Thinset and grout - difference?

A while ago I had some left over white thinset in it's original 20# bag, I poured them into an empty plastic bucket (labeled for grout). I put it away and forgot about it for a whole year. Yesterday I noticed in my bathroom shower tiled wall there is a crack along one of the recessed alcove. So I used screw driver to chip the grout out, then took out the "grout" from that bucket, mixed it with latex grout additive and water and used it. This morning I remember that those were not grout, those were thinset!
Now the question is, what have I done? Should I chip them out and replace with real grout or is it "OK" what I did? It is inside the shower on the wall about waist height and will get wet.
Thanks for any comments.
MC
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wrote:

I'm no expert but if it looks good cosmetically it's probably OK. Both grout and ordinary thinset are mortar. Both are pervious to water unless sealed.
A possible problem is, with age mortars lose their ability to bond, and a year may push it. Maybe an expert will jump in to answer.
jim
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miamicuse writes:

Both are essentially portland cement plus sand. Thinset is hidden so it can employ the cheapest grey portland cement. White or colored grout uses white portland cement (more expensive than grey) so that it is either white, or can be tinted. Since grout is non-structural just about any cementitious base would suffice, unless you are looking for decreased water permeability.
The ancient craft used the same stuff for setting and grouting.
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Thanks, I will leave it in and monitor it closely and see. One other unrelated question...since I had the dry thinset powder sitting idle for over a couple of years, does it "degrade" over time? Will it have less strength now versus when I bought it some time ago?
Thanks again,
MC
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miamicuse writes:

Yes, especially if the humidity was high and the bag unsealed. If there's a lot at stake, test a small patch for setting time and pull-off strength.
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On Sun, 02 Oct 2005 00:34:40 -0500, Richard J Kinch wrote:

Not necessarily. The thinset I used recently is white portland. It's certainly more expensive, but is recommended for lighter colored tiles.

The stuff today seems different when mixed though. Maybe its the sand/portland ratio or some such. As you point out, grout is intended to be pretty, not structural.
--
Keith



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keith writes:

Right, certain porous stone requires this to avoid discoloration.
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miamicuse wrote:

Your choice. You have to look at it.
Thinset that's over a year old? It'll probably fall out on it's own. Then you can get some 'fresh' GROUT and do it right.
The additive you used may help it last longer, however.
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Good point. I don't know if the thinset powder might have lost strength over time. We shall see...
MC
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miamicuse wrote:

It will be fine. I use thinset as a stucco patch replacement all the time outside and it is tough. I also use tile adhesive for grout now and then on thin joints. Tile adhesive makes a great stucco final coat. As long as it's not put on to thick. It shrinks and will crack if applied to thick. Rich
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