Thinset Mortar

Thinset mortar is used as an adhesive for tile walls and floors, mainly in kitchens and bathrooms. Prior to the late 1970s, some thinset mortar contained asbestos. Among the more popular asbestos-containing brands were TEC, MAACO and L&M. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos-containing thinset was manufactured as a dry powder that required the addition of water prior to installation. Similar to joint compound, thinset was applied in a paste form. Typically, the mixing instructions called for pouring the dry powder into a bucket, adding water, and either mixing with a stick or an auger-type tool affixed to the end of an electric drill. The action of pouring and stirring thinset mortar until it became moist, released asbestos fibers into the air. By necessity and to be able to pour and stir the thinset properly, a worker’s face was generally within a few feet of the dusty conditions, placing him in the heart of the most dangerous breathing zone. Once the thinset was mixed, a thin layer of it was applied to a wall, floor or ceiling surface using a notched trowel. Tile was then pressed into the thinset and left to dry before grout was applied. Anyone in the vicinity of the installation process was exposed to asbestos and is at risk of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.

If you or a loved one once worked with thinset mortar, or worked in an industry where you were exposed to thinset mortar, you may have been exposed to asbestos. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.