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aluchkovsky
07-29-2004, 01:10 PM
Can someone explain to me:

What is mortar and what makes some mortar a thinset and some a thickset. Also, if a mortar says 'polymer-modified', does it mean 'latex-modified' and why is latex added in the first place.

Thanks,

Andriy

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bbcamp
07-29-2004, 02:57 PM
Thickset has coarser aggregate (sand) than thinset. This helps it support more weight while it is curing.

Polymer-modified thinsets and latex-modified thinsets serve the same purpose, but using different additives. The additives improve bonding strength and adds flexibility.

Bob

Beginner
07-29-2004, 03:28 PM
Thanks Bob,

Is this why the mortar bed is built using thickset, because it will be heavy and will need to support more weight while curing as opposed to being built using thinset (hypothetically)?

What does thinset have as an aggregate?

Thanks,

Andriy

bbcamp
07-29-2004, 04:16 PM
OK, maybe I didn't understand you question. Mortar beds for showers are made of sand and portland cement, mixed on-site in a 4 or 5 to 1 ratio.

Thickset or mediumset are also made from portland cement and finer sand, but have other additives to make them sticky, in addition to supporting the weight of large stones or tiles. You probably don't need this unless you are doing a big marble floor.

Thinset uses silica for an aggregate. Really fine sand. Thinset is what you generally use to bond tiles to something, like a mortar bed or backerboards.

Beginner
07-29-2004, 04:41 PM
Thanks Bob,

I hope I got it right this time:
so all mortar is built using portland cement and sand and optionally some other additives.

Mortar beds don't need to be sticky so they use cement and sand only.

Thickset is for adhering heavy tiles and stones to the mortar bed for example so they use cement, sand (still coarse) and additives so that the whole thing sticks to the mortar or whatever other substrate is there.

Thinset is for adhering "normal" tiles to the mortar bed when weight of the tiles is not an issue and cement and fine sand are good enough and additives are there for stickiness, increased bond and flexibility.

I hope this is correct.
BTW, does this mean that thickset can be used to adhere "normal" tiles, where a thinset would suffice?

Thanks,

Andriy