Can You Apply Thinset Mortar to Sheetrock?


Thinset mortar lays a bed for placing tile. Thinset adheres to Sheetrock as well as any other surface, but you need to consider the purpose of the area when installing tile. Ceramic, porcelain and rock tiles add beauty and functionality to many areas of the home and give homeowners many design options. Thinset comes in two colors, white and gray. Match the thinset to the grout you use for the tile. Light grout calls for white thinset and dark grout goes with gray.

Thinset Mortar in Dry Areas

  • If the Sheetrock is in an area that does not encounter a lot of moisture, it is fine to use thinset to install tile. Clean the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry before applying the thinset to Sheetrock. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the thinset. Sheetrock is the trademark of the Gypsum Company. The generic name for Sheetrock is drywall. If the tile is installed on a floor, cement board is the appropriate Sheetrock to use. Cement board is a specialized type of Sheetrock for use in moist areas and floors.

Thinset Mortar in Moist Areas

  • In tubs, showers, bathroom floors and kitchen counters where a lot of water accumulates, you need to use water-resistant Sheetrock under tile. Moisture causes Sheetrock to deteriorate rapidly. Water-resistant Sheetrock is usually blue or green in color and is called blueboard or greenboard. Other types of water-resistant Sheetrock suitable for these areas are cement board and fiberglass Sheetrock. Water-resistant Sheetrock is not waterproof. Some contractors debate the effectiveness of blueboard and greenboard, and use waterproof cement board instead. Fiberglass Sheetrock is coated on both sides by fiberglass. It is resistant to moisture and mold.

Types of Thinset Mortar

  • Thinset mortar is made of cement, aggregates, additives and water. There are two basic types of thinset mortar: premixed and dry powder. Premixed thinset is easier to use. It is more expensive than dry powder, but unless the area to be covered is very large the convenience is usually worth the cost. Premixed thinset comes in a large bucket ready to apply. It usually contains a latex additive. Dry powder thinset comes in bags. It is difficult to mix without a special mixing tool. Some thinset is fast-setting, and is usually avoided by inexperienced users.

Types of Sheetrock

  • Other names for Sheetrock or drywall are gypsum board and plasterboard. In addition to blueboard, greenboard (named for the color of their backing) cement and fiberglass Sheetrock, there are several other kinds, and thinset adheres to any of them. Fire-retardant Sheetrock is the most expensive, but is valuable in areas prone to fire, such as kitchens and rooms with fireplaces. Insulated Sheetrock is available to boost the temperature and sound insulation of a room. Abuse-resistant Sheetrock is available for kids' rooms and other areas that need tough walls.

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