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What Is The Best Mortar For Pool Tile

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Thinset Mortar Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the Right Mortar for Tile Setting

What is the difference between white and gray thinset mortar?

Basically, the difference between white and gray tile adhesive is just color. In general, youll want to use white mortar with white and light-colored grouts and gray mortar with darker and gray-colored grout colors.However, if you are installing a see-through tile, like glass tile, or something that has some translucency, like natural stone or glass, then you almost always want to use white mortar.

What is the difference between modified and unmodified mortar?

Unmodified mortars are basically just sand, cement, and lime. Modified mortar contains polymers that affect the strength, flexibility, and dry times of the thinset.

Is mortar and thinset the same thing?

Thinset is a type of mortar that is tile-specific and is sort of a slang term. Mortar is a much broader category than just tile and is used for a variety of building materials.

Is grout the same as thinset?

No, grout and thinset are two different things. Grout goes in the gap between the tiles and is part of the finished tile installation.Thinset is an adhesive that attaches tile to the substrate and is not part of the finished appearance of the tile installation.

What does LFT stand for?

LFT stands for Large Format Tile. Large format tile has at least one dimension that is 15-inches or longer.

Can I use thinset to level the floor?How long does it take for thinset to dry?Can I use an LFT mortar for small tiles like mosaics?Can I use thinset outdoors?

When Should You Use Portland Cement Grout

Portland cement grout is one of the older versions of pool tile grout, and its a good choice if youre on a budget and are open to doing a little extra work. With that said, budget isnt the only reason why you may want to try this one out. These perks suggest that you may want a cement grout pool.

  • You want to get some color in your grouting. Because its easy to dye, this is the best choice for people who want to have colored grout in their pool. Blue grout in a pool? Oh, my yes. If you were to choose epoxy, your color selection would be fairly limited.
  • You are going to be grouting tiles that are over 1/4 inch apart. This suggests that you should get a sanded grout. No epoxy grout is going to be able to offer that, so its an automatic win for Portland cement grout.
  • Youre doing a large-scale project and want to make sure that you finish it on budget. This is the most affordable choice, even when you factor in waterproofing grout sealant.

Can I Use Regular Thinset For Pool Tile

tilecan usethin set mortarusingtilethin set mortarpool tiles

. Considering this, what kind of Thinset do I use for pool tile?

I would use a modified thinset that is best suited for the type of tile you are using. Note that under your tile should be sealed with pool plaster.

Additionally, what is the best adhesive for pool tile? Swimming Pool Tile Repair Products

  • Structural Repair Adhesive is an extremely strong, fast-setting, two-part acrylic adhesive the super glue of the pool and spa industry.
  • AquaFlex Underwater Sealant is a high-performance, two-part hybrid resin.

People also ask, is there special grout for pool tile?

Tile grout is an essential part of the tile and mosaic work found in many swimming pools and swimming pool areas. For this type of installation, traditional cement-based grout is not a good choice at all. Epoxy grout is durable, waterproof, and requires no sealing.

Is there a difference between Thinset and mortar?

mortar /môrter/noun: a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones. Thinset, while it is also sometimes referred to as a mortar is an adhesive. It’s a mix of cement, water, and fine sand. It is usually used to attach tile or stone to surfaces such as cement or concrete.

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Thin Waterproof Sheet Membranes Over Backer Board

Most manufacturers want a modified mortar used to install their waterproof sheet membranes. Sheet membranes such as: Hydro Ban Sheet Membrane, Ardex SK 175, Mapei Mapeguard WP 200, Redgard Fabric Membrane, Wedi Subliner Dry

  • Ardex: X5, X77
  • Custom Building Products: Versabond Flex FlexBond
  • Laticrete: 253 Gold 254 Platinum
  • Mapei: Ultraflex 2 Porcelain Tile Mortar
  • TEC: Sturdi Flex Full Flex

Kerdi users: jump to the Schluter section below

Thoughts On What Thinset Grout To Use When Installing New Tile In A Spa

Swimming Pool Tile Repair
  • Mike Palladinosays:

    Im tiling my pool and using a porcelain pool tile what size grout lines would you have 1/8 , 3/16 or 1/4 thank you for your info.

  • Donato Pomposays:

    Typically porcelain pool tiles come as sheets where they are glued to a fiberglass web so the grout joints are pre-set which is typically 1/8 wide. Mosaic glass tiles will come mounted with 1/16 wide grout joints which is the minimum width that is allowed. You can make the grout joints wider, but the more grout exposure the more cleaning that might be needed.

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    Where Is Pool Tile Used In A Swimming Pool

    Pool Tile is used as two main functional reasons. Pool Tile is either used to cover the entire swimming pool surface, or its used in the waterline. There is an area in certain types of swimming pools, the waterline, that has a band of Pool Tile encircling the swimming pool, this is located at the top edge of the pool wall, usually right above the pool plaster. Its purpose is to allow the water level of the pool to remain above the pool plaster, making sure the pool plaster doesn’t ever dry out, preventing the pool plaster from cracking. The grout that is used in this area will have part of it fully submerged at all times, and parts that will be above the water level.

