I honestly did not know turkeys could not fly [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-03-2004, 05:57 AM
I just finished grouting a my shower surround. It's 6x6 field tile on Durock above a 42x42 Swanstone solid surface pan.

Of course, following the universal advice of the pros here, I chose to use thinset mortar. You know, Mapei pre-mixed thinset mortar.

I read MB's book, I lurked this forum, I lurked the JLC forum. I read all the directions on the side of the bucket. Now I stumble on a little nugget of information in a thread just this morning.

For the life of me, I honestly did not know thinset mortar could not be pre-mixed!!!

I used mastic in a shower? I am livid! How can Mapei call mastic thinset! Do I tear it down now, or wait a couple years and let the tiles fall down themselves. I set soap dishes with this stuff. Am I going to be holding those up with duct tape in a couple months? Did I mention I am livid? I'm not going to set foot in Lowes, much less buy Mapei product again.

What do I do now?

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08-03-2004, 06:09 AM
How long did you wait (after setting the tile) before you grouted?


08-03-2004, 06:09 AM
First off, calm down. :D

Second, gather everyone in the house for a come-to-Jesus meeting. At that meeting, you will demonstrate the proper technique for drying a shower after each use. Squeegee the water to the drain, wipe the tiles off with the towel. Threaten each one of the family with their particular form of heck so they will know you mean business. Then, follow through.

Seriously, mastic can be made to work in a shower. Mastic simply cannot be allowed to remain wet. If it does, it re-emulsifies and the tiles come off. Keep the shower dry and the grout well sealed, and you can delay that for a long time. Also, bear in mind that the bottom 2 feet of the shower are the most at risk. You could reset those, or wait for the problem to emerge, then reset them.

So, have another adult beverage and get on with your life. :D


08-03-2004, 06:31 AM
I set the last tiles about a week before grouting. The first tiles were set probably 3 weeks before grouting.

I appreciate the advice on squeegieing and wiping after use -I really do-, but since childhood, I've been the biggest offender in the household when it comes to leaving a wet shower.

I religiously clean the shower once a year whether it needs it or not, and I tried so hard to implement a solution that would accomodate my poor housekeeping habits. If I wanted to wipe down the walls after each shower, I'd have lined them with wallpaper.

What's involved in resetting? Do I crack and chip? How do I get a suitable surface for resetting?

08-03-2004, 06:34 AM
I recently did a small kitchen backsplash for a customer who provided the tile, as well as the setting materials. They gave me a small bucket of mastic, which was the same as what you got at Lowes. The mastic wasn't a problem for me, because thats what I use for kitchen backsplashes anyway.

It did bother me how a company with a reputation for excellent tile products would use the word "mortar" in the product name. Saying thinset is one thing, because you could say its thin and it sets the tile, but mortar is a word that is only used for cement based products.

I wouldn't tear is down just because it might not last as long as real thinset. It could easily last for a long time. I tear out older mastic showers all the time that are still sound, only the homeowner wanted a different look. You may be a lot older when it needs to be re-done, and you may want a different look by then.

The soap dishes are a problem though, most mastics say right on the bucket "not for setting fixtures". Mapei, however, didn't feel it was important to put that info in their instructions.:)

P.S. Turkeys can fly. I had one fly into my windshield one time, feathers all over the place.

08-03-2004, 06:55 AM
First off,be absolutly Thankful that it was a Mapei product you used and not something else.
I have used many Pallets of Mapei Mastic commercially and it is the best out there bar none ,no exceptions!!

Also, I tore out a 15 year old tub shower a few weeks ago that was set with Mapei Mastic.Other than the fact that the grout was milewing due to no vapor barrier,this thing was perfect.The Mastics have been improved even more since then.

Mapei's Mastic states (and they have the best warranty on the planet)thier product can be used in showers and in water situations so long as it is not in standing water(pools etc) Now, I wouldnt use it myself, but i wouldnt be livid either.You Likely will have no problems considering you built this according to the instructions you recieved here and have a Swanstone base with no worry about Mud soaking up water due to clogged weepholes.
Relax, I wouldnt sweat it at all :)

John Bridge
08-03-2004, 04:46 PM
What Mapei does for Lowes, Custom does for Home Depot. Custom calls it's stuff "pre-mixed thin set" too. I think there ought to be a law. :)

08-03-2004, 05:05 PM
Well, bein' a Libertarian and all, I can't support still another law, but I think there should be no penalty for shootin' their company reps if you see'em. :D

Whilst I was recently in a shiny new Homer's in New Mexico, I saw a "premixed thinset" with a brand name of "Tile Perfect." Didn't say Custom nor have a logo nowheres on the tub. What y'all reckon that stuff is? :confused:

08-03-2004, 05:14 PM
klark I think squeegin' is good, but IMHO sealing the grout is much more important. You can almost (almost) completely seal out water with a good sealer if you maintain it on a regualr basis. With a little diligence I think you can make that shower last as long as you are in the house. :)

... and watch out for CX when he's startin up a lynchin party for tile reps. :eek:

08-03-2004, 06:01 PM
Whilst I was recently in a shiny new Homer's in New Mexico, I saw a "premixed thinset" with a brand name of "Tile Perfect." Didn't say Custom nor have a logo nowheres on the tub. What y'all reckon that stuff is?
Look familiar CX?


Tile Perfect is one of the Color Caulk (parent company) brands -- ColorFast caulk is another brand in the family.

