Mastic or Thinset for walls around tub?

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Topic by DustyDave posted 07-16-2008 12:42 PM 17289 views 2 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 5461 days

07-16-2008 12:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

The tile company where we bought our tile gave us mastic for adhesive to attach the tiles around the walls of our bathroom. Many of the books I have looked at recently discuss using thinset. Is there any reason to use thinset versus mastic? Would mastic be a mistake?


Betty & Dave.

View Catspaw's profile


35 posts in 5454 days

07-17-2008 01:56 AM

They both work. Everybody has their preference with their own reasons.

Mastic probably (by logic) has a better water-proof feel to it.

Both work fine when applied properly.

The only reason I change from thinset might be because of glass tiles or something where the color might show through.

With less experience, I would probably choose mastic because it’s stickier.

I figure thinset is alittle more like earth stuff rather than petroleum stuff.

10’s of thousands of thinset baths have been built and will last life times. same with mastic. It’s all about proper install and maintainence. (I don’t know anybody that does a shower pan with mastic ….and shower pans are most suceptable of water intrusion.)

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View wyly's profile


8 posts in 5418 days

07-18-2008 10:39 PM

6 months ago I would have said mastic but now from experience I know there there is a thinset that has incredible holding power…I previously struggled with tiling shower ceilings, using screws, tuck tape ,sticks anything else to hold up the tiles until the mastic or thinset dried…then I had a conversation wih an old tile man who mentioned a thinset that would holld a18×18 to the ceiling, I’ve used it and it did the job…it’s only thinset for me now, if do a small repair I’ll use PL Premium…. the glass tiles could be a problem with colour coming through but there are also light coloured thinsets ….

I can’t recall the name of the product but when I find it I’ll post it here…

View dustygirl's profile


321 posts in 5258 days

11-18-2008 04:06 PM

Thank you for sharing this info.I am tossing it around in my head to do some tiles in my kitchen this winter.

-- Dustygirl Hastings,Ont. Life is too short to sit around doing nothing

View RichinsCarpentry's profile


10 posts in 5167 days

02-01-2009 10:03 AM

If your doing a kitchen back splash then mastic is much easier and cleaner to use. We use thin set exclusively in bath and floors. Just our preference.

-- Dion, www.richinscarpentry.com

View Eddy's profile


14 posts in 5125 days

03-15-2009 05:58 AM

I’ve tried both and strongly prefer thinset. I have done a shower and a backsplash with mastic and it took a long time to set. If a spacer falls out you can get a tile that sags. I’m talking 3 or 4 days before I could take out spacers with the mastic I used. Thinset all the way in my opinion. Careful not to leave mortar inbetween tiles its a pain to scrap it all off afterward.

View Eddy's profile


14 posts in 5125 days

03-15-2009 05:59 AM

wow I’m new here this is an old topic

View Harmonsmith's profile


5 posts in 5113 days

03-27-2009 08:11 AM

Mastic is tile adhesive, can, tub, or pail. Sometimes its labeled “premixed thinset” but its not the same.

Thinset is a bit harder to work with, since you have to mix the correct amount of water in, mix it completely, let it sit (slake?), then mix again and use before it hardens.(basically)

Mastic is, take the lid off, put it on with a notched trowel, stick the tile, put the lid back on (basically).

Pro’s are so used to using the same good quality product that it’s second nature to them, and they have the big power mixers, can work quickly…etc…they would probably use thinset even on a backsplash.

-- http://www.ciciliotandson.com/

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2 posts in 2133 days

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