As a tile installation technician, you already know the purpose of thinset. In the simplest terms, it’s the glue that sticks all the tile together and in place.
However, thinset isn’t one size fits all. Some thinsets are modified while others are unmodified. So, what’s the difference?
Unmodified thinset, also known as dry-set mortar, is made up of Portland cement mixed with sand and additives that impact the retention of water. Unmodified thinset is used in thin-bed installations using ceramic or natural stone tiles over many types of surfaces.
Modified thinset, also known as latex or polymer modified thinset, is a mix of Portland cement, sand, and latex/polymer additives. Modified thinsets are suitable for a variety of tiles and surfaces, and have excellent adhesion and bond strength. They reduce water absorption, as well as resist shock and impact.
Which should you use? As a general rule, glass and porcelain tile typically require modified thinset, while more traditional tiles can be installed with either. However, it’s important to follow the tile manufacturer’s recommendations, as the tile you’re installing may have special qualities and require a specific thinset.
If your tile manufacturer calls for polymer modified thinset, we carry a number of options at Tile Pro Depot. Here are just a couple:
Laticrete 255 MULTIMAX Multipurpose Thinset Mortar
255 MULTIMAX is a patented polymer modified multipurpose thinset mortar. It is reinforced with Kevlar technology for a fantastic non-sag performance and allows for adjustability of large format tile and stone on walls. Simply mix with water for maximum strength and performance.
This multipurpose thinset can be built up to ¾” without shrinkage on floors. It also won’t have slump, sag, or lippage. The consistency is incredibly lightweight, which allows for ease of troweling onto the substrate. A 40 pound bag of 255 MULTIMAX provides the same amount of coverage as a 50 pound bag of standard thinset – allowing you to maximize your money! Select the Best Trowel Size
Laticrete 253 GOLD Multipurpose Thinset Mortar
The 253 GOLD Multipurpose Thinset from Laticrete is an excellent choice for when you need a superior product but not maximum performance. It is a polymer fortified bagged thinset powder that can be used to install ceramic tile, porcelain tile, and stone in both interior and exterior floor and wall installations. It’s perfect for installations over concrete, exterior glue plywood, and a number of other substrates. It has a smooth and creamy consistency, and contains Microban antimicrobial protection that inhibits the growth of mold and mildew that can cause stains.
At Tile Pro Depot, we carry a large assortment of polymer modified thinsets to suit your every need. Whether you’re looking for maximum performance, something more budget friendly, or modified thinset for finicky glass tile, we carry everything you need.
Visit our website to view our large selection of modified and unmodified thinsets, as well as our great variety of tile installation tools and accessories. We aim to be your one stop shop for all things tile installation, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.