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Unread 07-30-2022, 03:02 PM   #1
Tom L.
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Thin set

I promise I have searched the forum. I am in Alabama and cannot get Schluter thin set without it being very expensive. I see that Versabond is recommended and purchased White Versabond MTSW50 from Home depot. When I mixed the thin set it seemed awfully sandy to me but I applied it to the drywall but didn't like the consistency so I took it off. Is there a difference in white and Grey versabond or did I just not mix it correctly?
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Unread 07-30-2022, 06:17 PM   #2
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Hello, Tom. Are you putting Kerdi on the wall, or tile, or something else?

To give you a general answer, the color is the only difference I'm aware of.
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Unread 07-30-2022, 06:34 PM   #3
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Welcome, Tom.

If you don't add that geographic location to your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page.

I've never bought Versabond in Alabama, but I do know the user experience can vary a good deal between geographic locations. More than one tile contractor from the northeastern US has told me they will not use Versabond, saying things such as, "it's junk." I've used Versabond in my area for decades and have always found it to be consistent and quite usable.

As for white or gray, in general the white Portland cement is prone to being of somewhat higher quality than gray, but for quality of finished thinset mortar product, I think Kevin's correct. Different colors.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-30-2022, 07:11 PM   #4
Tom L.
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Thanks. I think maybe I just didn't add enough water? It seemed to get a little thick in a very short amount of time. I followed all the instructions although I did only mix half of the bag "measured" incase something went wrong. Versabond seems to be recommended a lot and is easy to get. Yes I am putting schluter kerdi on drywall.
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Unread 07-31-2022, 12:04 AM   #5
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Tom, here's a few things to help out with Kerdi installation.

1. I usually pre-cut all my pieces ahead of time. I don't want any lag time for anything on waterproofing day. Also, I mark off where the edge of every sheet will be, so that I make sure to cover all areas fully.

2. Keep a clean bucket of water and a sponge near the shower for a couple of things. You'll want to dampen the wall immediately before applying mortar, and you'll be able to clean up messes quickly.

3. Don't mix any mortar until you have everything else ready. Mix it a little on the runny side so that when you comb it out, the notch will hold, but no thicker than that. This seems to be the biggest challenge for DIYer's.

When applying mortar, get a good amount on the wall and push it around with the flat side of the trowel, then begin notching it, pushing upward whenever possible. Downward strokes will allow the excess mortar to fall to the floor. Work quickly, but make sure to cover every square inch.

4. After you get the mortar combed out, immediately put the sheet over it. Use your lines to get it straight, then you can take a little more time to get it flattened out and thoroughly embedded in the mortar.

5. Routinely pull back a corner of the sheet to make sure you have full coverage of mortar between the sheet and the wall.

If you have trouble keeping up, consider making your sheets smaller.
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Unread 07-31-2022, 07:13 AM   #6
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Keep in mind that Schluter has two different mixing ratios depending on if you are installing tile of installing one of their membranes. If you just mixed Versabond up like you are going to set tile then it's not thin enough to install Kerdi. Especially in the heat of summer.
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Unread 07-31-2022, 08:29 AM   #7
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I've been mixing up numerous small batches of VB for my current bathroom remodel, Tom, and have not had an issue with it being sandy. Be certain you are using the correct amount of water (as mentioned above, you want the final mix to be thinner for installing Kerdi) and that you mix it, let it slake, and re-mix it for the proper amount of time.

I assume the bag you're using was recently purchased. If you bought it some time ago, or if it's been sitting around open for months, that could be the problem.
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Unread 07-31-2022, 11:08 AM   #8
Tom L.
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I do have everything pre cut. I will use more water the next try. if I'm not happy with the next batch can someone suggest a thin set I can get at Lowes? The versaboand was recently purchased "the last two weeks".
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Unread 07-31-2022, 05:05 PM   #9
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Two things...it usually only happens when they have to ship the cement-based materials longer distances, but it's possible that the materials are no longer mixed well in the bag and end up a bit stratified. IOW, the sand and aggregate might have sifted into layers versus being a homogenous mix. The way to test that out would be to dry mix the entire bag, then pull out the amount you want to mix with the water.

Second, if you did not wipe down the surface well with a wet sponge, the dry surface can suck a bunch of the moisture out, making the mortar stiffer. By wiping down the surface first, the water in the mix can keep the mortar the designed fluidity and it removes any surface dust in the process.
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Unread 07-31-2022, 05:55 PM   #10
Tom L.
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I did think about the settling issue and will definitely dry mix before hand the next bag. I did wet sponge but maybe not enough.
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Unread 08-03-2022, 10:54 PM   #11
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And there’s nothing wrong with damp-wiping the drywall a second time.

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