Mastic question [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : Mastic question

01-24-2007, 02:17 PM
Hi. I new to the forum. I've been looking through some of the threads and I am beginning to worry that I got some bad advice. I've done a fair share of tiling before (patios, floors, backsplashes, fireplaces, etc.) and have generally used Versabond from Home Depot. I did use a pre-mixed mastic on a small backsplash and loved the fact that I didn't have to mix it. Now I have just purchased a bunch of tile to put in a newly constructed bathroom. The main tiles for the walls and the ceiling are larger than I have used in the past (13X10) for such areas so I asked the tile store for their recommendation on mortar/adhesive. They recommended Durabond Multipurpose Mastic and I bought 4 1/2 gallons based on their recommendations. I took their recommendation because I heard that Versabond would cause the tiles to slide. Now I am reading posts on this site that actually recommends Versabond over Durabond. Please tell me if I should go get the Versabond and chin-up about having to mix it.

Little bit of background. I will be tiling up the walls in the bathroom about 3 feet over new drywall and a thin layer of plaster. The shower walls are cement board but the shower ceiling is just drywall. The shower base is not pre-formed, but was put in by a professional tile/shower guy and is concrete (actually the professional tile/shower guy did the entire shower area and then told me it was ready to tile). I've never done a shower before and didn't trust myself to do the liner bit. There's a plywood tub deck and a plywood vanity countertop in the bathroom as well.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Sponsored Links

01-24-2007, 03:58 PM
Welcome. What can we call you?

The pros around here discourage anyone from using mastic in a shower. I agree with them - even though some mastic data sheets insist they can be used in wet areas (big box associates are off the hook just a little).

You can use mastic elsewhere in dry areas, but why? It costs more and its not as cool as mixing your own batch of stuff. I believe JB himself uses Versabond on occasion. I'd just stick with that, so long as your tile manufacturer agrees.

For the big tiles on the ceiling, I'm sure there's another thinset that works if Versabond doesn't.

Some of the pros might ask you about that shower base, just to make sure that it's correctly done before you commit to it.

01-24-2007, 04:40 PM
Hi Kritzy,
You puttin tiles on the ceiling of the shower - right? If so, no mastic on the ceiling or walls of shower..
Mastic is allright for the walls outside the shower like Dan said..
Can we have a first name? We're a pretty friendly forum.. :yeah:

01-24-2007, 04:58 PM
My name is Trish. Thanks for the replies. I wondered about that mastic. I guess I'll go back to mixing the Versabond. Actually, its not the mixing that bothers me so much, its the cleaning out my bucket at the end of the day that bothers me.

You said that I could use the mastic on the walls outside the shower, but would you recommend against it? I'd rather it be done right then done easily. What about the tub deck and the vanity countertop?

I'm using porcelain tiles. The smallest available in this style are the 10 x 13. I half way considered cutting them down a bit if they were too heavy, but it sound like I shouldn't have too much of a problem based on some of the other posts to this forum.

I had my shower base done by a professional because I didn't have confidence in myself to do it right. I read a few home improvement books about it, which confirmed my lack of confidence. However, as I watched the progress, it looked like the pictures in the book. I think it looks good and my plumber seems to like it as well.

01-24-2007, 05:09 PM

A tub deck over just plywood is not a good job, it's builder schlook work. :crazy: May as well put a backerboard there and on the counter too.

I doubt if the 10x13 wall tiles are porcelain, maybe the rest of the tiles that go with it are, the floor tiles I mean.


01-24-2007, 05:26 PM
Take that mastic back and tell em to pick there nose with it. i did a job last weekend for a very good freind. he got slate 12x12's. then he came out with 2 gallons of mastic said thats what the guy in the orange dunbo suit told him I laughed so. Not only was it wrong but we went tile over tile on a mud bed. So I used custom mega flex over the tile. Mastic is no good. Tell them they should just pour money down the shower drain instead. THINSET ALL THE WAY. search the threads they will give ya hints about how to get thinset to syuck them tiles up and hold em. good luck and stick around we all learn something no matter how good we think we are or what we have been taught

01-24-2007, 06:24 PM
Take that mastic back and tell em to pick there nose with it

There is something wrong with this statement, but I just can't put my finger on it...... :yeah:

Ok, Trish it is.. Could you now go to the UserCp and under edit signature pewt your name in there and we'll know it everytime ya post... ;)

01-24-2007, 06:56 PM
I actually figured out a good use for mastic. (Dry walls only!) As I'm finishing my bath/shower walls I invariably have a small fill piece here and there to set and I run out of thinset. It's a big diagonal and I can only set a few tiles at a time. A small tub of mastic comes in handy to use for those smaller fill pieces to finish things off. Like someone said, it's all about convenience (if the use is appropriate). :)

01-24-2007, 07:05 PM
I'm really loving the advice you guys are providing. Wow! I'm so happy I found this forum.

The vanity counter is currently constructed with two layers of 3/4 inch plywood. They just cut the sink hole today, but it would be short work to throw a piece of hardibacker on it if ya'll think that would be a good idea. I'm going to put chair rails on the edge of the counter. I think they are 2" wide. I actually thought the 2 plywood pieces would be perfect because I would have 1.5" of plywood and a 1/4" (plus thinset layer) to bring the chair rail even with the tile on the counter would give me a very slight overhang of the chair rail. The 1/4" hardibacker might make it too thick. What do you think??

The tub deck is a problem. Apparently, I've had a little miscommunication with the plumber and he has already set the tub into the deck. I had always intended to tile the deck first and then have the tub dropped on the tile/deck, but they have already placed the tub in a mortar bed of some sort (don't know anything about plumbing). The tub area has some "plumbing challenges" and the plumber had to wrestle with the drain already. My contractor says that "they" have tiled both before and after the tub has been set. It wont be very hard to tile around the tub because it is square (slightly rounded corners), but I'm wondering if it will look odd. It will, however, be really hard to lift the tub again, in fact, I don't know if the tub would survive it very well. Also I have carpet layers in waiting to carpet the hall outside the bathroom and 1,000 other square feet in the house, so I am feeling a little bit of pressure to get this done.

I will take the mastic back and tell the tile store to shove it up their noses. It might actually help the one snot-nosed warehouse guy.

01-24-2007, 07:33 PM
Hey Trish,
That's snot nice - proly true but snot nice.... :D

01-25-2007, 08:55 AM
I have used mastic to do some intricate tile mosaic designs on a large piece of 1/2 " thick glass as an outdoor patio table and it worked well.
However, I have had to remove my entire shower floor tiles because they were laid with mastic instead of thinset mortar (my other posts for advice).
I trust the expert advice from this site.

01-25-2007, 11:01 AM
And mastic is limited by the size of the tile. Large tiles do not allow enough airflow to dry the mastic.

Check the bucket but I think an 8" tile may be the limit.

You can't go wrong with the Versabond. I never use mastic due to it's limited application