Another name for Thinset is Tile Mortar it's a special type of concrete designed for the purpose of setting tiles. Tile mortar comes in a powder form, which you mix with water.
For most wall or floor tile applications, you'll need a Tile Mortar tile adhesive that contains latex. The latex adds flexibility and prevents cracking.
The standard color for Tile Mortar Tile Adhesive is gray, But there is also White, which is ideal for use when tiling a floor with Marble tiles, Glass Tile or any other translucent wall or floor tiles. White Tile Mortar also works well for light colored grouts and Epoxy Thinsets for countertops.
* Always wear rubber gloves and a respirator while mixing and working with Tile Mortar tile adhesive,
* If you find that the Manufacturers mixing directions differ from those observed here, always stick with those of the Manufacturers.
* Thinset tile adhesive starts to cure in about 30 minutes, So you'll want to mix small batches at a time so that you can lay a section of your wall or floor tiles in that amount of time.
* There is an alternative to Tile mortar. If you're using light duty wall tiles, you can use tile mastic which makes for a much easier wall tile installation.
* If you don't have a drill that can handle a 1/2 inch bit, renting one may be a good solution.
* When unused Tile Mortar starts to harden, throw it out and clean your bucket. Never try to add more water to it. And always finish laying one section of wall or floor tiles before mixing up a new batch of Thinset.
Start with a clean 5-gallon bucket, and about 2 inches of room temperature water, Add the Tile Mortar a little at a time. Mix the powder into the water using a mixing paddle loaded into a drill that can handle a 1/2 inch bit.
It's a good idea to place your feet against the sides of the bucket, to keep it from spinning. And be careful not to rev the paddle too fast because this can cause splashing, and beat air into the mixture.
The consistency for Tile Mortar is critical. You want it to be soft and flexible, but stiff enough so you can pull a trowel through the mix while the Mortar still retains its shape and without falling in on itself. You also want it where the mixture sticks to the trowel a couple of seconds before dropping into the bucket,
Keep adding water powder until you achieve this consistency, And keep mixing until the lumps are gone.
Then let the mixture sit for ten minutes and then mix it again. Now it's ready for use!
A lot of folks unknowingly skip the waiting period, but this is a crucial step for allowing the Tile adhesive to hydrate fully.
Using your Trowel, spread a glob of tile mortar onto your tiling surface. Spread it inside of one of your tile reference line sections you earlier made on your tile surface.
Be careful to spread the tile mortar right to the lines without crossing them. And to only spread your tile mortar in one section at a time.
To get the thickness right use a notched trowel. A 3/8
inch notch is a good all around choice. But some large tiles require a
1/4 inch notch.
Hold your trowel at a 45-degree angle and comb over the mortar while allowing the trowel's teeth to scrape the substrate gently.
Use long sweeping strokes and keep the angle of your trowel consistent. Remove any globs or debris. Then lay your tiles to this section before moving on to the next.
If you're tiling a floor, be sure to work your way towards the exit to allow yourself access to each spot. And it also gives you a way out of the room, without having to step on your new, fresh floor tile installation