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Old 08-03-2019, 12:33 AM   #16
Kman
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Yeah, outside the wet area, go for it. As long as it's not getting water on it, mastic is fine.

I also wouldn't use it with a large format tile.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:13 AM   #17
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What Kevin said, the walls you mentioned are fine for mastic.

A few years ago I got a call from a designer that I had worked with a lot in the past. She asked me if I remembered tiling the kitchen back splash at a particular house about a year earlier. I told her yes and she said that the homeowners decided they wanted to change it out with a different tile. I told her fine and I met with her to go over the footages and labor numbers. I thought to myself, I'm pretty sure I used mastic for this job, I should be able to get them to pull off and reuse the old sheetrock. We started tearing it out and removing the tiles was tearing huge holes out of the rock. We ended up having to replace the sheetrock too. The tiles were really stuck. There's your success story. It was in a dry area.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:30 AM   #18
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My bathroom had tiles in the tub surround and a wainscot of tile about 4' high on 2 other walls behind toilet and sink. I tore everything out to the studs, redid the drywall with paperless sheetrock, put up cement board behind all the tile, waterproofed everything etc. Now I wish I just kept the tile in the wet area and set all the outside with drywall. It was a lot less trouble and I would've been done a lot sooner plus that drywall area was cheaper than the tiled area. Good primer and paint can take some splashing if you have good ventilation. I'm doing this by myself nights and weekends working full time so it's a similar situation.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:38 AM   #19
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Kevin and Davy, thanks for your replies. So if I do go with mastic for the dry areas, which I'm leaning towards at this point, is there one that is best? Also, The epoxy grout I mentioned is quite pricy, is it worth it or should I just use a standard grout and seal it?
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:59 AM   #20
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Thanks, Paul, I can relate. I actually thought of putting 1/4" drywall over all of the cement board in the dry areas at one point. I was talked out of it by some friends, but, if I were to start over I would make this project much simpler/cheaper.

My goal with all tile is to keep maintenance low. One less room to paint is going to save me time down the road, but it's a lot of work upfront. It's crazy how much harder this is to get done vs a project that I can devote 8-10 hours per day to. If only I could take a week off of work and send the family off on a trip; I'd have this done in no time. Hmm...
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:00 PM   #21
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I don't use much Standard grout (like Polyblend) anymore and I'm not crazy about the premixed grouts, mainly the way they act. I like upgrading to Prism or Spectralock. And I don't see much need in sealing bathroom tiles.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:50 PM   #22
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Thanks, Davy. I'll look into the grouts you mentioned.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:52 AM   #23
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22 years ago when I was a "noob DIYer" (now I'm just an old DIYer ) I tiled a tub/shower surround and adjacent wainscotting using mastic. For the tub surround walls I used DensShield board (probably the first generation of the stuff) so it was completely waterproof. The wainscotting was over conventional drywall. I used the cheapest mastic from HD, along with ordinary cement grout from HD and inexpensive 6x6 tiles from HD.

My family used that tub/shower daily for 20 years (it was the only tub/shower in the house). After 20 years I sold the house and the tile looked like the day I installed it. I never had a single issue.

There you have it... Your success story.

Since then I've done a number of backsplashes using mastic because it's convenient, and it works well for that application. I probably wouldn't use mastic in a wet area again, but that's solely because of what I've learned from this site.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:12 AM   #24
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Thanks, Warren. I'm glad to hear that there are examples of this stuff holding up. I plan to be in this house another 20-30 years so it's good to hear you got 20 years without a problem.

Apparently, one of my buddies, who owns a crazy number of rentals (~30, I think), uses mastic when he remodels his bathrooms, including in the showers. We were talking yesterday and he says they're holding up well. Some have been in place for about a decade now. I'll count those among the success stories, too.

I'm going to give the OmniGrip a try. My plan is to start on the smallest wall, which also happens to be the dryest location. If I don't like if for some reason I'll move on to thinset.

I've read through the reviews and it appears that most of the people who are unhappy with the product didn't make themselves aware of the products limitations prior to installing it. A lot of reviews where people are unhappy with the product's performance used the product with large format tile and then are upset that it isn't drying. Others used it on a cement floor and are upset it isn't drying. It's probably not a long shot to assume that the people who used it on their cement floor didn't bother to check the moisture content ahead of time.

At this point, I'm confident my 3x10 tile in a dry location will be ok set in mastic. I'll report back once I finish.
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Old 08-04-2019, 11:21 AM   #25
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When you elect to use an organic adhesive for your tile setting, Matthew, be sure what you're using is a Type I, as opposed to a Type II product. Your OmniGrip is a Type I.

And recognize that you are gonna spend a lot more money for that perceived convenience, compared to using a thinset mortar.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:02 PM   #26
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I think the last time I bought a 3.5 gallon bucket of mastic, it was $35-40.

The same amount of mortar would probably cost around $10. Or look at it another way: you can buy almost three 50 lb. bags of mortar for the same amount that bucket costs.

You could throw away a good amount and still come out ahead with mortar.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:24 PM   #27
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Thanks, CX and Kevin. I actually put together a spreadsheet a couple of days ago. You are both right, I'd save a little money. I factored in 4 homer buckets that I'd end up tossing and the possibility of losing some tools and still came out about $70 ahead using thinset. The advantage is I could tile in 15 or 20-minute increments with the mastic, I don't think I could do that with the thinset, it takes 15 miuntes just to mix it.

I had a big floor leveling project that I needed a mixer for and I ended up with this one, it works really well with ProLite but always stalls out/overheats with Versabond (no matter what, tried several techniques, it's just too thick unless I add more water, even with only a partial bag). If I go the thinset route I'll need to find an economical thinset that mixes easily enough to not stall out my mixer. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:35 PM   #28
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I ran the Technical Services department at MAPEI for many years. MAPEI sells Mastic products through big box stores such as Lowes and Floor and Decor so you know they see the worst of the worst as far as DIY horror stories. There just weren't that many issues with Mastic. The issues there were invariably were caused by using the product directly over a waterproof membrane, typically with a large format tile on top. Mastic dries by air movement so a membrane below and a porcelain tile on top doesn't allow any air to contact the product.

I can't speak for the mastic you're considering, but Type 1 from MAPEI will be absolutely fine in your situation. When I was there we tested those products constantly to make sure they would work. Give it a minimum of 3 days to dry (7 would be better), follow it up with Ultracolor Plus FA (mix it in a bucket) or Flexcolor CQ (premixed, follow the cleaning direction carefully) grout and you should be good to go.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:21 PM   #29
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Thanks, Dan. I haven't bought any mastic yet, I'm still working on the tub surround. I'll look into the MAPEI product you mentioned.
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