I had long viewed Bondera with a wary eye at Lowe's because it looked a little too easy.
Is it possible to throw out this age-old practice of mortaring with the introduction of one super-scientific product? Since Bondera hasn't been around for centuries or even decades, we have no accounts of how well it does over time.
Bondera is an adhesive tile mat that is meant to be a substitute for thinset, mastic, or other wet adhesives when tiling, Bondera makes tiling of limited spaces such as backsplashes or counters an easy project.
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And while this process has worked well so far--just visit Italy or Greece and see 2,000 year-old tile doing quite well, thank you very much--it can be difficult for the newbie tiler to learn it. Grace is a sticky, gridded adhesive mat that you use in place of mastic or mortar. You press the tile onto this mat, wait a few hours, then grout.
Tiling vertical surfaces adds another wrinkle--gravity. The moment you press tile into the mortar on the wall, the tile begins to slip downward. Contrast this with tiling with mastic or mortar and your wait time is measured not in hours but days.
But your average DIY tilers are not looking to pass on their bathroom backsplash to jetpack-wearing future owners of their house in the next century.
They're just looking for easy of application, and Bondera does offer that.
One nice thing about wet mortar/mastic is that it can help fill in surface deficiencies; Bondera Tile Mat Set will not do that.
Because it is so thin, it requires a perfectly smooth surface on which to apply the product.
Bondera Tile Mat Set does take into account the "uh oh" factor, allowing you to lift and reposition after a few minutes.
It also has a slightly mushy feel that lets you make microscopic adjustments without lifting the tile.