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Unread 09-12-2019, 03:36 PM   #1
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Powder Room Wall Tile Questions - Mastic, Substrate, Technique

I am redoing my powder room (one sink and a toilet, no shower). I am installing a decorative tile wall on the back wall measuring 5 feet wide and 9.5 feet tall. The tiles are porcelain 8x8 tiles. There is very little water in this room, no humidity concerns, and the tile wall shouldn't see much if any water.

I have three initial questions (I am sure I will have more):

1. What substrate should I use on the wall? Would fiber cement boards add any strength or be of any value? Would gypsum boards be fine?

2. I assume there is a maximum recommended tile height. I can't seem to find this in the building codes or the manufactures documents. Where would I find this info? Should I be doing anything particular because of the height?

3. Mastic. I strongly suspect the predominant opinion is avoid mastic. However, this seems like it might be the right use for mastic (no water, installing on a wall...). Should I still avoid mastic?

Thanks for the help.
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Unread 09-12-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
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Location: Boise, ID
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Actually, I think you have a good candidate for mastic.

Once accustomed to mortar, it has some handling advantages that make it preferable to many, including me. Although I wouldn't have a problem with mastic in your installation.

Vertical height limit? The only concern I can think of would be tile weight bearing on slip-slidey mastic before it cures enough to resist it. Mortar easily wins this battle. Early shear strength wayyyy better than mastic.

Drywall is a fine substrate. Particularly since it probably already there? Scuff paint, tile away with either mastic or thinset mortar.

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