Best Thinset for Shower Walls

If you are planning to install tile on your shower walls, you might be wondering what kind of adhesive to use.

There are many options available, but one of the most common and reliable ones is thinset mortar.

When it comes to tiling your shower walls, selecting the right thinset is crucial for a long-lasting and durable installation.

Thinset mortar is the adhesive that bonds your tiles to the wall, and making the right choice ensures that your shower not only looks beautiful but also stands the test of time.

Today, I will review some of the best thinset for shower walls that are widely used for installing tiles on shower walls.

Read More: Best Adhesive For Shower Walls

Reviews of Best Thinset for Shower Walls

#1. SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar

SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar

SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar Specs and Features

  • Ready to use, no mixing, no mess
  • Exceeds ANSI A136.1 Type I
  • Suitable for ceramic, porcelain, and stone tile, as well as other tile types
  • For interior wall and floor installations

SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar Review

If you are looking for a convenient and easy way to install tile in your shower walls, you might want to consider SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar.

Unlike traditional thin-set mortars, this product does not require water or mixing before application. SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar is ready to use right out of the container, saving you time and hassle.

You just need to spread it evenly on the substrate with a suitable trowel and set the tile firmly into it.

You can use SimpleSet to bond marble, granite, stone, ceramic, and porcelain tile up to 8 inches or 20 cm.

It can also be used with larger tiles with one side up to 15 in. (38 cm), but the dry time will significantly increase.

Besides interior wall and floor installations, SimpleSet is also suitable for some wet areas, such as tub surrounds and shower walls.

It meets or exceeds the bond strength and durability standards of ANSI A136.1 Type I.

One of the advantages of SimpleSet is that it does not shrink or sag, which helps prevent tile cracking and lippage. Besides that, it’s mildew and mold resistant.

However, SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar has some drawbacks. For example, it costs more than regular thin-set mortars, it dries up quickly in about half an hour, and it might not stick well to some surfaces like plywood, vinyl, or paint.

So, you need to be careful and follow the directions from the maker, and try the product on a small spot before you start the installation.

SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar Pros and Cons


  • Easy to apply and set
  • Does not shrink or sag
  • Resists mold and mildew growth
  • High bond strength
  • Moisture resistant
  • Mold preventive


  • Limited working time of about 30 minutes
  • Requires longer dry time for larger tiles

#2. Schluter ALL-SET Modified Thinset Mortar

Schluter All Set

Schluter ALL-SET Modified Thinset Mortar Specs and Features

  • It works with stone, ceramic, and porcelain tiles, even big, heavy ones
  • Sag-resistant and suitable for both horizontal and vertical tile installation
  • Conforms to ANSI A118.4T, ANSI A118.11 and ANSI A118.15T stand

Schluter ALL-SET Modified Thinset Mortar Review

Schluter ALL-SET Modified Thinset Mortar is a great choice for anyone who wants to install tiles using Schluter membranes and boards.

This product is specially formulated to bond with Schluter membranes and boards, such as DITRA, KERDI, DITRA-HEA, and more.

This product provides optimal performance and durability in tile installations that require uncoupling, waterproofing, sound control, or thermal break.

Schluter ALL-SET is easy to mix and apply, and it has a creamy and smooth consistency that makes it easy to spread and trowel.

It also has excellent sag resistance, which means it can hold tiles firmly in place on walls and ceilings without slipping or sagging.

It is also compatible with a variety of tile types and sizes, giving you more flexibility in your design choices.

It also has a long pot life and open time, giving you enough time to work with the product without compromising its performance.

Schluter ALL-SET can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications, making it suitable for shower walls, floors, countertops, backsplashes, and more.

It also comes in two colors, grey and white, so you can match it with your tile color or grout color.

Schluter ALL-SET is backed by a lifetime warranty when used with applicable Schluter products, ensuring that you get the best results possible.

Schluter ALL-SET Modified Thinset Mortar Pros and Cons


  • Smooth and creamy consistency
  • Suitable for various tile types
  • Spreadable and easy to handle
  • Can be used in interior and exterior applications
  • Available in white and grey


  • More expensive than regular thin-set mortars
  • May not be compatible with other brands of membranes or boards

Read More: Flexbond Vs. Versabond

#3. VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar

Versabond Thinset

VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar Specs and Features

  • Sets quickly even in cold weather
  • Polymer modified for enhanced performance
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor applications
  • Meets ANSI A118.4 and A118.11 specifications without the need for additives

VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar Review

VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar is a great choice for shower walls as it offers a strong and durable bond for various types of tiles.

