http://www.askthebuilder.com host Tim Carter shares some tips about using thinset for installing a ceramic tile floor.He
explains why using thinset mortar is fantastic for ceramic tile and how to mix it correctly.
Tags:How to use Thinset for Ceramic Tile Floors,Ceramic Tile Floors,home repairs,How to use Thinset,askthebuilder,ceramic tile,flooring,Remodeling,thin set,thinset,thinset for ceramic,tim carter
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Oh man, this is heavy. Hi, how are you doing? I’m getting ready to mix up some thin-set because we’re going to finish installing the ceramic tile floor here. And thin set’s really neat stuff, comes in a big, heavy fifty-pound bags, and as you can as see I’m pouring it out, you know, it looks a lot just like cement. You know it’s just a powder and all in all it’s a little dusty too. Well, look at that. So, let me tell you a little bit about what thin-set is, here, I’ll show it to you. You’ll never saw in the bag when you go the store, a tile store home center, they don’t say it; they will say a thin-set mortar. And it comes in two colors, this one’s gray but you can sometimes get it in white if you go to a ceramic tile distributor, and you want to use white sometimes if you’re putting down a white floor in case some of that thin-set oozes out between the tiles. So anyway, here is what thin-set is. It’s basically just Portland cement powder and very fine silica sand. And when you mix it with water, it makes like a miniature concrete. That’s really important when you’re putting down ceramic floor tile. Here’s why, if you were to use some of those spreadable organic mastics that looks like cake icing, and you put your tile on that, what happens is that the floor tile, that mastic never really gets hard, and if you walk on the floor tile or put something very heavy on the floor tile, that tile will crack. That won’t happen with thin-set, because when the thin-set cures after about a day or two, it’s just like concrete. Some thin sets have this water-based or this powdered glues and they’re called acrylic, hardeners and modifiers and they actually make it very sticky but just regular thin-set, when you make it right it’s very sticky. All you have to do. And here you can see some of the powder here, very powdery, look at that. You just have to add some water to it. I like to use a mixing knife that’s very stiff, you know this, I can’t bend this blade. If you use a blade that’s kind of bendable, this gets pretty dense and if you press to hard you likely crack the blade, and I’ve done that before that’s why I’ve switched to the use of little stiffer blade. So, you can get the sand away, I’ve got some nice water here and you don’t to pour too much in cause you got to get it to the right consistency. I may have poured too much water and we’re going to find out here. Oh, that’s not bad. What I’m looking for is a consistency that’s a lot like oh, pancake batter, that’s about the best way it. You know, pancake batter is really pretty thick, but it’s pore. You can see right now this is a little too dry, that’s not going to get it, but we’re really, really close. At this point, you have to add water very slowly, and I’m actually going to do it with my hands because I don’t want to just pour it in because I’ll add too much. So, I’m just going to put a little dash of water in my hand and you can see that. See this? Just, maybe like two ounces, not much. And sometimes it’ll look like it’s still too dry but let me tell you, don’t make it too thin. Oh yeah, it’s getting pretty close. See you can still see some dry powder down there, so we then add more. Yeah, that’s probably going to be it right there. I’m going to scoop some out once I get it right, I’m going to scoop some out onto the floor, and onto this mixing paddling you’ll see what the consistency should be. If you were going to mix a lot of this stuff at once, you would want to get one of those paddles that you put on the end of the drill. Oh that’s going to be it right there. Oh, this is good stuff. But remember the thin-set got the use of for floor tiles. It works really well as in a ceramic tile showers, it’s very, very good material. Oh, that’s looking really good. And you want to make sure when you mix it up that you get the lump side of it. But here, look at this, that’s what it’s supposed to look like. That’s seeing you can see it’s pore but will fall off the knife. Yeah, that’s pretty good stuff, that’s exactly what it should look like. Final tip, only mix up as much thin-set as you can put down on the floor and cover with tile in about 15 minutes. You don’t want to stock to sit in the bucket very long because it will actually start to crystallize and get hard and if you add more water to it, it’s called re-tempering it that’s really kind of a bad thing, you don’t want to do that. Only mix amount that you can use in 20 minutes. I’m Tim Carter for AsktheBuilder.com. If you want to discover more home improvement tips, go to AsktheBuilder.com.