When installing flooring, it is essential to know what kind of thinset you are using. There are two types of thinset: unmodified thinset and modified thinset. Both are used for installing flooring, but one is preferred over the other.
Unmodified thinset vs. modified thinset
If you’re planning to install tile on your home, you should know what type of thinset you should use. There are several different types, and they can vary in quality. You’ll also need to consider things like sand, cement, and the size of your tiles.
The difference between a polymer modified thinset and an unmodified one is in the ingredients. A polymer is an additive that adds a little extra stickiness and flexibility to the mortar. Often you’ll see it in the form of liquid or powder.
Unlike an unmodified thinset, which is a mixture of sand, cement, and water retention agents, a polymer-modified thinset will contain various compounds that improve the performance of the mixture. One of the most common additives is hydrated lime. It is an essential component of modified thinset because it helps to retain water in the cement. The moisture enables the mixture to harden more quickly, improving its strength.
A polymer modified thinset is also more effective than its predecessor in other ways. While the unmodified version may require a little time, the polymer will help the mortar withstand a lot of moisture. Lastly, the polymer is more likely to stick to surfaces beneath the mortar. It will ensure the resulting bond is not only strong but also long-lasting.
Modified thinset, on the other hand, contains a few additives to increase the adhesive qualities of the mortar. These include acrylic and latex additives. Another thing that a polymer does is fill in gaps between the needles.
A polymer-modified thinset can be found as a powder, liquid, or even a sheet membrane. Although most companies that manufacture these products have the same name, their quality varies considerably.
Unmodified thinset is a simple mix of sand, portland cement, and a water retention agent. It’s not as fancy as the other types, but it will perform the job.
One of the most interesting parts of a modified thinset is how the polymer particles interact. It produces much more durable and flexible concrete combined with the other components. Even better, it can be more affordable. That’s because cement is often three to four times higher than the average modified thinset. Combined with the water-retaining properties of the compound, it can provide an economical solution to tile installation.
Dry-set mortar vs. modified thinset
When installing tile, there are two kinds of mortar to choose from: dry-set mortar and modified thinset. The former is a mix of Portland cement, sand, and water-retaining agents, while the latter is a blend of sand, latex, and polymers. Modified thinset offers the best of both worlds by not requiring mixing and curing traditional thin-set. However, modified thinset has some downsides.
For one thing, it requires additional skill and care. Another is that it’s more expensive than its traditional counterpart. Also, it’s not as easy to find. Lastly, it won’t hold as much moisture. So, if you want to avoid these problems, you may want to stick with a traditional blend.
A typical unmodified thinset is a mix of water-retaining agents and Portland cement, with a bit of latex thrown in for good measure. This type of thinset is suitable for installing porcelain and ceramic tiles but will also work for wood, drywall, and even plywood. It is available at home improvement stores and online. There are a few notable brands, such as Bostik and Sturdi.
Modified thinset is a specialized mortar with several advantages over its predecessor. These advantages include increasing compression resistance, boosting water resistance, and improving flexibility. Some products even have chemical-resistant agents added in. But it’s important to note that a modified thinset usually costs more. Nonetheless, it’s worth the money.
In the last few decades, new types of tile have taken up a larger market share. As a result, manufacturers have had to develop specialized mortars to match their new applications. Thinset has been used to install tile over cement and fiberboard for a long time. Still, with new tile varieties and more durable materials, manufacturers have had to create a new category of mortar.
For example, a modified thinset was explicitly developed to increase the bond strength between the mortar and the substrate. It translates into stronger and more durable concrete that is more flexible. You should consult your manufacturer’s recommendations to get the most out of this product. And you’ll probably have to use it over an uncoupling membrane.
The main difference between the modified and the unmodified thinset is the quality. While both types of mortar will perform a similar feat, the former is much easier to spread. Moreover, the benefits of a modified mortar are often overlooked. Since it contains latex, it is not as prone to leaching into the grout joints in wet areas. Check this link to learn more about this.
On the other hand, a dry-set mortar is specially formulated to work over an uncoupling membrane. However, this type of mortar is relatively inexpensive but still has some limitations. Not to mention that you will have to wait for it to cure.