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Old 11-17-2010, 06:27 AM   #1
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain (sp?) tiles? Which is best for floor, back splash? What bonding agent (mastic/mortar/glue) would you use for each?

Thanks All!

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Old 11-17-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles. Tiles manufactured in the porcelain class are made from a slightly different recipe and porcelain tiles will be the same color all the way through the tile. Glazed-porcelain tiles may have a surface that varies slightly from the body of the tile.
Porcelain tiles are considered to be of a slightly better quality than regular ceramic tiles but that's arguable.

You should in most all cases use thinset tile mortar to install all floor and shower tiles.

Mastics (organic adhesives) don't like porcelain tile very much but there are some applications where organics can be acceptable but not very many.

Don't know what you mean by "glue" but I can tell you in the tile trades there is basically no such thing as "tile-glue".

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:27 AM   #3
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles. Tiles manufactured in the porcelain class are made from a slightly different recipe and porcelain tiles will be the same color all the way through the tile. Glazed-porcelain tiles may have a surface that varies slightly from the body of the tile.
Porcelain tiles are considered to be of a slightly better quality than regular ceramic tiles but that's arguable.

You should in most all cases use thinset tile mortar to install all floor and shower tiles.

Mastics (organic adhesives) don't like porcelain tile very much but there are some applications where organics can be acceptable but not very many.

Don't know what you mean by "glue" but I can tell you in the tile trades there is basically no such thing as "tile-glue".
Thanks Bud, the glue I was refering to was the mastic. Not sure of the terminology. Can either tile be put on the floor? Or say a back splash? I guess to better phrase my question would be what tiles (type) go on the floor and what go on the back splash, and what adhesive would be used for each.

THANKS
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:31 AM   #4
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


Simple rule would be that the vast majority of floor tiles can be use on walls as well, but the vast majority of wall tiles may not be used on floors. If you're using a porcelain, glazed porcelain or a glazed ceramic intended for the floor, it is alright to use on your backsplash. If you're using a wall tile for your backsplash, you should not use it on a floor.

There are several differences between floor tile and wall tile. Usually, wall tiles are softer, thinner, lighter and the glazed surface is thinner. These things mean they could fail by breakage or glazing wear.

Floor tiles are the opposite typically. They're thicker, heavier and the glazing is thicker and harder to withstand the traffic on the floor.

I suggest in your Floor/Backsplash is to use modified (polymer added) thin-set on your floor on just about any underlayment and if you're sticking your backsplash to the drywall, use mastic. If you've got a masonry backer for your backsplash you could use either the same thin-set from the floor or the mastic.

Another note... when you pick your grout, remember that there is "floor grout" (sanded) and there is "wall grout" (unsanded). Your choice is not dependent on the installation surface (wall/floor) it's dependent on the type of ceramic (wall/floor). The secondary qualifier is the size of your grout joints. Wall grout is good for up to 1/8" wide joints and floor grout for joints bigger than 1/8" wide. Some porcelain tiles are near perfect and are installed with 1/8" joints. In those cases you would use wall grout despite being installed on a floor.

Of course, this opinion is based on my experience in the field. Some may agree; some may not...
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:34 AM   #5
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
You should in most all cases use thinset tile mortar to install all floor and shower tiles.

Mastics (organic adhesives) don't like porcelain tile very much but there are some applications where organics can be acceptable but not very many.
Thanks for the excellent info, Bud!


Hey - I've always figured that when I'm tiling backsplash, around a fireplace, or any non-wet wall, I'd just go ahead and use Thinset anyway.

Is there any reason to choose Mastik over Thinset in any application?
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:51 PM   #6
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


Quote:
Is there any reason to choose Mastik over Thinset in any application?
Not in my opinion!

I will tell you that I do use mastic for back splashes mostly in the winter when I don't want to freeze my butt off going outside to mix thinset and clean buckets and trowels. But that's just lazy.

I wouldn't use it on a fireplace surround either but that's just me. Heat shouldn't be an issue but I still prefer cement.

Greg has offered some good information. I might add however that unsanded thinset has a strong tendency to shrink. If using floor tiles on walls and even when the grout lines are very narrow I wouldn't use unsanded grout if sanded would work, unless it was at the customers insistence. The unsanded shrinks and when used with the thicker floor tiles it leaves a sinking appearance after drying in most cases. That almost always results in a re-grout. Hate it when that happens!
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:11 PM   #7
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


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Originally Posted by GB Greg View Post
Simple rule would be that the vast majority of floor tiles can be use on walls as well, but the vast majority of wall tiles may not be used on floors. If you're using a porcelain, glazed porcelain or a glazed ceramic intended for the floor, it is alright to use on your backsplash. If you're using a wall tile for your backsplash, you should not use it on a floor.

There are several differences between floor tile and wall tile. Usually, wall tiles are softer, thinner, lighter and the glazed surface is thinner. These things mean they could fail by breakage or glazing wear.

Floor tiles are the opposite typically. They're thicker, heavier and the glazing is thicker and harder to withstand the traffic on the floor.

I suggest in your Floor/Backsplash is to use modified (polymer added) thin-set on your floor on just about any underlayment and if you're sticking your backsplash to the drywall, use mastic. If you've got a masonry backer for your backsplash you could use either the same thin-set from the floor or the mastic.

Another note... when you pick your grout, remember that there is "floor grout" (sanded) and there is "wall grout" (unsanded). Your choice is not dependent on the installation surface (wall/floor) it's dependent on the type of ceramic (wall/floor). The secondary qualifier is the size of your grout joints. Wall grout is good for up to 1/8" wide joints and floor grout for joints bigger than 1/8" wide. Some porcelain tiles are near perfect and are installed with 1/8" joints. In those cases you would use wall grout despite being installed on a floor.

Of course, this opinion is based on my experience in the field. Some may agree; some may not...

I think that answer covered all my tile questions! THANK YOU
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Not in my opinion!

I will tell you that I do use mastic for back splashes mostly in the winter when I don't want to freeze my butt off going outside to mix thinset and clean buckets and trowels. But that's just lazy.
That's exactly what I was hoping to hear.

Right now I'm in the middle of a tiling project for my sister-in-law. She has a stack of about 75 5-quart ice cream buckets. I told her I was going to use them to mix my Thinset and that I wasn't going to even try to clean them out - especially outside!

What's she gonna do - fire me?
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:38 AM   #9
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Floor/Backsplash - Ceramic/Porcelian - Mastic/mortar???


In Summary:

Mastic for backsplashes and mortar for floor?! sound about right?

Floor tiles - floor and wall
Wall tiles - wall

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