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steve65 03-19-2008 07:24 PM

8 x 17 Porcelain Wall Tile
I'm installing these in my tub/shower install. I know my way around home improvement, but have very little tile experience. My question is whether to use latex modified thinset(already purchased) or mastic. It seems like for every person that says "never use mastic, alway use thinset", there is another that says the exact opposite.
The reason this is coming up is I made a go with the thinset option and it crashed and burned. I was using a 3/8 trowel (recomended by tile store I bought tile at) and installing over hardibacker. I started pulling some tiles off to check for coverage and none of the thinset was coming off on the tile. It pretty much just smashed up against the wall. So...I ripped all the tile down, scraped wall, and figured it was time to reevaluate. The thinset was also very difficult to spread on the walls. My only guess is that I had it mixed too thick? Would this cause the problems I had?
Any opinions here would be great.

JazMan 03-19-2008 08:39 PM

Hi Steve,

If you insist on using mastic, we are going to find you and hang a "HACK- TILE SETTER" sign for all to see!:laughing: The people that told you to use mastic in wet areas don't know much.

You may have mixed the thinset too dry? Did you mist or sponge the Hardi first? I bet you didn't! Hardi really sucks, moisture. I rarely use it.

I hope the walls are very flat with large tiles like that.


steve65 03-19-2008 09:01 PM

I never said I took on easy projects...what fun would that be? No, I didn't mist or wet anything. It just seemed like the thinset didn't want to "stick" to the tile at all.

JazMan 03-19-2008 09:58 PM

Well, sounds like it was too thick? You waited too long? The tile had a kiln powder on it? You can also butter a thin film to the backs of the tiles.


Bud Cline 03-19-2008 10:26 PM

Try it again Steve, do everything the same as before except thin the thinset. Get yourself a garden sprayer and keep the wallboard wet. You can't put enough water into the Hardie to hurt anything.

Wet the wallboard, burn-in the thinset with the flat side of the trowel, then comb on more thinset nice and neat with the notches all in one direction. Sponge-off the backs of the tiles and stab them into the thinset. You can skimcoat them with the flat-side of the trowel if you think it is necessary. Don't spread thinset too far ahead of yourself.

Your on the right track just a couple of small things bit you in the ass this time.:)

If spreadin' the walls is kickin' your butt for some reason then just wet the walls and full-butter each tile and try it like that.:)

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