Mastic may be easier for a novice to work with since it's premixed to the right consistency and will readily hold tile on the wall, says TOH
senior technical editor Mark Powers. While thinset is the better product, you have to mix it correctly and know how to work with it.
Thin tiles, such as the metal and glass tiles shown here, part of the Metal Plus Blends collection, can be arranged in eye-catching patterns. They come in 12-inch-square interlocking sheets. About $66 per square foot; Voguebay