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Old 11-25-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


I just got bummed out as I was nearing the end of my small bathroom tile job. I could have sworn I did the square footage right but I guess I didn't take into account what the Ditra takes into it's little cubbies. I'm roughly 5 tiles from finishing and ran out of thin set. It's to late to get anything today and with work tomorrow, the earliest I'll get to finish is tomorrow evening so my tile will be set by then. I used an unmodifed Mapie thinset over Ditra. When I finish this up tomorrow with a new bag of thinset, will I be able to level the tiles to the set ones and not have to worry about ending up with unlevel tiles once everything is set? Is there anything special I should do when I finish the remaining tiles?

I guess for now all there is to do is relax and have a homebrew.

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Old 11-25-2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


Let that set for an hour and then take a blade and scrape out any squeeze out that might interfere with the placement of the missing tile---one slow beer---or two quick ones----

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Old 11-25-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


So other than making sure I clear out anything that'll set and interfere with the remaining tiles, they shouldn't settle to where I can't get the new ones level with them then?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


Continuing won't be a problem. Just mix the thinset to the same consistency and of course use the same trowel and technique, no problem. You will be able to control the height fine, use a wooden block and tap with a rubber mallet to set.

I'm wondering which unmodified Mapei thinset you were able to find and where.

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Old 11-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


I got the stuff from Lowes. It just said Mapei wall and floor tile unmodified thinset. I looked it up on their site for the mixing instructions so you can find it there. I don't think it's anything special, probably pretty low end but not the lowest I saw at Home Depot. Between Home Depot and Lowes, it seemed to be the best they had. I didn't want to stray from the directions for the Ditra. I used this same stuff on my other bathroom tile job and so far it's done well for us.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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Well....OK. I was wondering which Mapei unmodified you found at Lowes, you already said it was Mapei. The reason is that not many Lowes stores carry the premium unmodified Schluter would like you to use. So I see you used the one they label for Lowes called Floor & Wall Tile Mortar. I believe it's really their Keraset, not exactly high quality stuff. But technically any mortar that meets A118.1 should be OK.

Next time please ask for another recommendation cuz if it is like Keraset, it's not highly thought of in the industry. But you're right that when it comes to unmodified mortars Lowes is better than the Home Depot. Actually the HD doesn't offer one in most stores.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #7
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


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Well....OK. I was wondering which Mapei unmodified you found at Lowes, you already said it was Mapei. The reason is that not many Lowes stores carry the premium unmodified Schluter would like you to use. So I see you used the one they label for Lowes called Floor & Wall Tile Mortar. I believe it's really their Keraset, not exactly high quality stuff.
It's Mapei Floor & Wall Tile Mortar, available for viewing on Mapei's website. If they were offering Keraset for Lowes exclusively, I don't see why they would do it that way. Lowes also carries Kerabond though, which is good stuff.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


It's my understanding that Kerabond and Keraset are two entirely different things (the former being a good stuff).

Mapei Floor & Wall Tile Mortar exceeds A118.1 by more margin than Mapei Floor Tile Mortar but is equivalent to the numbers reported for Keraset. The only unmodified thinset I've seen in Home Depot was CustomBlend (ahem...even worse than Keraset).

All I know is that I use Kerabond (Lowes) under DITRA and Versabond (HD) over and everyone's happy.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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It's my understanding that Kerabond and Keraset are two entirely different things (the former being a good stuff).
Kerabond is a bit better, but I have a very hard time believing they're that different.

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All I know is that I use Kerabond (Lowes) under DITRA and Versabond (HD) over and everyone's happy.
That would not be a good idea. Is that a typo and you got it backwards? Versabond between plywood and Ditra, Kerabond between Ditra and tile. Of course if you're going over concrete then Kerabond under Ditra is fine, but Versabond on top of Ditra is not recommended.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:33 PM   #10
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


I haven't found any Kerabond at Lowes. Maybe they carry it in some stores.

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Kerabond is a bit better, but I have a very hard time believing they're that different.
How much difference in quality is significant? Kerabond is good stuff, the $6-8 stuff is bare minimum, nothing I would buy for my customers.

Yeah, Zakany got it backwards. If Kerabond is available why not use it to set the tiles? Well, actually many people are afraid to use unmodified to set porcelain even on Ditra and Kerdi. No faith in Schluter's instructions I guess. But in the end it'll work fine.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #11
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


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the $6-8 stuff is bare minimum, nothing I would buy for my customers.
OK well I will admit I don't have a good handle on the price of these things. Partly because Mapei makes about 50 million versions of this stuff, and Lowes carries different versions than the tile shop where I get my stuff at a discount.

So yeah, I just buy Kerabond because it costs $12 and change, so why would I bother with cheaper stuff? Maybe if I were a big tile company and my bottom line at the end of the year dropped $10,000 or something it might make me think.

I'm just saying that sometimes these things get exaggerated. I've seen installations with the Versabond that everyone trashes, and they've lasted years and years with no problems, so how bad can it really be?
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:10 PM   #12
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Ran out of thin set just before finishing tile....Now what


Not saying Versabond is bad, but it is an "entry-level" quality modified which therefore does not meet Schluter's recommendations because it's modified. So, Versabond is adequate for most installations where a modified is required.

Heck, I used to use Tec's Full-Flex at about $24 wholesale back in the late '90's before I realized I should/could use unmodified over Ditra.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:30 PM   #13
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So, Versabond is adequate for most installations where a modified is required.
Yeah exactly, that's what I think too. But to listen to most of the regulars around here, you'd think if you used it your floor would cave in or your tiles would spontaneously combust. Like, "sure, you can use it, as long as you don't plan on actually stepping on your tile floor!" Or "why use Versabond, just save money and mix flour and water instead!"

As far as I know, I've never seen tile fail due to cheap thinset. I've seen it fail because it was set on plywood and the plywood got wet. I've seen it fail because it was set directly over drywall in a shower. I've seen it fail because of 20% tile coverage. I've seen it fail because the thinset was mixed way too dry, or because it has started to set before the tile was set. But not because of the thinset itself.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe someone will now say that if they had used Kerabond instead, even those things wouldn't have caused failures.

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