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Unread 07-07-2006, 09:56 AM   #1
6yrslater
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River stones and porcelain tile mortar

On the floor of the shower I'll be using 12X12 gray flecked river stones set on mesh (called EW- Maui from a company called Original Style Limited in England).

I saw a bag of mortar a H-D called porcelain tile fortified thin-set mortar from Custom Building Products. It's white in color and mentions that it's designed for porcelain tiles and I read that it's designed for the fact that porcelain tiles do not absorb moisture from the mortar like regular tiles.

It's about 1/2 the price of the regular thin set mortar which got me to thinking (always dangerous) that since the stones on this mesh will not absorb water from the mortar this would be better mortar for setting the stones in than regular mortar. 3 questions come to mind.

Let me know what experience people have had with this product in a shower setting?

Does my logic make sense about using this for the stones?

Is this mortar ok to use with regular ceramic tiles or should I use regular thin set mortar for those?

My other tiles are a glazed blue 3X6 Ceramica Tena tiles for the shower walls and 13X13 Cerami Che gray floor tiles for the bathroom floor.

Thanks
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Unread 07-07-2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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howdy ma'am,

When you said "13X13 Cerami Che gray floor tiles for the bathroom floor" you probably meant 13X13 Ceramiche... since ceramiche is the Italian word for Ceramic and that makes sense. Saying they are "gray" doesn't add much information. This makes me conclude you are a DIY who buys at big box stores.

I never buy any tiles at a big box store. I almost never look. They are good for commodity type products only. My feeling.

You mentioned cheaper mortar from Custom. designed especailly for porcelain. (?!?) This intrigues me. What does Custom's web site say about it? Find it and give it a name. Please.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 11:47 AM   #3
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Hi 6yrslater, gotta first name we can call you? Sounds to me like you may
be referring to versabond. Its a customs thinset /white/ and is commonly
found at the depot. I just used it myself installing 18"x18" rectified porcelain
in my own kitchen. Versabond is an acryllic modified thinset which is
stronger than the basic unmodified thinset. It will be fine to use with your
ceramic tiles as well as the porcelain and stone. Good luck with your
project and happy tiling. If you need anymore help were always here
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Unread 07-07-2006, 12:00 PM   #4
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Jack they've got a new one specifically made for porcelian. Click here.
Yes 6yrs it would work ok for the stone tile. However if you were going for the theoretical best mortar for the stone it would be one that is more highly modified because A) the stone is very porous compared to porcelain & will dry the mortar quicker, and B) the loose pcs of stone that you will probably have often have a rounded bottom with a small contact surface so they could use the best attachment they can get.
If you make sure that all the stone are firmly bedded into mortar that isn't too dry, I'm sure the porcelain mortar would work great though.

Edit: David, Mr. 6yrs is a gentleman, not a ma'am.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 07:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for your comments and suggestions. T Hulse when you mention a even more highly modified thin-set did you have any brands/types in mind that you can share?. I plan to use a latex grout given the size of the grout area to reduce grime/soap buildup etc.

as an FYI we bought the tile at a flooring speciality store after checking several tile specific stores around Portland ME which had some of the same exact items. the stones are a granite and will be sealed prior to setting to give them that "wet" look my wife specified!

I see the link to the CBP website has been posted. If the plumbing goes as planned, I should be tiling in about a week so I'll let you know what how this comes out.

Christopher
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Unread 07-08-2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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Christopher there are so many good ones right now I don't want to make it sound like any one brand has a clear advantage over another, but right now my favorite mortar is Tec 3N1. A similar one is Custom Megalight, but these would be a poor choice for porcelain if it was over an impervious substrate like a liquid waterproofing layer or over a surface sheet membrane like Kerdi because they're highly modified & would dry too slowly.
The porcelian mortar you have selected is a fine one & I would be perfectly comfortable using this also for stone tile & regular ceramic.
Porcelain tile needs the best of both worlds: it's hard to stick to, so it needs a highly modified excellent bonding mortar, but it also is impervious so it needs a minimally modified mortar so that trapped moisture can cure properly when between two impervious layers. A conundrum of sorts, so any mortar that works good for porcelain has to be perfectly balanced in the middle & should naturally be a good choice for a wide range of different types of tile & substrates.
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Unread 07-10-2006, 09:02 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks all for your comments. I'm sure I'll find (or create) another conundrum along the way and be back for more suggestions!
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