Anyone use thinset as grout to avoid sealing?

mdunkinJune 21, 2007

I have heard that you can use thinset to adhere your tiles, and leave as is, or grout over. I am wanting to avoid the tedious task of setting the tiles on an outdoor substrate I have planned, then grout, then seal. I want the tiles to look a bit more natural, as if set in concrete already. Anyone do this and do you have pictures of what a mosaic looks like when only thinset is used and not grout?

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You are right, MD - this is an easy way of a one-step method. Saves time/energy/mess. It w/be very textured. YOu plunk down an area of thinset and smoosh your tiles into it, letting the thinset come up around the edges. I used this method when I started repairing a mess I made of a little path last fall, but I'm not ready to show pictures yet. I plan to finish mosaicing the path very soon, using this method, so I'll post pictures then. Go for it and show us a WIP.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Slow, thank you. I really don't want to deal with grout too, then sealing on top of that. Now can I smooth the thinset after it has come up, so it isn't lumpy looking? If any gets on the tiles, will it come off later, like it does with grout when it dries? Thanks

P.S. I have to get a new camera. Mine isn't working right now.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 4:02PM
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Yes, you can smooth it a bit w/your wet gloved fingers. If it gets on the tiles and drys, it's pretty hard to remove, but it CAN be done. It w/be more trouble, however, than going through the grouting/sealing process if you don't get it off quickly. I keep a bucket of water nearby and wash my fingers often to keep from spreading it all over new set tiles.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 4:15PM
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We "accidentally" used thinset yesterday on our laundry sink splash back and countertop project. It was the same colour as our grout and we grabbed the wrong bucket. (oops) The only difference is the colour of the thinset dries lighter than our grout but we have a bullet proof countertop and backsplash. As noted above by other posters you have to clean off the excess cement quickly from the tiles before it dries cause it's hard to remove once it dries. I'm still going to use sealer cause the tilles we used are slate and the sealer enhances the colour of the slate. The sealer I'm using is easily wiped on with a clean cloth and wipe the excess of with a clean cloth. No tedious brush work required. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 2:05PM
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I used thinset as an adhesive and as grout, so my garden stones are okay for outdoors. The only difference between thinset and grout is that you need to clean the thinset off quickly and thoroughly and do not let a haze dry onto the mosaic because, unlike grout, you cannot come back the next day and do a final cleaning.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:42PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Your butterflies are just so lovely, Silvamae. Adore the white one. What do you use for the body and antennae? And, do you grind the edges of the outer glass so they aren't sharp? Still with the newbie questions, sorry! Just so much mosaic eye candy! I will have to think about making some mosaics like this for my garden. I love adding garden art to my yard. I would love to do some butterflies, frogs and dragonflies, all which visit my yard.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:26PM
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