Porcelain Tiles (Ceramin Mortar, Thinset, Special Mortar)

When looking for flooring material for your house, you will find different types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to install porcelain tile, you will also have to purchase an adhesive that firmly binds the tiles to the floor. One of the adhesives that people use is ceramic mortar, and you might be wondering if you can use it to install porcelain tiles.

So, can you use ceramic mortar for porcelain tile? You cannot use ceramic mortar to install porcelain tiles on your floor because they are made of the same material and would not stick perfectly on the floor. Ceramic mortar and porcelain tile are the same material; only that ceramic mortar has a harder and denser variety. Ceramic mortar is best for stone tiles. Sometimes the manufacturer of the porcelain tiles will give recommendations on which mortar to use; hence always read the package for directions.

You need to install a strong and durable flooring material to ensure you keep using the floor for a long time. The type of flooring material is important, but the adhesive you select will determine if the flooring stays strong for a while or if it will need repairs after a short time.

Porcelain tile is one of the best flooring materials you can use for your floor and will last for a long time if installed correctly. One of the most important things to do when installing porcelain tiles on your floor is to use the best adhesive. While purchasing the porcelain tiles, you might be wondering if you can use ceramic mortar to install the porcelain tiles.

You cannot use ceramic mortar to install porcelain tiles on your floor because they are made of the same material. Because they are of the same material, the ceramic mortar will not bind the porcelain tiles firmly to the floor leading to a weak floor. When installed with the correct mortar, porcelain tiles will work perfectly, and you will get the most out of them.

Using ceramic mortar will lose some advantages of having a porcelain floor, such as liquid resistance, durability, long lifespan, and low maintenance. If you are not sure which mortar to use to install the porcelain tiles, you should read the directions on the package for any manufacturer’s recommendation, or you can consult a flooring expert.

Porcelain tiles are highly liquid-resistant; hence, water on the floor surface cannot leak beneath the tiles when installed properly. They are perfect for rooms where lots of water frequently comes into contact with the floor, such as the bathroom and kitchen. However, you cannot have a liquid-resistant floor if you use ceramic mortar to install the porcelain tiles.

When the ceramic mortar dries up, it will not form a strong bond with the porcelain tiles, hence the tiles might move when you start using the floor. Water might sip through the space ruining your floor if there are gaps between the tiles. 

When you select a flooring material for your floor, you will want a flooring material that will last for a long time. Porcelain tiles can last for many years with low maintenance if installed properly. If you want to use your porcelain tiles without performing maintenance regularly, you should avoid using the ceramic tile.

The ceramic mortar will form a weak bond with the porcelain tiles, hence could lead to damage when you place heavy items on the porcelain floor or if the tiles are installed in a room with heavy traffic. You will spend more on costs to repair the damaged tiles or even replace the entire floor after a short time.

You need to avoid using ceramic mortar to install porcelain tiles on your floor if you want it to have a longer lifespan. If installed correctly, a porcelain floor can last more than 60 years before it needs to be replaced. However, the lifespan can be significantly reduced if you use the wrong mortar to install the tiles on your floor.

You will have to replace the porcelain tiles much sooner than expected if you use the ceramic mortar. The repairs and maintenance will also make your floor have a short lifespan because of the regular replacement of individual tiles.

Even though porcelain tiles are made from strong material that does not break easily, their durability can be influenced by the type of mortar you use. Ceramic mortar can compromise the strength and durability of porcelain tiles leading them to break if exposed to heavy items.

Professional installation is very important if it is your first time installing a floor. If you insist on installing the porcelain tiles yourself, ensure you properly follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to using the correct mortar, ensure that you have the right tools to install the porcelain tiles.

Can You Use Ceramic Thinset for Porcelain?

Thinset, also referred to as thinset cement, thinset mortar,  drybond mortar, or dryset mortar, is an adhesive mortar used to attach tiles to concrete or cement floors. There are several thinset made from different materials, and they are usually suitable for specific tiles. Before installing your porcelain tiles, you might ask yourself if you can use ceramic thinset for the porcelain tiles.

You cannot use ceramic thinset for porcelain tiles because it is only for ceramic and stone tiles. When you use a ceramic thinset to install porcelain tiles, the tiles will not be bound to the floor as required. When the ceramic thinset cures or dries up, it will have weak spots underneath the tile.

Some tiles might break or come loose if you place anything heavy on the floor or have lots of foot traffic in that room. If you are installing porcelain tiles, you should use either a latex-modified thinset or a polymer-modified thinset. The latex or polymer additives are meant to improve the bonding strength, giving you a durable and strong porcelain floor.

When selecting thinset for porcelain tiles, you can choose between an unmodified thinset and a modified thinset. Unmodified thinset is usually composed of cement, fine sand, and water retention agent. Unmodified thinset is also referred to as dryset mortar, and it depends on moisture to gain its bonding strength.

