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Old 07-08-2009, 04:23 PM   #1
Tile Trowelki
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Is pre-mixed thin-set good for anything?

Anything at all? Some reputable manufacturers put their names on this stuff.

I always thought it might be okay if you gave it plenty of time to set up before you grouted. Like several weeks, maybe. Real practical, I know.

Then I got a bathroom job where the customer wanted me to grout his laundry room where he had installed the tile himself. I agreed.

Turned out I couldn't get to the job for like two weeks (This was a while back. I wish I was that busy now!). Well, he had installed 12x12 with pre-mixed and after two weeks it still hadn't set up. Not only that, there were a bunch of cracked tiles because people had been walking on it and it couldn't take the traffic.

He had used a 1/4 inch trowel which is what I probably would have used if I didn't know any better than to use pre-mixed thin-set.

So I repeat: A lot of reputable manufaturers have this stuff in their lines. Manufaturers whose products we all use.

My question is why? What good is that stuff? Is there some use I don't know about?
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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It really isn't a good option ever since there is a thinset you can always use in it's place.

Except one time I installed these foam backed copper metal tiles and you had to use mastic per the manufactures instructions.

Other than that, no, mastic is not ever the best choice.

Now, having said all that, I really have no problem putting up some backsplash tiles or even stacking up a tub surround with 4x4 or 6x6 wafer tile over CBU with mastic. Don't like doing it with mastic but I will.

The two advantages mastic has over thinset are adjustment time and the bucket it comes in.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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bucket maybe use it as mastic thats about it, for wainscotting and backsplashes why buy it when reg thinsets half the price.

They make it for the dyi and Laticrete doesn't make premixed thinset (a good thing). Mastic is for lazy hacks who cant set tile level with wedges and spacers and need to use mastic for the ease of install.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
ceramictec
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Quote:
My question is why? What good is that stuff? Is there some use I don't know about?
it's good for the big box stores to tell unknowing homeowner to buy the stuff. so why not make it if you are a manufacturer.
it will work in the right situation, and most of the time a DIY'er cant achieve that.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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wait, I've got one

it's really good for the empty buckets

love those pink ones especially . . . it's like a party bucket

Hey, maybe they should call that crap "party in a bucket"

I'd be more likely to buy some at that point
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:22 PM   #6
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BASF nano=light, ultimate thinset non sag mortar,holds just as good as mastic and will stick to anything,porcelain,glass,slate, etc, awsome for wet areas,,as for mastic in dry applications with a 1/4'' trowel or less,its unbeatable imo, especially doing diagonal patterns.
pre-mix is a waste of cash and is a misleading product as its just mastic with sand and a colorant,as forum members already know.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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Even in dry areas with small tiles its problematic because you don't want your helper gettin' lazy. I figure if my helper doesn't have to clean the bucket before lunch and before going home and mix the thinset exactly how I like it, he'll get uppity and next thing I know he'll be squawking for a raise or something.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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Maybe an anchor?Strength training?
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:17 PM   #9
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the only thing I have ever used it for is to repair individual loose tiles on walls.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:43 PM   #10
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I use mastic all the time for kitchen splashes..... works great and is easy to use plus no mixing. I always buy the bucket from lowes that says stone and tile adhesive...never the premixed.

That premixed stuff from HD is really thick and hard to trowel---


But mastic is just for that, wainstcoat and backsplashes, nothing else.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #11
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When I was an employee, we used to go through a couple buckets of mastic a week. Was great always having a nice bucket for grouting. Haven't used mastic for anything for nearly a year and a half now.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:34 PM   #12
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The nervous and the lazy

That would be me describing my early project days. Just in case you’re curious why the DIYers dig themselves into this particular hole let me bare my soul…

Bought the stuff because (a) didn’t know any better, (b) real convenient when you stop and start projects and don’t have big blocks of time, and (c) mostly because of an irrational fear that it took magic powers to mix thinset powder with H20 so it must be better if the factory did it. No, really.

It was pouring a couple cubic yards of hand-mixed concrete one year made me realize how idiotic that was.

Oddly, never had any failures even in places I should never have used it, but now I wonder if that was only because it took me so long to finish the projects that it had cured to hell and gone by the time it was put in use.
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Being a Kerdi shower specialist, I have no use for mastic, but I'm not opposed to it for walls in dry areas where smaller tiles are to be used. Mastic needs air to dry, and larger tiles block too much of that air.

I have a serious problem, though, when manufacturers label mastic as "pre-mixed thinset." I believe the practice is deceptive, and I believe it's aimed at unsuspecting consumers. This belief is based on the knowledge that "pre-mixed thinset" is found usually only in the places where do-it-yourselfers are likely to shop -- Home Depot et al.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
I believe the practice is deceptive,
Yep,that hits the (ringshanked) nail on the head
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