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  • Thinset not setting!

    I have always used a dry mix powder thinset for floor tiling.
    But this time I was in a hurry, so I bought a bucket of pre-mixed wet thinset.
    Eight days after install, the mortar is still flexible, and I'm getting annoyed.
    I knew that since this job is in a basement, that the set up time might take a little longer, but this is ridiculous.
    I used a quarter inch square notch trowel over bare concrete with 13 inch field tiles.
    Has anyone run into this problem before?

  • #2
    Re: Thinset not setting!

    good luck! The stuff takes FOREVER to setup, especially if you used a non-pourous tile, and if the concrete is sealed, who knows how long it will take. I wrote off premixed crap a long time ago (unless is a backsplash, less than 6" tiles, and on drywall.) Hope it works out for ya, but dont be surprised if it takes honestly a month or more. Slap a fan on it, as that should help some. The only way the stuff sets up is when the water evaporates out. Please tell me this isnt in a shower....

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    • #3
      Re: Thinset not setting!

      Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
      good luck! The stuff takes FOREVER to setup, especially if you used a non-pourous tile, and if the concrete is sealed, who knows how long it will take. I wrote off premixed crap a long time ago (unless is a backsplash, less than 6" tiles, and on drywall.) Hope it works out for ya, but dont be surprised if it takes honestly a month or more. Slap a fan on it, as that should help some. The only way the stuff sets up is when the water evaporates out. Please tell me this isnt in a shower....
      Also set up a Dehumidifier in the room....
      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

      http://www.contractorspub.com

      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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      • #4
        Re: Thinset not setting!

        It took 10 days with a fan and a dehumidifier before I could grout.
        Never again...
        (but I did save the 2 minutes it would have taken me to add water to a dry mix!)

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        • #5
          Re: Thinset not setting!

          Originally posted by Dairylander View Post
          I have always used a dry mix powder thinset for floor tiling.
          But this time I was in a hurry, so I bought a bucket of pre-mixed wet thinset.
          Eight days after install, the mortar is still flexible, and I'm getting annoyed.
          I knew that since this job is in a basement, that the set up time might take a little longer, but this is ridiculous.
          I used a quarter inch square notch trowel over bare concrete with 13 inch field tiles.
          Has anyone run into this problem before?

          those premixed buckets of "thinset" is NOT thinset at all. its just mastic (water based) with sand added to it. there is no actual cement in it.

          Concrete floors in a basement no mater how dry you may think it is always, ALWAYS wicks moisture or water up from the ground. Most times the moisture evaporates so you wouldn't really notice it. tape 2' x 2' piece of Polly or even tinfoil to the floor tapes all the way around and leave it a few days then pull it up, you'll see it then.

          unfortunately as i said mastic is water based and degrades when it gets wet and sealing the mastic under the tiles and grout now.... well i hope they are heavy tiles.

          mastic is great on wall tiles but never ever on floors and even more-so on concrete.

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          • #6
            Re: Thinset not setting!

            Yeah thats mastic you used. Unlike cement thinset which hardens chemically it dries by evaporation so it could take forever.

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            • #7
              Re: Thinset not setting!

              Originally posted by Arthur96 View Post
              those premixed buckets of "thinset" is NOT thinset at all. its just mastic (water based) with sand added to it. there is no actual cement in it.

              Concrete floors in a basement no mater how dry you may think it is always, ALWAYS wicks moisture or water up from the ground. Most times the moisture evaporates so you wouldn't really notice it. tape 2' x 2' piece of Polly or even tinfoil to the floor tapes all the way around and leave it a few days then pull it up, you'll see it then.

              unfortunately as i said mastic is water based and degrades when it gets wet and sealing the mastic under the tiles and grout now.... well i hope they are heavy tiles.

              mastic is great on wall tiles but never ever on floors and even more-so on concrete.
              This is good advise any time you are putting a flooring product onto concrete. another test I like to use is to invert a plastic cup on top of the concrete and I put an asprin under the cup, 24 hour later you can tell how much moisuture is in the floor by picking up the asprin and rubbing between your fingers. Try it, you will be suprised at how some seamingly dry floor give off a lot of moisture. Some times the pill is no longer a pill as it has sort of melted down into a puddle. If it is still firm then it is a good indication that you are good to go.
              We have one manufacturer that has a specific kit that you tape to the floor (covers exactly 1 square foot) and leave for 48 hours with a small box of a course powder in it. You accurately weigh it (I use the post office for the weighing) before hand and then weigh it after. If it falls with in specified weight gain you are good to go. We also use moisture meters but they are usually just a guideline as to when to try the kit ( kit is expensive). If you do not follow the procedure and document it the warrenty is at risk.

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