Some people prefer to use an unmodified thinset because it is cheap. If you are on a tight budget, then you can opt to use an unmodified thinset; however, your floor will not have the same strength as a floor that has a modified thinset.

Modified thinset has the same ingredients as unmodified thinset with additional agents such as latex or polymer. These agents give the modified thinset extra bonding strength, ensuring that the porcelain tiles are firmly bound to the floor.

Modified thinset can be in powdered or liquid form, and you can select which types of modified thinset is easy to use. However, because of the added latex or polymer, modified thinset is more expensive than unmodified thinset. If you want your porcelain floor to have more strength and durability, you have to spend more on the modified thinset, but it is worth it.

When using thinset to install porcelain tiles, you need to follow the instructions on the bag containing the thinset on how to mix the thinset. Some modified thinset usually contain a liquid latex or polymer and will not need water to mix it. However, some modified thinset brands have the latex or polymer agents added to the bag in powder form; hence you will need water to mix it.

The correct ratio of mixing the thinset will vary depending on the brand of the thinset you purchased. Mix the thinset powder with water or liquid latex until you achieve a dough without lumps. Let the thinset sit for a few minutes, and then mix it again for a minute or two.

Thinset usually comes in two colors, white and gray. You can choose gray thinset if you are installing porcelain with different colors. You should use a white thinset if you install white porcelain tiles since some of the thinset will be visible on the side of the tiles after installing them.

You can also dye the thinset if you want to use a custom color when installing the porcelain tiles. If you want to dye the thinset before applying it, you should purchase a white-colored modified thinset. You should also consult a flooring expert or use a professional flooring expert to install the porcelain tiles if you do not have any experience or skills in installing flooring material. 

What Kind of Mortar Do You Use for Porcelain Tiles?

The type of adhesive you use when installing tiles on your floor or walls will determine if the tiles will stay put for a short or long time. Porcelain tiles can last a lifetime if you use the correct adhesive during the installation process. If you want to install porcelain tiles in your house, here are the kinds of mortar you should use.

The kind of mortar you should use when installing porcelain tiles is thinset tile mortar or epoxy tile mortar. Thinset mortar is the default mortar for most indoor and outdoor installations. There are two types of thinset mortar, unmodified and modified. If you want your porcelain floor to be strong and durable, you must use modified thinset mortar. Epoxy tile mortar comes in separate components that you must mix before installing the porcelain tiles. Epoxy is a great alternative to modified thinset mortar because it does not need any latex or polymer.

These two kinds of mortar have advantages and disadvantages that you need to check before selecting one. Thinset tile mortar has a strong bond, especially if you choose the modified type. It comes in a bag, and you only need to add water or specified liquid to use a thinset tile mortar.

Thinset tile mortar does not absorb moisture, which prevents mold growth on the floor. However, thinset tile mortar may crack after drying up or curing, making the tiles break or come loose. To achieve a strong bond, you have to add additives to thinset tile mortar, which are very expensive.

Epoxy tile mortar has a high compressive strength, hence does not need additives to make a strong bond with the porcelain tile. It can stick and form strong bonds with most flooring materials; thus, it is unnecessary to change the adhesive if you install different tiles in your house.

Epoxy tile mortar works perfectly on damp surfaces; therefore, no need to wait for concrete or cement to dry up completely. However, epoxy tile mortar is highly-priced and requires extra skills to use. It also requires higher temperatures for installation, making it hard to use it during the winter. Epoxy tile mortar has a strong smell and sets very quickly. Therefore you need to work very fast when you use it.

You can choose which kind of mortar you want depending on various things such as budget, time, skills, and experience. If you have enough skills and experience installing tiles on floors and walls, it will be easy to use epoxy tile mortar.

If you do not have enough experience or skills, you should opt for thinset tile mortar. If you are working on a tight budget, using thinset tile mortar is the best option. Before selecting which mortar you shall use when installing porcelain tiles in your house, you should also check the packaging for the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Manufacturers know which type of mortar works best for their brand of porcelain tiles; hence it is essential to read the instructions on the packaging. If the manufacturer has not included their mortar recommendation, use the advantages and disadvantages of epoxy tile mortar or thinset tile mortar to decide which one is the best for you.


When you purchase porcelain tiles for your house, you should not purchase ceramic mortar or thinset. Porcelain tiles and ceramic thinset or mortar are made from the same material; hence the tiles will not form a strong bond.

If you use ceramic thinset or mortar to install porcelain tiles, you might not get the best out of the porcelain tiles. When you install porcelain tiles with the correct adhesive, using the correct procedure, your floor or walls might last more than 60 years.

You can use thinset tile mortar (modified) to install the porcelain tiles, but you should use epoxy tile mortar if you want a stronger floor or wall. Installing flooring material might seem like a “do-it-yourself” task, but it requires skill and experience.

If you mess up during the installation process, you will have a weak floor that might need replacement. Therefore, if you have never installed a floor, you should hire or consult a professional.

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