I suspect we will be hearing more about Tile Perfect, the All-In-One Tile Adhesive and Grout, if Homers is now peddling it. :nod: :eek:

Went out to one of the more popular opinions/product review websites and got a hit on Tile Perfect. Here's what the reviewer had to say about it:

Don't grout with this product!
by xxxxxxxxx,Feb 29 '04
Pros: no mixing, no sealing
Cons: too slow, too soft
The following I found out, to my sorrow, from experience. The product documentation states that it takes "up to 5 days" to dry and then remains "flexible". So when exactly does one clean up the excess grout from the surface of the tile? No "fingernail" test is possible - it remains so soft for DAYS. When I tried clearing the tile surface, the stuff was pulled out of the joints. Eventually I supposed it was sort of hardened, but by then the film on surface of the tile was hard, and it took 2 days to scrape it off. Even now, weeks later, a fingernail will leave a hole in the grout if when tested.

Don't grout with this product!

08-03-2004, 06:35 PM
Home Depot carries Custom's AcrylPro.

Custom changed the name from AcrylPro Tile Mastic, to AcrylPro Tile Adhesive.

Calling it Adhesive is reasonable, but Mapei calling theirs Premixed Thinset Mortar is just plain misleading. The product is similar to chewing gum, not mortar.

Whats next? Putting a label on ordinary drywall calling it Cement Tile Board.:)

John Bridge
08-03-2004, 06:36 PM
He (she) should have just said, "Don't USE this product."

Home Depot has been selling the Tile Perfect brand for some time. Someone on the inside told me they thought either Custom or Home Depot might have actually bought the brand. I don't know how correct that info is. I suppose it could be checked out in the corporate tree somewhere. :)

I absolutely hate the idea of calling anything but thin set thin set. They know exactly what they are doing. They know they are misleading the public. They make a good profit on those products. There's very little profit in real cement products. Maybe that's how they justify it in their minds. It's out and out fraud, as far as I'm concerned.

08-03-2004, 06:44 PM
I agree with everything thats been said.
Given your particular situation however, i still wouldnt fret.
Seal Yes and use a good one like Aquamix sealers choice!!

08-03-2004, 07:46 PM
Gosh, this just gets better and better. Guess what kind of grout I put in the joints?

First I read the label on the tub at Lowes, then I go to the website to read available tech bulletins. (links are below) Finally, foolishly thinking that I was well-informed, I buy a tub of premixed, sanded, argent gray grout.

The tech bulletin states (#12) that their premix grout is not compatible with sealers. It also states (#7) that it's for use in shower walls.

When those corner soap dishes fall, how should I re-attach them?(Or how should I attach new ones?)

You know, I did all the drywall in my attic with pre-mixed joint compound. Sure, I paid a premium for it, but I figured, since I won't get the hang of mixing the stuff until the job's almost done, I'll play it safe and get pre-mix. Unfortunately, I used the same rational for my tile work.

I made no buying decisions based on Lowes/Home Depot help. I read all the manufacturer's product data that I could get my hands on. I've goofed up remodelling projects before, but never after having done the diligent research I have for this shower stall. Yes, I should have known better, but the folks at Mapei sure didn't do me any favors.

Sorry about the extended rant. Thank you for thoughtful and sympathetic responses. I'm off to Bed Bath and Beyond (or maybe Ikea.com!) for a decorator squeege.



Peggy Donahue
08-03-2004, 09:01 PM

Why don't you put in a call to Mapei customer service. You should at least enjoy (verbally) ripping someone's head off. (Off course apologize before starting by saying...I know YOU have nothing to do with the product production or the on-line product data that your company provides, but....) Hell, at a minimum they should refund the purchase price of a product that's incorrectly labeled and sold as something it is not.

Does this product have a warranty you could use if the tiles start falling off?

Give it a whirl...what have you got to lose?:stick:

08-03-2004, 09:07 PM
Peggy's way won't help.

Gotta shoot'em. :D

08-03-2004, 09:41 PM
You could talk to a lawyer about Mapei's false advertising.

And if that doesn't work...

Peggy Donahue
08-03-2004, 10:18 PM
I've missed you guys. Gotta find something to tile soon.

Kirk Downey
08-04-2004, 01:09 AM
Try the headstone of a tile rep.

Kirk out

08-04-2004, 06:43 AM
I sure hope Mapei gets a Clue, theyve been an excellant company for many years.I would hate to see their new Slogan read
" Riding the wave of disaster to the future and beyond"

:( :( :(

08-04-2004, 06:55 AM
Originally posted by klarck

Of course, following the universal advice of the pros here, I chose to use thinset mortar. You know, Mapei pre-mixed thinset mortar.

Why is it I thought the universal advice here was do NOT use pre-mixed?

I religiously clean the shower once a year whether it needs it or not, and I tried so hard to implement a solution that would accomodate my poor housekeeping habits.
That was a joke...right? Please tell me that was a joke and you just forgot the winky face.

Oh and Turkeys can so fly! (http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/content/ask_earl/20040102.html) :D

08-04-2004, 08:09 AM

You quoted two spots that I was in need of a "tonque-in-cheek" smilie. My WKRP reference in the subject line about the turkeys was my way of saying that I just didn't realize that pre-mix thinset was an oxymoron.

08-04-2004, 12:22 PM

I looked for winky faces all over the place and couldn't find nothing but real answers to your questions.
I think I'd better go back to lurkdom. Keeps me outta trouble that way. ;)

08-04-2004, 12:59 PM
I ended up in a similar spot. I started taping my CBU in the shower with Mapei premixed thin set before I found out how wrong that was. I finished with real thin set. I decided not to remove the Mapei since I had already build a "monument" seat in front of the joints.

I'm hoping the joints hold, although I have about 500 pounds of cement/blocks keeping it in place.

The other exposed CBU joints near the water line are set with real thin set.

By the way, I called Mapei and asked for advice and the technician admitted that they should not have called it mortar.