    Epoxy grout is very durable in this application, it can be fully submerged or exposed to aire without any detrimental affect to it. We have matched many colors in Epoxy Grout, and offer them on our website. We also have the ability to match almost any color in Epoxy Grout. If you want your pebble or quartz finish pool plaster to have matching grout, then we can make that happen. If you’re using Midnight Blue, Sky Blue, Tahoe Blue, etc., pool plaster, we can match it. Some of our Pool Tile grout colors are below.

    When Should You Consider Using Epoxy Grout

    Epoxy grout is one of the best types of grout for any project that involves moisture. That includes the tiling found at the bottom of a pool. The biggest draw to epoxy is also the most obvious: the material is naturally waterproof, which means that you dont need a sealant to make sure that your grout will be able to withstand the rigors of being at the bottom of a pool.

    Epoxy is a great choice for people who want to have an unsanded grout that will be gentle on marble or glass tiling. However, the big drawback here is that its far more expensive than standard Portland cement. As a result, this is often only used if you have a big budget for a pool or are simply outfitting a new jacuzzi-sized tub.

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    What Is Cantilever Coping

    Cantilevered copingcantilevered copingcopingHow to Replace Grout Around Brick Coping on Swimming Pools

  • Remove loose grout from between the joints with the tip of a screwdriver or a putty knife.
  • Tap on the bricks to check for defective mortar you can’t see.
  • Remove loose bricks, as necessary.
  • Add a container of pool repair grout to a bucket along with the concrete bonder liquid that comes with the pool repair grout.
  • What Is The Best Pool Resurfacing Material

    (EN)DAVCO Ultraflex Tile Adhesive for Tiling on tile and Swimming Pool

    Jul 21, 2020 | Blog

    There is a wide variety of pool resurfacing materials available in the market. They vary in look, durability and cost. So, you may have trouble when it comes to choosing the best pool resurfacing material in Dallas, Texas. Each type of material has their own merits and demerits. Here is a list of popular materials suitable for pool resurfacing with their merits and demerits. You will find the below information valuable for selecting the best pool material for your needs and your budget.

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    Ceramic And Porcelain Pool Tiles

    For decades, porcelain and ceramic have been the most popular choices for pool tile. Apart from being easy to install and clean, a ceramic pool tile can be hand-painted in any pattern. They are smooth to touch, and hence, little swimmers are safe from any scratches from inside the pool. With porcelain tiles, the advantage is that they dont absorb heat. So, they both are an excellent option for the waterline and pool deck pavement.

    You can choose ceramic and porcelain tiles available in textured finishes matching the contemporary style and blending with the surrounding landscape. If youre looking to add a waterline accent without stretching your budget too far, go for ceramic or porcelain tiles.

    Want To Know More About Swimming Pool Designs Get In Touch With Fujiwa Tiles Today

    With over 30 years of profound experience and technological knowledge, Fujiwa tiles have one of the best and most premium-looking designs and solutions to all your swimming pool needs.

    We are one of the worlds leading suppliers of best in class swimming pool tiles, ranging from basic to spectacular.

    Click here to get in touch with one of our experts. We will help you bring your ideas to life in no time!

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    Thinset Terms & Buzz Words


    A mortar that doesnt contain polymers. Rather, its simply made up of cement, sand, and lime


    Mortar that contains polymers. Can be latex or otherwise.

    ANSI 118.1

    Lowest grade for thinset mortars. Generally, used to determine if a thinset is unmodified. Must meet or exceed 150psi with porcelain tile sheer bond test. A118.1 Section 7.2

    ANSI 118.4

    Generally, these are considered to be modified mortars. Thinset mortar must meet or exceed 200psi with the porcelain tile sheer bond test to meet this standard. A118.4 Section 5.2.4

    ANSI 118.11

    This standard means that a thinset mortar is suitable to bond to exterior grade plywood. These are modified mortars.

    ANSI 118.15

    The highest mortar rating. To meet this standard thinset must meet or exceed 400psi in the porcelain tile sheer bond test. These are modified mortars. A118.15 Section 7.2.5

    Dryset mortar

    Another term for unmodified mortar


    Acronym meaning large format tile


    If a mortar is marketed as lightweight its probably not using traditional sand as a component. Lightweight mortars typically weigh 25-30lbs compared to their 50lb counterparts. These mortars would likely be marketed as non-sag mortars.

    Mastic and premixed mortars

    Adhesives for tile that come in a bucket. Generally, not to be used but they are OK to install smaller ceramic tiles over drywall.

    Medium Bed

    Not really an official term anymore but usually is intended to mean large format tile mortar



    Rapid Set


    What Type Of Pool Tile Is Best For Swimming Pools

    Swimming Pool Tile Mortar

    Tiles are one of the most aesthetically appealing parts of a swimming pool. When youre looking to select thebest pool tile, the options are endless.

    You may either choose a discounted pool tile or regular ones in a variety of colors and designs.

    Though every type of tile looks has different properties, it comes down to individual preferences and overall aesthetics when designing your outdoor space.

