Thinset For 12×24 Porcelain Tile (Is It The Right Choice For Your Project?)

Everyone knows that tiles are installed using thinset. But what about 12×24 porcelain tiles? This type of tile is much bigger and it’s normal for one to wonder, will thinset provide sufficient adhesion?

Today, I’ll be addressing whether thinset is the ideal adhesive to use on 12×24 porcelain tiles. I’ll also share a few recommendations and a couple of additional things you need to know about installing 12×24 porcelain tiles.

12x24 Porcelain Tile

Can You Use Thinset for 12×24 Porcelain Tile?

No, you shouldn’t! Thinset is formulated to adhere to regular-sized tiles. When you use thinset for 12×24 porcelain tiles, the adhesive strength will be weak.

Because 12×24 tiles are larger, it means that they are heavier. So, if you use a regular thinset, some of your tiles might detach in certain areas.

Eventually, you’ll end up with loosened 12×24 porcelain tiles leading to complete failure. Also, it’s quite risky to have loose tiles in your home because you can’t predict when they’ll fall off.

What is the Best Thinset for 12×24 Porcelain Tile?

If you’re installing a 12×24 porcelain tile, you should use a type of mortar known as mastic. In the world of mortars, there are three main types; thinset, mastic, and epoxy mortar. Both have some level of adhesive strength and are used in different applications.

Thinset is used to install standard-sized tiles whereas mastic is perfect for adhering 12×24 porcelain tile. What most people don’t know is that mastic has a higher adhesive strength than thinset.

Therefore, it’s more capable of holding bigger tiles like the 12×24 ones. Unlike thinset, mastic will not detach from 12×24 tiles as it dries. It has a stronger holding consistency that will not detach from your tiles.

Besides offering better adhesion, 12×24 porcelain tiles are available in premixed formulas. This makes preparation and application relatively easy.

What are the Risks of Using a Thinset for 12×24 Porcelain Tile?

To help you get a clear picture as to why thinset isn’t suitable for 12×24 tiles, here are some of the risks you may incur if you proceed with using this product.

• Poor tile leveling – With a thinset, it can be more difficult to achieve a proper level with larger tiles like the 12×24. You may end up with an uneven tile surface which can affect your aesthetics.

• Insufficient Coverage – Because these tiles are bigger, the other challenge you may face is insufficient thinset coverage. The presence of voids behind the tile can affect adhesion and also loosen the tiles. You may also run into problems such as tile cracking.

• Slipping tiles during and after installation – Because thinset doesn’t have a firm adhesive strength compared to mastic, the 12×24 porcelain tiles can slip during and after installation. This isn’t only a waste of product but it’s pretty dangerous.

Considering the many risks that come with using thinset for 12×24 porcelain tiles, it’s a good idea to stick to mastic. This adhesive grabs strongly to 12×24 tiles. Therefore, the big size and heavy weight won’t be a challenge.

Should You Use Modified or Unmodified Thinset Mortar for 12×24 Tiles?

I would recommend modified thinset mortar for 12×24 tiles and here are the reasons why.

unlike the unmodified version, modified thinset mortar is rich in additives that enhance the adhesive strength, workability, and flexibility of the mortar. This makes them perfect for 12×24 tiles because they are bigger and heavier.

As you contemplate using modified or unmodified thinset mortar, it’s a good idea to settle for a product that is prescribed for large porcelain tiles.

This ensures you use a mortar that has the strength to hold onto 12×24 porcelain tiles. Otherwise, you may end up with a thinset that’s too weak for these big tiles.

Tile setter laying down thinset for a tiling project during a major house renovation.

Do You Need Professional Help in Choosing Thinset for 12×24 Porcelain Tiles?

No. Unless you’ve already hired a tiler to install the 12×24 porcelain tiles for you, there is absolutely no need to seek professional help.

From what I’ve described above, all you need to do is walk into your nearest hardware store and ask for mastic mortar.

Take it back home and install your 12×24 porcelain tiles and everything should work perfectly. There is, therefore, no need to incur extra costs of getting professional help.

Be as it may, if you were already working with a certain contractor, they will mostly use mastic to install bigger tiles. Still, on experts, a common mistake most DIY folks do is seeking advice from store workers.

The person you find working at a Home Depot or Lowe’s store is not a tiling expert. They are just salespeople. So, if you ask them which is the best thinset for 12×24 porcelain tiles, they may point you to a regular thinset. Never rely on them 100%.

What are the Instructions for Preparing Thinset Mortar for 12×24 Porcelain Tile?

If you’re going to use mastic, it comes in a premixed bucket. There aren’t any preparations needed. Just pop the lid and start spreading the mastic to the back of your 12×24 porcelain tiles.

However, if you have decided to use thinset, you have no option but to take a bucket of water and mix it according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Apart from having better adhesive strength, mastic doesn’t need any prep work. Do you still have any reasons to use thinset for 12×24 porcelain tiles?

How Thick Should Mastic/Thinset Be for 12×24 Porcelain Tile?

Be it mastic or thinset, the ideal thickness should be at most, a quarter inch. Using too much mortar when installing porcelain tile isn’t advisable.

The vice versa isn’t also recommended. As long as you keep the thickness less than a quarter inch, you are assured of sufficient adhesion and coverage.

12x24 Porcelain Tile

Are There Other Alternatives of Thinset for 12×24 Porcelain Tiles?

I have already explained in-depth the risks of using a thinset to install larger tiles. I’ve also highlighted mastic as the best mortar to use with 12×24 tiles. But are there other alternatives?

The good news is that there are many other alternatives you can use for 12×24 instead of thinset and mastic. They include;

• Epoxy mortar – This is the third variation of construction mortars that you can find in the market. Like mastic, epoxy mortars deliver unrivaled adhesion. Therefore, they will firmly glue your tiles to their substrates.

One of the perks of epoxy mortars is that they are resistant to moisture. So, if you’re installing 12×24 tiles in a high moisture area like a bathroom, this is the best mortar to use. Epoxy needs to be mixed and prepared before use.

• Latex-Modified Mortar – Earlier, I mentioned that modified mortar can also be used on 12×24 tiles. But here, I’m talking about modified mortars with latex additives.

These mortars also create a strong bond between larger tiles and substrates. This adhesive is also very water-resistant and flexible.

• Cement-Based Adhesives Formulated for Larger Tiles – Just like thinset, cement adhesives are designed to install smaller tiles.

However, some special cement-based adhesives are formulated for larger tiles. If you can get these, they will work magic on your 12×24 tiles.

• Polyurethane-Based Adhesives – These are perfect for 12×24 tiles that may be exposed to high traffic or heavy loads. Polyurethane-based adhesives are pretty strong and can bond tiles for decades.

They are also moisture resistant and thrive well in the outdoors or commercial buildings which are exposed to lots of movements and heavy loads.

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