The Best Thinsets for Plywood


One of the most common substrates, or installation surfaces, for the application of tile is plywood subflooring. Once considered unorthodox in the tile-setting community, today's polymer-modified thinsets allow for installation of tile on plywood. Several companies offer lines of thinsets that bond well to plywood; each has a unique characteristic or benefit.

Custom Building Products' FlexBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar

  • Made for tiling over difficult-to-bond surfaces and known for its flexible properties, Custom Building Products' FlexBond Fortified Thinset bonds well to plywood. Custom lists additional tile material choices suited for use with FlexBond: porcelain and glass tile, vitreous, semi-vitreous and absorptive tile, ceramic tile, quarry tile and natural stone tile. FlexBond is covered by a homeowner warranty.

Custom Building Products' VersaBond Flex

  • Specially formulated for use with porcelain and glass tile and adhesion to plywood subfloors, Custom Building Products' VersaBond Flex is a good choice for the do-it-yourself homeowner. In addition to glass and porcelain, Custom lists the following as appropriate tile types to use with this product: ceramic tile, quarry tile and natural stone tile. VersaBond Flex comes with a homeowner warranty.

Custom VersaBond

  • Formulated for a fast "curing" or drying time, Custom's basic polymer-modified thinset VersaBond also bonds well to plywood. VersaBond is formulated for use with most material types, but does not come with the additional flex properties of Custom's VersaBond Flex and FlexBond thinsets. This product is covered by a homeowner warranty.

Laticrete 254 Platinum, 254R Platinum Rapid

  • Polymer-modified with a high shear bond strength and designed for ceramic tile, stone tile and quarry tile, Laticrete's 254 Platinum bonds to plywood substrates. It also contains antimicrobial agents that inhibit the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew. Laticrete's 254R Platinum Rapid comes with the same benefits as the 254 Platinum but, unlike the 254 Platinum thinset, is designed to cure quickly.

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