A thin-set installation is the most common form of ceramic tile installation. The thin-set mortar is commonly applied with a trowel with 1/4" square notches and compresses to about 1/8" thick when the tiles are fully set into the mortar. Expect a spread ratio of 1.0 SF per pound or 1.8 SF per pound. A thin-set method is more suitable for tiles of a smaller size or format: 15" x 15" or less. The thin-set method can be used for ceramic tile, quarry tile, pavers, Saltillo tile, and many forms of natural stone. Thin-set mortars are available in white, which is appropriate for light-colored or translucent stones. Some types of thin-set mortars are suitable for exterior applications which face freeze/thaw conditions. A thin-set method can be used over a sound reduction, crack isolation, or waterproofing membrane. The labor associated with a thin-set installation is less expensive than a mud-set installation.
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