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Old 06-19-2017, 01:58 PM   #1
Jake717
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Need help with help thinset / mortar

I am redoing my bath and adding a kitchen backsplash and wanted some professional help with choosing the best thinset / mortar I can. I plan to go with Mapei products since my tile store carries this brand but am open to other options.

I will be using 12x24 ceramic tiles for the bath surround and 12x24 porcelain tile the bathroom floor and 3x6 subway tile in the kitchen.

Which of the following products would you recommend not talking price wise because I want a quality product and willing to pay the extra price.

Porcelain Tile Mortar
Large Tile & Stone Mortar
Ultraflex LFT
Ultraflex 2
Ultraflex 3
Ultraflor
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:11 PM   #2
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If you're looking for a one-mortar-fits-all solution, Ultraflex LFT is your best bet for the tiles you mention. It's a big of overkill for your 3x6 subway tile but it's the best bet for the other two and will work for all of them. Give us a call at the number below if you have any specific questions.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:21 PM   #3
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How is Ultraflex LFT different than Ultraflex 2 or 3 or how is it better? I am just trying to understand the differences between all these products and make sure I use the best one.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:29 PM   #4
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Would be nice if mapei had a chart like this:
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:48 PM   #5
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Jake, thinset manufacturers make different mortars for different tile, substrates and applications. You have several different categories in your projects, so you could conceivably get two or maybe three different mortars.

But you've got Dan here who knows their products up, down, and sideways. If he tells you that you can use one mortar for all three projects, you can take it to the bank.

You don't really have to use a large format mortar for the 3x6, like Dan mentioned, but to simplify things, you can limit your choice of mortar to one, and it will work for all of them.

Just for kicks, what are the substrates involved?
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:11 PM   #6
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Tile will go on top of wonderboard or durarock. I don't mind buying different mortar for the bathroom and for the kitchen backsplash just want to get the best stuff I can. Also I don't have to stick to mapei, just a little easier to get mapei products.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:15 PM   #7
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I will be using 1/2" cement board underneath the tile.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:41 PM   #8
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I purchase the Ultraflex LFT by the pallet. We really like it. Like Dan said, bit of over kill for the smaller stuff, but will work for you just fine. I find that when we mix it, we prefer 6qts and 8oz of water to get the consistency we like, add about 2/3 of bag to bucket and get it whipped up a bit the add the rest of the bag. YES it'll seem like the mortar will never come together but i assure you it will. Mix for the 3 minutes AFTER it comes together and slaking is a must with this stuff. Remix for 2 minutes and you'll have a great mortar with a good pot life.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:20 PM   #9
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I use LFT on most of my large format tiles if we are trying to single source material. For grout I won't use anything but Flexcolor CQ premixed easy to use easy clean up. but it can get away from you if you try to grout to much too fast or if you have air moving it will dry super fast. Any way like said the LFT is over kill for the 3x6 but if you bought a different mortar for the backsplash and had a 1/2 of the LFT now you have 2 half back that won't be good for very long since they are open. I think there are 18-19 quarts of material per 50lb. we mix 3:1 1/4 if I remember correctly. I would double check that, I write all this stuff down but I don't have it in front of me. To get all the things that the manufacturer says its product will do you have to follow the instruction pretty much to the letter. cold, clean and proper amount of water cold or room temp material. A bag that is left in the trailer or in the sun or in the garage is going to fire off much quicker than a bag that was left in a nice cool house and rewhipping it after 5 minutes I hope this helps
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:23 PM   #10
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LFT for the big tile
UF2 for the subway
Whatever the cheapest stuff they have for under the backerboard.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:34 PM   #11
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Is Ultraflex LFT more superior to Ultraflex 3?

how is ultraflex LFT compared to prolite or some of the other mortars?
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:36 PM   #12
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You'll probably use such a small amount for the backsplash that it's not even worth buying something else. But I agree that you should get something cheap for under the cement board.

You do understand that when you use 1/2" cement board under the tile, that only thing you get is a bit more height in the floor, right? Unless that's what you're going for, use 1/4" cement board.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:12 AM   #13
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LFT stands for Large Format Tile. That's what your 12x24 are. But it's a different thinset than Ultraflex3. It's like comparing a 4x4 to a sports car. Which one is better depends on what terrain you plan to use it for.

I don't think Ultraflex LFT is a lightweight mortar so it's probably in a similar category as Versabond LFT.

I've used Ultraflex LFT and I think it's a nice mortar and wouldn't hesitate to use it again.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:09 AM   #14
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Where would you use ultraflex 2 or 3? I've seem quite of bit of people saying that Ultraflex 2 is there go to thinset.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:42 AM   #15
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I'm sorry the mortars are a bit confusing. I'll see what I can do to clarify.

Thinsets are designed to be used at 3/32" or less in embedded thickness. This is typically great for smaller tiles like your 3x6 but not ideal for larger tiles like your 12x24. On your list, the Ultraflex 2 and Ultraflex 3 are thinsets. Both are very good, but Ultraflex 3 is super flexible and sticky which is great for outside, when you have concerns about deflection, and when you're bonding difficult tiles to difficult substrates.

The other mortars on your list are designed for large and heavy tiles, defined as tiles above 15" on any side or above 5 pounds per square foot. They have ingredients that let them be used up to 1/2" of embedded thickness and can accommodate putting a large tile that's not perfectly flat over a substrate that isn't perfectly flat without slumping or causing lippage. The Ultraflor and Ultraflex LFT are both large and heavy tile mortars on your list and you can find more info about them in this brochure.

The Porcelain Tile Mortar and Large Tile and Stone Mortar are versions of our large and heavy tile mortars that are available through Lowes and other retail channels. If you're going that route, the Large Tile and Stone Mortar would be a good choice.
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