects that will be exposed to
Read the bag! There is a wealth of
information included and products vary.
Thinset is a cement based adhesive. It does
not dry. It is a chemical process that cures.
The longer this process takes the stronger the thinset will be.
The basic ingredients in thinset are Portland cement, sand, and
water, once mixed together a chemical hardening process begins. It
will even harden underwater.
ALWAYS where a
dust mask or respirator while exposed to thinset is in it's
powdered state. Once mixed with water it is safe to remove. Here
why, once inhaled the thinset comes in contact with your
respiratory system which is full of moisture. The moisture (water)
is the last ingredient that the thinset needs to start getting
hard and you don't want lungs full of hard cement!
DO NOT empty or
clean your tools into the sink or drain. Remember thinset
will harden under water and in your pipes! The only person
who will be happy about that is the plumber! I use a slop
bucket to clean up. Once the water is to "icky" I pour off
the top liquid in a corner of my garden and allow the rest to dry
out. Then you can just bang out the contents of the bucket
in the garbage.
DO NOT add
water once the mixture has set more than 5 minutes. If your
thinset is getting to hard to work with mix a new batch, adding
more water will make it weak.
Now that I have you wondering why you would
ever use it. I have to tell you thinset is always my
adhesive of choice for exterior applications and most interior
installations unless I am working on a backing that requires a
clear or flexible adhesive. It works and it's permanent!
My best thinset tip - I mix my thinset in an
old sour cream containers. That way I don't have to clean it
up I can just toss it. Once mixed I place the thinset in a
sandwich size Ziploc bag. You can then nip off the corner
and apply it to your surface like using a cake decorating
bag, just spread with a palette knife.
Thinset is your best choice if your base is concrete, terra
cotta, cement backer boards, Wedi board and most permanent installations.
It is the only adhesive you can use to
really 'float' tiles. This means you can build up the adhesive
under a thinner piece of tile so that it is flush with the thick tile
next to it.
Available in white or gray. Typically use white if
your planning light grout and gray with
dark. Note that the color of the thinset can effect semi
To extend the cure time place a damp towel
over your project to prevent it from drying out to quickly. As an
added precaution you can cover with a garbage bag.
It is best to seal cement, brick, terra
cotta and other porous surface before applying thinset.
These materials will wick (draw) the moisture out of the thinset
to quickly and weaken it. You can use
Weldbond, or commercial bonding primers.