    Here are your top options for choosing the best swimming pool tile:

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    Can You Use A Normal Grout In A Swimming Pool

    Most people want to know if they can use old-school cement grout if they decide to tile up their swimming pool floors. Portland cement grout is normal grout. Its actually the standard grout for almost every type of tiling job! So, the short answer is yes. You can use normal grout in a pool and still get decent results.

    However, there are a couple of caveats.

    If you choose to get a normal grout instead of epoxy, you are going to have to get a sealant that offers waterproofing as a perk. Ideally, youll spring for the good stuff and get a mildew-resistant sealer too. Once in a while, you may also have to touch up the sealant just to make sure everything is good.

    Moreover, theres another issue that you need to be aware of when it comes to normal grout: the lifespan. Epoxy grout has the benefit of being naturally resistant to water. Standard grout doesnt, and sadly, sealant only goes so far. This means that you should expect to have repairs done on your pool sooner than you might think.

    Installing Ceramic Tile In Swimming Pools

    Adding some ceramic tiles to a swimming pool can be an attractive way to bring some detail to the pool. Ceramic tiles may be used as a border by installing a single row of tile at the water line, or they may be installed to cover the entirety of the pool’s walls and floor. Regardless of how you design the tiles to lay, take into consideration the many ways a swimming pool has special requirements for tile.

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    Thinset Mortar For Schluter Products Like Kerdi And Ditra

    When installing a Kerdi Shower, Ditra uncoupling membrane, or Ditra-Heat they want you to use Schluters own branded tile adhesive mortars such as:

    • Schluter Set
    • OR an unmodified ANSI 118.1 mortar

    In all situations EXCEPT:

    • Ditra products over a plywood subfloor.

    In this case, you would use an A118.4 mortar such as:

    • Ardex: X5 X77 X78
    • Custom Building Products: Flexbond Versabond Flex Complete Contact
    • Laticrete: 253 Gold 254 Platinum 255 Multimax Lite
    • Mapei: Ultraflex 2 Porcelain Tile Mortar, Ultracontact
    • Schluter: All-Set
    • Tec: Full Flex Full Contact Mortar

    Tile Thinset Mortar: A Buyers Guide For Selecting The Right Adhesive For Your Project

    How To: Clean Algae From Pool Tile Grout

    November 10, 2014 by DIYTileGuy

    Its difficult enough just selecting your tile let alone a tile mortar.

    Now you walk into the thinset aisle at the home improvement store and there are eight different choices of thinset mortar.

    Suddenly, questions start furiously bouncing into your head:

    • Whats the difference between the $6 bag of thinset and the $40 bag?
    • Do I go with gray or white thinset mortar?
    • What about the premixed mortar in the buckets?
    • How do I know if the thinset is unmodified?

    Finally, your answers are here!

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    Epoxy Grout Ideas For Your Swimming Pool

    While its functional aspects for your swimming pool and deck are highly recommended, there is no reason for you to sacrifice the artistic approach that can make your swimming pool something that people admire.

    All swimming pool owners are hungry for beauty, which means that there is a demand for all elements of a project to deliver. Even the grout used for tile installation in your pool is expected to offer an artistic delight.

    This is why boutique grout finishes and colors have become a massive trend amongst pool owners these days.

    Grout may be an essential part of all tile installations, but this does not mean that it cannot perform double duty, both as an adhesive that holds tiles in place and helps you add a layer of artistic expression to your swimming pool.

    With industry recognition and the enormous scale artistic possibilities of grout, various excellent boutique grout products have begun to turn up on the market.

    There are several ways you can use epoxy grout on mosaic and tile projects to make your swimming pool look beautiful.

    Mosaic design and patterns on the bottom of your swimming pool are some of the best ways to show off some style. Mosaics can be used to make complex abstract or even concrete artwork, which gives your pool a stunning appearance.

    This opens up a world of ways to bring your pool to life with mosaic and tile installations that range all the way from subtle to merely breathtaking.

    Installing Cement Board Over A Wood Subfloor

    The good news is that, basically, any thinset mortar will work for this. Some manufacturers instructions say to use a modified mortar and you should follow those instructions. More on modified mortars below.

    However, its my understanding that the mortar doesnt need to adhere to the plywood. Rather, the system of a mortar bed underneath the cement board and fasteners above holds the material properly in place.

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    How Do I Choose The Best Pool Tile Grout

    Pool tile grout is used to repair or replace pool tiles. The primary factors in choosing a grout are the scale of the project and the desired appearance of the grout. A waterproof, sanded epoxy or cement pool tile grout will be suitable for most projects.

    There are two main types of grout that are frequently used as pool tile grout: classic Portland cement grout and epoxy grout. Epoxy is harder than cement, is stain resistant, and is very durable. On the other hand, it is much more expensive than cement. Thus, for large-scale pool renovation or repairs, concrete grout is generally the most cost-friendly. For smaller, intermittent projects, however, epoxy grout may be the better choice as its shelf life is virtually unlimited.

    When grouting a pool, it is important to choose a waterproof grout to maximize longevity unlike most cases in which grout is used, pool tile grout spends most or all of its time underwater. While normal grouts will still work, they will not be as durable in those conditions. In general, epoxy grouts are naturally waterproof cement grouts with that property are less common and are usually specialized grouts.

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