How to Mix Tile Adhesive

Written by kristan hart
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How to Mix Tile Adhesive
Carefully mix your thinset for a smooth, even tile floor. (Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The way you mix tile adhesive will determine how well your tile sticks to the floor. It's a crucial step in the tiling process because it's so easy to get it wrong. Thinset mortar is a tile adhesive used with both interior and exterior ceramic tile. It's made of Portland cement and fine silica sand. When you mix thinset mortar properly, it turns into a concrete hard surface that helps your tile adhere to its surface. A proper thinset mortar mix should have the same consistency as peanut butter. It will easily stick to the tile and hold its shape.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Paddle mixer
  • Paddle
  • Dust mask

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  1. 1

    Pour water in your bucket until it's about ¼ full.

  2. 2

    Wear a dust mask when you mix tile adhesive because of the dust in the air created by your thinset mortar mix.

  3. 3

    Add small amounts of thinset mortar to the water, and begin mixing it with your paddle. Work the mixture up and down with your paddle, making sure every bit of thinset moisture is wet and thoroughly mixed.

  4. 4

    Use more thinset mortar if your mixture is too loose and mix thoroughly until your thinset has the right consistency.

  5. 5

    Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

  6. 6

    Mix your tile adhesive again for several minutes, and allow it to sit for another 5 minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Only make enough tile adhesive mixture to last about 20 minutes. If it sits longer than 20 minutes, it could dry out and begin to harden.
  • Feel free to use your thinset mortar after the second mixing cycle.

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