Schluter has some of the best products for waterproofing bathrooms.

And we use their systems in the bathrooms we remodel.

BUT there are always questions about the type of thin-set to use when installing DITRA, KERDI-BOARD and tile.

When we heard the new Schluter thin-set was coming out it was a HUGE deal.

Today you’ll learn what makes Schluter’s thin-sets different and how to use them.

This is a game changer!

**Three Different Schluter Thin-Sets **

Schluter now has three different thin-sets.

ALL-SET is their modified thin-set that can be used under and over Schluter products.

Simply put, this is the only thin-set you need for installing Schluter products and setting tile.

Schluter SET is an unmodified thin-set.

This is for setting tile on top of Schluter products.

FAST-SET is a special modified thin-set for setting both Schluter products and tile.

All the thin-sets come in either white or gray as indicated on the bag.

ALL-SET will likely be our thin-set of choice when using Schluter systems. Primarily because it can be used under and over DITRA, DITRA-HEAT and KERDI-BOARD.

You can do the same with FAST-SET but the open time is a little less. We’ll discuss open time and pot life a bit later.

What’s most important with Schluter’s thin-set is to read the directions.

I’ll repeat that…READ THE DIRECTIONS.

**How to Mix Schluter Thin-Set**

Each Schluter thin-set has different directions. It’s not hard to mix but a lot of folks will be tempted to eyeball the consistency.

ALL-SET and FAST-SET require 5.5 to 6.5 quarts of water for a 50lb bag.

Schluter SET requires 6 to 7 quarts of water for a 50lb bag.

Pour water into a 5 gallon bucket then add the thin-set.

This prevents the thin-set from sticking to the bottom of the bucket and also cuts down on the dust.

Mix the thin-set for 5 minutes at a speed of 300 RPMs.

We found that the thin-set will appear a bit dry after the 5 minutes but don’t add more water.

Let Schluter SET and ALL-SET sit or slake for 10 minutes.

This allows the thin-set to absorb the water and activate all the ingredients.

After 10 minutes you need to mix Schluter SET and ALL-SET for an additional 3 minutes.

This 5 – 10 – 3 procedure gives Schluter SET and ALL-SET the best consistency, open time and pot life.

FAST-SET can be used after mixing for 5 minutes.

**Why the Different Water Ratios?**

Schluter requires the thin-set to be a bit loose for it’s DITRA and DITRA-HEAT. The directions call for the thin-set to be loose yet still hold a trowel ridge.

This ensures the fleece will be 100% covered in thin-set.

If you’ve never mixed thin-set for DITRA it can be a bit daunting or at least raise questions as to whether you did it right.

Now those questions are eliminated with the directions on the Schluter thin-set.

Basically you want to use the maximum amount of water when mixing Schluter thin-set for DITRA or DITRA-HEAT.

For example, if you’re using ALL-SET use close to 6.5 quarts of water with a 50lb bag. This will give you the consistency required to set DITRA or DITRA.

On the other hand, if you’re setting tile on a shower surround you want to use the minimum amount of water, e.g. 5.5 quarts per 50lbs of thin-set.

This ratio provides a thicker thin-set that prevents tiles from sagging on vertical surfaces.

**Open Time and Pot Life for Schluter Thin-Set **

What is Open Time? It’s the time in which the thin-set will remain creamy and workable after taking it out of the bucket.

Open Time for each Schluter thin-set is as follows

Schluter Set = 2 to 4 Hours

ALL-SET = 2 to 4 Hours

FAST-SET = 30 Minutes

If the thin-set gets a bit stiff within the open time you can re-mix it. BUT don’t add any additional water…this is per the directions.

Pot Life is the time you have before the thin-set starts to skin over and become unworkable.

Here’s the Pot Life for each Schluter thin-set

Schluter SET = 20 Minutes

ALL-SET = 20 Minutes

FAST-SET = 10 Minutes

Watch our video for all the details on Schluter’s new thin-set. We’re pretty stoked to have it as an option.

**What’s Next**

We highly recommend using Schluter’s new thin-set if you’re using any of their products.

Primarily because we like the consistency and the fact that you’ll get a Lifetime warranty.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and want to simplify the process enroll into the Bathroom Repair Tutor Video Library

We show how to build showers (Schluter, Wedi, Curbless, etc.), install tile, upgrade basement bathrooms, and more.

