Asked by: Astika Meyeroff
business and finance construction industry

What is modified thinset mortar?

Last Updated: 7th January, 2020

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Unmodified thinset has been around forever. Unlike unmodified mortar, which consists only of a blend of Portland cement, sand, and water retention agents, modified thinset includes additional retention products, such as latex polymers, which can increase its performance and strength.

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Considering this, is modified and fortified Thinset the same?

There are several terms, 'fortified, modified, latex, polymer', etc. These thinset mortar are either blended with dry latex in the bag, or mixed with an additive instead of water. This type of mortar has more strength, has flex, and is generally better than thinsets that are 'unmodified'.

what is unmodified thinset used for? Unmodified thinset is a blend of portland cement that's mixed with sand (silica), and water retention additives, usually lime. Water is then added to the blend to create the final mortar. Unmodified thinset is also known as dry set mortar. This type of thinset mortar is best for ceramic or natural stone installations.

Also question is, is modified thinset waterproof?

All portland based cementious products will allow water to pass through. The latex modified is more resistant due to the latex that is mixed in with the adhesive but that doesn;t make it "waterproof". The latex also allows a bit more flex in the tile and substrate. As Jason described, thinset itself isn't waterproof.

Can I use modified thinset over concrete?

Modified thinset, on the other hand, is not recommended because it relies on air to cure properly. It's important to note that latex-modified thinset can still be used between the membrane and the subfloor because it is not impervious. However, unmodified thinset should be used between the membrane and the tile.

Related Question Answers

Spas Dercksen

Professional

Is VersaBond a modified thinset?

The Custom Building Products VersaBond 50 lbs. Fortified Thin-Set Mortar is a professional formula, all-purpose mortar, polymer-modified to provide good bond strengths. VersaBond cures quickly and adheres to most surfaces. Suitable substrates include interior and exterior floors, countertops and walls.

Yakira Crespillo

Professional

Can I use thinset over redguard?

You''ll be fine with thinset over Redguard on walls. It's recommended for waterproofing niches, shelves, and entire shower walls when tar paper or poly are not used as a vapor barrier behind the CBU.

Shenika Cervenka

Explainer

Is VersaBond modified or unmodified?

VersaBond® Professional Thin-Set Mortar. A professional formula, all-purpose mortar, polymer-modified to provide good bond strength for floor and tile projects. VersaBond® cures quickly even in cold climates and adheres to most surfaces, exceeding ANSI A118.

Arkadiy Naim

Explainer

What are the different types of thinset?

There are two main kinds of thinset tile mortar:
  • Dry, powdered thinset: Standard thinset comes as a bagged powder that you mix with water.
  • Premixed thinset: Premixed thinset comes in big tubs and is ready to apply right out of the package.

Borjas Uzkudun

Pundit

Can I use modified thinset on Kerdi?

Modified thinset mortars aren't recommended for use with Kerdi because they must dry out to gain strength, whereas the membrane inhibits drying, which can lead to unpredictable results. Schluter's recommendation is to use unmodified thinset mortar when installing Kerdi over most shower substrates.

Yijun Klausjurgens

Pundit

What is dry set mortar?

Dry-Set Mortar is formulated for use indoors or outdoors in commercial or residential construction to install ceramic tile. The mortar is for use in floor or wall tile applications.

Rayhana Ambacher

Pundit

Can you use thinset to level a floor?

You can use thinset to install tile over an uneven cement floor and leave the floor perfectly level. You can also use thinset mortar to level out an uneven cement floor or fill small holes in the floor without installing tile.

Ismahane Iparralde

Pundit

What is the difference between Thinset and mortar?

The differences between grout, thinset, and mortar for tile projects: Mortar: Mortars are used to bind one surface to another. You might use thinset as your adhesive if you plan to tile a shower floor or use heavier materials. Thinset contains sand, water, and cement.

Esmeraldo Dobon

Pundit

Zhimin Estornell

Teacher

How thick can Thinset be applied?

The terms thinset cement, thinset mortar, dryset mortar, and drybond mortar are synonymous. This type of cement is designed to adhere well in a thin layer - typically not greater than 3/16th thick. For example, a 3/8" notch trowel will produce a 3/16th inch thick coating after the tiles are pressed in to the cement.

Cordell Langmann

Teacher

Do you need Thinset under cement board?

Since you are putting down hardie board on boards with small gaps, I would not recommend trying to put down thinset under it. It will make an enormous mess under the house (or whatever is under your bathroom). It is also more likely to make the floor uneven since it is hard to level thinset that is separated by gaps.

Jokin Abdrazakoff

Teacher

Is mortar waterproof?

Yes, mortar is waterproof. It is "relatively unaffected" by water "under specified conditions". However, anything claiming waterproof is likely a long way away from being watertight or impervious to water. M4 mortar is actually just concrete, with one part portland and four parts sand, according to Boral.

Fandila Schlumbohm

Teacher

Which Thinset for Kerdi?

Unmodified thin-set mortar is recommended to set ceramic and stone tile, including large format tiles, over the KERDI membrane. Portland cement-based unmodified thin-set mortars are dependent on the presence of moisture for hydration in order to gain strength.

Bradly Chuvilo

Reviewer

What is the best Thinset for porcelain tile?

The Laticrete 254 Platinum Multipurpose Thinset Mortar is one of the best multipurpose adhesives we offer. It is a polymer-fortified thinset mortar for both interior and exterior installations that only needs to be mixed with water.

Vesela Janni

Reviewer

What is the best Thinset for shower tile?

Porcelain Tile: Most thinset manufacturer's want you to use a modified mortar for porcelain tile. Porcelain tile is near impervious and can be difficult for the mortars to grab a hold of which is the reason for the modified mortars. They grab better.

Nissrine Geffarth

Reviewer

Will new Thinset bond to old Thinset?

You can put new thinset on top of old, but only if the old thinset is perfectly smooth and level. Use a floor grinder and pass it back and forth over the old thinset until it is perfectly smooth and level. You can now tile directly on top of it as if it were a new surface.

Hadda Andone

Reviewer

Can Thinset be used as grout?

Thinset mortar is an adhesive and binds the tile to the subfloor beneath. Grout is a filler used in the joints or gaps between the tiles. The products aren't interchangeable. Using mortar as grout to fill in the cracks could cause problems for your floor over time.

Lusine Schedlich

Supporter

Can I use unmodified thinset for porcelain tile?

1 to install ceramic (including porcelain) and stone tile over DITRA and DITRA-XL. Portland cement-based unmodified thin-set mortars are dependent on the presence of moisture for hydration in order to gain strength. Since DITRA is impervious, it does not deprive the mortar of its moisture.

Guoping Schmiedt

Supporter

What is the difference between latex and polymer modified thinset?

Mostly a difference in terminology. All thinsets that are latex or polymer modified with have add'l flex and shock resistance ; more so than the basic thinsets. In your case, any of the latex modified or polymer modified thinsets will work. I prefer Versabond from Custom.