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Will Thinset Stick To Wood: All Concerns Explained

Are you thinking about sticking tiles on wood? Or wondering if you can put wood tiles on your walls? Then you must have a lot of queries. Mostly about the sticking part and which adhesive to use. 

Will thinset stick to wood

Yes, but make sure you’re using a thinset suitable for wood. For that, we’ve provided a 3 step process of putting tile on wood using thinset. It includes preparing, mixing, applying, and lastly installing.  However, if you’re planning to stick wood tiles on concrete, thinset won’t work well.

You’ve got the basic outline about using thinset. But you need further information to proceed. Spare us some time and continue reading. Trust us, you won’t regret it later.

Using Thinset To Stick Tiles To Wood Wall

Thinset isn’t the perfect choice for sticking tiles on wood. Firstly, thinset is designed to work with concrete or stone tiles. So, it can create a strong bond between tiles(stone, porcelain) and concrete. 

Using thinset between wood and tiles isn’t the wisest decision. Because wood gets affected by humidity and weather conditions. It shrinks and swells with the change of weather. So, this can even break the bond with the adhesive in time. 

If you’re still determined to use thinset for this purpose. Make sure you’re using the one suitable for the wooden surface. You can use glue or mastic to attach tiles and wood. They can even adhere to tiles on wooden surfaces like wooden sub-floor or backsplash. 

Moreover, try choosing the tile carefully. As they come in a huge variety. For instance, wall tiles are much thinner than accent tiles.  So the wooden surface is able to carry the weight of the tiles. Thus keeping this concern in mind is necessary. 

Otherwise, your wooden surface might suffer from irreparable damage.

Step-by-Step Process Of Attaching Tile To Wood

In case you’re still planning to install tile on wood using thinset. Here’s a complete installation process for you. This will help you to get your job done easily.

Preparing The Toolbox 

You need to prepare all the necessary equipment before starting. So this list of tools will help you to arrange them beforehand:

  • Latex thinset mortar or thinset
  • Bucket 
  • Water 
  • Trowel

If you’re wondering which trowel you’ll need for this purpose. We have got some suggestions for you. Here are our best picks for your service- 

Product 1
Product 2

Grab your trowel and put the handyman cap on. We’re starting our mission now.

Step 1 of 3: Making The Thinset Mixture

First, read the instruction provided on your thinset mortar packet. Then try to mix as least as you can because thinset tends to dry quickly. Normally, 40 square feet requires a bag of thinset.

Make the mixture in small batches-

Take the bucket and pour out the thinset.  Slowly add the recommended amount of water and mix with the trowel. When your mixture will fall off from the trowel stop mixing water. But ensure that your mixture isn’t too runny. 

Voila! Your mixture is done. Let’s move on to the next step-

Step 2 of 3: Applying The Thinset 

Now comes applying the mixture to the wooden surface. Take a very little amount with the trowel. Then spread it until it becomes even. Afterward, give it some time for drying. 

Thinsets dry within 20 minutes. So, try to be very calculative on this particular step. Otherwise, you may end up wasting the mixture.

Step 3 of 3: Installing The Tiles 

Now we’re all set. You just need to stick the tile on the thinset layer. So press it on the thinset and allow it to dry. Give it 24 hours to rest. 

We’re finally done installing the tiles on the wooden surface. 

Can You Install  Wood Tile Directly On Concrete Wall?

Sometimes, questions arise whether thinset can attach wooden tile on concrete or not. The answer is no. Because wooden tiles or wooden sidings shouldn’t be put on concrete directly. 

As the wood gets rotten easily when it comes in contact with moisture. It’s mandatory to put flashing between wood and concrete wall. So that it can protect the wood from water damage. Other protective layers, like sheathing, can also be used. 

If not thinset, then what should you use to apply tiles? Urethane-based adhesives are a good choice for installing wood on concrete. Just don’t use water-based thinset mortar. As it can eventually cause fiber swelling or premature failure. 

Furthermore, wood is prone to swelling under moisture or water. So, when it shrinks in the winter, a gap is created between the wall and the tile.  In that case, your adhesive must fill this gap between the wooden tile and concrete surface

You should know by now, how to attach wooden tiles to the wall. Now you can decide when to start your project.


Question: Can you put tile directly on wood?
Answer: It depends on your wood wall’s strength. If your wood surface is structurally strong to bear the weight of the tiles. Only then you can put tiles directly on this surface. Sanding the surface to make it smoother is also important. It assures long-lastingness. 

Question: What will thinset adhere to?
Answer: Thinset is a type of adhesive used for sticking tiles to surfaces. This is a prime choice while installing ceramic, stone tiles, or porcelain tiles. Thinset has the power of creating a strong bond between the tiles and surface. But the surface must have to have the strength to carry the tile’s weight. 

Question: Is mastic better than Thinset?
Answer: Thinset is better than mastic in many ways. Firstly, thinset is stronger and easy to use. It’s literally the best for horizontal uses. Like putting tiles on the floor. Moreover, dry mix thinset is inexpensive. That’s why they’re considered better than mastic. 

Bottom Line 

That’s all for you. Now you have your answer of will thinset stick to wood. Just be careful about the mixing and spreading part. 

Hopefully, these pieces of information will help you. And you’ll have a smooth experience. Our best wishes for you!