Start with a flat bottom 3.5 or 5 gal. pail, like to ones sold at Lowes and HD. You need at least three for the installation.
Use a heavy duty 1/2" corded drill motor with variable speed cuz you need to mix at below 300 rpm, and one of these; http://www.emeryonline.com/shared/im...g/131-3983.gif Pour water into pail, add mortar until just right. Let it slake (sit), per directions then mix again.
For most 12x12 tiles you should be using a 1/4x3/8x1/4 notched trowel. Back butter with flat side of same. A 6" flex putty knife can work too. I do not always back butter, depends on the thin set's consistency, the tile's back and floor. You need at least 85% adhesive transfer for dry areas, as close to 100% coverage in wet installations. Remove a just laid tile now and then to check.
TILE GUY - retired- TROY, MI - Method & Product suitability consulting.