It is a polymer-modified all-purpose mortar that provides good bond strength for floors and tiles.

It is easy to mix and apply, and it sets fast even in low temperatures. It can withstand moisture and humidity, making it ideal for wet areas.

It is reliable and easy to use, and meets ANSI A118.4 and A118.11 specifications without the need for additives.

It also has a smooth and consistent texture that allows for a neat and professional finish.

It cures quickly even in cold climates and adheres to most surfaces, including concrete, cement backer boards, drywall, exterior grade plywood, existing ceramic tile, vinyl flooring, and plastic laminates.

It can be used in wet areas, such as showers, and is suitable for most non-transparent or non-translucent glass mosaic tiles.

Many customers have praised this product for its quality and performance, and have reported successful results with their shower wall projects.

VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar Pros and Cons


  • Good bond strength for various tile types
  • Suitable for wet areas, including showers
  • Easy to use and reliable
  • Smooth and consistent texture


  • Not suitable for large format tile
  • May need additives for some applications

Why Thinset is Better than Mastic for Shower Walls?

Mastic is another type of tile adhesive that is often used for wall applications. It is a sticky paste that comes pre-mixed in a tub and is easy to apply and adjust.

However, mastic has some disadvantages when compared to thinset, especially for shower walls. These include:

  • Mastic is not very water-resistant. It can lose its adhesion and deteriorate over time when exposed to moisture and humidity. This can cause the tiles to fall off or crack.
  • Mastic can also promote mold growth in wet areas, as it contains organic materials that can feed mold spores.
  • Mastic is not suitable for large or heavy tiles, as it can sag or slide under their weight. It is also not recommended for tiles larger than 8 by 8 inches or for glass tiles.
  • Mastic cannot withstand high temperatures, such as those from steam showers or radiant heating systems. It can soften or melt under heat and compromise the integrity of the tile installation.

Therefore, thinset is a better option than mastic for shower walls, as it can overcome these challenges and provide a durable and long-lasting result.

Read More: Tile Adhesive vs. Thinset Mortar

How to Apply Thinset for Shower Walls?

Applying thinset for shower walls requires some preparation, skill, and patience. Here are some steps to follow:

Prepare The Substrate

The substrate is the surface on which you will install the tiles. It should be clean, dry, flat, smooth, and stable.

If the substrate is porous or uneven, you may need to apply a primer or a leveling compound before applying thinset.

Mix The Thinset

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to mix the thinset with water or other additives.

Make sure that the mixture is smooth and consistent by using a drill with a paddle attachment. Do not mix more than you can use within 30 minutes or before it starts to harden.

Apply The Thinset

Use a notched trowel to spread an even layer of thinset on a small section of the substrate.

The size of the notches depends on the size of the tiles; larger tiles require larger notches. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and comb through the thinset in one direction.

Install The Tiles

Press each tile firmly into the thinset with a slight twisting motion to ensure good contact. Leave a small gap between each tile for grout later. Use spacers to maintain even spacing and alignment.

Clean The Excess Thinset

Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe off any thinset that oozes out from the joints or the edges of the tiles.

Let The Thinset Cure

The thinset must cure for at least 24 hours before grouting or using the shower. Do not disturb or touch the tiles during this time.

How Thick Should Thinset Be for Shower Walls?

The thickness of thinset for shower wall tile should be between 3/16ths of an inch and 1/4th of an inch thick.

Is Thinset a Cement?

Yes, thinset is a type of cement that is used as an adhesive mortar for attaching tiles or stones to surfaces such as cement or concrete. It is actually a mix of water, fine sand, and cement.

Last Opinion

SimpleSet Pre-Mixed Thin-Set Mortar is the best thinset for shower walls, as it provides a strong, water-resistant, and durable bond between the tile and the substrate.

But you can also try other available options that are discussed in this article. All of them are good for installing tiles on shower walls. You just have to consider which one fully meets your expectations.

By using one of those products and with proper preparation, application, and curing, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting tile installation on your shower walls.

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