The extra guidance is invaluable

Cheers,

Have you confused open time and pot life?

Thanks Robert for asking, I rechecked my definitions for open time and pot life. Both definitions are correct as are the numbers. Thanks for asking. Did you have a specific question about either?

Jeff, I do think the times for the pot life and the open time are backwards- the Schluter All Set data sheet says All Set open time is 20-30 minutes, and the pot life is 2-4 hours.

we have several bags of Set that were left over from a job last summer. Also we just bought several bags of AllSet.

We are putting up 12 x 24 tile in a shower stall. which is the better thinset? Should we (can we) use the Set? Is it too old, or is the AllSet better prodiuct? thanks tom

Re: Schulter Set. Is there a powder/water ratio for mixing this in small batches?

Thanks Mel for asking. For now Schluter only has instructions for mixing a whole bag. But, you could probably just cut those instructions in half to mix a half bag.

I’d like to re-ask MEL’s question: what is the volumetric powder/water ratio for mixing Schluter mortar products?

I’m particularly interested in the All Set variety. Pardon me for saying this, but suggesting that one use half the recommended water of a full bag to mix a half bag, is a non-answer, borderline insulting and completely useless, since it is, or should be, painfully obvious to everyone. What I (and MEL) want to know is how many parts (cups, buckets, teaspoons, ie PARTS BY VOLUME) of the mortar should be mixed with how many parts water?

In all my experience with bagged products that need to be mixed with water, this question is never answered. The bags have plenty of bag real estate for printed directions and warnings in 3 or more languages, but they can’t quite figure out that they could make everyone’s life a lot easier by providing this simple number. Indeed, exactly how does one accurately measure out, say, a tenth of a 60 or 90 lb bag without scales or large graduated cylinders or whatever? I realize you CAN get “close” by eyeballing, but wouldn’t it be easier for everyone to simply state that the ratio by volume is such and such? A “ratio” that is based on bags (pounds) per gallons (volume) is only useful when you use full bags. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone would say, “use x scoops powder for each scoop of water”? I would think with your purported experience with Schluter products, you could give a worthy answer! Please? I won’t hold you to it!

Realizing this may all sound one part harsh, and 3 parts sarcastic, I should end with this: thank you for your videos. They have been a real life saver and inspiration for this DIYer! (I’ve simply gotten more crotchety in my old age.)

It’s difficult as a beginner to know when the mixture is “right” until I spread the first trowel. Is it too late to add more allset or water?

I decided to make a first order stab at answering my own question. I measured a 50 lb bag of the All Set and came up with the following dimensions: 12″x18″x4″ which yields 864 cubic inches which equals, surprisingly, 0.5 cubic feet. Given that the volume of one quart of anything is 0.0.334 cubic feet, 6 quarts (which is the middle of the instructions suggested range of 5.5 to 6.5), is about 0.2 cubic feet. So, since the instructions suggest using (approx) 6 quarts of water per bag (ie 0.2 cubic feet) and the bag is (approx) 0.5 cubic feet, that gives us a ration of 2.5 (mortar) to 1 (water). Of course, this is a first order estimate, but for the purpose of mixing small quantities, it’s probably reasonable to take a coffee can sized container, dump 1 container’s worth of water in a small bucket, then add 2.5 containers of mortar and mix.

If anyone tries that or knows where I went wrong, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll give that a try and see what happens.

Tried it: 1 part water to 2.5 parts powder. That works. If anything it is slightly too stiff, so a little more water may be necessary. Over and out.

You’re really overthinking it Barry. I’ve mixed a lot of thinsets in smaller quantities and here is what I do.

I’ll take the example of All Set at 6.2L per 50lbs. I determine I want to mix 10 lbs. I weigh out 10 lbs on a scale and set aside. Since 10lbs is 20% of the bag, simply multiply the 6.2L by 0.20 and you have your water amount: 1.24L

10lbs = 1.24L

20lbs = 2.48L

30lbs = 3.72L

40lbs = 4.96L

50lbs = 6.2L

Works very easily or weird portions as well, say 7 lbs. 7lbs is 14% of the bag, so 6.2Lx 0.14 = 0.868L

Jeff your an idiot. You really arent a tile guy are yah. Pot time refers to the bucket. Open time refers to the wet tack time when buttering and spreading. You should revisit you article and correct it. To say that you checked the definitions is funny. Your numbers seem correct, however you have no idea what its referring to. Lols!