The Family Handyman - - HOME CARE + REPAIR -

Thin-set is the ce­ment-based go-to ad­he­sive for most tile projects. As you’re pe­rus­ing your op­tions, you’ll no­tice a price range of $8 to $30 per 50-lb. bag. The least ex­pen­sive thin-set is just Port­land ce­ment and graded sand, and it has worked for cen­turies. It’s ap­pro­pri­ate for por­ous tile over con­crete sub­strates.

How­ever, most mod­ern floor tile is porce­lain. The more ex­pen­sive “mod­i­fied” thin-sets have var­i­ous lev­els and types of poly­mer ad­di­tives, which in­creases their ad­he­sion and flex­i­bil­ity–as well as their price. They were de­vel­oped to bond im­per­vi­ous tile, such as porce­lain or glass, to most any sub­strate.

I use the best pos­si­ble thin-set avail­able for any given cir­cum­stance. Cov­er­age for a 50-lb. bag is about 50 sq. ft., and a typ­i­cal bath­room takes one bag. An ex­tra 20 bucks to en­sure that the tile will stay stuck is cheap in­sur­ance.

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